Enjoyable Pain!

Another one of are bright idea’s lead us to taking part in an adventure race. So we arrive a castleward park on a nippy saturday morning. We get to the car park and see all the other racers. Panic sets in. We are going to get hammered!!

There’s alot of specialized and cube bikes about. These guys are pretty serious. So we make are way to the kit check and registration point. Were we meet shirley (Spark). She issues are bibs and give s us a few words of encouragement. Then theres a briefing from Ivan the organiser regarding any changes to the course. We then make are way down to the start point at Castleward house and we’re off.

We flew off down a hill toward a field for the orieentering part. For this part we had to complete 2 map sections. This was hard the field had alot of goorse bush and it was like a maze. We spent over an hour doing this. We even had some help from some very friendly racers.

Then we started are trail run it took us down towards the Lough shore and along the boundaries of the park. At one of the check points we came across are first secret task. It was under a bird watching shelter on the lough shore. We had to skim a stone across the surface of the water. Easy enough and off we went again. After a few more check points we we’re back near the registration point. Then the bad news came. We had missed a checkpoint. We decide to take the hit and continue on. We would have penalty added to are time. So we ran back to start point and picked up are bikes and headed to are next checkpoint.

The kayak stage stared really badly. Niether of us had ever used sit on tops before, so we assumed that end that was already in the water was the front. How wrong were we. We got about 15mtr from shore and marshall was shouting at us that we we’re the wrong way round. So we kept movin toward the shore and pulled in an swang the kayak around got back in and starting moving alot faster. The kayak stage was from Strangford sailing club to a corner of the lough were the road met the boundaries of the park. We had to kayak there and back again.

Now the moutain bike section. We followed the Lecale way for a good part of this passing Audleys point heading towards Audley cairn.Were we had a checkpoint. Now taking us the outside of the park.We Stuck on this road for a while till we came to a crossroad and headed for Reholp (Don’t know how to spell this) Toward St Patricks church to are next checkpoint. Still on a road section we flew down a country lane to the CP. We stalled here for a minute looking at the map. We could see a possible short cut along a farmers track that might get us out in front of the 2 teams in front of us. It worked a treat. It had saved us a good half hours slog all up hill. The other 2 teams weren’t as happy as us though.. So we ploughed on along a pretty straight track picked up another 2 CP’s along the way.

We had another CP at the boat house of the sailing club. We had an optional 4k mystery run. WE done this hoping to make up for missed CP earlier in the day. We had to visit 4 points and at these points there would be map ref s that would point us to a 5th point were the CP was. After a bit head scratching we worked out were the CP was. We got the CP and headed back to the bikes. We then had to follow the trail we had done earlier along the shore to another secret task. We had to fill up a pipe with water to get a ball out. But the pipe had holes in it as did the bucket we had to get the water. WE done this and on we went again. Following the forest track untill near the finish line and we had to take another route downhill. We missed another CP and followed another couple of trails to the finish. IT WAS HARD!! Painfull but enjoyable. WE will def be doing more. We don’t know any distance’s of the different sections but thats are first adventure race.

It took  us six and an half hours  with penalties added are time was seven and a half hours.

This entry was posted in Trip Reviews.

3 Responses to Enjoyable Pain!

  1. Jonno says:

    Congrats guys, this sounds absolutely mental, rather you than me 😀

    You deserve a night round the fire in Donard Wood to celebrate.

    • MG1 says:

      It was mental mate but good crack too.

      The top teams were unreal but still really helpful.

      Well run event would def recommend.

  2. Mike D says:

    Class, well done, I’d love to do something like that, but dont think my back would take it !

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