24hrs finished 30th over all with a point scpre of 1340
Travelling through the gorge at night, the swimming was amazing, the scenery was stunning, the climbing across rocky outcrops and shear faces was thrilling (probably far scarier in the day when you can really see). We also grouped up with 2 other teams through the gorge so that helped to keep us all on track with navigation.
The 2nd half of the bike return to HQ leg. Leaving TA22 (top ofMt Glorious) my right hip was already hurting, we blasted down the road covering approx 15km before getting back on the trail, only had a few small climbs through this section. Once we hit the trails things took a turn for the worse and my hip felt like someone twisting a knife in my side. The next 22km took us far too long as even walking was difficult. We still managed to gather a few checkpoints along the way so the whole trip back wasnt wasted.
The climb up to checkpoint 28! It was steep but fun, then when we got to the top we had to follow the ridge line to an enormous rocky outcrop where we located the checkpoint. The way down was fun too, glad we got to do that before dark as the view was beautiful
Getting back to HQ from TA22
Sometimes what looks fairly easy on a map really is much tougher than you plan for. Its all good understanding contours on a map however when your out on the trails and realise that 200mtr climb is on loose gravel/sandy surfaces or through loose leaf litter/sticks scrub with no path its a whole different story.
Hot and dry during the day, clear night with an almost full moon, cold in the morning from around 5am
Race briefing and map hand out was 8am
Race started at 11am with a bike leg, we took as direct a line as possible to TA22 so we could get into the trek leg before dark.
The terrain was nothing short of brutal with incessant ups and downs, we are far from the only team pushing bikes up hills.
From HQ to TA22 we covered just over 36km, took approx 5hrs and picked up 8 checkpoints (including 22) to start us off with 380 points
At TA22 we changed gear and prepared for our night trek leg, we knew we wanted to experience thr gorge so prepared for the swim section.
The trek leg took us aprox 8hrs, covered some 23km of steep hills and amazing views, we were up at checkpoint 23 to watch the sun turn bright red and drop below the horizon.
We teamed up with 2 other team here and decided to do the gorge trek together.
We had a fun decent that saw us spend a fair bit of it sliding on our bums down into the gorge to find points 24, 25 and 26.
During this section we had swims, rock hopping and some big drops as we decended deeper into the gorge.
The climb out of the gorge saw us come up under a road bridge here we split from the other teams and had a horrendous bush bashing climb (no marked path at all) to the top of the next peak to get checkpoint 27.
Eventually we made our way up yet another climb to the dirt road and found the 2 teams we were with earlier.
After walking together again and collecting 34 we started making our way up the 6km trek to TA22.
Once again we split from the others to grab 2 more checkpoints. We managed to clock up 550 points for this section!
We got back to TA22 and changed out some of our wet gear for dry and hopped on our bikes for a cold but very fast blast down hill (approx 15km) on the road through the townships of Mt Glorious and Mt Nebo eventually turning back onto the trails at checkpoint 16 and meeting some friends in a other team.
This was the section i reffered to as my Low point. We covered a total of approx 36km from TA22 to HQ and gained another 140 points but lost so much time with the pain in my hip significantly slowing our progress.
Once back at HQ we had missed the cut off for the Brisbane river kayak leg and i couldnt have managed the hike back from there even if we made it before cut off. So we made a choice to rest for an hour at HQ and hit the final kayak (which opened at 7am)
650am we set of for a single trek checkpoint that was super close to HQ, to pick up 20 points. Then we had a short 1km walk tothe kayak leg on Lake Manchester.
We were able to pick up maximum points on this leg collecting all 4 checkpoints totaling approx 12km of kayaking and making it back to HQ to finish our race with 1hr to spare before cutoff.
All in all there was some wonderful highs, some disappointing lows, some laughs, some almost tears, a lot of sweating and a little shivering, some amazing terrain and views and some hills that will give many people nightmares....yes it was a good Adventure!
I cannot say thank you enough to my race partner Dennis - your support and kindness through this race was amazing! I couldnt have made it back to HQ without you! I owe you and hope to get stronger and maybe race with you again one day.