The past weekend saw Merrell Addict Don “Tiny” Sims team up with fellow Merrell Athlete, SanMari Woithe for the Kinetic Gear Double Moon Adventure Race. The 250km race was held in the Aldam region in Central Districts, with the team finishing finishing first mixed pair and second overall. See thoughts below from Don and SanMari.
“Tiny” Don Sims report: With my adventure addicts team mates all bailing on me I set out to take on the Double Moon Adventure Race (250km) with new comer to the sport SanMarie Woithe. With SanMarie’s pedigree in her various other sports I knew she would be up to the task.
We started Friday morning with a number of shorter run and paddle legs getting us up to the 50km mark before setting out on a 67km cycle. The heat was “redonkuluos” , 30 degrees in the shade. Ending the cycle meant the start of a 25km paddle. We started paddling at around 22h30 and ended at around 03h00. A nav error along the way and a sleepmonster or two…. The temp on the water leg was freeeezing. The latter part of the race “blurred” by in a frenzy of trying to keep hydrated in the sweltering heat.
This was another success story of an event put on by Stefan and Heidi. The whole professionalism of the way in which the put the event on is testimony to the passion they have for the sport. Well done guys. If the Expedition Africa Race is going to be as well laid out, it will certainly be one of the top races on anyone’s calendar.
Thanks to Merrell for once again getting us out here and making it so easy for us to just enjoy the whole experience. You guys are GREAT sponsor and your support does not go unappreciated.
And lastly to my wife and daughter for giving me my time I need to do this amazing sport…you guys are the best.
SanMarie Woithe’s Report: A friend sent me the link to this Double Moon Adventure Race at the end of last year and the seed was planted. I always wanted to try the real thing. The opportunity came up when i got a call from The Merrell Adventure Addicts and I just couldn’t say no.
Being set up with experienced AR’er, Donovan Sims in a duo team, did make me nervous, as he is seen in my eyes as one of the best Adventure racers. However he reassured me from the planning phase, right through to the start, right through to the finish line. I learnt a lot from him and realized that AR is more than just fitness and endurance. I realized it was a combination of proper planning, fitness, endurance, patience, mutual understanding between teammates, teamwork, navigation, and patience with the navigator, trust and confidence in the navigator, using the correct equipment and the taking in the correct nutrition.
It was such an amazing experience. Getting into bed in the early hours of Friday morning after the 10 hour drive up to Aldam didn’t feel like a good start. Plotting, planning and packing happened in the early mornings. We got off at 7am on Friday.
The first 40km of the race consisted of a couple of short paddling and running legs. Nerves started to settle on the 18k hike. With my trail running experience of covering 18km in approximately 2 and a half hours, I made a vital mistake of not taking enough fluids with me. It was in the heat of the day and dehydration was certainly playing its role. Lesson learnt… never to happen again. On this hike we passed rhinos twice and saw plenty of other game!
We started the 70km bike leg late Friday pm. I tried to rehydrate as much as possible. The dry wind and hot air did not make it easier. Luckily we got to refill at one of the 125km Transition points and things started looking better. We finished this bike leg late Friday night. Navigation on this leg as well as the 25km paddling leg which was to follow was tough and I take my hat off the Don. It took us approximately 5 hours to finish the long paddle with low temperatures taking its toll in the early hours of the morning.
The 25km hike plus the swim in the early mornings took us to the next transition point close to Bell’s Pass. Again Don’s navigation got us to the transition area a couple of minutes ahead of Olympus and Penny Pinchers, but Olympus still got out of transition ahead of us.
On the last bike leg the high temperatures, the dry air and combination of no sleep made it difficult. We managed to finish this leg and caught up with Olympus again because of Don’s navigation plan.
Reaching the last transition together, we started off on the last 10k hike without trying to challenge Olympus. The abseiling was a piece of cake and crossing the finish line together with Olympus, was a good feeling. We made new friends, faced a couple of sleepmonsters, got to suck in the hot, dry FreeState air, got to shiver it out on the dam and overall had a great adventure.
I think I am hooked on AR! Thanx Merrell and Adventure Addicts for giving me this opportunity to push the boundaries.