Sunday, July 09, 2006

No broken bones

Kathmandu Adventure Sprint race report...
(Team Coolrunning)

had wanted to do one of these for ages. a workmate of mine, Stephen mentioned it some months ago to which my (usual) answer is .... sounds great .... if i'm not injured!
it was the first AR for both of us though Stephen had some navigation skills from rogaining and of course i was pretty fit so even if i couldn't handle the mtb course i knew i could always carry the damn thing around it!!

the event was down at the hinze dam (nerang) gold coast.
for the record we finished in just under 3 hrs (still awaiting official results, assuming no penalties!).
the winner of the mixed (guy andrews and narelle ash - international level competitors) did the course in under 2 hrs.
the first mens team came in at 2.07.
we think we were approx mid field which we're pretty damn pleased about.

a few overall/summary comments for those who will get bored reading this...
1. was suprised at the 'anaerobic' nature of the event - lots of huffing and puffing. surpisingly fast paced. had dead quads very early in the day but of course they had a chance to recover in other legs.
2. we finished very quickly! - a shortish course by all accounts. it was supposed to be 10km run/20km mtb/3km kayak. the kayak was 4.5km or so, the run 3km and the mtb ... well .... i'll get to that. has enough food etc.. with me for a 5 hour slog - very pleased not to use any of it!
3. by in large it was great fun. great to get the feet (and everything for that matter) completely wet and walk in swamp/bog. some steep bits on the mtb did scare me tho.
4. quite easy to navigate - used the compass about 2 or 3 times. mainly when the control instructions said 'number 4 west of tunnel' etc... followed people a lot of the time - especially in the kayak!
5. very friendly out there

now to the details...

the day started with a pickup at 6am then we swung by tank girls place - she was volunteering for the day.
arrived about 30mins before the race kit/maps were handed out which gave us ample time to get settled.
reality hit when i looked at the map - hadnt had to navigate for years and years!! it was somewhat of a shock to have to decide where to go.
i know this sounds stupid because i knew what i was getting myself into but was still shocked.

kayak leg (with a bit of mtb at the start)...
somewhat pissed to hear that we were starting on mtb's - had visions of falling off at the start in front of everyone :)
made a quick dash to the bushes to almost miss the start!
fitted with my secret plan of not running into anyone on my bike by being last.
wondered what i had got myself into when steve took off and i couldnt find him for a while at the kayaks.
but it was all ok :)
so the first leg seemed simple enough - ride down to the kayak shed 200m down the road and hop in a kayak.
paddle 2.3 or so kms to the north western end of the dam.
ohhhhh whats this?
take bikes on the boats?
your f*cking joking?
how do we do that steve?
oh i dunno i'm sure we'll figure it out :)

well we did - the RD gave us a few clues before the start - basically put both of them on top of one another in the middle.
try and secure them with camelback straps (huh?).
early on i had one of the break handle things in the middle of my back.
steve moved the bikes a few times mid paddle and by the end i was quite comfortable and he was completely squished.
no-one lost their bikes over the side (thank god!)
at one stage i didnt see/hear anyone near us and thinking that we were last looked around to see that we were actually about mid-pack :)

mtb leg
got out at the other end to find the bikes, camelbaks, us ... all completely soaked.
dont get this on a trail ultra!
rode quickly along the firetrail making good time before the 1st left turn.
started turning to find this steep rutted track packed with people going up and down ie. in the opposite direction (ie. my worst nigthmare!).
decided to hop off the bike when i saw guy andrews coming back up - didnt want to run into him!
managed to stay on the bike for most of the trail bits (controls 1-3).
probably made a bad trail selection on one of the bits that cost us a few minutes.
1 or 2 times i had to stop suddenly going downhill because i knew i wasnt going to take a corner.
controls 4 & 5 were via the road so we made up heaps of time here and passed quite a few teams - who no doubt had taken the better trail earlier.

run leg
thank god!
a pretty straight foward leg that was an approx 3km loop with 5 controls (6-10) scattered along the way.
muich easier trail - wouldve much prefered riding this bit and running the mtb section we just did!
even stole the map of steve and navigated for most of this bit - well there wasnt much that could go wrong running a loop!

mystery leg
having seen a few of these events before i was expecting this to be some funny mental challenge.
veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery disappointed to hear that we were to do a very technical single track mtb.
just after the start there was some screeching of breaks and swearing when i saw a sign saying 'steep drop'.
the girl in the team just in front of us almost came a cropper when she saw the sign late.
no shit a steep drop! if that was a trail run i wouldve walked down it. and did so ... bike in hand.
we had to write down the name on 11 signs that were scattered around a couple of kms of quite difficult track.
miss one and do it again :)
lots of trees and rocks and sharp turns and sharp ups/downs that i'm sure for the experienced mtb'er was quite rideable.
but for me....
persisted with trying to ride most of this section until i drifted left and hit a rock before summersaulting over the handlebars into some nice soft bush.
just as well there wasnt a bloody big tree there!
ruth wouldve never forgiven me had i broken something just before our holidays.
in fact i dont think i'll mention this to her :)
lost confidence and patience after this and basically ran/pushed the rest, riding only a few of the easier bits.
even so did lag too far behind steve.

i tell u what its a hellova lot easier paddling those plastic things without 2 bikes on top!
mtb 200m or so down to the kayaks again.
approx 2km (out and back) paddle to control 11.
nice seeing everyone else on the water finishing their own races in their own times.
lots of 'morning!' and 'watch the tide ;)' and 'be careful of the huge wave we're creating!'.
very friendly out there.
picked up the bike quickly so no-one would catch us (2 teams were just about to finish the paddle) and to try and finish just under 3 hrs which i thing we just made.

awaiting final placings.
don't think we got any penalties (tho steve did ride thru the transition once!).
i thought we were maybe 2/3rds thru the mens field but tank girl and steve though about mid-pack so i hope they're right.

before i do another one of these i'll definately need to do some dedicated mtb training.
would LOVE to do a rogaine but can't see that theres one coming up in qld.
next year maybe....
back to trail running for the moment .....


Blogger Tamyka said...

I'm planning on doing more mtbing so you're welcome to come along with us. I am a complete gumby from way back and Lotte and Paul taught me how to be a bit competent, so they'd be good for you too.

About that steep drop on the mystery course, you said, "no shit a steep drop! if that was a trail run i wouldve walked down it. and did so ... bike in hand." Well I walked that bit while you guys were off kayaking the first time, and I couldn't walk down it. It was easier to run down (even with my injury).

Sounds like the kayak leg was friendlier than that the Geocentric race - it must be good to not have to pump up the kayaks. But what's with not splashing all the other competitors?

12:33 PM  
Blogger R2B said...

Nice post man,
Youve convinced me to give this sort of race a big miss!

Hehe sounds way too dangerous.
Just kidding

Cheers R2B

10:19 PM  

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