Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The X-Marathon Experience!

Well, I was always planning on doing this event this year having booked leave from school to fit in both the Lorne Adventure Fest and the X-Marathon, so my Tri Adventure partner Jan and I had planned a big drive holiday from Queensland with boats and bikes. When Team MD’s (Leo and I) won Hells Bells earlier this year we won a free entry to the X-Marathon (thanks to an arangement between Dare you Adventure & Adventure Junkies). So I planned to team up with Schlossy at the X-marathon as both Gary & Leo were at that time unable to commit. In the meantime I was hit by a car a week out from Darkside and was quite thankful that it was postponed till March 2015. Soon I was on the road to recovery for Lorne & X-Marathon and Gary and Leo decided they were now keen race X-Marathon too……so Jan lined up a new partner from our Tri Adventure group – Cassie Percival who has also signed up for XPD 2015.

After a great race at Lorne placing 3rd overall and 1st in the Veteran Women’s category and recovering quite well, I knew I would be ok to do the race with Sloshy! This was the first time that Schlossy and I had raced together as a team of two so I was certainly looking forward to it, and having Gary, Leo, Jan and Cassie out there on the course too, made for a great weekend of adventure racing…..

Here is Gary’s race report!

Team MD had a great weekend at X-Marthon AR on the weekend, It was hot but not humid , the conditions on lake Eildon were perfect and even though the field was small the competition was high class. Kim and Schlossy won the mixed and finished an incredible 4th overall. Leo and I finished up second overall after trading the lead all through the race with Jarad Kohlar's Peak Adventure and Adventure Racing heavy weights Hugh Stoddard and Josh Street teaming up after extended family camping adventures to form team Round Oz Recovery. 

Our Journey started weeks before the event with Leo and myself being crushed under heavy workloads and high temperatures with humidity levels above 95%, We both decide we needed a break so X-Marathon was to be our Holiday / Xmas party. I forgot to bring everything , which I didn’t discover until I weighed my bike box at the airport and it was only 25kg instead of the 30kg I normally travel with….."Oh well who cares it’s a Holiday Race"

We also didn’t get the race notes so arrived thinking we could only use tyre tubes for the bike transport/paddle leg which the race directors so kindly supplied . Which as they handed them over informed us they had holes and hoped we had a patch kit "Oh well who cares it’s a Holiday Race"
All other competitors except for both the Team MD and Tri adventure Teams had inflatable rafts.

We headed out the morning of the race to drop off our gear with the great boats we hired from Peak Adventure who provided a great service dropping off and picking up the boats. Leo only took us the wrong way twice "Holiday Race"
We got to the start and I had forgot to leave my runners out at the T/A so lucky I bought my big pack to carry them on the bike "Holiday Race"

The race started off with a foot orienteering event around Eidlon  township, using Google Earth maps which we didn’t get till the gun went off. Leo did a great job nailing everything and getting  us into second place , but with my lack of planning I had to jam so much gear into my pack we left the T/A in fourth "Holiday Race" .We caught and passed MD 2 but the other men’s teams were leaving us behind up the long climb. So still in 4th, but wait we soon discovered our strength, downhill madness we made up over 5mins on the first descent to move into second which we held till the paddle.

This is where we unleashed our second super power PADDLING 
Hugh and Josh headed off in a clockwise direction as did Jarod 10 mins in front , we wanted to do our own thing and even though we had planned to go clockwise we decided to go the other way thus keeping our super power under wraps until it was to late for the poor other lead teams. We came out in front and now on our holiday were leading the race. 

The Trek was Hilly and the Temp was rising. We traded places with Team Peak up the initial hills, these speedsters were obviously not having a good day.We snuck away but then our first real challenge. Leo's Thermostat jammed closed and we had to have numerous breaks so his radiator could cool down. 

Lucky we were in no hurry for our Holiday Race . We sat in the shade on top of hill and admired the many beautiful arms of the dazzling Lake Eildon . Finally steam stopped coming out of his ears so amazingly still in the lead we headed down to the Lake for a refreshing swim to the other side to continue the trek. Knowing now Leo's Thermostat was cactus we could manage it better and backed off the pace on the up hill sections and managed to finish the trek in 1st.

The notorious Bike Transport/Paddle/ bike leg was next. Our first effort capsized but with a re-shuffle we were off , the bikes were dragging but we had the tied on well so even if the went upside down we were confident we would have bikes at the and. So only 55mins for a 3.5k paddle "Holiday Race"

The three teams were all back together for a nasty steep Hike a Bike, we managed to keep for a while but the Temp gauge snuck back into the red so we backed it off and Hugh and Josh motored away. Team Peak were also in trouble. We relied on our 1st super power, down hilling to catch back to start the 3.5k paddle back with our bikes in equal 1st. Unfortunately one of our patched tubes had sent the air on a "Holiday" so lucky we had our bikes to keep our flat tube afloat

We headed out onto the last bike in a distant 2nd and enjoyed the cooler conditions to cruise nearly to the finish without incident. We got a little confused in some exclusive marina precinct and then my rear tyre tried to go down but after telling the tyre air it couldn’t go on "Holiday" as we were short staffed the latex jammed the exit and the air had to stay.

Hugh and Josh met us at the finish and kindly shared some food with us. Thanks boys it was great racing with you. 
What a great Holiday

Thanks Leo, Kim , Dave ,Jan and Cass

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