Podium in Baise (China)
Whoop whoop!!…here we are again back in China 2015 !!!
Not a bad start so far, we’ve had our challenges all the way during this race…but we are stoked to come home with 2nd place after four days of racing yeaaaaaaa!!!!
Our little adventure started right from when we left home because our flight from queenstown got delayed – so we weren’t even sure if we would catch our international flight, but luckily we did.
Tuesday 21st April:
We flew out of New Zealand, arrived in China 22nd then onto another domestic flight plus a 6hr bus drive to reach Leye, China.
Finally got there Wednesday evening at 8-9pm had quick dinner and off to bed – wow….
Thursday 23rd April:
We spent all day sorting out equipment for race day Friday the 24th, we also had to pack camping stuff + clothing for after the race, race gear for second day + pack up everything else to be on a different bus to another hotel for when we finished our 2nd day of racing.
It was quite a lot to think about and it was a bit unfortunate that the organiser completely underestimated times on our race timetable ekkkkkkkk…. anyway it was the same for everybody, so all good!
What alway amazes me, watching other athletes, while we were are busy packing and organising stuff for race etc…. other teams arrived and all they were worried about was how and where to get Internet from…funny eh? teheeeeeeee 😉
I think our Torpedo7 team did very well and we had everything sorted by 8pm yipppeeeee ready for bed and sleep ka-pow!! .
Friday the 24th April:
Race start was at 10am, after the opening ceremony. We started with a 1km sprint into town to get some orienteering maps with check points on it, we all had to get one of them, our team spit up to get the checkpoints and we finally met up again at the start TA1, straight after that we carried on with a 25km trail run which had a caving section in the middle of the trail run 🙂 Unfortunately,maybe just 2hrs into the race, one of my team mates suffered from horrendous cramping in his legs, he could hardly move at some point and honestly I thought “that’s it!“, the end of us racing in China ekkkkk, but we managed to keep moving slowly with less cramping all the way to TA2. We then had to do a 43km Mountain Bike ride, I was pretty excited because we are all pretty good cyclists but, again, poor Bob suffered from cramping on the bike.
But there is nothing like having super duper strong team mates, right? Teehee… we all kept holding together, helping each other when we needed it and finally made up a few more places again. I think when we hit the 30km Kayak section we were in 5th or 6th place. It got very exciting when we realised all the other teams are actually not to far ahead and it is possible to catch them.
With Bob and Hamish’s awesome Navigation skills we pulled in a few places on our way out to the turn around, and on the way back we passed second place. Unfortunately first place team Thule were too far away to catch by then … never mind :-).
We were pretty happy about our achievement that day, especially with the cramping situation. Bob and Hamish went to bed pretty early, while marcel kept on trucking along cleaning up and sorting out stuff for the next day.
We camped over night and had a pretty early start next day.
Saturday 25th April:
The race started @ 5am with a 120km MTB ride (elevation from 350m to 1750m)
We started on the bike, knowing it was a long way, 120km on a MTB, but nobody seemed to really want to make a move at the front, everybody just sitting there chatting away at a really slow pace and, as you could guess, it did my head in!! Holy moly.. that day, that morning on the bike…I just thought about Dougal Allan and Braden Currie – they would have been 20 mins up the road!!!!!! What is going on?!?!?
The girl from Thule and I were at the front riding and chatting – ha ha pretty funny – but I just wanted to GO, but I can’t go without my team right? After about 1hr of riding I realised two of my mates weren’t feeling well and were struggling to keep up with the pace at the front, so we let the other teams go and focused on doing our own thing – going as fast as we could with the circumstances we had :-). I was surprised, a little later on the bike, when we caught up with some teams that had passed us earlier and we overtook them again ;-).
After we finished the bike surprise surprise we actually caught up to the leader Thule at TA1… yeehaaaa really exciting. Straight into our 25km trail run, which didn’t seem too bad at the time, a nice undulating trail next to a river that took us through some nice villages and quite hot and humid. But Hamish hit the wall straight after we started running, we didn’t waste much time in attaching him to Marcel, while Bob and I carried his running pack to keep him going with no weight. (poor bugger!… Hamo) That 25km run felt more like a 42km marathon, it just kept on going and going forever…but surprisingly we caught up with two teams, at that stage we where all walking and shuffling along slowly. We managed to pass the two teams in front of us even with poor Hamish suffering sooooo soooooo much!
I take my hat off to my team mate Hamish, what a legend – pushing through his darkest place, fully committed to do what ever it took to get him to that finish line! Yeaaaaaaah! And what an outstanding performance from all of us working so incredibly well together.
After we had passed the two teams we were still 2-3km away from the next TA2 and it felt like forever again.
We finally made it to TA2, got refuelled and jumped into our raft. At this stage the boys carried Hamish down to the raft, put him in the middle and off we went rafting down a river with almost no flow for the last final 10km. It was very beautiful around us, the nature in China is just soooo unique and mind-blowing, very special I reckon. We also managed to gain more time on the other teams in the raft and finished second that day again.
Straight after we finished we had a little prize ceremony and then left for a 2hr bus ride to our next hotel in Baise. On arrival we went straight to dinner, apart from Hamish – ekkkkkk sick as a dog – the organisers took him and a few other athletes to hospital. We ate then sorted out everything for the next day of racing and overnight camp again !!! Poor Hamish came back at 4am Sunday morning, but we had sorted his gear as at 7am we were off on a 1 hour bus trip to the start of that days racing.
Sunday 26th April:
First we did 5km of orienteering with check points, then met up at TA1 and went straight into a 27km trail run – again Hamish was attached to ‘Papa’ Marcel ;-). For whatever reason I found it quite hard that day and it took me a lot of effort feeding and looking after Hamish. When you see somebody fighting so hard, hanging in there so badly, looking as death as Hamish – it does make you feel better and realise you have nothing to feel bad about really- it was just my mind having a tantrum ha ha! Soooo Hamish you were my big big motivation in those three days 🙂 – thank you.
After our 27km run/walk, we jumped onto our MTBs for another 43 km ride. It was hard work, very hilly as always but we made up some places even with sick poor Hamish attached to Marcel. What an amazing effort from Marcel and Bob (+ me) – we just had to make sure we could feed and cool Hamish down etc…
Made it to TA2 and straight into a run again, apparently 7km to a rope skill section then another 3km run to the Kayak. We tried to do a fast walk/shuffle/run, followed by a quick abseil and then the last 3km to TA3.
We got onto the water in 6th place I think, 10km to go apparently. 1.5hr was the estimated time for the last leg and i think it was about right. We managed to claw back another two places wooohoooo!!!, what an achievement it was sooo sooo good!!! Hamish started to look way better than in the morning or the day before – yessss!
We camped out in the middle of nowhere that night, surrounded by those very cool looking mountains :-)…what a great spot for a camping….
Monday 27th April:
Race start at 7am with a Kayak, the same course we did the night before, this time we took over the lead pretty quick he he and came into TA1 first 🙂
Then into a 7km run where a few other teams caught up with us but luckily not too many only two and that was quit nice,
We walked toward this huge massive massive wall it was absolutely enormous and we had to go underneath it and popped out on the other side in a different valley it was very impressive !!!
TA2 whoop whoop!!! only 43km of MTBing to do, seemed way too easy finishing off a race like that ….and Hell yes, in china its never easy!!!
You always have to imagine the worst, just to give you an idea, we where riding for 1.5hr Bob asked me how many more km we have to do or what have we done so far?!?!? I looked at my watch and honestly i didn’t want to tell him that we just did 10km so far – we still had 33km to go jesussss yep…?!?!? Now you can imagine the profile, it goes up and down, up and down we hit a drink station that’s good, we all were out of water and still had like 15 odd km to go! Thanks god for that water, because right after that we had to climb up again and that climb was just so so so steep and I guess I got more and more tired because I could hardly ride away from Hamish ha ha ….( or Hamo got fitter maybe ;-)).
We had one team in front of us coming to the final downhill into town, maybe about 2km away from the finish line and we managed to pass that Chinese team and finished second again behind Thule. This gave us second place overall for the race – awesome!!!!!
What a race and what an amazing effort from my team! I’m very proud of all of us for such an incredible achievement.
Everybody can race well, in great conditions, I mean when everything just runs very smooth with no issues, no sick teammates, no bike dramas etc…., We still raced very well with all the dramas and still came second i think this is a huge accomplishment for us yeaaaaa!!!!!
Overall, it was a very hard race, I think that was the hardest race I have ever done in China but it was very satisfying, it was well organised, with amazing scenery and the places we have seen and been through were very challenging as a team but we are very happy with the outcome!!!!
I also like to say a huge thank you to my sponsors:- Racers Edge, Bolle, O2bhealthy, N.O.M. Nutrition, Wanaka Physio for my body maintenance 😉, Skeggs foundation, Wanaka Organics, Wanaka Pool, Kevin (Bodyworkshop), my coach Nicky Samuels, and to all my friends and Family
and everybody else that has helped us on this journey. I certainly could not achieve these great results without all your support – thank you so much!