This race started at the outskirts of the city and after a quick view at Google maps we realized that it will take us more on gravel roads than the previous race. Our game plan was clear, and we decided beforehand to do the long run first, thereafter the long bike and lastly our weak point: Navigation!
As the sun rises over a hungover Joburg, a motley collection of Lycra clad racers are steadily gathering outside one of Joburg’s trendiest pubs. It’s Sunday morning and the latest race in the Kinetic Urban Challenge is starting and finishing on the expansive lawn of Outer Limits in Fourways.
The team of Jeff Willcocks, Chris Crewdson, Amanda Van Zyl and James Stewart along with seconds Dirk, Brandon and Andries arrived at Oudebosch Farm near Riversdale relaxed and ready for the 200-250 km race. Great hospitality and dinner bought us to a short briefing and then Jan put up a master map for us to plot the check points.
Trail runner Andrew Porter set a new record for the Drakensberg Grand Traverse this past weekend (17-20 December 2009). He took 20 hours off the record set by Stijn Laenen and Andrew Hagen this time last year. Stijn and Andrew broke Gavin and Lawrie Raubenheimer’s long standing (10 years) record of 4 days 9 hours 39 minutes.
As a support crew member you have the most important role in an adventure racing team. During the race your talents as a bike mechanic, podiatrist, navigator and motivational speaker will be exploited. You’ll probably eat and sleep less than the racers. You’ll have to turn a muddy patch on the side of the road into a cosy B&B.
You’ve got a few options in the headlight range with Black Diamond, Petzl and Princeton Tec being the main brands available in SA. Nicholas Mulder highlights a few considerations you need to make for AR… that it is as waterproof as possible; it needs to get you through a heavy downpour.
My shoe philosopy echoes that of Mark Collins, who said, “Every human being is different and when it comes to shoes. One type or make will definitely not fit or suit everybody. For this reason I would be very hesitant recommending any one shoe.