:: r a c e r e p o r t
It was a bright and steamy morning on the Gold Coast, lovely day to herald the start of the first iAdventure race of 2013. Our prep for this race had been good but not stellar, as we are increasingly aware that no matter how much you train you can never really prepare for an Adventure race. Nevertheless we rode and ran trails in an attempt to prepare our bodies for what lay ahead.
The iAdventure team always post up great pre race notes, the ones for this race advised water and lots thereof. Ironically it also advised of water and lack thereof. Slightly bemused and perplexed we waterproofed our gear appropriately and headed off to race HQ.
Compared to other venues the race was based in a very civilized setting. Real toilets and coffee at hand…. Nice!
We checked in and got our maps and started planning. E is our master navigator and with a number of races under our belts and a few bigger races to come this year, our goal was to refine our navigation, and not necessarily go with the crowd. This strategy would prove somewhat interesting and challenging as the race ensued as our navigator was sweating over a few of the decisions he made… actually the sweating was quite literal, we do live and train on a mountain after all.
Maps marked and gear on board, off we trotted into the jungle… I have to admit it doesn’t matter how much we train, the first couple of kilometers are always hard. A combination of nerves and sprinting to keep up always leaves me a little smashed… plus E is not a morning person! It was great to be running to our bikes, but as we had already dropped them to the track , we knew that the bike leg would be muddy, slippery and steep.
The bike leg was fun if not a little congested at times and a low hanging vine almost decapitated me earning me a special “tattoo” across my eyes for my troubles. E had also lost his sunglasses along the way and was a little annoyed to be riding sans glasses as it was very muddy… riding with his eyes closed through the muddy sections seemed quite productive though.
All the bike check points were right where E thought they should be and as the non navigator this was reassuring… as a tip for other potential racers make sure you are either the navigator or the keep your mouth “shutigator”. Matching competitive natures also helps to make the race more pleasant.
There were lots of ups and downs in the race, literal ups and downs that is, with mammoth drops and climbs, I think E got sick of me saying “really? another hill?” We even chose to scramble to the top of one through the bush rogaine style! (or mountain goat style anyway…) Soon enough we were riding again back to race HQ to the mystery leg.
By this stage we were a little muddy and very hot, it was a relief to be told we had to go for a dip and retrieve pool toys. It was so refreshing and we contemplated dropping the pool toys just to stay in the pool a bit longer. E managed to drop his compass in the pool which was thankfully retrieved and returned to him at the end.
A little jog through the ‘burbs ensued and we laughed at the locals reactions, one of the questions we had to answer was “is this the amazing race!” and of course we responded with yes! This leg too involved water and crawling under bridges.
Finally to the second last leg and kayaking… this was the first race we didn’t have to lug our kayak up a hill (thanks Matt) The kayak was relatively pleasant and although tempted to lasso passing jet skiers we thought better of it and kept paddling. We used the upstream leg to discuss race strategy for our next race, well I did and I think E was just confused as we had not yet finished this race! I blame the endorphins as we must have been feeling good by then.
A quick walk/jog to the last checkpoint and we were nearly home. The final checkpoint was on an overpass and then it was a quick dash back to race HQ and the finish line.
As a woman adventure racing reminds me a bit of childbirth… lots of pain and effort but strangely rewarding and when you are going through it you think “why?” And “never again!” But off you go and enter again the moment the race entries open…