Jaco Lourens – Wartrail 2017

Day 1: 60km Mountain run
Day 2: 120km Cycle
Day 3: 65km Canoe
Athlete: Jaco Lourens
1) Inov8 shoes
2) Inov8 hat
3) Inov8 bag
4) Rockets compression socks
5) Inov8 Gaiters
6) Rockets Tri-Pants
18th March I prepared myself for the biggest challenge I ever had to do in Adventure Racing, Wartrail is a 3 day stage race with 1 long distance discipline each day. We travelled all the way with the branded Toyota Fortuner and brand Trailer, kitted with canoe’s, bicycles and paddles, we made some impression on the way to the race because everyone had to take a picture of the car and trailer with all our gear on.

Saturday morning 4:30am we jumped away with the a 60km mountain Trail run, climbing 800m in the first 7km, while a few athletes pushed to stay ahead I decided to save up some energy for the long race, staying in 8th place for the first 10km, running alone in the dark wasn’t so fun so I tried to catch up with the group in front of me, 15km in I caught up with Craig from the Nevarest team taking 6th place. At the 30km halfway point I was running with Craig and 3 more Trail runners, it was at that point where I started to feel my body taking some strain and legs getting tired, with Craig setting the pace I decided that I need to stay with him no matter what, we made one nav error that actually put Craig in 4de place and myself in 5thplace, 40km in we both knew we need to push harder to secure position and try to catch up with the runners ahead. 50km in we overtook David Barkhuisen whom was being sick due to overheating and fatigue, which secured 4th place for me, the last 7km was the toughest, I started getting a lot of chest pain and had to stop a few time, Craig kept on pushing forward while motivating me to push through the last bit finishing 4th place with a time of 9:11:35. Total Elevation gain 1900m, avg pace 9:38/km, burned 6217 calories.
19th march at 6:00am we started with the 120km mountain bike race, the Ledlensor Team and Craig from Nevarest had a strong start, they secured a 15min lead on the first 20km cycle, I stayed back to get a feel of the route and to get my body warmed up…after all I felt broken after yesterday’s run. At the 30km mark I was in 7th place and feeling strong, we went fearless down a really technical downhill to try and catch up with the Ledlensor team, at a stage the GPS route wanted us to turn left to the side of a river, but I decided to go through the river overtaking the Ledlensor team and hiked a bike over the mountain, I was convinced it was a mistake and that I would fall way behind, but when I got back on the route I saw Craig that was in 2nd place right in front of me, It was at that stage where I realize I need to stay with them no matter what. The next 70km it was myself, Craig and Leo playing with 1st, 2nd and 3de place. After a lot of climbing, rocky technical down and up hills, going through fields, cycling on railways and pumpy tracks, we completed 100km, with 20km to go Craig started to take some strain and fell behind before the last big claim ‘Joubert’s pass’, I felt my blood sugar drop losing a lot of energy, so I started to fuel up with some food but Leo was still going strong and took over 1st place, 2 min before we started the climb and I was back in action and felt strong again, when I got on top of joubert’s pass there was a 7km downhill waiting for me, I knew I had to give it my all if I want to catch up with Leo, half way down I passed Leo securing 1st place, Leo had a hard fall so I helped him fix his bike and gave him something to drink, we then sprinted the last 4km giving everything I got to stay ahead, ending up winning the cycle with a time of 07:09:04, Total elevation gain 2500m, avg pace 17.3/km, Burned 3300 calories.
20th March it was time for the Last discipline, a 65km Paddle, after 2 days of hard racing I had no hope for the Paddle and I had to use someone else’s canoe because mine broke. 6:30am we started with the paddle, with the first 15km struggling with my legs going dead and trying to stay upright with all the rappeds, lost a lot of time because a pit stops to regain feeling to my legs, but I managed to stay in 5th place, it was a long paddle and you definitely need to be head strong for this one. I completed the paddle in 5:39:45.
In the Men’s single category I placed 3de overall