This year, Team www.AR.co.za is one of three South African teams taking part in the 4th edition of the annual Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge (ADAC). The other two are Team Cyanosis and Hard Day’s Night.
In June, six adventure racers – four women and two men – were selected from written applications for the Team www.AR.co.za squad. Over a period of two-and-a-half months, these Gauteng-based squad members have attended paddle coaching sessions, training in on dams twice a week through the dead of winter to improve their technique and proficiency.
We had a lovely afternoon picnic at Emmarentia yesterday, in celebration of 10 years of Swazi Xtreme. Perfect weather and a super few hours on the lawns surrounded by adventure racing friends – relative newcomers and old-timers.
“THIS IS NOT A GAME!” the words of one Mr Phillipe van der Leeuw ringing in my ears all too often at various points along the 446km route… Apparently that was his way of letting “Muffin Girl” (a.k.a Jane Swarbreck) know that THIS WAS NOT A GAME, as this was Swazi X, and her first long race!
All I can say is that I love this sport with all my heart!!! Maybe 9 years of racing has deepened my love more than what I thought. Seconding was also an amazing experience seeing the race unfold from a different perspective.
The Swazi Extreme had been a burning ambition for a long time. Ever since I saw a write-up of it in the book “Adventure Racing” by Lisa de Speville and Jacques Marais, I had wanted to do it.
Because all fairy tales have a villain and everything turns out to be a little apt… But more about this in due course- this tale is just beginning! It was a tale with many players, from the king (sometimes good, sometimes bad, but we’ll call him Darron) and his lovely Queen Anita, to knights in shining armour (we’ll call them seconds and marshalls), to jesters (known in other circles as cartographers), to sages (these’ll be the locals) and lastly the minions (who could this be other than the teams?). This is the tale of Here be Dragons.