Team Cyanosis will take on the World Rogaining Champs this weekend when the pairing of Nicholas Mulder and Ryno Griesel take on the world’s best in New Zealand. The 24-hour non-stop race will take place in and around the town of Cheviot, about a 1-hour drive north of Christchurch on the South Island. A total of 550 competitors in teams of 2 or 3 persons will be taking part, trying to navigate their way between a maximum of 93 control points across the rolling hills next to the Pacific Ocean. A high number of countries are represented, including strong runners from most of the Rogaining power-houses of the world such as Australia, Russia and the USA. However the Kiwis, on home-terrain, will be tough to beat and thus certainly the favourites.
Cyanosis are in good form and are eagerly awaiting the start on the race at noon on Saturday. Recent performances bode well; three weeks ago the pair raced to double wins at the 2010 CapeStorm Rogaine in the Kaapsehoop Forests in Mpumalanga, 300km east of Johannesburg, South Africa. The team covered 60km on the first day’s Foot Rogaine, with a 8-hour time limit before taking on the following day’s Mountain Bike Rogaine, where they covered 76km. The two competitions in mountainous terrain proved to be ideal training in anticipation of the World Rogaine Champs where the constant up and down of the hilly countryside is expected to be one of the biggest problems for competing teams.
Ryno and Nicholas managed to get a taste of what to expect this weekend when they got onto the Model terrain area and map, which was set up by the organisers to assist foreign teams in ‘acclimatising’ to the New Zealand maps and landscape, thus reducing any home-ground advantages. Many teams took advantage of this opportunity on Thursday, visiting up to 22 check points and covering about 15km in a small area about 30km south of this weekend’s main competition area. A few minor navigational mistakes and poor route choice judgements were made early on, but Team Cyanosis soon settled down and got into a comfortable rhythm as they adjusted to the terrain and mapping style. The terrain proved to be quite fast, with short heavily-grazed grassland predominating over the heavily contoured landscape. Some areas of thicker scrub and innumerable electrified sheep fences (many of which are not on the map) will undoubtedly slow teams down. Navigating at night should be interesting, particularly if visibility is poor due to cloud cover or the mist that could roll off the ocean in the early hours of the morning. Team will have to plan carefully which areas they want to visit at which times of the day and night to minimize the potential for navigation mistakes.
Unfortunately there is no live tracking of teams via GPS at the World Rogaine Champs. However, teams will be given their race maps at 9am on Saturday, giving them just short of 3 hours before the start to plan their best route choices. The winners will probably exceed 160km in the 24-hour race period. Points of different value will be given for each and every control point visited by the teams, depending on the difficulty of navigating to the point and it’s distance from the central event centre (the town of Cheviot). There are severe point penalties for exceeding the 24-hour time limit, with results only known when everyone is across the finish-line at noon on Sunday, 24 hours after the start.
For more info on the World Rogaine Champs, view their website at: www.wrc2010.org.nz
Photos of Team Cyanosis during the WRC Model event on Thursday, 18 November 2010.
Team Cyanosis is proud to have the following brands supporting them:
– First Ascent outdoor apparel, Salomon and Crocs adventure, trail running and casual footwear, Petzl headlamps, Foodstate vitamins and supplements, SPN sports nutrition, Island Tribe sun lotion, Mule Bar 100% natural energy bars.
– Specialized bikes and accessories, Summit Cycles in Midrand, Suunto field compasses and wristop computers, O’Neill wetsuits, BSC compression garments, Kreature.co.za outdoor and survival shop.