Oh, yes….I have awoken from a deep slumber. With the last event post dating back to September’s 100km Surf Coast Century trail ultra-marathon, my on-line activity has flat-lined somewhat. However…fear not, brothers and sisters…my general training regimen has still held pretty steady. If you doubt this bold statement feel free to peruse my Movescount profile…ok, maybe nothing startling but it’s not like I’ve been spending my days slothing around, shoving pizza in my pants.
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My absenteeism is a direct result of the occasionally inescapable beige-Volvo side of life. The workload of my new job allows zero time to go off-reservation with personal projects. Even the luxury of training during the afternoon has become a distant memory…and that hurts! Plus a busted laptop doesn’t help either. Yes…these are lame excuses but it’s all I got right now.
So….here we are again….dancing the dance of pain and suffering as I introduce the Falls Creek Mountain Raid 2015, laid to slaughter by team HONEY BADGERS. Warning: In keeping with the Honey Badger theme, I am obliged to apply a thick slather of “don’t give a shit” attitude to the entirety of this race review. Thug life, bitches.
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As we all recalled the pain endured at the inaugural 2014 Mountain Raid, the fear and anticipation grew with every passing day. Personally, I really felt this….my other team mates are all slick cats and I needed to keep my mileage up as much as possible if I was going to graduate from cast-iron boat anchor at least to maybe a balsa-wood version (yeah, still a boat anchor). I just did what I could….acquiring time in the boat, on the bike and on my toes wherever opportunity would allow.
When the event date arrived, it was just a matter of applying the Honey Badger persona and leaving all traces of care factor behind. I knocked off work early on the Friday to tackle the 6 hour drive to Falls, kindly accompanied by one of our beloved support crew carers, Custard. The journey up was easy….a couple of quick stops as our convoy grew and we were there before we knew it. Just in time to unpack, feed and hit the race briefing. Once the briefing was over it was time for the ceremonial pacing about, unpacking, checking, scratch head, packing….repeat x3….bed down for a shitty night’s sleep.
Our unbreakable team remained the same:
Richard The guy is a machine. A spritely 51yrs young with perpetual optimism, good humour and anti-hypothermic hugs (dispensed freely for my benefit on Day 1). An accomplished cyclist, Rich’s legs tick over like a metronome on the bike. The paddle and run didn’t present a problem for the big fella either. Nice work, Silverback.
Simon I was determined to be better than last year where the running slaughtered me on Day 2. This year, however, running was a doddle given the low volume involved in comparison to 2014 plus the fact I was more distracted by my burning dislike of double kayaks…especially ones with shit rudders. There was a lot of MTB this year which I was quite happy with generally…largely thanks to my new steed…
James Have any of you ever played golf with some who is off scratch? Ok…now take that feeling and drop it into a multi-disciplined, multi-stage adventure race. He’s a top bloke and we get along well, but there were times I felt like punching him in the face simply to see if it had the capacity to express pain. It is rumoured he actually fell off his bike on Day 1. Riddle me this….If James falls off his bike in the forest and no-one sees it, did he really fall? Answer: I have no idea because I was about three corners behind. He had apologised to his bike, brushed himself off and consumed a cut lunch before I arrived. All-in-all, the guy is part robot ….programmed to dominate. Every time he started running, riding or paddling I kept hearing this weird sound.
Claire Of the three race disciplines, she LOVES running over any terrain as fast as her rampant, defy-medical-science external rotation will carry her. However, her inner startled gazelle was never released on this occasion, with only about 8km of running included in a total event distance of 117km. She even drew the short straw on the paddle, sharing the boat with little ol’ me and my deranged seamanship….to complete this trifecta of torment she also became intimately familiar with the laxative effect of excessive magnesium consumption. Sound familiar? (Code Brown “Log” book: Lap 2 – Lap 4)
The weather was Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde….madness on Day 1. After an unintentional swim during the paddle stage I – in my infinite wisdom – drenched all my dry clothing. Why would I even have this on the boat? F^ck only knows, you dumb-arse rooky. With no dry clothing and a bitching wind this was as hypothermic as I ever want to get…. four hours of uncontrollable shivers, teeth chatter, headaches and weird vision (white flashes whenever I blinked). All I wanted to do was to keep moving. Any stopping and all symptoms quickly worsened in unison. While I was pretty much consumed by this I basically forgot to eat which brought on some light entertainment in the form of high voltage cramping towards the end. When your fucking abs (!) start cramping it’s a sign that somethin’ aint right.
It’s worth mentioning that the weather was bad enough for the god-like powers of the Rapid Ascent organisers to close some checkpoints to bring people in earlier than scheduled. On receiving this joyful news I was jumping around like I had just won the Tatts jackpot.
The weather was perfect and in total contrast to Day 1. Sun shining, gentle breeze…sweet…..the race rocked as Honey Badgers had no desire to give a shit, good craic and plentiful banter. Spirits were high as we took to the course….after yesterday’s shit storm this was a doddle in comparison. Although Thomo and I took another swim and James had to back track to find the map he dropped, the checkpoints came freely and the scenery was pretty awesome. Not a bad day out.
Having dry kit to race in and the sun warming your back was total gold, only eclipsed by the awesomeness of our support crew. Vick, Dash, Shaz & Custard were our saviours over and over again. Whether it was food, supplements or Peronis we simply tapped into their collective telepathy and whatever our minds desired materialised before our very eyes. Words were somewhat redundant.
Similar to last year, we finished mid-field but this time around the organisers believed results would be more accurate when standardised against cool-points, craic and an incapacity to give a shit. Our net result therefore had us finished in first place, with second placed “Everyone is Sick of Jarod’s Team Winning ‘ trailing about 3 days behind. Word.