With bags and pockets as full as a centipede’s sock drawer Captain Graham Bird jetted off yesterday to join his team already in Australia preparing for the next Adventure Racing World Series event in the tropics of Townsville.
Hanno Smit, Robyn Kime and Grant Ross have been there for a few days getting used to the humidity, trying to decipher Australianese and shopping for a week’s worth of food they will devour over the long race. Last night they sat through the safety briefing, hearing something about crocodiles being in all the waters, snakes also omnipresent and stinging plants out to get everyone.
With Captain Tweet back at the helm they will receive the non-stop route and details on Tuesday morning, spend the day planning, plotting and packing and then set off with 35 other teams on Wednesday morning with an 8km paddle, presumably to Magnetic Island. Roughly 100 hours later they should pedal their bikes over the finish line, having tackled 12 long legs totalling 138km paddling, 158km trekking and 352km cycling, as well as canyoning, snorkelling and SUP, adding up 650km if their map navigation is spot on.
Tired just reading through that list? A gps transmitter in their backpack will enable us to join their journey and suffer our own sleepless nights as we can follow them on a live tracking site and mentally will them through the dark places they will no doubt encounter within themselves at stages. A photographer will send images and updates from the team to their Merrell Adventure Addicts facebook page. They start at 0h45 South African time on Wednesday 5th August.
Live GPS tracking and news feeds: live.xpd.com.au
Event information: www.xpd.com.au
Twitter and Instagram: #xpdar
With the continuing support and shared vision of Merrell, the Addicts will continue to be driven by the “OUT. PERFORM.” philosophy of Merrell. Other team sponsors include PVM Nutritional Science, Black Diamond head torches, Extreme Lights, Giant Bicycles, Squirt Bicycle Lube and Island Tribe Sunscreen, ButtaNutt and Llama Bars who all helped the team pick up the winning trophy at Expedition Africa earlier this year.