Thought I would go into this this event as training for some of my other races. With hardly any preparation and thought about it, I ventured down to Kooralbyn (2 hour drive) to do the event.
Getting to the halfway point of the drive down and realised I had left my bike lights at home – bit difficult to do a night race in the dark! So I hooted back home to get the lights and made it back in time for the start.
I had also left my slick rear tyre on – but I thought this would be ok…
This was my first 24 mtb challenge so I had no idea what to expect, but after a couple of laps I soon realised the event was not for me
My hardtail mountain bike did not give much comfort on the course!
I soon got tired of the course, although I didn’t go around it too many times, I need a bit of variety in my rides!
I think it was a bit ambitious doing the event solo with no idea about what to expect for course and its repetition.
During the race I managed to keep going until dark – to utilise the lights I drove an extra 80kms for! Then did another lap, and then made a call to call it quits for the night. With no accommodation booked (I was going to share with Brian and co, but I couldn’t find them when I was after them) so I decided to bail and go home. This was at about 8pm So after driving another 100kms I made it home, and Lisa made me a lovely pasta dish, and then I went and had a snooze. So at 4am I decided that I had enough sleep, picked up my roughies and ventured back down to Kooralbyn to do another 2 laps.
Not a memorable event for me, but some more experience and stories to tell.
Starting on the 20 Feb was the 2nd Edition of the XPD race, held in Tasmania.
Team Neverest Bio
Our team is group of 4 friends who recently made the switch from competitive lawn bowls and curling, as the feeling of further mental challenges brought on a switch to adventure racing. A warm summer stroll though the bush and lakes of Tasmania sounded like a good idea. Bring it on.
The Course was as follows:
Leg 1 Mountain Bike 52 km – Undulating ride through rural areas and forestry
Teams will start the race at 0700 hours on top of the iconic “Nut” in the historic town of Stanley. Teams descend the volcanic plug on foor prior to getting on their bikes. From here teams ride via the historic home of HIghfield prior to heading south through rolling pasture to the Arthur River at Tayatea Bridge.
Leg 2 Kayak 27 km – Remote flowing Arthur River
The Arthur is one of the State’s seven major rivers, but it is the only one which is completely wild, having never been logged, dammed or had a hot fire through the rainforest for almost 650 years. Teams skills will be put to the test as the river has consistent rapids. Teams will travel to Kanunah Bridge.
Leg 3 Mountain Bike 26 km – From Forest Button Grass Plains
Teams will exit the river and proceed south through the forest to the gohst town of Balfour. This leg is reasonably straight forward..
Leg 4 Trek 73 km – Remote Coastal Walk
Teams will proceed on a huge trek from Balfour to the Pieman Heads. This leg is the most remote part of the event. Very few people venture into this area. Teams will be trekking along a stretch of coast that is one of the most isolated coast lines on earth and often referred to as the edge of the world.
It is a wild piece of coast line which takes the full brunt of the famous roaring 40s wind. The seas can be treacherous with waves in winter reaching 16 metres. The coast has seen many ship wrecks – the ruins of which they will pass.
Leg 5 Kayak 18 km – Pristine River Paddle
Teams kayak from the Pieman Heads up stream to Corinna. The Pieman river is one fo teh most pristin in Tasmania. Teams will wind their way up stream surrounded by dense rain forest and the famous Huon Pine. The transition at the end of this leg is again located in a ghost town, but unlike Balfour, this one has seen some of the buildings restored to form a wilderness get a way.
Leg 6 Mountain Bike 153 km – Huge ride encompassing many types of terrain
The sixth leg of XPD will take teams on a mammoth journey across varied terrain to Gowrie Park. On teams you will ride past thick west coast rain forest, exploring old mines, ghost towns and railways and pass by towering peaks and canyons. Teams ride north to Savage River, then through Magnet Mine to Waratah, over the Surry Hill Plains to the Leven Canyon then finally across Mt Jacob to Lake Gardiner, Lake Cethana and onto Gowrie Park.
Gowrie Park is the mid camp of the race where teams must have a compulsory 6 hour stop.
Leg 7 Trek 23 km – Over the iconic Mt Roland and ridge line
The seventh leg of XPD will take teams over one of the most spectacular ranges in Tasmania. Teams climb up the front of the iconic Mt Roland and pass by Mt Van Dyke and Mt Claude to the next TA located at the Claude Mtn Lookout.
Leg 8 Mountain Bike 51 km – Ride through the forests into the heart of the state
Teams pedal south, heading into the rugged mountainous centre of the state. Teams will need to navigate through forestry trails prior to heading along Lake Rowallan to the next transition area.
Leg 9 Trek 44 km – The famous overland track including Mt Ossa.
Initially teams follow the old stock route through Leighs Paddock, joining the Overland trail at Pelion Hut. From here teams walk south collecting a check point from the highest peak in Tasmania – Mt Ossa.
Leg 10 Kayak 14 km – North to South on the glorious Lake St Clair
The tenth leg of XPD will be a kayak along the magnificent Lake St Clair. This lake is the deepest lake in Australia and has been carved out by glaciers.
Leg 11 Mountain Bike 87 km – Taking in Lake King William and onto Meadow Bank
Teams start to head for home in this leg. Teams will negotiate the trails along the banks of Lake King William prior to speeding up as they ride along the Lyle Highway to the Meadow Bank causeway.
Leg 12 Kayak 62 km – Along the fast flowing Derwent River (Grade 2)
Teams begin this leg with a 13km flat water kayak on Meadow Bank Dam. From here they must complete a compulsory portage around the dam wall, prior to entering the Derwent River. From here teams have a great ride down the fast flowing river which has several rapids. Teams may need to use stratergy prior to arriving at this leg as there is a dark zone in place on this river. Teams are given the option of being able to portage at night..
Leg 13 Trek/Abseil 39 km – Across the back of Mt Wellington including a 100 metre descent on ropes
Teams will be faced with one final hurdle prior to reaching Hobart, a trek over the towering Mt Wellington. Once at the top, teh descent will be made quickly as teams are required to abseil down the “Organ Pipes”.
Teams continue down the mountain to Cornelian Bay,
Leg 14 Kayak 3 km – Quick kayak on the famous Hobart harbour
Teams will kayak under the bridge and onto the finish line at Race HQ which is located at Huon Quays.