Tuesday, March 23, 2010
After Nando had run 1km to fetch our punch cards, we set off up the hill on our mountain bikes, all shiny new and matching in our clean and bright nifty new shirts with special reflective branding, determined to win the race. After about 200 meters Williams’s chain snapped, dropping us to last place. Only 15 minutes of dextrous ingenuity by Con with a bread knife and sticky tape saw us roar off again into the night, determined to catch up with the less experienced. Lessons learnt: Carry spares for 8 and 9 speed chains. About 4km downhill to a muddy stream under a road culvert, Nando bravely stepped up to his middle in s(t)inking mud, and had to be hauled out by brute force. Lessons learnt: Read Dr Foster from Gloucester. 23:30 and now second last because another team had got lost, we roared off back up the hill past the starting camp ground, burning our excess calories with enthusiasm. Con was setting a nifty pace, determined to edge past any laggards or lazy. Suddenly Nando stopped, checked the 103 pockets of his race gear 3 times, emptied the contents of his backpack on the road, said words I claim never to have heard before, and announced he must have dropped the punch card when we left transition 1, 4km back. At this point Con mumbled that he hated AR and we cycled back down the hill to retrieve the lost card.....thanks Gerrard and Nicky for waiting patiently for us! Lessons learnt: Don’t litter. As we set off up the hill again William called us back with a flat tyre. William changed the flat by using an old punctured tyre from his previous race. Lessons learnt: Do the bleeding obvious …William. Another tyre change, two gas cartridges and 25 minutes and we were on our way… again. It was about this time that Con became grumpy. Up past the camp ground and onto endless undulating farm roads. Downhill… and uphill. The race instructions warn “Danger in the dark” what would that be, Crocodiles… no, just a very rocky dirt road that you shouldn’t ride at speed. No problem, its two in the morning, I’m just experimenting with sleeping and cycling at the same time. Close eyes just enough to see Con’s taillight. He’s keeping ahead of the pack, navigating with no rest stops, up a farm track to transition. Change into hiking shoes, eat salami and ham buns, and then off along the river, collecting checkpoints. Next check point is up the hill, above the treeline, but the trees are everywhere. Bush babies look at us, there big baby eyes reflecting from our high beams. Eventually it seems if all the teams are combing the rocky mountain ridge for that obscure checkpoint, fanned out in search mode, not even a rock rabbit could hide. Eventually, after what could be two hours of searching the checkpoint is sighted and we rush to get it, thinking we’re back in the race.
Then it’s downhill to the camp where a rock pool awaits us, a 4:30 AM jump from 6 meter cliffs into the water. It’s madness in the dark, stripping down to only a lifejacket, helmet, and cycling shorts...thanks Mandy and Nico for the long wait and inspiring us to go for it!....though it was really scary!. Then, before the shivering starts its back on with the kit, and soon the hiking warms us up. A checkpoint in the caravan park, a fruitless search through the dense undergrowth for a path back, a Jack Russel companion with endless energy keeping us company. We called him Boetie2. We can’t find a way through so we backtrack, over the top of the rocky mountain as dawn breaks, and light spreads its familiarity. Cons grumpiness eases with realization it was fun anyway, even if we are not going to win. Back to the bikes, a cycle to the MTB track, a swim in the dam to dive down a rope tied to a barrel to see what its anchor is, a bicycle rim, very appropriate.
Nando and Con need to be back by midday, we can’t do the 4 hour hike to the big dam and the swim. We decide to short course and do some cycling back to the start caravan park. As soon as we stop tiredness overtakes us. It was good. Driving home a real challenge to then catch up on a well deserved sleep!
Thanks Hardy and the team for putting on such a memorable event. With Mandy’s photos as evidence...thanks!.. we will never forget this awesome AR experience!
CHEERS!...from Mike (the reporter), Nando (the CP runner and report editor), Con (the grumpy navigator), William (captain and 2nd navigator)
Race Report written by Mike, mailed by Nando.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
On Friday 12th March Team Lickety Split will be racing in their new, custom designed and printed racing gear. The Adventure Racing motif was custom designed by the team for the team.
Overall we have to say, Team Lickety split is going to look fantastic on Friday night. Photos to follow....