Tai Mountain Day 2 Report
Smoggy morning and a 50min bus took us south to a tourist looking park with large arcitetur. Cooler temperature today, around 21 degrees by race start which was at 8:30am (12:30pm NZ time).
1km run, staggered start by 20 secs. We were in 3rd overall and therefore started 3rd. A shocking leg wake up.
1km wheel barrow push. Simone had to sit on the wheel barrow and Marcel pusbed. Hamish and I towed the wheelbarrow from in front. Some bumps in the path caused Simone some pain but otherwise smooth leg.
1.5km run. The two teams who started before us, Purao Biomed and Chinese Koosa, were still ahead and we made close gains on the Chinese.
64km Mountain Bike. This was pretty much entirely flat. Mostly off road on farm tracks amongst the fields or river banks. We caught the Chinese quick and pushed hard to catch the leading team, Purao, within the first 30mins. I was stocked an wanted to push past them but only one other was keen to go with me. It seemed we’d reached a Mexican stand off and Thule (our other main opponent team) had some how caught our bunch of teams (now 4 teams riding together on the fast dirt road. No one really wanted to work off the front so it didn’t matter what speed we went! Very frustrating. So chit chat and. The speed picked up a little with many still hiding behind. By 2/3 in we had dropped the Chinese team on some loose dirt trail and we’re now just three teams all the way to the end of the leg.
11km kayak. We all arrived into transition together and started kayaking together. Me and Hamish moved quickly to the front and let Simone and Marcel ride our water wake/wash.
Hoping that the other teams were struggling with the pace. Eventually we made a gap and it was all on. We pushed hard. We had to locate 3 checkpoints on this dammed lake before heading back to where we started. We put perhaps around 2mins on the other two teams and now had a 10km run to finish.
5km road run. A brutal road run in the heat of the day, we were flying despite the fatigue and unhappy legs.
5km run/gps orienteering. Team Purao biomed caught us at the transition so we started the orientation together. It’s a practiced skill to put in gps coordinates while running. We needed to locate 4 checkpoints in a theme park. We ran with Purao until the 4th check point where we were 50m back from them and my GPS pointed a direction that was different to Purao’s direction! I yell out to the team to follow and luckily the checkpoint was right there, immediately putting a 50m gap on Purao. Then it was 150m to a zipline. However we knew that the timing chips we race with were time neutal due to safety at this point!
We check in and then rest for a few minutes with Purao while putting harnesses on. As soon as we are ready we check out and timing is back on for the zipline activity over a large theme park water feature to the finish line!
So we win day 2! Stoked as but we are now 2nd Overall and need a strong day tomorrow for the final stage here in Tai’shan.
Results up now