2 weeks ago I traveled to Suqian, China to compete in a 24hr Adventure Race with 3 Men I’d met over the Internet (ha!)
We came together as strangers to Mountain Bike, Swim, Roller Skate, Run, Abseil, and Paddle over 220km and left as great friends.
We had the amazing support of Chimpanzee http://www.chimpanzeebar.com/ who are an amazing all natural energy bar, with both Raw and Vegan bars (and so freaken yum!) as I’m in transition to a full Vegan Lifestyle this was just awesome! (Milan is also an awesome fellow Vegan.)
Also me being Chinese Year of the Monkey and an avid Banana lover, it sure was a great fit (and the Guys were awesome with their Monkey noises they made throughout the race too!)
We had such an amazing race and worked so so well together (after the first leg 2km disjointed ocean swim, and then we began to work well.)
Romans, Milan and Andris were all talented Athletes and fabulous on Roller Skates (and on Bike and Run.)
I’d learnt to skate only 6 weeks prior and was very hesitant.
After our practice session the day before where I fell backwards and took the skin off my butt (which made for a nice change from my left elbow!) and hurt my back I was even more hesitant but quickly found I could completely rely on Andris (physically and mentally) during our 20km Skate – I could lean on him, fall on him, use him to stable me, or pull me along and I had 100% trust in him travelling at times 24-26km/hr.
During the race the 50min Skate was so mentally taxing on me and I used every bit of mental focus I had to stay relaxed, to breathe and keep my weight forward and my butt back – If anyone manages to get photos (the streets were lined with Chinese Photographers and Camera Men) my expressions will be priceless!
We were all super strong on the bike, found a steady rhythm on the Paddle and found ourselves in 5th position after the second leg.
After establishing quite early on, the fact we didn’t have the required GPS was going to make finding our checkpoints rather challenging but Andris made super work navigating off the very rough (and not designed to navigate off) map.
After Roman’s telling me he ‘hated’ paddling I made short work of that negative energy and ordered him (yes I can be a bossy Leo when need be ha!) to channel his loving energy to our Kayak (which was now referred to as the Kayak of love) – also Chimpanzee Bar’s are ‘made with love’ so this was also right on brand wink emoticon
After an issue with Milan’s leaking seal on the bike, a tyre change (and a quick stretch for me whilst I waited – bliss!) we held 5th position through the 65km ride, 4km run, abseil down a 29th story building, 54km Mountain bike and settled into a steady run for the final 40km.
We were told 4th place was 400m in front which was fuel we needed and in stealth mode (with headlights off) we charged on ahead eager to catch our new targets. However the map we were navigating off was as useful as a doodle pad and with no GPS we found ourselves very lost, and rather frustrated.
After quite a while we found a map of the Park we were in Andris amazingly was able to roughly navigate with that. After probably an extra 60mins running lost we came into the finish line after 16hours in 6th place!!!
We were so stoked, especially when comparing our split times with the other incredible teams!! Wow!
Super effort guys! It was such a great race with lots of laughs! The way it should be! 🙂
** And the best part was Roman’s said his favourite leg was the Kayak!! So awesome how a change in attitude can change everything!
A huge thank you to Chimpanzee Bars for their incredible support, to my Sponsors Felt Bicycles Australia for my weapon Edict and Cycle Mania for keeping it running smoothly, and to everyone else for their warm wishes and support.
Lastly to my Monkeys. Thanks for making my first Chinese Adventure Racing experience unforgettable. You guys rock!!!