Brisbane | South-East Queensland Adventure Race - 25 August 2012
"Up the hill, way up there, was Optional Checkpoint D - Just daring the fit and the stupid".
Considering one out of the two Dazed and Confused had a slight navigation fail on the way to the course, they were going to be off to a good start. Especially considering that person was going to navigate for most of the course, having installed a new mapboard on the bike and hogging all the compasses. Lets call her Dazed. All the more fitting, considering the Confused team-mate was being introduced to Adventure Racing through extensive promises of being slow and only planning to have fun.
Camping on the banks of Wyalong Dam under a starry sky Dazed woke up to a "hey, where are you" phone call from Confused, who, having woken up at some really ungodly hour, started driving at 4am and was now (06:10am) looking at the iAdventure trailer.
Way, waaay too early for a 06:45 registration time for an 8am start!
Maps in their hot little hands, D&C discussed their next move. Would they first a) drop the bikes off at TA1, b) look at the map and devise a cunning strategy, c) attempt to lose the map before the race started? Dazed chose all three in order, managing to drop the map case about 100m from the kayak trailer.
The course was pretty straightforward. Optional kayak with 2 bonus checkpoints, short run to TA1, collecting 2 checkpoints, a pleasant singletrack to TA2 followed by an easy rogaine with only minor lantana options and a bonus checkpoint up a hill, followed by more awesome singletrack with 2 optional checkpoints on top of slightly unpleasant-to-get-to hills, back to the start and 3 kayak checkpoints with a bonus one with a swim option.
Eager and as yet unhurt, D&C chose to tackle the optional kayak leg, partially to avoid crowding on the singletrack and mostly to enjoy as much of the course as was possible. "if I say "left", put an extra stroke on the left side" may have been heard fairly early on, followed by mostly "left, left.... left... *sigh* (groan?) more left". To their comfort, a few other kayaks were also observed deviating mostly in a left direction, which alleviated the emotional pain of having to only really properly paddle on the left side, but not the physical pain of slowly getting more and more lopsided. Surely, heading the other way, they'll re-balance their bodies by only paddling to the right? Ha!
The de-crowding strategy worked well, settling back behind the Tri-Vintage ladies and repeatedly saying "g'day", "g'day again" to them as they continued leap-frogging with them and a couple other teams on lovely single track. Having had a crash course in single-track mountain-biking a few weekends prior during Logan's Run, Dazed was ecstatic about the now familiar terrain and no longer having to fear for her life every second moment. Confidence further boosted by overtaking a few teams (and NOT falling off in the process!) they skidded to TA2.
Dazed, now feeling confident that she was back on solid ground, unwisely chose to let Confused navigate the run. Confused started strongly, ignoring all sensible options to use a compass to at least work out where north was, and instantly went in the wrong direction. A few well phrased, encouraging words by Dazed ensured the correct track was then taken. Dazed and Confused set off in a clockwise direction, picking up checkpoints as they went, and even trying out a few shortcuts, which actually saved time.
Descending down a creekline D&C managed to get in line with some fellow shortcutters, much to Confused pleasure, as the navigating became quite easy at that point, just follow the red bib in front. This worked well until hitting transition again where this time D&C bravely, some say foolishly, decided to go for checkpoint 9 then 14, which seemed to be against the common idea of runners at this stage of the day. Dazed showed why she was considered experienced and wisely chose a sensible, cross hill line while Confused charged blindly up hill for several metres at a time, before being stopped by lack of oxygen, frantic sweating and near hysteria. Only to repeat this pattern again and again until the fire trail was found, and with it, checkpoint 14.
D&C completed the run and motored on to TA3 for the next Mountain bike leg. Once again Dazed flew round the course, despite having told Confused for the previous week how "slow" she was. The Mountain Bike leg was dispatched reasonably quickly and efficiently until The Decision. Optional checkpoint D. Perched up there, just daring the fit and the stupid. As she is sometimes a nice person, Dazed asked Confused if he wanted to try for the bonus time. Feeling manly, Confused uttered something like, "Hell no! But if you want then we can try..." Turned out that Dazed did actually want to go up there, cause the view might be good. What followed was climbing, more climbing and then some disbelief when viewing the downhill track near the top, then some climbing, followed by some much appreciated, and maybe even deserved downhill action. Bonus time achieved: 18 mins. Time taken to achieve it: about 30 odd. Views observed: timeless.
On to the kayak. The kayak was still turning left, but this time Dazed went in the front. Mainly so she could splash Confused, but also so she didn't have to see his wounded seagull-like stroke. The first two checkpoints were quickly achieved, then onto the next. Which D&C couldn't spot. Due to much urging, whining and bleating from Confused, Dazed agreed to push on round the corner because everyone else was. This lead the team to inadvertently bypass checkpoint 21? and end up tracking for the bonus F. D&C parked on the island and Confused jumped off and went to find the checkpoint. Things went well till he rounded the last bend and saw another competitor swimming back from the checkpoint. Turns out it was a kayak one after all. Nevertheless, Confused bravely jumped, some say waded with little girly sounds, into the water, half climbed the skinny tree, fell back in, half climbed the skinny tree again and punched the card.
"Thanks to the Organisers and fellow competitors for a great day out"
On a second, closer look, checkpoint 21 was discovered mostly underwater, and D&C congratulated the organisers on their cunning placement through the use of curses. After a quick paddle back to the start, kayak lifted victoriously upon shoulders (or just by the handles), D&C ran (or struggled) up the hill and deposited said kayak back where it had started the day. They quickly returned and ran to the finish line, Dazed throwing her hands up, Confused trying not to throw up.
All in all a really good way to spend a Saturday, and some fantastic fun. Confused would dearly like to thank Dazed, she was awesome. Maybe not as awesome as the kid on the BMX (that was too cool!), but still pretty spectacular. Dazed would like to thank Confused for being thoroughly entertaining and more than sufficiently awesome. Both would like to thank the organisers and fellow competitors for a great day out. And as a result, Dazed has managed to further confuse Confused into signing up for something (only slightly) bigger, and we are looking forward to seeing you all again at the Dark Side.