Race Report: Calen Hastie – Fullmoon

Straight off the bat, I would just like to say that this was the toughest physical event I have ever done in my racing career.  This is owing to the fact that I had not been doing these types of endurance events before. The race was broken up into 7 legs of either trekking, cycling or kayaking.

This particular race started off in Parys, at 11 am on Saturday. As if the distance wasn’t long enough we needed to do this starting in the heat of the day. This can be brutal to both the unaware and the inexperienced. I fell into the latter, after making it through the first 2 legs of the race; a 11km kayak and a 7km trek, I began to suffer from heat exhaustion during the beginning of our third leg; a cycle. I hadn’t anticipated that heats would rise as high as 37 in the valley which took a toll on my physical strength during the run and cycle. Crippled with nausea and light-headedness I was held in tow by Jono just in front of me while Alec and Ruth cycled alongside.Eventually, we arrived at our next transition for the long trek. Unfortunately, Alec was unable to continue due to calf tears and Ruth pulled out shortly due to an injured knee ( something to do with a bit of rough kayaking). This left me and Jono to complete the rest of the race as a male pair. The following few hours was both mentally and physically tough.

After finally overcoming heat exhaustion as we began the long hike I was able to open my legs up a bit. Jono did some excellent nav’ing as we made our way from cheque point to cheque point. One by one we began to overtake a few teams that were leading. It became dark shortly after reaching the turnaround checkpoint of our trek. Thereafter we had to make our way in the dark with Jono doing some more excellent nav work and me making pen marks.

The night brings a different dynamic to racing. It can throw you a curve ball if you don’t pay careful attention. We experienced this as we made our way down to one of the last checkpoints that was down the road. Prior to this, we made a decision to make a b-line for this checkpoint by hurtling down a ridge. Unfortunately, our speed was more than halved as we hit the thickest bush you could imagine, oh and did I mention the thorns? Well, there were thorns for Africa on the ridge down to the road. Finally, after collecting this checkpoint we made a critical decision to follow the road back round the long way, towards the next checkpoint. Yet again, we underestimated the night and we overshot this checkpoint by a km. we decided to continue and after some frustration (thanks to Jono for the patience) we collected our last checkpoint for the trek and entered transition to find that we were lying in a solid third place. We quickly replenished our bodies and made our way with the cycling leg.

This 57 km cycle went better than expected.

Jono and I did some excellent teamwork on the bikes and made use of every opportunity to slip stream each other where necessary. We completely owned the cycle and came in after 57 km with a time of 2 hours 45 min. During the cycle, we had successfully overtaken team number 2.

We quickly replenished in transition and collected a single checkpoint in our 2 km kayak. Directly after this, we climbed back on our saddles (EINA!!!!) and completed a last 15 km to the finish. Unfortunately, we made 1 nav error and missed our turn off to our destination thus sacrificing 2nd place. Yet, we were more than happy to finish 14 hours later at 1:45 in the morning on Sunday.

 

I would like to congratulate my team mate Jono for incredible endurance and strength. You never once complained and remained headstrong. Well done to Ruth and Alec for giving your best efforts, injuries suck.

I would like to extend a kind thank you to the sponsors, Keyhealth and Toyota as well as all the gear sponsors. This is a highly respected event and I felt honored to take part in this.