So this was the course for Hells Bells 2018:-Leg 1 Swim across the Noosa River, run up the beach to near the Noosa North Shore Camp grounds and across to the Ferry, while searching for CP’s along the way – tree in scrub; high point; dense scrub, subtle high point, small tree!
Leg 2-4 Paddle Noosa River to Boreen Point, Teewah Landing – Run up Mt Seawah (via part of the Cooloola Great Walk) – Paddle back across Lake Cootharaba to the newly refurbished Habitat Noosa Camp Grounds at Elanda Point. Paddle 25k; Trek 5k.
Leg 5 Mountain Bike 33km via Kin Kin to Tablelands Road Lookout at Woondum, via Johnsons Lookout on the Noosa Trail Network, Upper Pinbarren Creek Road and Ewart’s Road.
Leg 6 Woondum Trek - Total Distance 30k – CP’s 13 – 22 – teams only had to collect one and it looked like most would opt for CP13 as it was closest and looked easiest as it was on a track junction. Total Time credits were 9hrs (interestingly fastest time estimate was 6hrs, slowest 12hrs – our prediction would then be 9hrs) there would certainly be no time for errors on this trek if we had the time to have a good crack at it!
Leg 9 MTB – Ride from top of Mt Tinbeerwah down through some of the famous #visitnoosa Woori Trails – Snake; Bloodwood, Indy, with our route also taking in Hovea and Glossy as well.
During a post-race interview here is what the Mountain Designs Women said:-What do you think was the best part of course?
Elizabeth:- I loved to flowing MTB single track trails at the end, playing in Kim's backyard really. I loved that we got tour guide information about the course and various landmarks as we rode near them.
Cass:-The Woondum rogaine section – particularly the tactical aspect. I was very concerned about finding the happy medium between too many and too few checkpoints. My brush with the Gympie Gympie plant was interesting too! Still itchy!
Cass:- Noosa and the hinterland is the perfect location for adventuring. A perfect mix of challenging terrain and beautiful scenery.
Kim - It was really fun knowing quite a bit of the area and being able to spend such a great time out in some of our favourite locations with such a great bunch of girls. Other times when I have raced in places I have known I have not been the navigator, so my local knowledge has not really helped that much, however this time it made a real difference. I did not know all of Woondum, so I liked that too as I knew if we were headed there the bush is thick and travel off track is slow and challenging. I did think it was great to get everyone to the controversial Elanda Point Camp Ground, that has recently been redeveloped by the Discovery group and the fact we paddled there was awesome. Hope everyone dining at the café/restaurant there that night was inspired by what they saw!
Elizabeth:- That it was not Melbourne weather, they had a shocker that weekend. Also, I got to race in my super awesome looking Wild Women kit and didn't put any holes in it, even with the wait-a-while bushes.
Cass:- Mountain Designs socks. These are the best socks I have ever owned. So comfortable and great when wet. I only had one sock change for the whole race after the kayak leg. Mountain Designs thermal also got a workout in this race. I put it on after the kayak leg and it stayed on for the rest of the race. Moxie gaiters were a lifesaver in the Woondum trek. We found plenty of wait-a-while and lantana in the off-track sections so the Moxies helped to protect our legs! I also trialled a new Salomon S-Lab vest-style pack. A nice snug fit, very comfortable for running in. Plenty of storage pockets. The large stretchy back pocket was big enough to fit my shoes in for the mid-bike abseil.