Race Report: Team Nevarest Jabberwock – Kinetic Adventure

The Emmarentia race was the 2nd race in the Kintetic Sprint AR series, and as we learned from the previous race, this year’s competition had definitely stepped up a notch, or 3.
Ruan and I arrived at Emmarentia to a fairly chilly morning and from the start, knew the race for the male pairs was going to be between 4 teams at least – the other two Nevarest teams and the Sugar Monsters team, having an added home ground advantage.
The race comprised of a 500m run – 18km cycle – 5km run with a 1km paddle.
As expected, the race started at a blistering pace. Heart rates shot from a nervous tempo to max in a matter of seconds after the inevitable “GO!!!” sounded. To make matters worse, we started the sprint in cycle gear to save valuable seconds through the 1st transition. If you’ve ever sprinted flat out down a tar road with less than grippy cycle shoes, you’ll have an idea what I mean. Greg and Michael made a bit of a gap, followed by Sugar Monsters, us and Malcolm and Jaco as the 3rd Nevarest team. Within minutes, the 1st leg was done and were we’re all together again heading onto the streets at, once again, full pace for the bike leg.
The bike leg was a mad dash through the Emmarentia streets, with no obvious stronger team. This poses its own set of challenges as team all race through the public streets skipping stop streets with the briefest of looking for oncoming cars, not willing to give an inch to another team. To make matters worse, we had borrowed a bike map board that morning, as a result of some bad planning on our side, which made the navigation a bit more challenging due to the map continually flapping in the wind. The home ground advantage was evident with Sugar Monsters taking some smart shortcuts, resulting in some quick adjustments to our pre-planned route. Despite this, all was going well till we got to CP9. At the time we were lying in 2nd place but I lost track of where we were on the map…. try to not panic!! The other Nevarest team passed us giving no indication of where they saw the CP and Sugar Monsters were quickly closing the gap we had worked so hard to open. After a minute or so, although this felt like 10 minutes, we managed to locate the allusive CP9 and continued on our way. With the mistake made and renewed focus with being able to race on our own. Once again, local knowledge was proving to be a great asset for the Sugar Monsters team. Just when we thought we had a gap on them, there they were again – the result of taking roads with slightly less stop streets or slightly less hills. Despite this, we just kept our head down, stuck to the planned route and just tried to cycle faster. This worked in our favour just after CP17 – we caught up to Malcom and Jaco who had stopped and were checking their map. Luck was on our side – they had missed CP 17!! We had made the gap on Sugar Monsters – AGAIN – and with Malcom and Jaco turning around, we were back into 2nd with a straight forward route to the transition.
We sprinted into the transition, quickly started at changing into our running gear and were suddenly surprised by Greg and Michael who were still in transition and not heading out on the run leg?? It seems there was a mix up with the running maps and the cycle maps were accidently printed a 2nd time resulting in no maps for the next leg.
We continued to change and waited around for a minute until Heidi made the call for teams to just head straight to the paddle. The first 2 teams headed out with Sugar Monsters just behind after they finish transitioning into their running gear, while Malcom and Jaco were just coming into transition. Running at speed is not my strong point and I could soon feel breakfast from that morning trying to make an escape. Luckily this did not happen, but to my surprise, Sugar monsters set a blistering pace and managed to catch up going and went into the water just ahead of us. This was not good as Rob and David are both good paddlers and as such, opened up a gap in the short 1km paddle. Luckily for us, it wasn’t any longer. We hopped out the boat, aware of Malcom and Jaco close behind and the gap we had to close for 2nd place. Luckily Ruan is a running machine so I grabbed the back of his vest to allow me to keep up with his pace. He powered up the final hill with me in tow and although we did not manage to catch Rob and David, we did close the gap and pulled away from Malcolm and Jaco slightly.
We made our way over the last obstacles as quick as possible, even with Ruan bouncing off the last obstacle in his haste, but landing on his feet in style, crossed the finish line in 3rd place, about 30sec behind Rob and David.
Due to the delay in transition though, we were awarded a 1min time bonus in the end which moved us up into 2nd place on the day.
Once again, it was another great day out, racing with and against friends in the AR community and a stern reminder that I need to start training again. Thanks to Nevarest and title sponsors KeyHealth and Toyota for giving me the opportunity to continue to enjoy races like this.