Arabella Trail Challenge

Martinis (shaken not stirred) await us as we exit our Aston Martin Pig Rocket. The parking is obviously taken care of by someone in a penguin outfit whom we tip handsomely. Mission number one is at the Dinner Buffet. Ladies in backless evening dresses and guys with bowties makes it easy for us to blend in. There are some heavies hanging around. They are obvious with their lack of neck and distinct bulge in the their armpit. We mingle and get vital intel. We have not identified our target yet but the clues are adding up! After a significant tip to one of the gorgeous bar staff we get some clues.
Only a few hours later just after first light we exit under cover to chase the Karwyder on our road steeds. Pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. Returning just in time to check in with the breakfast staff and refuel our tired bodies. We need to familiarise ourselves with our surroundings so we take a walk. Team Blue is getting the 101 on the golf course. They are still at the first green when we check back hours later. We make mental notes of the grounds and possible escape routes. At this point in the story though the hero and the girl head out to some exotic location so we follow the script and drive into town, look around the market and buy gelato. We blend in by buying local curious and listening to the marimba band, never keeping our prey far out of sight.

Fast forward to the main event: the chase scene. We gather in a large field not far away the next day. As soon as you arrive you see there is class all over this event. Massage tables, showers, refreshments on sale and a very refreshing announcer. I have to keep an eye out for the real villains as I can’t let them get too far out of my sight. We set off on the superbly marked route. We follow a dirt road and then a jeep track up the incline up a hill. Just that angle where you are running hard and you can’t afford to walk without showing your weakness. At one point a see a vague cairn and a single track leading off. I want to be there I think, but not today. I tag with one of the Vivo boys and the local favourite. The top comes not a moment too soon and we hit some down. The Vivo guy blows out the back so I can relax for a little and hopefully build a buffer before the final few flat km’s.

The descent is not too steep but it does have enough stones to hurt anybody with too minimal shoes. I am loving the switchbacks and this is real trail running. Tight turns on single track.

I can hear the local hero gaining on me and as we hit jeep track again he is with me. I put on a surge just before we hit the last short single track. I know it is time for the final push and as I hit the left turn to see my femme fatale and punch for home. The local hero drops off the pace and I can relax just a little to cruise into 8th!

At the finish we are greeted by cold refreshments of every description. Really well organised, well marked, great facilities available at the start/finish. This event certainly fits the African Pride very well!

As is fitting at the end of this movie we cruise off into the sunset stopping to watch the odd whale with huge smiles on our faces. Thanks Arabella for a great weekend away and a fantastic Challenge.

We will return in the next episode……

I can not fault this event in any way. Yes it is not the most dificult around but then it was never meant to be! It is just great fun brunning out on a new trail with superb organisation. The route was well thought out and made logical sense and did not feel contrived in any way.

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