News from 1 Dec – We are just waking here in Costa Rica after a massive opening parade through town and very fancy dinner last night. Impressive show from the town and country officials.
Was a hectic day yesterday. Kicked off with briefing in the morning. An extensive snake briefing with pics of snake bites. A bit scary, but basic rule – STAY AWAY FROM SNAKES. Nice idea. Especially as twigs look like snakes after 2 days no sleep. Medical and search and research briefing followed. The plans in place look brilliant and let’s hope they are not used. Finally the course was revealed.
804km over 12 legs with a predicted winning time of 126hrs. Though the organizers are saying they expect it to take longer. There are 5 legs before compulsory stop and then 7 after. The race after the stop will the tough. We reckon the 92km trek over the volcano will be a race defining leg. They are predicting a 33hr fastest time for that leg. Must be some serious stuff out there as that is under 3km an hour. Packs will be heavy with food for 33hrs and high altitude compulsory clothing, shelter, sleeping bags and rope work equipment.
Leg 8 will also have a huge impact on the race. More the dark zone around it rather. You have to start the leg before 14h00 or you will have to wait until 04h30 next morning. Initially organizers were going to neutralize the time but soon realized after the comments from the teams that this was not going to be fair or get the winning team to the finish line first. They have now changed the dark zone to exclude neutralized time but rather if a team gets thru before 14h00 they have to stop paddling between 17h30 and 04h30 on there first night on leg 8. Ie all teams will then be affected by the dark zone. All teams must serve the dark zone or part thereof as teams arriving after 17h30 to start leg 8 will obviously do less than the 11hrs. Confusing but seems fair.
Yesterday was spent sorting food into 9 different food packs based on when we will be able to pick up food from ta’s. Also putting gear into the right boxes. Final packing this morning and we hand in boxes at 11h00. We have four TA boxes, four bike boxes and two paddle bags.
We only get the first maps after the start and further maps at TA4 and TA8. So will be a relaxing day after boxes are handed in.
We depart on buses tomorrow morning at 04h00 for 6 hour bus drive to start. Then start is at 14h00 (22h00 SA time). Team is all strong, keen, motivated and raring to go. Almost time to get #OutsideandAlive.
News from 29 Nov – It was great to finally get #ARWC2013 under way today with registration and kit check.
The addicts arrived in Costa Rica on Wed morning in order to settle in, adjust to eight hr time difference, check gear and buy food for the race. It has been basically two days at the hotel with a trip each day to the local supermarket. Trips downtown have been interesting with masses of people, cars, motorbikes all around.
Gear is all sorted as per compulsory kit list and what we assume we will need. Food is all done based on the limited information we have received so far i.e. 815km, 5 days for winners.
Registration and gear check was relatively painless. Anticipation is now mounting for briefing tomorrow at 9h30 when hopefully we will received more info about course and the layout. So one more sleep until we finally see what we are going to go through.
Roll on 9h30 Then it time to get OUTSIDE and be ALIVE.