Saturday, December 24, 2011

Latest News - December

The Aunties dress up for New Year's Eve!
Well…we have come to the end of another exciting year at Tri Adventure and have had so many great times with so many great people…. Here’s a month-by-month account…just to remind you all….
We started the year camping in the beautiful Yuraygir National Park….tucked away nicely at Lake Arragan…. When we got back home we had some amazing adventures including our day of paddling/riding/running up to the Cooloola Great Walk
Aunty Jan’s birthday adventure is always the focus this month….this year we did the Tri Peaks….that’s a little ride around the hinterland with a few peaks thrown in to get some views…..11 hours later we rocked in for some champagne….well deserved, I think!
The Kathmandu Adventure Race is always on our calendar in March….MD’s won the day J….but this year we combined it with a wedding and some MTBO….and lots of rain and mud….an interesting weekend to say the least…
Amongst other things we made the trip to the inaugural M2M Multisport Race in Victoria….Jules D blitzed the field in the vintage female division after some interesting camping with us Aunties….I did the road trip with my 83 year old mum and we came home via the goat track over the Great Dividing Range….Funny!  Following this we had the 8hr rogaine/Australian Marathon Mtb Champs/Mt Barney climb….all in one weekend….then later that month we staged our Easter Adventure….3 days of fun….
The ARA came to Noosa.  Tri Adventure entered many teams…. MD’s won again, with Tri Adventure boys hot on their heels…. Tri Adventure Vintage won the all-girls….It was a great day for all concerned. 
Huge month starting with our trip to the 3d Rotorua in NZ….Fantastic event….want to go back next year!  Geoquest was the following weekend….it was the wettest Geo ever and the event was subsequently called off…..however, the Tri Adventure Apprentices managed to finish their race….and place 2nd in the Geo-Half…well done boys and Audrey!
Huge month starting with a lovely ride/climb to Mt Pinbarren…on a perfect winter day….We took some time out on the Gold Coast to help our friends at Rapid Ascent with the run & bike course for the Anaconda…. Later in the month we had our amazing Rail Trail Adventure at Yarraman…and followed it  with the MTBO….what a weekend!
Adventure Racing 101… rained, but was a fantastic weekend….Lots of people having a go at some exciting adventures….Thanks to all of you who came along and supported this….especially the lovely Katy Kirby J
We are stepping up the XPD training…. We race Dark Side/Dawn Attack Champs in northern NSW….MD’s win again… Tri Adventure Vintage have a win also J  Aunty Jan races the next day at Gold Coast Anaconda….running and riding for Pete who does the swim and paddle.  We have a lot of fun…. Hells Bells is next…..MD’s win again….they are on a roll….even with Gigantor on board!
We Aunties walk/run 90 km’s on the Cooloola Great Walk….it is very beautiful but very hard as well….we camp out 2 nights….then spend a luxury night at Rainbow Beach before riding home…. We fly to Tassie at the end of the month for XPD….
XPD….this is an amazing event to be part of….even as a volunteer!  We watched the highs and lows for 2 weeks as teams tackled everything that XPD threw at them….
We snuck in Anaconda Lorne….which was a bit beyond our ability this year!....then we were very privileged to be part of the Mark Webber Challenge….in volunteer role first, then competing on the last day…and we Aunties finish the year with a win in the Challenger Cups...what a surprise!.....What a contrast to XPD….. It was a great experience….

So that’s the year in a nutshell…. I’m a bit exhausted just thinking back on it all….but excited that we could pack in so much great fun and adventure.  Thank-you all for joining us this year! Hope you have a great holiday season. We are going away at our special camping spot again…but will be home on the 3rd January…and straight back into it…

See you out there!
Jan & Kim

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Latest News - November

We are back from our epic adventure in Tassie!  Wow…what an amazing couple of weeks!!  Sorry, I only managed one update while we were there, but I hope those of you who were interested were tracking the teams on the live website…. Aunty Kim will write a full account of her race…and I’m sure the Tri Adventure team will write their account as well…. I will give you an insight into my adventure as a volunteer/support crew/etc….
Mountain Designs-Tri Adventure looking fit and ready...
 TUESDAY 1st Nov…..While the teams were at their course hand-out, us Vollies were in an all-day session which revealed our activities for the next 10 days.  We had already been given an idea of what we were doing….but now we found our WHERE it all was happening… Over 50 volunteers from all over the world gave up 2 weeks of their life/holidays to come down to Tassie and support this epic event…. I was pleased to find out I was still doing the big trek to retrieve CP’s on day 3…and now I knew this was over Black Bluff…the highest point on the course!  Yay…we were hoping for good weather….. When I arrived back at our cabin on Tuesday evening the teams were in their last phases of packing and organising…. ‘Towers’ of food were stacked all over the table…bike boxes were laying open with gear all over the place…..but now it was all clear to them and they finally knew where to put everything….. It was also Melbourne Cup Day…but no-one here was slightly interested….
 WEDNESDAY 2nd Nov…. Race start was right in Burnie…. They would paddle out around the shipyards, then head east to the town of Penguin…via one CP along the way…. When the gun went off – so did Susie and me…. We were headed to Penguin to set up the TA where they would come off the paddle and head for the hills on foot.  We set up the area and had the help of 15 students from the Devonport High School…they were very good with carrying all the boats up to the waiting trucks…. This TA was absolute chaos…..the first one always is as all the teams are still so together at this point…. The racers were freezing and unable to sign in properly on our sheet…. Luckily it wasn’t raining too!  When the last team had come through, we packed up the area and took off up to Riana to drop off the TA box for the next person….. While we were there the 3 top teams came through and we were privileged to watch their amazing transitions…..this one they had to unpack their bikes…which became an automatic skill for all the teams as the race went on…. It was great to see our friends from Blackheart in 3rd place at that point….. Suse and I then took off again…on the most amazing drive out to Leven Canyon where we would be based for the next 2 days…..Very basic camping here including no power… luckily we had stocked up on all the essentials…, wine, etc…and Suse had here little fuel stove for us to cook dinner and make coffee…. !!  We manned the TA here with a few other people for 2 days and nights…..and I experienced one of the coldest nights I can remember….sitting up all night waiting for the teams to come in.  It was great to see all our teams though….they had already been through so much…..and had so much more to do…..this was only the beginning!
THURSDAY 3rd…. Still at Leven Canyon waiting for the last team to come in…..Team Driftwood from the US…they had gotten themselves quite lost on the way there and were a very long way behind.  Suse & I were hoping they would not sleep in this TA as we wanted to go out and get our first CP before dark this night and then head out on our big trek the next morning.  The boys finally left and we followed them down into the canyon towards CP 13…they dithered along…and didn’t really know the way to go…. We shunted them in the right direction and we all headed out along the track beside the river to find the CP…. This was the point that Suse and I felt we were in the race too…. The CP was on a track/creek junction….. We all searched at the first creek…which was way too soon….. Luckily we had brought our lights with us…as it wasn’t as easy as it looked…. Eventually the CP was found in a beautiful little creek, the Driftwood boys punched and we grabbed it and headed out back to the road…. We spent a relaxing night at Leven…..before our big day on Friday.
Atop Black Bluff with snow in the background!
 FRIDAY 4th…. Packed up and ready…we started our trek at 07.30….. I had pre-dropped the car the day before…and we had organised for one of the other vollies to take our tents and extra gear and put it in the car for us….. This was great as we wouldn’t have to take it all over the mountains with us…even though we did take our sleeping bags as you never know what’s going to happen out there….and it was compulsory gear for the teams going out…. We found CP 14 outside the cave…some nice person had brought it outside for us…otherwise we were going to have to crawl into a very tight space…with spiders and bats…. Thanks Driftwood boys!  We followed the path along beside the river and then we started the climb up to Black Bluff…at its highest point about 1339m…..and we had the most beautiful clear day… was absolutely glorious!  We collected the CP at Paddy’s Lake…and then made our way over Winter Brook before descending down towards Tiger Plain and down to CP 16….. We had left the track now…and really felt part of the event… The going was hard…and we felt sorry for the teams who did this part of the trek in the dark…..not only was it dangerous underfoot…they would have missed the most spectacular views….on one side we could see all the way to Bass Strait…..on the other side we had views of Cradle Mtn and Mt Ossa… Suse & I were feeling like the luckiest people alive that we had been given the opportunity to do this….. There was no sign of the Driftwood boys…so we hoped they found their way and were ahead of us…but we found out at the end they got quite lost coming off the top and when they finally got to CP 16 we were long gone (even though we sat and had lunch there before we left!..) and then they didn’t even try for CP 17…. They were not too worried, and luckily ended up DNF so it didn’t matter anyway….! Meanwhile Suse and I trekked on…downhill…crossed some very nice creeks and had some more awesome views on the way down.  We finally got near CP 17…..and had a bit of trouble finding it as we were distracted by an little bush shack with some great carvings out the front…. By the time we got the CP we only had about 1.5 hours of daylight left.  We decided to take a bearing south to the road where our car was…and hadn’t counted on the thickness of the ti-tree scrub in Tasmania…just great if you were a wombat…plenty of wombat highways in there…but if you were more than ½ metre tall it proved a problem…..we bashed our way through this bit of scrub for at least an hour…starting to panic a bit as there seemed no way out…we did not want to spend the night with the wombats…Susie, wearing shorts and low gaiters was getting cut to pieces but the prickly undergrowth…so I was up ahead trying to break it all down and make a way through…usually gentle and with more respect for the bush….I was now on a mission…standing on broken down scrub…breaking branches…we had to literally fight our way through there…I walked along a fallen tree eventually and saw the power lines and there was the road…we had made it out…and we quite relieved that it was only about 2kms to the road by track…and the waiting car!!!  Wow…what an experience!  It had taken us 12 hours…and we almost thought we wouldn’t get out before dark!  Getting in the car off our weary feet was a great relief…. We zoomed off in the car…..and arrived at Tullah where we booked into a motel for the night…before a very memorable dinner at the Tullah pub…they graciously re-opened their kitchen for us…amidst the darts game and pool comp…we felt a bit out of place…but thoroughly enjoyed the steak and chips on offer!
 SATURDAY 5th….. I left Suse at Tullah where she was to go out to another TA and I took the road to Strachan where mid-camp was set up…. The teams all had a compulsory 6 hour stop here and got a hot meal and a tent for some rest.  Lots of teams here had already been struck by the gastro that seemed to plague over 50% of the field…and they were a sore and sorry sight as they walked around like zombies…I think it was at this point I decided I never want to do a race like this…. There was so much for the teams to do at mid-camp…besides washing and scrubbing their bikes, shoes and packs (when they were tired and hungry) and then having to do a compulsory blog, gear check etc… wasn’t any wonder a lot of teams spent way more than 6 hours here.  Some of them spent more time recovering from their sickness…..and most seemed to recover ok….. It was a dim and depressing place though…and I was also here that I re-acquainted myself with Audrey who had pulled out of the race due to chest and breathing problems…. I had booked a cabin for the night… I bundled her off for a shower and bed whilst I spent most of the night manning the TA……
 SUNDAY 6th….. Still at mid-camp…and getting organised to drive back to Burnie…. I now also had Ali Wright with me who had pulled out of the race too with knee problems…. It was a bit sad for them….. We got back to Burnie and nothing was going on……so Audrey and I had bit of a rest before I had to go back on duty at race HQ for the next 5 days….
MONDAY 7th…. Audrey and I went for a drive out to Wynyard and Boat Harbour…..It is such a nice part of the world…..We visited my cousin’s farm again and enjoyed a ride around their beautiful property…..The weather was hot and sunny…not what we were expecting at all! I headed into HQ eventually and we all got ready for the first team to finish.  The big controversy in the event was that the leading team, Seagate, had copped a 4 hour penalty for not carrying their spot tracker for part of the event…this was compulsory gear… penalties were harsh…In the end, this lost them the race… they had to sit out their penalty in the last TA at Boat Harbour…meanwhile teams Thule and Silva breezed in and out on their way to the finish line…. I was the lucky one who waited with their flags to hand to them for the final victory lap around the velodrome….. and they were excited and happy…well, all but Seagate, really….
 TUESDAY 8th….. Spent lots of time at HQ updating the leader-board, handing out champagne and pizzas….. Teams were coming home…. I was watching Team MD’s/Tri Adventure on the tracker and waited up all night for them to finish…..
WEDNESDAY 9th…. MD’s/Tri Adventure cross the line at about 0700…..with Pikey on tow…They’d had so many problems…it was amazing they got there at all…I will leave Aunty Kim to tell their story….. So, after the obligatory champers and pizza, I bundled them up and took them home for a shower and sleep…. They had finished in 13th place and had hoped for top 15… Fantastic!  We all slept for quite a few hours…I was very sleep deprived myself at this point…and when they all woke up their bodies were puffing up like balloons…. This happens in these long events and is the result of fluid build-up when the kidneys and other organs can’t quite keep up with the processing of toxins etc….. Their feet all looked like they would burst if I put a pin in them and they had plenty of black toenails and little infections all over their bodies…It wasn’t a pretty sight! 
Tri Adventure at the finish!
 THURSDAY- FRIDAY…. Spent more time at HQ…..watching many teams finish including our gallant Tri Adventure boys, now with Audrey, who had joined them for the last trek and bike (9 hours…lucky she had recovered from her health problems…) It was a great moment on the finish line when Tracey arrived with the 2 boys…and we were all there to welcome them home…..boy, they will have a story to tell….. Friday night was the big presentation night and BBQ feast…everyone was in good spirits…volunteers, finishers, short-coursers and also DNF’s….. They had all experienced an incredible event…so many highs and lows…..many of them had done XPD’s before saying this one had topped them all…in all the extremes…. I was very proud of all of them…

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Latest News - September/October

So much has happend in the last month...We had the ARA Dark Side and Dawn Attack event in early September where Team Mountain Designs (with their full XPD team competing) took out the event convincingly....and the Tri Adventure Vintage gals took out the all-female category of the 12 hr Dawn Attack event.....also the Tri Adventure Turtles raced really well to a podium position in this event - well done girlys!  The same weekend was the Gold Coast Anaconda....and Aunty Jan backed up to do the run and bike leg with Solo-Man Pete Fidler....and then promptly fell in a heap the next week! 
Team MD's finish victorious!

Tri Adventure Vintage gals - looking happy!
Next on the agenda was HELLS BELLS....and, once again Team MD's were victorious....smashing out 12 hours of racing to come in ahead of their nearest rivals - the lovely guys from SCAR.... The Tri Adventure Turtles were victorious in the female category of the Fairy Bells event...and the Tri Adventure Pickle Lickers (?) got a podium finish in that one too!  Aunty Jan, alsongside Susie Blissner and Julie Wiseman tackled the full Hells Bells course and raced for nearly 22hours to placed2nd female team in the difficult event....

A quiet weekend with some MTBO followed...and then we Aunties went on an amazing journey - the Cooloola Great Walk....Stay tuned for story and pics....
See you out there!
Jan & Kim

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lates News - August

Adventure Racing Clinic + Interactive Bike Maintenance Session
Dates: - Friday 26th August (PM), Saturday 27th August & Sunday 28th August
Day 1   Friday              Interactive Bike Maintenance Workshop
6.00-8.00pm Let those groovy guys at Venture Cycles entertain you whilst guiding you through a bike maintenance session where you will learn some basic skills and some more technical things about your beloved Mtb….bring your bike for a hands-on experience….as that’s the only way to really learn!  A spare older bike available if you are not comfortable doing these things on your own precious machine!  Glass of champagne or beer on arrival – just to make it more fun….and hang around for pizza afterwards….
Day 2   Saturday          Paddle Nav session + Mtb/Foot Nav/Mtb
7.00am Paddle Nav Session…Meet at Noosa Lions Park for a paddle session where you will navigate around Noosa’s waterways….amongst the mangroves and bird wildlife….and test your skills in this environment.
10.00am Coffee/snacks at Café le Monde
11.00am Mtb/Foot Nav/Mtb…Meet at Noosa Lions Park for a guided Mtb ride out to a spectacular location in the Noosa hinterland…..then ride down to a point where you will leave the bikes and embark on a foot nav experience through some challenging forest…. Then get back on the bikes and ride home via country roads and scenic coastal paths….
6.00pm Social night a RACV Resort Noosa Heads…. Eat, drink and chat about what you are likely to expect at up-coming adventure races….
Day 3   Sunday                       Archery + Mtb Nav though Parklands
7.00am  Archery...Meet at Sunshine Beach High School for some fun (?) with never know when it's going to pop up in an adventure race!.... All equipment supplied.
9.00am Mtb Nav through Parklands…Take the Parklands exit off the Bruce Hwy….Meet at Radar Hill entry to Parklands. Enjoy a ride through some of the best single tracks on the Sunshine Coast whilst following a designated route on the map issued to you at the start. Small groups will work together to get themselves through the courses depending on skills and experience…..See how different it is to ride and navigate at the same time!
$70per person which includes all sessions + pizza and a drink Friday night + finger food on Saturday night… plus $20 Tri Adventure Membership for non-members
BYO all your adventure Gear (Including mini first aid kit)
Ski/Kayak/Paddle Craft & Paddling Equipment (must wear life jacket and footwear)
MTB & MTB Equipment incl. compass (map board would be beneficial if you have one) Pack sufficient to carry shoes for foot nav and food/drink during sessions
Hydration/nutrition for all sessions
Bookings Essential – Register by Monday 22nd August
Email for registration & further details
Forms & payment due Wednesday 24th August

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Latest News - June/July

We've had a busy couple of months training and racing.... Here's a recap...

Aunty Jan riding with the big boys!
Aunty Kim was invited to attend this fantastic event in the exciting area of Rotorua (world-renowned Mtb fun-park...) It was the Australasian Multisport Championships consisting of an 8km flat water paddle, 30km super-fun Mtb and 12km trail run.  A strong Aussie contingent made the event really fun and socal (always a factor for us..) and we also enjoyed the company of our Kiwi compatriates as well.

The race panned out really well for us - with the initial pre-race drama out of the way (Kim's hired boat arrived without a rudder....!) and we thoroughly enjoyed the paddle in the pristine Lake Okareka; really, really enjoyed the 30k Mtb ride through the Redwood forest; and really enjoyed the 2-lap 12km run on wonderfully soft forest floor amongst the Redwoods and other beautiful Kiwi flora..... 

Aunty Kim finished 5th overall female (and that was in the prize money..) and I was crowned Australasian Multisport Champion in the F 50+ agegroup....and there was actually someone else in it!  We enjoyed the rest of the trip riding in the amazing forest then relaxing fireside at the hotel and sampling delicious pickings at Zippy Central - our fave cafe in town.... 

Next year we hope to take a Tri Adventure group over to this event - it has a half event as well so is achievable to all....and the riding before/after on those awesome trails is sure to make for happy, happy people.... :)

Having missed this iconic event last year due to a clash with Race Vanuatu, we were all keen to race well and enjoy the experience.....however, the whole thing panned out a little differently.....and it was really our Tri Adventure Apprentices who had the race they hoped for.... The Cowgirls and Team MD's were not so lucky.... Here's a link to The Apprentices story
and here's one to the Cowgirls experience
and here's the one from Aunty Kim recapping Team Mountain Designs misfortune
...some fun (?) and games were had as you can see.... Despite our disasters this year we will continue to support this fantastic event and we feel for Craig and Louise when nature decides to put a real spanner in the works of something that took many, many hours of hard work to plan and implement.....
Here some pics of a recent day out in our most beautiful hinterland - our winter here has been cold but mostly fine - so these sort of days are just amazing - as you can see.... :)

on the saddle going towards Mt Pinbarren

Howie, Mel & Kim explore the caves on Mt Cooran
WHAT'S COMING UP? So....we're back to business now with lots of events in the pipeline for the rest of the year.... The Tri Adventure Apprentices have secured a spot to race in XPD the Adventure Racing World Championships this year being held in Tasmania.  Aunty Kim and Team Mountain Designs will be there and most of our AR buddies as well.  Aunty Jan will be on-board as a volunteer and we are really looking forward to this very special event......
See you out there!
Jan & Kim

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adventure Race Australia - May 2011 - Noosa

Sabina & Aunty Jan at the finish
Tri Adventure had 6 teams entered in the Qld edition of the Mountain Designs Adventure Race Australia, held on May 8th in the Noosa hinterland. The 7 hour ‘Hard-Core’ event consisted of a ‘Surprise Foot Leg’ which involved finding 3 check-points (CP’s) around the expanse of the Teen Mission Camp property on McKinnon drive, before heading off on a long trek which took competitors through the Tewantin National Park, over the back of Mt Tinbeerwah, collecting 6 CP’s in the bush before returning to HQ. Leg 3 was a mountain-bike ride up into the National Park, once again, with a crucial CP at a high-point on the way. Next was a descent down through some very thick bush, some creek crossings….carrying bikes….and on to Lake MacDonald for the paddle leg. Collecting 4 CP’s at various land points around the lake gave their legs a rest…..but they were back on the bikes soon enough for some more riding…. Picking off the 4 CP’s on the way to the TA at Ringtail State Forest teams were taking lots of different routes….and most found their way eventually. Leaving the bikes and heading out on foot, they had to find 5 hidden CP’s before returning back to their waiting bikes. Then it was just a ride back to HQ, for the last leg which was an obstacle course to complete the event……with lots of fun and laughter as they  made our way though tunnels, tyres and a rope swing over a muddy waterhole to the finish…..
Team MD's & Phoenix Adventure share the podium

Aunty Kim, racing in Team Mountain Designs with Gary Sutherland took out the Hard-Core event well and truly clear of their closest rivals….local knowledge had some advantage here….however, that doesn’t work all the time! Aunty Jan, racing with local masseuse Sabina Allemann, had a great time and took out the all-female category ahead of some stiff opposition…and Tri Adventure all-male team of Paddy Meldrum, Howie McCann & Justin Wyatt got a podium finish in the all-male category….and placing 3rd overall….cemented their team dynamics for the up-coming Geoquest Adventure Race in 4 weeks time….

The boys at the finish
In the ‘Raw’ course, designed for those who wanted less distance, 3 teams of Tri Adventure girls (Hayley & Jodie, George & Mel, Marie & Tracey) took up the challenge…and they all finished happy and excited to have achieved their goals!

See video made by James Pitman of Photoevents.....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lates News - March/April

Well....lots to catch up on over the past two months...some highlights were our weekend which included the Kathmandu Adventure Race/Wedding/MTBO....We started the weekend with a 4.00am wake-up alarm…..harsh, I know….Car was packed the night before as this weekend was going to be huge…. Kathmandu Adventure Race – Wedding in Brisbane – MTBO on Sunday……This sort of planning would have been easier if there hadn’t been a wedding in the middle of it…but we couldn’t have asked Kim’s brother to change his wedding day – just for us….what a challenge already – we had to organise dresses!.

We had 5 Tri Adventure teams lining up for the Kathmandu….so had to be there early for the bike-drop and then get the tent set up ready to go…At this point it wasn’t raining….but it had been quite heavy on our way down from Noosa….. Map hand-out at 6.30am saw everyone with their eyes down for quite a while planning the course they would take and then doing the all-important contact job of the map….as it was sure to get wet somewhere on the course…..and as you will find out….it did! The course started on foot….and it was probably the downfall of the Vintage Tri Adventure team that we planned our first CP to be the top of Wild Horse Mountain…..guess I was thinking that since I was racing with one former Queen of Mt Cooroora we could do this hill on our ears…..well, I had sort of forgotten that I was never Queen of the Mountain myself…and I had to go up there with her…..The fact that I am feeling quite crippled today might have something to do with that I reckon….Anyway, after the quad shattering run down the hill we got going in the forest and found our way around the remaining 5 CP’s before getting to the bike TA. Quick transition – we opted to just ride in our running shoes – and off we went…..About ½ a km down the track my rear tyre went flat…..Funnily enough I knew it had slow leak, but somehow chose to ignore it! Pumping it up at the time of bike drop was just not adequate, obviously….!!!! So, here’s where the fun starts… number one won’t pump up…..good on me for finding this out after I had already put the wheel back on! Tube number 2 is broken by my helpful partner trying to help us get going again…..not her fault….it was probably about 10 years old anyway…. In the meantime, we had noticed between us that one pump had the wrong attachment on it and didn’t suit our valves…..but that didn’t matter because we had no more tubes anyway!!!! Some really nice guys came along and gave us a tube……ok….I have a dodgy pump on my bike – cos I’m using the ‘commuter’ bike as my good bike is in bike-hospital…. Finally the air is going in….but pump is so hot I can hardly hold on…..Toughen up old Aunty (I say to myself…) this is not the worst thing you have done….. Exhausted, and with hands almost burnt from friction….I now put the wheel back on the bike…Yay, we’re ready to go again….and we do. Very behind now….probably almost last….and the pace back here is a bit slow….but VERY relaxing…..we almost forgot we are in a race….. Eventually we decide we better try and pass a few people…..and we cranked it up a little bit and found our way easily to the next TA. Going out on foot we reeled in a few stragglers….and had no trouble with the easy nav…..Back on the bikes we took the challenge of the creek-crossing between CP 13 & 14. The bikes floated brilliantly….and we swam across with a couple of vintage guys watching on. I dared them to follow two vintage females…and when they saw we made it to the other side, they followed us in! Just goes to show that we oldies are still up for that extra bit of adventure! Zooming into the kayak TA we were informed that the paddle leg had been cancelled….due to a bull-shark scare in Coochin Creek…..we laughed and wondered if they would cancel the swim leg of the Noosa Tri as bull sharks lurk in those canals all year ‘round!!! Anyway, we just had to get the location of the mystery CP 24 before we headed off and I got out my super-waterproof-permanent marker and it would not write a thing on the wet, but contacted map! The swim in the creek probably didn’t help….but the map stayed dry – we must be very well trained in the art of contacting. Thinking laterally, I punched a hole in the map at CP 24 and then we were off again. There was nothing hard about the last bit of the race….except we were now riding in steady rain and the track was getting a bit ordinary…..but we had a good old chat on the way back…..and finally finished the race about 2 hours after Kim & Gary! They were guessing something had gone wrong – and they were right! Having said all that, Corallea and I had a great time together….and I hope I get to race with her again some other time…and what a bonus, she’s now a ‘vintage’….

Kim & Gary (Team MD’s) had won the race outright…great news!...although not a surprise really, but the news that our all-male team of Howie and Paddy had won their category and came in 3rd overall was very exciting…..and these guys had never raced together before….they were awesome! We had also sponsored some juniors (one of Kim’s junior triathletes) from Boonah into the event….and they had finished the race – come 8th in the premier mixed category – and had the most fantastic time. Then there was Justin and his wife Tracey who had escaped the family to run around in the mud for a few hours…..doesn’t everyone want to do that??? They loved it too, and placed 7th in the premier mixed… My vintage partner, Corallea was off to a birthday party in Caloundra after the race. Hope you can use their shower, I say as she is heading off – mud-caked and exhausted….. And WE are off to a WEDDING! I have a very improvised shower from the water pooling on top of the tent…..and then another… it’s still raining…..and then we pack up the wet gear….and drive to Brisbane.
Luckily we had booked a motel….with a good shower, so have a better scrub once we get there. The wedding is great – all undercover – and the bar staff get to know that I will say ‘yes’ when they come around with the champagne and my glass is empty – again…!!! This was all so good at the time… In bed at mid-night….by 6.30am we were up again. I was hung-over and crippled…. But we were going MTB orienteering…..and it was still raining…..I could hardly wait!
Our dirty bikes were still atop the car – chains rusted and brakes almost non-existent. We rock up to the start of the MTBO very late….Kim still had to change pedals and put on her map-board…..I’m ready and go to the start line – but not really because my home-made map-board doesn’t have any plastic and I put the map on and it’s wet instantly…..but it would have done that anyway because it was still raining. I move through the start and realise I don’t have my compass….think I’m going to cry….must be left over effects of champagne…. I probably didn’t really need the compass for the rest of the event….but it would have been good to know which direction I was facing to start….Oh, and the other thing was I couldn’t see the map properly. Well, just barely….the eyes hadn’t warmed up yet, I guess….. I contemplated going back to sleep in the car. Kim was lining up and going through the start. I ride back to the start….No-one does that……they wonder what I’m doing! Kim gets through the start and I tell her I don’t have a compass and my map is already wet…etc…etc… We decide to ride together…and then, if I fall off in a puddle it won’t matter – as her map-board has the plastic cover….it’s a bought one! Off we go and I’m not having fun…. I can’t keep up with Kim…but I have to because at any time I could destroy my wet map completely by falling over in a puddle…. Kim is very patient….she waits for me…..I don’t want to talk…. We find all the CP’s and are happy to finish – 3 hours later! Only one lot of people still on the course – the ones on the tandem bike. I wondered how they had gotten through the tracks that were under water…..the must have walked the whole course….Oh well, at least they didn’t give up. We meet my Vanuatu race partner Ali at the finish line. She has had a bad race too….but with a new boyfriend – who cares! Chatting to her and Jack makes the day a bit better….but it is still raining….I’m so glad we are heading home! But the work is never finished when we get there. Kim gets her muddy, rusty bike off the car and washes it….I leave mine there to rust forever….I don’t care. We get wet, sodden tents and chairs, putrid clothes and leftover food out of the car…. I go upstairs, have a shower and read a book…. Kim comes up later and sleeps for 3 hours. It’s time well spent in bed for her.

Couldn’t you just guess that we had fish & chips for dinner????.....but no champagne….not today…..think it was still in my system from the night before anyway…..So that was our epic weekend – don’t we seem to have so many of those???...but usually not with a wedding in the middle…..

M2M MULTISPORT - The Longest Day in Victoria!
It's hard to know where to start with this one…. Could probably start at the drive down to Victoria with my 83 year-old Mum in the car….but you don’t really want to know about that….although we did have a bit of fun getting Mum in and out of a boat (as stayed with an old friend in Sydney on the way…who lives across the water…..and up a steep cliff… friends don’t live anywhere boring….) but with the promise of wine at the top, she was brilliant….!! Day 2 of the drive took us all the way to Victoria along the Hume Hwy….and a short-cut to avoid Melbourne took us on some of the M2M bike course….it looked amazing!

Kim arrives on Friday and we head to Andrew’s place – he was going to be our crew for the race…..and as you heard from Kim….he managed to crew for all 4 of us!!! Great job for an IT geek….well, not really a geek….more like a genius, we think.

Jules had arrived in Vic as well and on Saturday morning we pick her up on our way up to the race start at Marysville. Following behind the car with Andrew and his brother Paul, we drive over the ENTIRE bike course on the way up… was getting late…..we hadn’t registered….and we also had to put up tents…..I was absolutely exhausted from driving… riding this 90kms was going to be a huge challenge….

Arrive in Marysville (now partly rebuilt after Black Saturday bushfires) and go straight to rego….bond with some of our AR & multisport friends while waiting in line….then it starts to rain…. We have booked a campsite as there was no other accommodation available for 100 miles around…’s now dark and we really struggle with our tent….as it’s the broken one. Fix one of the bits of pole by taping a stick to it ….it’s cold, dark, raining and we are starving….not to mention in need of a good glass of wine!! If we were really serious about this race, we might have had a better lead-up….. I think Jules and Kim were more serious than me….After discussing the logistics with Andrew over wine later….I was ok if my bike wasn’t at the TA….and my boat wasn’t at the next one….don’t worry about me, I said….just look after the others!! However, all my things were there when I arrived in….so had to keep going….

Race morning….start in main street of Marysville….it’s dark and raining….Jules is standing next to me with her snow gear on…..we wish each other a good race….the gun goes off – and so do we. The first run is 19kms (20.5 actually…) up to Dom Dom Saddle which is where the road goes over the famous Black Spur. I run within my ability as there is very long way to go…. I’m not last, but near the back…it’s muddy and slippery but I manage to chat to a very nice girl along the way which makes the time go a bit more quickly. Pass by Richard the photographer and stop for a hug…then see Bridget Jacoby and enquire ‘where’s the wine’….then a big, big uphill to the finish….Andrew is there with the camera…he tells me to run….so I run a few steps for the camera…that’s all….

Find my bike – as it’s the nearly the only one left there….change into bike clothes….and start the long ride. Make a mistake with my clothing here as the first bit of the ride is a long 15km downhill, it’s cold and wet….why didn’t I put on my jacket??? Some of the few people behind me go past….I’m being super-careful….and feel like I’m now dead last and will not make this ride. I am glad to finally get to some uphill after going through Healesville…and warm up a bit. I (sort of) enjoy the 8km climb up to Kinglake….see Richard again and he takes some pics of me smiling on the uphill…..but I’m all alone again….so much for the drafting advantage in this event!

Get into Kinglake and put on my jacket…..good move as it’s a big, big downhill….(with some up as well) into the next TA where we hit the Yarra Trail for a 15km run. I enjoy the 2nd part of the bike a lot more as the road has now dried up and can ride a bit more confidently…..but I spend a fair bit of time looking for bush on the side of the road to empty my bursting bladder….did this about 5 times on the bike course….I was now paying the price for drinking 1.5litres of Endura on the first run – but, hey, I didn’t get any cramps!!!

Roll into Eltham and meet Andrew at the TA….he tells me Kim was in the lead going into the paddle….that’s exciting….he takes my bike and now I’m off and running. Surprising really as I wasn’t sure if I could actually run a second time. The Yarra Trail was very nice – a little bit too much footpath for my liking – but I was happy to be chugging along….and passing a few guys who were now struggling with the entirety of the event….. Apparently this run was only 13.5km and not the 15km advertised….so lucky as we did extra on the first bit…. I was overjoyed to get to the paddle TA…and some really nice people helped me with my boat. Got on the river and felt fantastic….

Really enjoyed the first 16km twisting and turning on the Yarra….energy levels were good and I had survived the worst of this race. At the Dight Falls portage I had a lovely girl help me with my boat. It was about 400m around the falls and rapids…..and I could never have done this on my own! Before getting on the river again I downed a chocolate frog and put on my jacket….knowing I would get cold as the sun was setting in an hour or so. The 2nd paddle felt longer….as the tide was coming in….but I felt strong and happy that this long day was coming to an end. Picked off a few slower paddlers….and enjoyed the city lights when the sun went down over Melbourne. It was great to get under those last 2 bridges….and I remembered to turn left (and not paddle on to Port Phillip Bay…) into the Marina at Yarra’s Edge where Kim spots me from the shoreline. I struggle to make it under a low bridge (hit my head going through..) and then pull up at the dock where someone lifts me out of the boat – at that point I was incapable of doing this myself….however I did have to run (hobble) to the finish line about 200m….and finished in a time of 12hours and 15mins…..Wow, what a day….Sam Maffet from Rapid Ascent said some really nice things as I crossed the line….thanks Sam….I was happy to get this one under my belt. Road-bike riding just isn’t my thing anymore….so ticking off the M2M was a big achievement….but I was so happy to make the 2 runs in this event….as had not done the training required….and just thought I might get through it without wearing myself out beforehand….a strategy that seems to work well for me in my vintage capacity….!!!!

At the finish, Kim tells me she was out-paddled to the line and came in 5th….but 1st Veteran…..and Jules came in 45mins earlier than me for 1st Vintage female…there were only 2 of us…..strangely enough! All good results – but the need for a hot shower and food was the most important factor now. I was whisked home to Andrew’s place and spent a bit longer than I should have getting clean and warm again…..You’d never guess that we had champagne (French…thanks Andrew!) and the obligatory fish & chips before a very well earned sleep – on the luxury of Andrew’s floor….with his brother Paul on the nearby couch….

This event had some amazing views….but pity the weather hadn’t been better….in the days leading up to it we experienced picture perfect Victorian days….with about 27 degree temps….by race day that had changed dramatically….so luckily we had factored in clothing for all-weather…just needed to remember to put it on!!!

My trip home consisted of a stop-over in the lovely town of Bright – with Mum again – and then we had a very interesting drive up the New England Hwy….where we diverted after Tenterfield to drop her off at the Gold Coast….after finding out the Bruxner Hwy was closed for 3 hours for bridge repairs over the Clarence River – we took another route over the Great Divide….the goat-track road I think – we seemed to twist and wind our way over the hills with some dirt road as well…. Here we were in the middle of the mountains….2 women in a car with 2 ocean racing ski’s on top….one of us 83.... We were an interesting sight for some of the local farmers we came across on the way! Our route took us through Woodenbong, Kyogle, Murwillumbah and then over Tomewin to Currumbin. No-one in there right mind would go this way….!!!! That says it all…. But we made it and when I got back on the highway for the last leg home to Noosa, managed to get stuck in that awful traffic congestion on the north side of the Gateway Bridge… was a very happy girl to make it home to Noosa and Kim waiting for me!!!!

We decided to back up our M2M experience with a long weekend consisting of 3 different adventures….so after I arrived home on the epic drive from Victoria we did a quick turn-around and headed for the 8 hr rogaine which was held SW of Brisbane, near Lake Moogerah…. Kim was racing with her Team MD’s partner, Gary…and I had roped in an old friend from the Gold Coast – and conveniently didn’t tell her about the barbed wire fences, cow poo and other exciting rogaine experiences…. “Come and join me for a little walk in the countryside” I said….with a really good meal provided at the end….and being an endurance athlete, she was enticed by the offer of food… was in… Hayley and Jodie had made the trip out there as well – as were keen to improve their nav skills….and rogaines are a great way to do this….

After our Marysville camping experience – we had no qualms about setting up our tent in the cow paddock….we had brought the good tent – so were in front this time. Map hand-out was at 10am….all eyes down after that. Hayley and Jodie were a little late arriving – but were probably hampered by the two green aliens they brought along in the car???…..Julie and I planned a course which would get us home before sunset (so only 6hrs for us) and Kim and Gary were keen to try and clear the course…..or almost, which would take them the full 8 hours. When the gun went off rogainers scattered in all directions – except Hayley & Jodie who stayed back for some helpful tips from the organisers. Julie (who was purely a road cyclist & triathlete…but has begun work with the Kokoda foundation, so has done the 96km epic journey and experienced the required dirtiness…) was a thrown in the deep end as we were promptly under a fence (commando style) and through a creek (wet feet already!) before we hit the first CP! That in itself was a great relief (hitting the CP..) as I was not confident, at all with my ability to find anything….but as it turned out we did find them….not as fast as others…but managed to find everything we set out for….and only one in a round-about way…..that is, overshot it the first time but found it on the 2nd attack…..way to go us! Coming in just after 6pm, we only used our lights to come down from the knoll that was CP31….and were very happy with our achievements! Hayley and Jodie were already back after a few mishaps…one being the loss of their compass…..not a good thing in a rogaine….and the other being a scare from a herd of cows…..they found a couple of CP’s and got the idea of what to do next time – that’s what it’s all about….. We were firmly into the bottle of red when Kim & Gary ran past on their way to CP31 at about 7.45pm….they had done really well….getting all but 4 CP’s….even with a few mishaps like a sprained ankle (Gary) and tummy problems (Aunty Kim) …but nothing that really stopped them…..and as we would find out at presentations they had won outright with a score of 2450 points!!! That is a great effort for a mixed team – as quite often it’s an all-male team who takes the victory!! They are very excited to have the huge trophy for a year as the Qld 8hr Rogaine Champions…..and a lot more nav experience for up-coming adventure races…..

One down – two to go….. Alarm goes off at 5.00am….we pack up camp and are on the road by 5.30…..Arrive at Wyralong Dam – the new venue for the Aust Mtb Marathon Champs. This venue is not even open to the public yet… will be a very popular spot when it is, with kilometres of purpose-built mtb trails…and they are fantastic. Kim, Richard & Howie are entered in the 86km championship event – Hayley and Aunty Jan have sensibly opted for the half marathon – not a championship, but a good ride on the course that the others will go over 3 times…..well, only a few of them….as we found out…. The race started at 8.15am for the females – and ½ hr later for the males….and then those of us doing the half marathon had a bit more time to wait before we started at 9.30…… Noosa local, 14 year old Jack Jude was also lining up for the half – a huge distance for him but he got special permission from the MTBA to compete…..and rightly so as he won the event outright – very convincingly…..and it was not that long ago Jack was one of our regular Tri Adventure members on our early Wednesday mtb ride….he has come a very long way since then! Back to the race and it was brilliant…..besides a bit of grassy track at the start, the trails were absolutely fantastic…..mostly all rideable for me except the big climb up to Mt Joyce in the sketchy fire road….but I used this walking as an opportunity to get some food in….there were a couple of tricky rocky sections I was a bit wary of too….but had the big ‘ear to ear’ grin for most of the ride…..and was a bit sorry it ended all too soon…. The full marathon riders had a cut-off of 12.30pm to start the 3rd loop…. Only a few of the elite riders made it through – so for those who had planned an 86km training ride, it would have been a bit disappointing….however, most of them were actually glad to finish and not have to climb up that P-F-B hill again…..!!!! Great results for Tri Adventure with Howie taking 1st place in his category….and Richard bringing home the bronze medal in his age-group. Yours truly managed to take the silver medal in the old-ladies category ….and it was great to see the lovely Kylie Maduna and afore-mentioned Jack Jude take line honours in the Half – and bring home some nice prize money too! Aunty Kim didn’t have a good day (tired from a ‘not so perfect’ lead up of 8hrs running the day before)…she crashed quite badly on her 2nd lap….and was very glad not to have to go around for a 3rd…… We hope to go back to this venue and do some riding in the future….maybe we will organise a Tri Adventure ride when it finally opens for business….

Everyone was heading home, but we Aunties had one more item on the agenda…… We had wanted to go and explore the Mt Barney (2nd highest mountain in Qld) area for quite a while….so thought it was a good opportunity to do it while we were out this way anyway…..and Aunty Kim was now on school holidays….. Mt Barney Lodge (camping and cabins) is about 1km from the base of the climb at Yellow Pinch….and this was perfect…. We picked up a hot chicken from Boonah on the way….set up camp and served it up with a salad and washed it down with a bottle of red… was a beautiful and relaxing place to be….oh, and we had a well-earned shower after being a bit feral from the rogaine and mtb race….. Aunty Kim had printed off the topo maps of the climb….and we had a discussion with the Mt Barney Lodge people about our plans the next day…..always good to let someone know where you are going….. It was a very lovely and peaceful walk…and we had no trouble with the climb except a couple of slippery, rocky sections towards to the top…..the summit was in cloud but see pics of some beautiful pics on the way up….


It started badly when we arrived at Elanda Pt camp ground on Thursday night to a “House Full” sign….oh dear….what to do now???? Aunty Kim wanted to press the issue and went in to discuss our problem with the Colonel Clink of camp-grounds….. Me, on the other hand, was a bit over camping anyway….especially in this sort of crowd….and said why don’t we go back home and run this camp from the “Canoe Launch area…..” To my disappointment, we were allowed to camp if we could find a spot….so we squeezed in between a road and another tent…and had 2 nights of very disturbing sleep amongst very un-likeminded people…..we weren’t happy campers….. This, however, didn’t detract from our activities of the camp – we only cancelled the night nav – for obvious reasons….but everything else would go ahead as planned…. Aunty Kim has put together a slide-show of the weekend….and we have loaded it on our Tri Adventure Group Facebook page….but here’s a reminder of what we did…
FRIDAY – Mtb Trails to Kin Kin and beyond….
Great ride with 12 of us tackling the trails, cow-poo, mud, hills…..only hampered by a small split in the herd at the start of the climb up to Simpsons Rd ridge….
SATURDAY – Paddle/Run + MTBO in Ringtail
George had her best experience ever on Lake Cootharaba….with a very pleasant paddle back in light winds….and Sue enjoyed exploring some of Noosa’s beautiful hinterland that she hadn’t seen before…. The girls also did the MTBO and Peter came along and went out with Aunty Jan…..on the long course….but Aunty Kim disqualified us because we didn’t tell her we were doing that – slap on the wrist for us….
SUNDAY – Mini Adventure Challenge
The Tri Adventure Apprentices, minus Paddy, lined up for this course – which proved a good opportunity for some team dynamics to be sorted out before up-coming Geo …..Peter and Mel also took on the challenge….it was certainly a good test of paddling and off-road navigation!
So besides our dodgy camping experience – we had a great Easter….the weather was perfect….and the company was too – thanks to all of you who came along