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