|Team Mountain Designs Wild Women|
|Packing, organising, reorganising and just waiting.....|
|Finally we get the maps! Do we look a bit concerned?|
It is not often at an event like this that you get your meals and accommodation included in the entry. The Tallebudgera Recreation Camp was a prefect venue for HQ, so we were up early for breakfast before departing our cabins and jumping on a bus destined for Girraween National Park. Unfortunately, there were a few delays along the way with the bus in front breaking down a few times, lucky for us the drivers were on top of it and got us to the start…..although a little late! On arrival we had to find our gear so we were ready when the gun went off to build our bikes before heading off on the trek…..another interesting way to start an event which would break teams up right from the start.
|On the bus.....very happy to be almost there!|
We gave ourselves 8hrs originally for this trek and planned a route with many options to cut home early. We headed like most to Castle Rock CP4 first then to 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 in that order. When deciding to go for 12 we were well ahead of schedule yet is was soon going to get dark. A minor nav error saw us get sucked up the wrong peak as light was fading. We persisted and worked with Team Dynamite here to work out a solution and soon headed towards the correct peak in darkness and eventually found the CP. As the navigation at night was so much slower we opted for a 5k run back to the TA and did not worry about looking for CP5 & 6, saving a bit of time for the next leg. We finished this leg in 6hrs 30 and left the TA in around 7hrs.
|Off we go.....the start of the Raid 100|
|Cass leads the way up to Castle Rock|
|CP 10 in an old ruin|
|Cass and Amie think we can sleep here for the night!|
We had a bit of trouble finding CP14 in the dark as a copse of pine trees were hard to spot in the dark…. Eventually we got it thanks to Amie and then headed to Storm King Dam for a paddle picking up CP 16 & 17 along the way. We packed our waterproof pants and wore our jackets so we would be warm and also took off our socks, so we had something dry to put back on when we started riding again. We saw Jan and Adam Power and this TA and I think they were surprised how much we enjoyed the paddle……it was well worth the 9 points on offer. We headed off on the rest of this ride, collecting all of the CP’s along the way to the TA. We did not opt for the CP’s 25,26,27 as they were an out and back and we were a little later than we had planned to arrive at this TA. It was dark on our arrival; however we expected the sun to be up before we left. There were many teams here at this point who had opted for less CP’s in Leg 1 and maximised sleep in lieu of chasing points.
|Checking the maps|
We planned a route which took us up high on trails and over the hills to avoid having to bush bash along the Cataract River, which we had been warned would be slow. I must say however that the hills on this leg were relentless and despite the route being mostly on trails you had to have your wits about you with the navigation. There were some great options to short cut large sections of trail if you were game enough to take the risk. We had not yet managed to stop for sleep, yet did not want to lose time while the sun was up, so we headed off and managed to find CP 28,29,33, 24 and 35 in good time. The navigation from 35 to 36 looked challenging, so we opted for a 30-minute sleep stop before we set off again, as it also looked really steep. This paid off as we were fresh for the big climb and to search for the trail on the spur which was marked yet barley there!
|Photo compliments of Wendy Flannagan|
|Can you spot the track?|
|Ali, doing a bit of footcare!|
|Cass and Amie|
|Kim & Ali|
|The 1k kayak portage|
|Off we go again.....|
|Kim has an altercation with a barbed wire fence.....thanks everyone for the First Aid!|
We opted not to do any CP’s on this leg, we had written on our maps that we needed to leave the TA by 5am to have any chance of getting trek CP’s, but we had only just arrived. We were sleep deprived but decided to get out of the TA and sleep just up the road a bit, so we just refuelled and repacked.
Leg 7 MTB Toonumbar, Border Ranges, Mebbin ( 16 CP’s 170kms 26hours)This leg proved to be the most challenging of the course so far, not just because of the sheer distance to be travelled, but also the climbs. Wow, were we going to be riding over some massive hills, as the contour lines were so thick and heavy and there was no easy way to get up and through those ranges except for just going up. As we left the TA the sun was rising and it was turning out to be another a beautiful sunny day. It was a fairly big climb up to the CP 67 yet we were actually looking for somewhere to stop and sleep. We seriously almost stopped at the Afterlee Primary School but thought otherwise as it was now broad daylight. Instead we punched CP 67 and just rolled 100m past on the track and slept there as no one would be coming that way. Here we had an amazing 2hr sleep on the side of a sunny spur….it was probably our best sleep of the race!
When we woke we were all revitalised and ready to ride some serious hills and that we did. From C 67 – 69 it was only 16km, but it took us around 4hrs! We had to work together as a team to get through this section as it was so steep you could barely turn the pedals over, so after a combination of walking and riding finally we got to the top of the range and admired the spectacular views at CP 68 and then enjoyed a little descent before the climb up to CP 69. Here we were rewarded with an amazing view of Mt Lindsay as well as smiles and hugs from the Mojo photo crew – Erren and Jo. We punched the CP, stopped rested and ate something as we pondered our journey so far and just as we were about to get up and go the Kromes – Tri Adventure For Better or Worse rolled in to the lookout! Wow I was so impressed with them again, just moving forward through the course smartly and efficiently.
|Approaching the lookout....|
|......and so do we!|
|The sun goes down.....another day over....less than 24hrs to go!|
|Cass happy yo find this CP on the climb!|
|Kim spots the next one!|
Leg 8 Kayak/Trek Murwillumbah to HQ (9CP’s Kayak 40km 5hrs Trek 12km 2hrs Kayak 2km 35mins
First thing I did was get out the maps and reassess our timings, based on speeds we had paddled earlier in the event and the conditions of the day which seemed perfect. We had to get to CP 97 the portage at Tweed Heads by 1.30pm to give us enough time to get back on time. Cass and I then got all the kayak gear sorted while we encouraged Amie and Ali to pack up bikes, eat and then sleep as we would be waking them up at 8.30 to depart…. meaning the more you stuffed around the less sleep you would get. We had the Jetboil out so, I made soup and coffees for the team, Cass had some Back Country and soon we were lying dead to the world on the grass in the middle of a crazy frantic TA. We were so tired at this stage after not much sleep at all throughout the race.
|Happy to be almost there....|
|Ali and Amie running along the beach|
|Cass and Kim running too....somehow after 95hrs we still can....|
|Mountain Designs Wild Women approach the finish line.....all smiles after the final paddle!|
|.....of course Aunty Jan is there with Champagne!|
Amie said “Recovery is taking the longest of anything I’ve ever done. Not sleeping properly (still chasing you girls through the bush so I’m up and down all night) and still can’t feel some of my toes!
I’m sure some rest will sort it all out. Definitely the toughest race I’ve done yet. Have never experienced elevation like that before. Mentally I struggled a lot and now the race is over I cannot understand some of the things that were going through my head at the time, so a massive thanks for physically and mentally towing me through the race, I don’t know how you girls do it. I felt like we had everything packed into the boxes pretty well and always had the gear we needed to get through each stage. Being very new to adventure racing I can see ways to improve in many ways. Glad I’ve got such strong chicks to give sound practical advice.”
|Mountain Designs Wild Women 1st Female Team Raid 100 with Liam St Pierre|