My first Adventure Race was ace!
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
What an amazing weekend! Saturday evening saw me competing in the Mean Streets Section of the Sheffield Rat Race. In all honesty I think we had the most fun that three people can have legally and fully clothed. It was a complete blast!! Despite none of us knowing Sheffield at all really we managed to get 23 of the 25 checkpoints and ended up 12th in the weekender mixed team section.. The thing is that you have no idea what you are going to find when you get to a checkpoint that night. Some of them you can tell that it's just a quick dib with the tag but on others you have a task. Sometimes it's the whole team – sometimes just one of you.
I never thought I'd sing in public unless drunk but there we were belting out ”Road to Amarillo” on the stage at City Hall., another checkpopint had us dancing energetically at a really smelly nightclub, One of us did the traversing an the wall at the foundry – and the beer mat trick at the pub. We all had to skateboard at an indoor skatepark. I haven't improved since I was a nipper but the boards have.
We mucked up a bit – making an origami flowers in the Millennium Gallery after you have run through the fountain in the Peace Square is made a bit tougher by dampness. It was very incongruous to be walking through the place absolutely drenched. After that we headed towards Ponds Forge and got into a swimming pool fully clothed to walk against the current and ride the flumes. It did feel strange to catch the tram afterwards but we needed the ticket for a dib. The conductor obviously sees stranger things all the time – he didn't bat an eyelid. All in all we found we covered 10 miles in the 2 and a half plus a bit hours. I bonked badly after 2 hours - You could tell which member of the team had sports drink and which had water. Both us girls were suffering. We were in last but really that because I was totally flat… I did say that we shouldn't have bothered with the last checkpoints we tried to mop up aI was fading rapidly and I knew the Larabar I had wasn't going to be fast enough. And then it was a navigation of a really sh1tty stream ( literally). I necked my REGO with gusto as soon as I could and was the only one not in pain the next day.
It was a damn good thing I wasn't in pain because Sunday was really hard. We covered 57k on our mountain bikes and on foot (I reckon about 3 of them was kayaking on horrid flat water at the end). We also climbed 1000m of elevation during the race. It should have been shorter but we got lost at one point – its not marked – you have to navigate the route. Some of the hills we climbed were bad enough on foot but pushing/carrying a bike up too?! The descents were wicked though! The best checkpoint was the BMX track – I got air!! I'm glad I don't live near it 'cos I think my kids would get really embarrassed. The abseil at Magna was scary but safe – I would not have done it without a safety rope – my hand was burning through my gloves. It was 150 feet of vertical descent.- I didn't like climbing up to the top of the building much either – low blood sugar and heights are not a good combination.
All in all though it was the best city break I've ever had – Sheffield was great – the people were amazing – the race was fantastic and I can't wait to do the next one!!. I'd recommend the Mean Streets section to anyone who can read a map and run a half – it's such good fun. Sunday is far more serious.
I woke up yesterday expecting to ache like mad but no I just felt tired mid afternoon. I don't think I'll go to running club today though – just a nice personal recovery run. This eating slowly thing worked on the race too – I made damn sure I chewed each energy bar as I needed it to get into my body not sit in my stomach – it also made sure I didn't over eat and feel sick further on. I'm so pleased that I managed to find another pair of nutters to take this on with me and that we completed it. Oh and it's on telly in September.