|Leo downs a hammer Gel in TA|
Adventure racing in Queensland has never been more exciting with plenty of races on offer with a variety of formats to keep us out on course for longer and test our endurance and navigation skills to the max! Team Mountain Designs have tested many of these events and certainly looking forward to ‘The Step Up’ – Ridgeline Adventure’s 5hr event on the 13th April. This is the second of a new three race series which has been developed by Ray Deetlefs and Gary Sutherland. So this is meant that Kim has teamed up with Leo Theoharis which gives both of us a chance to sharpen our nav skills as each pair receives two maps! Kim and Leo thrived in the mud fest at Donnybrook in race one of the series –‘The Kickoff’, and finished first mixed pair…..just behind our good friends Robby & Sloshy (Team Scar) and my Tri Adventure training mates Paddy & Justin (Team BikeOn) who were in the all-male category. The format was a 3hr unfinishable course where you tried to get as many CP’s as possible, but as the race went on the navigation became more difficult.
|Kim chats to Gary - ( Race Director - Ridgeline Adventures)|
Then we had the Kathmandu race at Wild Horse Mountain. This is a great little event for beginners as the navigation is pretty easy, but that makes for some fast and furious racing. The top 20 teams back to the HQ were sent out on a bonus leg, again adding that bit of an extra challenge for the more experienced teams. Gary and Kim teamed up for this one, and managed to stay in the lead despite having to repair a flat tyre on the bike course. We managed a win outright which was a great achievement especially for Gary. I looked back over the results, and saw that he has won this event outright 7 times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) racing for Team Mountain Designs …..this is an amazing achievement!
Gary and I fronted up for the 3hr Rogaine in Bunyaville, this time joined my teammate – Nick Moore. This little 3hr Rogaine is great at this time of year as it relies on quick decision making and fast movement across the course – so great practice for adventure racing. We all had our eyes on the map, as in a Rogaine everyone gets one, and were vying to clear the course. In the end we had to skip two CP’s and make a mad dash for the line, finishing with about 20 seconds to spare....so a fun event with plenty of bush bashing opportunities taken. It was another outright win for Team Mountain Designs scoring 1500 points, defeating the closest all male team by 290 points.
|Team work - trying to fit 4 shoes in a Salomon backpack!|
Race five on the Team Mountain Designs calendar for 2103 was the iAdventure Race at Nerang. The new format included an opportunity to gain bonus points on each leg and a finish deadline (similar to that in a Rogaine) for teams opting to try for the bonus, which means that the team who clears the basic course and gets the most points wins! Matt & Amanda Koerber excelled themselves when designing this course as it really had us rushing at the end of the planning time, due to the complexity of the extra bonuses. The MTB riding in Nerang is tough because there are lots of hills, but some sweet single tracks ensured we had a few smiles on our faces along the way! We had three different maps for the race, so that always adds to the challenge. Prior to our swim challenge in Nerang Pool, our Orienteering skills were put to the test going to the bonus CP’s on the run – which were in some of the most challenging areas of the forest.
We opted to leave one MTB bonus (15 points) to leave time for the bonus paddle CP’s (5 & 25). So following a bit of urbaneeering we were on the Nerang River, in the ‘toy boys’ those great AR bathtubs that we love to paddle. We were making great time on this leg until we paddled straight past the creekline with CPJ hiding about 60m away. So after reaching a dead-end and no CP we had to hightail the rest of the paddle, in order still to get the 25 pointer and make the run back to HQ in time. With just seconds to spare we crossed the finish line after 4 ½ hours of fast and furious racing. This new exciting format ensured that despite a handy lead we were challenged right up to the end, so another victory for Team Mountain Designs!
So what’s next for Team Mountain Designs – The Step Up April 13, Rogue Adventuregaine April 28, ARA Noosa May 19, then the big one – Australia’s Premier Adventure Race – Geoquest June 8-10.