It took just two days of being back in NZ until I was out racing again. This time the navigation was a little less technical, the distance a little bit further and the weather a little bit cooler….
After a late night, last-minute decision to do it, it was a last-minute quick trip out to Coopers Creek to make it to the start line! We got there with 20mins to spare, leaving minimal time to plan, and just enough time for me to manage to leave three compasses in the car about 500m away…too far to go back and get them….
Anyway I teamed up a another recent arrival in the country Joe Jagusch. He had just arrived from a year or so in Canada and was keen to get into the foothills for a bit of blackberry and bush lawyer action. We approached the race with the attitude that we could pick up all the controls on the course….mainly because Tim (Planner) reckoned it could not be done!
So we headed out into around the course in an anticlockwise sort of sweep, collecting everything we could get as soon as possible. We made fairly good progress through the first hour of the race but at the hour and a half mark we began to make a couple of silly mistakes including first undershooting one control and then overshooting the next control by a considerable margin. After a quick relocation we were back on track and racking up the points. Later on we were lulled into a very nice looking forest which quickly had us trapped right in the middle and feeling a little bit lost. Joe suggested that we needed to figure out where exactly we were to which I replied “I don’t think it matters which way we go here, we just need to get out!”
With about 1 hour to go Joe began to slow down and was tempting me to drop a few controls. It took a little bit of reverse psychology and calling his bluff but I managed to get him to convince himself that we could get all the controls still. We pushed hard through the thick undergrowth on several occasions but actually found in most cases it was much easier to just go around! Joe managed to pull me up a couple of times on a couple of my own errors…which I guess were just from the lack of rogaine practise.
Eventually we got to a point on the course where we were committed to getting all the controls it became pointless not to…luckily we had plenty of time to collect the remaining controls and made it to the finish with more than 3 minutes to spare. Course clocked and a win racked up. Not too bad for two slackers that just turned up on the day with a bit of jetlag!