Senseless: Hawkstone’s report

Greg and I had a great race and are chuffed with our first win. In Lisa’s terms, this was a ‘frilly’ race with four compulsory legs (2 x Bike 2x Run), two optional events (tubing and paintball) and CPs and OPs that had time bonuses attached for collecting them.

Run One was essentially to split the field and collect the maps required to complete the 3 remaining legs. You could fit the tubing and paintball in at any time. If you collected only CP’s you were in for a total of 25Km if you added all the OPs you were in for just short of kthe catch was you had to finish within 3 hours 30 min or be penalised with time.

The location was stunning with great single track and some nice climbing up toward the mountain. The organisation was perfect and efficient.

OUR Race

We decided to sprint of the line and then cut straight to the paintball which was a good move no bottle neck at all. We each had three balls and had to hit two of the three targets, this we managed and then set off on the run, we quickly caught the back markers and worked our way through the field collecting our maps on the way.

A quick transition onto the first bike leg ( least OP’s, my reasoning was to leave the bike leg with the most OP’s till last so we could have options if we were running out of time. )

Greg was navigating and did a great job, we did a detour through a farmers front garden with a great big friendly Rottweiler thank goodness. We had to back track to get our first CP and from there it was up hill to the furthest OP then a nav mistake back down to a CP instead of maintaining our elevation and getting the furthest OP. When we got to the CP we discovered our mistake and decided that to go back up the hill for the OP would not be worth the time benefit / bonus. The rest was straight forward with some great single track along the river with some nice technical riding and bridges crossing the river.

Another quick transition and on to the run where we overshot the CP hidden in a dry ditch the rest was all about going as fast as possible to maximize the time benefits for collecting the distant OP’s. We opted to do the tubing leg right at the end of this run as we could cool off before the final bike leg and get out of the wet shoes into cleats almost immediately as the tubing ended a couple of hundred meters from transition.

The final bike was great collecting CP’s and OP’s  as we headed up hill all the way this gave us a nice fast downhill sprint to the finish with almost 20 min to spare before cut off.

So you race your heart out, in my case trying to keep up with Greg ( 16 ), which is becoming increasingly more challenging,  get to the end and you have no idea where you have come until the calculations are done. Top up on Fast fuel which was available have a swim to cool off and wait impatiently to find out your result.

I think our strategic choices when to the paintball and tubing were right and apart from skipping the one OP we had an almost perfect race.

The prizes were great we each one a pair of Linebreak compression tights, a R 500.00 voucher for products on their web site and two new Alligator disc rotors from lucky draw.

Thanks to all the Senseless guys at least you are not Clueless well done on a most enjoyable event and one we will certainly not forget.

Author: Alec Alvierinos | Team Hawkstone | Senseless Adventure, 16 October 2010, Hollybrooke Estate Skeerpoort.

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