It’s been along time between ARs and coming back to Imbil it relives some of the old races that we have done near here in the past. Also seeing some familiar friendly faces – it’s a good crowd to do events with. Having not been in the scene for a couple of years, it was relatively easy to get persuaded to do another event, we entered this event as officially teams of 2, but we agreed internally to do the event as a team of 4, given that 2 of our team had never done anything like this before.
Team 25 – Tee Pee (Tom and Sean)
Team 26 – Team Therapy (Alistair and me)
Having not done any events with the Rogue Adventure before, it was a relatively casual and well run event.
From the initial bike drop off, to the pre race brief and then starting in the usual fast flurry on a kayak leg, involved approx 18 kms of kayaking through a small low creek with quite a few dragging sessions and limbo-ing under trees while on the kayak with the occasional checkpoint off in the side of the creek or away in the lantana. Not being strong kayakers it was good to get through this leg and move onto the bikes just before sunset on the Saturday night.
On the bikes, it was good to turn the legs over after so long in the kayaks, and get some good speed on the open roads for a few kms. Then with the sun going down, the hills and the navigation got interesting. You can probably see from the GPS that we were relatively off track a couple of times, but managed to find some places that we could recover and refind our bearings. Having a few high, and probably more lows as a team, we struggled through this leg with all the hills and in the end were happy to head back at about about 10pm we made it back to the next leg to start the trek leg.
On the trek leg, we decided to head for some of the grouped checkpoints that seemed manage-able for a return back for a 5.30am kayak. So venturing out, and taking a good 1.5 hours to find the first one, it led to alot of hills and good navigation work by Tom with managing to find nearly all assigned checkpoints that we went after. The most challenging one, being our last assigned one, was on top of a distant range and a good distance to get up to – unfortunately not finding it and having to do a full loop back to where we started provided some mental challenges. On a high at the end of the trek we found one close to the HQ that some of the other teams apparently couldn’t find.
On returning to HQ, 2 of our 4 (Sean and Alistair) had reached their limited and decided to call it a night at about 4.30am. So we unofficially swapped the teams around and then Tom and I continued to the last kayak leg.
The final kayak leg combined with alot of land checkpoints provided the highlight of the event, both with the foggy sunrise and early morning energy kicking in, we managed to get all the checkpoints that we were after, including a high scoring one with not too much time to spare. Although, need to work on the kayaking as the last couple of k’s return were sore on the arms but managed to run back to HQ with 50 mins left on the clock…
On a sadder note it was the end of life for my first Vibram Bikilas. The terrain provided too much for the side of my front toe and wore a hole in the side mesh, Seems that others also have this issue. Something I’ll try to write up when I get a chance.
All up a great event. Great to get back out again and see some sights and share some good stories with some guys who will hopefully return to endurance racing scene… some day- now they know what they are in for!
Thanks Tom for bring it all together!
And Yes – I did have a GPS watch – but as you can tell…It was not used at all, and hidden from the other team members until the end….