November 15th 21012 to December 2nd 2012 called for two weeks down in the South Island of NZ. The purpose being to train with the adventure racing team I’m in – Konica Minolta. To see if we can actually work together and get some XP points while at it.
Flying direct from Auckland to Dunedin, I stayed at team mates Josh Harris’s Flat before roadying it to Cromwell the next day for the Southern Lakes 24h Adventure Race (See previous post). The team of four met together for the first time: Rob Lord, Me, Naomi Whitehead and Josh Harris. Unfortunately Naomi had to sideline this race because of a injury.
Afterwards Josh and I were back to Dunedin where I did some outdoors activities while Josh worked before heading up to Christchurch. Also got to meet John Hyde the great man who got Konica Minolta behind our team. That Saturday, the team joined properly this time to do Le Petite Brevet – a 300km Mountain bike up, down and around just about everywhere on Banks Peninsular. Check out Alastair Mcdowell’s blog write up on it on it HERE. He did a great story. Our team could probably write a short book about each other after this event. We learnt a lot about each other and ourselves that will be super valuable for Godzone (The race we are preparing for).
Here’s a video that Rob did of us during the Brevet. We are up on the Summit road above Akaroa. :Click Here
Unfortunately we did not complete the entire course due to a team decision, but that didn’t matter. We still achieved the objective of testing each others mental strengths in all directions and how as a team we coped with working together at the right times. Each person in the team has strengths in quite diverse areas, together we seem to be a very capable group of people. I look forward to the challenges that Godzone will bring.
Afterwards I took advantage of being in the south and used the opportunity to train on some of the Speight’s Coast to Coast stages. I paddled the kayak section with Rachel Cashin – 70kms of paddling down the Waimakariri River. Need to make a soft seat I think – way to long to be sitting in a kayak! Then two days after, Josh and I completed the run stage over goats pass:
From then I was left on my own in Arthur’s Pass with the aim to get to Nelson because that was where my flight left, Josh headed back to CHCH for work. The next day I stuck my thumb out at midday and got to Nelson by 10pm that night, not bad I thought – a lot of awkward waiting though, probably won’t do it again for a while. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit rude for trying to get free travel.
In Nelson I stayed with team mate Naomi and her Husband, Ash. That morning I explored a bit of Nelson township then never short of keeping active I mountain biked the local Coppermine track. 50kms long with fast riding and great views.
Later that afternoon Ash and I went out into the sea on Surf Ski’s, I’d never paddled one before and surfing waves with them took a bit of getting used to. Yes I fell off, but only once!
The following day we drove to Blenheim to do the Wakamarina Track on mountain bikes. It covers about 35kms from Onamalutu reserve to Canvastown. We found a good sort to do shuttle for us.
Heaps of steep climbing over rugged roots and rocks with a wee bit of bike carrying on impassable sections. However the downhills were awesome! Steep and fast with frequent drop off’s and switch backs to skid around on the beech leaves floor. Technical but great for the adrenaline.
After a swim and “wash” in the Wakamarina stream afterwards we drove to Renwick to celebrate a friend of Naomi and Ash’s Birthday. The following day we returned to Nelson and Ash took me for a run up a hill on a trail just a few meters from there house. Nelson really is the perfect place if you are into outdoor adventures.
However that evening my holiday came to a close, I left sunny, hot Nelson and I flew back to Auckland – which of course was cold and raining.