Ok, so we finally emerging from the haziness that takes over an Adventure Racers mind during a race. Your whole focus and being becomes about getting to the next checkpoint, next TA or to the finish. It is about maintaining yourself, maintaining your teammates, maintaining your equipment. Surviving to the end. Oh and also trying to get there quicker than the other teams.
We finished late last night after 180h20m of racing. It was tough. The paddle legs and mountain trek where long and brutal. The conditions where hot and humid with rain showers during some parts of the day. It was freezing cold on top of the mountain. The mud was unrelenting at times. The navigation was tough with route options, map errors and the need for continual concentration in order to not lose time on other teams.
We had a great race, though at this stage it is all still a blur and over the next few days it will become alot more clearer as to what we went through and achieved.
We had a great consistent race. After a disastrous route choice on the first mtb leg that put us near the back of the field, we had an awesome leg 2,3,4 and managed to pull back into the top ten and be back with the teams racing for the top spots. We again didn’t have a great leg 5 on the MTB. Entering mid camp, we were content with our time behind the teams in front of us, though in truth we realized we where getting too far behind the leader. The Mountain trek was long and brutal and at the end we were only 3-4 hrs off 4th place and we knew with the Dark zone at TA8 we would be able to start with all the teams ahead of us the next morning. We were all broken and extremely exhausted at the end of the trek and made a strategy call to sleep at TA7 and not immediately push onto TA8. We felt the sleep would benefit us more at TA7 than trying to bike immediately and then sleeping at TA8. By the end of leg 9 & 10 (paddle & trek) we had managed to catch the two brazilian teams and was about 2 hours behind 3rd and 4th. We pushed hard on the final MTB leg, initially getting a gap on the two brazilian teams but then losing around 2 hrs to them when we made a nav error. Qasarlontra then had a bike mechanical which allowed us to catch and pass them and we finally caught BMS as they battled to find the final MTB CP. This put us into 5th for the final few hours to the finish.
We are extremely happy with our 5th place result and the way our race panned out. We are all still strong and seem in good shape compared to some others that we have seen.
Snoooozie did fantastically, considering it is only her second expedition adventure race after EA earlier this year. Farmer Brown was a machine looking after his sister throughout the race. The consistent stable Hanno was a rock of consistency throughout and keep us all going at the correct pace and ensure we did not get carried away in the “moments”.
More news and reports to follow in the next few days. Back to bed now for us.