Wednesday, June 2, 2010

XPD...If this is hell, then I am in heaven

What is expedition racing?

XPD racing very quickly becomes less about racing & more about surviving & experiences. Here is my account of XPD adventures. "It is as much an adventure as a race"

About 9 months ago, I showed a sniff of interest in doing what is easily the longest & toughest expedition length race in Australia. The next thing I know I am gearing up & training for the race with team Ay Up Grylls.

After a 2 day drive from Brisbane to Cairns in 2 cars full of crap (ok not so much crap, more like food, gortex, pretty red adventure racing shoes...) the feeling of "what have I just gotten myself into started pop up.

So much important, race specific details occured in the first few days. But for the reader it would be very boring.

One of our goals was to complete the 700-800kms course. This did not happen. It was becoming increasingly apparent as the days passed that we would not complete the course. (About 20 out of the 48 teams that started finished the course)

One of MY most important goals was to have an adventure of a life time with my partner Kirstie. This did happen cementing a solid reference point in our relationship.

Day one: Start, Dunk Island. A quick scoot around the trails, pick up a couple of check points then the 4 of us got into one of these...

...ocean paddled to a check point jumped out, snorkelled to a couple of markers. We had to do this twice. Back to the main jetty & then again the 4 of us got back into the boat for a channel crossing, at night.

Overloaded, full of water the entire way, swell washing over the sides of the boat. I am glad I spend a few $ on a good dry bag for my pack. Once at the transition area guess what? "We get to go for a ride!" Do you remember how sore your butt was when you first started riding a bike? Well if you have forgotten, pop an xpd pack on, get on your bike & ride.

As with xpd racing, this blog entry can easily just go on & on & on... "are we there yet? are we there yet???

Here is a brief of the next 7 days... Hiked, rode, navigated, sweated, tired, 2 min sleeps, paddled, hauled boats over rapids, walked, ate chocolate, drank river water, slept under the stars, rested, laughed, highs, lows & lots, lots more.

I will let this slide show tell you some more stories.

As much as I loved every aspect of XPD & adventure racing, my passion still remains on two wheels in the dirt.

Until next time: Reward is something you get with effort.



Graham said...

Well done mate. There is more courage in attempting something where there is no certainty of success. Well done to Kirstie and the rest of the team too.

Hubcap said...

Good on you Dog!! And your team-mates.

See you at Merida.