Monday, 22 February 2010

A diamond of a race

iamond Dash, a 50km adventure race held in the Cullinan area this weekend, organised by Team Gijima, was fabulous. I entered the race as Team AR Strategy with three novices - John, Nadia and Motlatsi. We had a super race together despite only meeting at the race.

(L-R) Motlatsi, Nadia, Lisa, John

Pre-race, I was inspired to organise a bunch of novice teams, guided by more experienced racers. The idea behind this was to provide a supportive and encouraging environment for people completely new to this sport. It is quite one thing to be interested in adventure racing; and another to actually enter an event. Also, guided by a more experience person they'll be taught good racing habits (quick and smooth transitions, basic navigation, neat and tidy gear at transition) and the chance that they'll complete the race in good spirits is higher than if left to their own devices.

We had nine novice three-person team entries, each led by an experience racer (Mark, Grant, Ian, Cobus, Tommy, Tony, Ruan, Sean and me).

My teammates - Motlatsi, John and Nadia - jumped into the spirit of racing from the start. Even when Nadia had a wipeout on her bike early in the first stage, slicing the side of her eye and bruising her face, she hung in. She completed the first mtb stage with us and when we came back to transition she was seen to by the medics who cleaned her up and applied steri-strips. Luckily the wound was a clean slice so it will heal well. She decided to wait for us to do the run and then joined us again on the last cycle. This was a good decision as it probably did the wound and steri-strips a world of good to rest for a bit.
John, Lisa and Motlatsi on hiking/running section

Christiaan and his team did an excellent job putting this event together and clearly a lot of thought went into the preparation of maps and use of the area. It was also refreshing to see so many people new to the sport participating in this short course event.

It took our team 07h10 to complete the course and we got all but one of the optional checkpoints (we left out OP2 on the run leg). It was a good day out under a magnificent summer sun. Team Gijima and Team AR Strategy, thank you ;)

A big spider near the caving checkpoint

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