M managed to do some research on the ground which ended in a coffee stop at Bojo’s owned by Bobby Jo Bassingthwaighte. Bobby Jo is the first Namibian women to swim the channel (to date the only one). We got some info about the swim but also about swimming in general.
Off we went for a recce in the Mole. Lucky to see 4 huge dolphins with us in the water.
Race Day arrived and sea conditions were looking MUCH bigger than the previous few days. We headed to Tiger Reef for the start and made sure to park in the non-4X4 area (read no deep sand). It seemed like Hawaii Shirts and cocktails are a must here.
A quick briefing by the OTB staff and we dived into the surf. We took a sighting off the Jetty. Round this and the swell felt big and when looking at the Mole we saw huge waves. The water was soft though so in retrospect there was not much to worry about. We rounded the Mole and headed to shore against the rip current. Thankfully it was not too strong.
A really pleasant event, well organised. I can only recommend it. Safety was good with lifesavers on SUP and a rubber duck in the water.
Oh the swim is slightly further than a mile. Just over 2km by my ambit. But with the push we got along the coast it felt like a mile
My first challenge this year is the land based activities of the Totalsports Challenge. Namely 50km road cycle, 13km road run, 25km mountain bike and 9 km beach run. Basically this starts in Gordon’s Bay and finishes in Kleinmond.
A fair bit of planning into seconding logistics has been taken care of by M who is also competing. And thanks to Roger, Kylie, Skidaw and Balloch for handing over road shoes, collecting road bike, racing to new venue, collect road shoes, hand over mountain bike, race to next venue, collect mountain bike and hurl abuse as we disappear for an hour of beach running. Then tell us how well we did! (oh I am sure there is a separate blog post there…)
My plan is to try and break 5h. It seems like a nice round number and I think it might just be doable! The theory is: 1 ½ h for the road bike (just over 33km/h), 4:36 min/km for the road run should get me to T2 in an hour for that sector, 1 ½ h for the MTB and under 60 min for the beach run. There you go: that is the theory. Wish me luck for Saturday!
Fueling and pacing will be vital. I suspect the road bike will be pretty busy so I plan on drinking 1 X 750ml bottle of 32Gi energy drink. I will have a jungle bar. I will use 32Gi chews for the run. This road always feels super hot so the two water tables will be very welcome. Another bottle of 32Gi for the MTB and a bar and gel (maybe some caffeine thrown in). I will make sure that I have a spare bottle with plain water to cool me down for the climb up Highlands. I will have a emergency gel for the run. let’s see how that plan works out.
This is the first time that I am taking part in the event as an individual so I do not have too much to base this on but we will see what the day brings. Most importantly I will be having fun!
links from the organisers:
First up is the Arabella Challenge. I will be doing the long (17km) run and M is in for the shorter (11km) option on the 28th of April. Great way to get the legs moving again and get into the hills.
I am psyched for this new event and am keen to see what the organisers have to offer. Maybe we will even take the bikes out there and go for a spin. Who knows right now.
Good thing to have a goal after IMSA to get going again. The route is certainly not steep by trail standards but is going to be a bit of a shock for the legs after the pancake flat IMSA run course. (If you were there watching on the lonely stretch behind the university then you would have seen me walk quite a lot, face in a grimace) I hope that I will put up a better performance in 10 days time!
As a great treat we have been promised a stay at the Arabella for the night. Awesome hey! Who needs to be a pro with treats like this?
The gun went off and we were off on leg 1: 3 km trail run, a quick uphill and then single track. Back to transition and run shoes off and bike shoes on and jump onto the mountain bike. Wet ground and mud everywhere. Back wheel sliding out and barely in control on several occasions. Uphill and down hill followed by the same. Again and again. We climb in forests and dive through rivers. Paul Ingpen has bike issues and asks to borrow mine. “Later” I reply
A girl in pink decides to take a dive in a mud pool in front of me I only get both feet wet.
Finally 6km to go on the total distance of 22km and I kick for home
More climbing and then the bastard mud fest back to transition. I am in granny and hardly moving forward on the flat field into transition.
Very very dirty bike is racked. Bike shoes off, trail shoes on, helmet off and run cap on. Now for the last leg: 7 lm run. Up Heartbreak Hill. This guy in front of me starts walking and I can hardly keep up. The next few km’s are a blur but the most amazing single track follows. Finally the last leg jarring downhill and yes then another hill to climb to the finish. I look behind me. I do not want to get caught at this point and give it all.
Then it is calm. Done. I graze the food provided. Whatever sugar is provided is stuffed down my throat.
I wait for M, too stuffed to walk the little distance to cheer her on along the run route.
We are both pleased with our day!
Shower, bike wash, the best pizza in the world rounds off a quality day out!