by Richelle Olsen - She Science Ambassador
Images: The amazing ones were taken by Bill Robson. I'll take credit for the happy snaps!
If you have read some of my previous event blogs, you will find a bit of a common theme....enter an event, biting off more than I can chew, fight off inevitable demons of self induced lows during the race, only to come out at the end of the race victorious in my own head, even if I had come last, or close enough to...but well and truly armed with some life lessons.
Sorry to disappoint, but I loved this race from start to finish, and I didn’t come last!!
I’d been following Adventure Junkie events for a few years now. Maria and Serge have always had some amazing sounding events on the calendar, but for some reason or another, I’ve never been able to make one. But I saw this Lysterfield Sprint Adventure Race on one of my free weekends, and promptly convinced one of my best MTB buddies, Lyndal to join me, and we became Team She Science.
The event was made up of a 4.5km run/hike, a 8k ish MTB, a 3km kayak, a 1.5km run and finally another 8k MTB. There was around 60 teams of 2 and everyone is given a map for each of the legs, with checkpoints marked, and you need to work out how to get to them, using tracks, or simply bush-bashing your way through.
We were pretty slow on the runs (thanks to me who has run twice in about 5 months!), our bike was pretty good (both Lyndal and I have spent a bit of time on the bike of late), and I’ll tell you bout our paddle a bit later, but our local knowledge of the park well and truly contributed to our success with navigation. Oh and some assistance up and down a steep and muddy mini-ravine by a burly male team certainly helped our cause – thanks guys! We convinced ourselves we could have done it alone, but we would have taken 10 times as long, and we would have come out looking like we had a mud bath!
The paddle was a bit of a task, definitely the hardest leg for 2 girls who don’t paddle! Who knew that Lysterfield had current and got choppy! Visions of capsizing in the middle of the lake and not being able to get back on were pushed to the back of our minds most of the time, but our arms were ready to fall off after about 3 minutes! But a mid lake break for some salted caramel banana lollies did the trick and sent us back on our way. Quote of the day - Lyndal: “The girls in that boat look really uncomfortable, and they both have their paddles upside down” Me: “But they are beating us...hmmm” Followed by fits of laughter! We were well and truly glad to be back under foot power after that!
After about 4 hours we rode through the big black Adventure Junkie finishers arch, super proud of ourselves, and still smiling like we had been all day! The smile being even more the wider knowing that there were still a few teams to come in after us! Wooooo not last!!
This was a super organised event, which was a credit to Maria and Serge and their team of volunteers. Checkpoints were close enough to where they were meant to be (even if some of them were in sneaky little places like down a ditch!!), and not too difficult for novices like us! The hamburgers, salad rolls and fruit after the event were definitely a winner for hungry adventure racers! And what I loved about this event was the range of racers, from the super quick athletes, to the couples where the wife doesn’t even ride a bike, but had been talked into it by her hubby! And everything inbetween!
Thanks again to Adventure Junkie, and kudos to their sponsors for helping make it happen: Shotz Sports Nutrition, SoulRider - Spin Studio, Trailmix Lysterfield Park,360 wellness, Peak Adventure.
We will be back next year!!!
PS. I just saw the results, and not only did we not come last, we actually came 39th out of 53 teams!! Much to do with the fact its more important to get checkpoints and be a little slower, rather than miss some, and be fast! Seems having half a brain helps in these kind of races!! Wooo! Over the moon!!
Shane's an ultra runner and La Sportiva Ambassador, with a taste for adventure, always up for a new and different challenge.