3rd and final day. Understandably we are tired and sore. The sun is out in all its glory today.
10km road run. We start at 30second intervals again in a small village. Off in second. The legs are screaming and in pain. They don’t seem to like this, and make this discomfort known right up until about 6km in when they seem to have woken up a little it. This course is slightly down hill too making the concrete running even tougher on the legs. We lose a bout 30seconds to Purao and team Adventure NZ seem to have gained of ground. We knew we had paced well though.
Into transition we grab our kayaking gear and have saved time by wearing our lifejackets under the race bibs for the entire run leg now we have to run 1km of downhill trail to the lake.
5km kayak. We enter the lake quickly and chase Purao who don’t seem far ahead. Soon we approach the high bridge across the canyon that we paddle in and knew what was coming up.
1.5km run + 180m abseil – only one team member had to do this leg and the others must wait in the kayaks at the bottom of the abseil. Today it would be me because I was in slightly better condition at that point in time even though I’d been having some slower days.
A tough climb but I arrived at the top to find Dan Jones of Team Purao there waiting to abseil too.
Once I checked in it was a no time zone so I could relax. I convinced a marshall to get me a bottle of water from a car while I watched Dan descend. We were very very high. I dragged out the rest as long a possible then prepared for the decent. Then away I went.
I wore two sets of gloves to prevent my hand for melting however it seemed like my figure 8 device and the rope was judging by the smell and particles flying off.
Eventually at the bottom I unhitched and jumped back in the kayaks.
7km kayak. We continue on the lake chasing after Purao. We unfortunately make minimal ground on them.
5km run. We scramble up the dirt bank to transition into our running gear and begin the 1km climb. I feel good and move to the front trying to help set the pace. Soon we are off the trail and have rolling conrete road all the way to the end. You want to run fast but it’s so hard with fatigue!
21km mountain bike. This stage is pretty much on road, concrete and gravel. It’s seem fast despite the hills but still seemed to be endless. We worked hard together confident we had had a fast leg. It was a nasty sting in the tail when they made us carry our bikes through a tourist walkway filled with steps just before the end.
4km gps orienteering. This is where things change. We arrived in a solid 2nd place not far behind Purao still and well ahead of the other teams. Gulpin down some TA water we set off for the last leg. Hamish and I take over with the GPS’s and punch in the numbers.
For the first time they tell us we can collect the check points in any order which is annoying but we decided to collect them in order anyway because I assumed maybe they would still be in a logistical order and they rule change was only because some other teams ha complained. However after the first CP we find ourselves running back to the start for one we could have picked up on the way past.
Realising our mistake too late we rush to get the final points running with team Thule and Adventure NZ who previously were in 3rd and 4th. We had lost nearly 10mins!!!! A token cargobnet climb and wall climb finished the day off.
We ended the day on a bit of a low but also knowing that despite it we still had locked in 2nd overall, which overwhelmed the small depression. A brutal three days but also incredible fun with incredible people.