So, up at 5.40am to drive to Alex’s so we can pack up the car and head off to Lysterfield Lake Park, site of the Kathmandu Maximum Adventure Race (I’m a bit dubious about their claim of ‘maximum’ adventure – there was a reasonable proportion of adventure, but room for improvement). A cold and mizzly Spring morning, fog hangs above the lake as we huddle around inflating the two-person kayaks.
The race starts with a sprint for the kayaks – a sprint for the kayak that we actually inflated rather than one of the others, as some of the teams competing didn’t seem to have much of a clue, despite assistance offered. Plunge into the water, jump into the kayak, and we discover that these things aren’t exactly a pleasure to paddle – hauling them through the flat water feels like paddling through mud. Only two checkpoints to collect on the lake, and thankfully we’re one of the first teams out, so we’re not stuck queuing. Back to the transition area, we collect our bikes and cycle off, away and then uphill. We drop our bikes at the second transition area, and run to checkpoint five, then do our best to run back up the hill to collect our bikes. From there we have six checkpoints to collect in any order we choose. Muddy and hilly, we do this section in the opposite order to a lot of other people, but it seems to work well.
Finally back to the main transition area, and we drop our bikes and joyfully head out to collect a kayak again. We could have chosen more wisely, the front seat has almost totally deflated. Oh well, we’ve started paddling now, it’ll do. I get Alex to wedge his feet against my back so I’ve at least got some support. And the wind has picked up. Oh what fun. We have more problems synchronising, as we’re both feeling a bit tired now, but finally get a rhythm together. Two more checkpoints down, and we head back through transition for the final run leg. Six checkpoints to collect in this section, which is about 5km of running… jogging… fast walking. We collude with another team to find a checkpoint at a ‘creek junction’ in an area with one creek and no junction marked on the map, but in reality with a whole nest of little creeks in the area. We run back towards the main transition area, and finish line. Alex requires some persuasion – I try grabbing a stick, so we can both hang on to it and keep the same pace. The stick fails. I start running behind him poking him with it. We reach the finish line, uneventfully, and look for the food – it’s a rather meagre BBQ. They have half a dozen vegie burgers to provide for the 150 or so racers competing. And they weren’t even cooked yet. I decide to leave them for any proper vegetarians who might need food. Rogaine catering is so much better than this (for a much lower entry fee) – even Teva series catering is better (yes, the importance of post-event food cannot be underestimated – the best thing possibly being the toasted cheese sandwich with added veggie burger, coleslaw, onion and tomato sauce). We come fourth in the mixed category, and win no prizes. We wash off the mud, and move on.