Team Hawkstone: Merrell Eden Duo (MED) started bright and early on Saturday morning the 30th of October at the Wilderness beach front. There were 43 teams that competed in the Classic event which is 150km (70km MTB, 60km Hike/run and 20km canoe).
Leg 1 (10km kloofing) – We started the race at roughly 05:10 with the race organizer sending us off down the beach, we then climbed onto the old train track and ran through the tunnel round the mountain and back onto the beach on the other side, where we ran for about 1km before getting into the Keimans river for a nice cold swim to start off the 10Km kloofing section. The kloofing was hard going as there were lots of swimming sections and slippery rocks that we had to cross (it was on one of these rocky sections that my dad slipped had hit his shin on the rocks (he now has a nice shiner)). The weather was overcast and not to warm, we then got out of the kloof and onto the road heading up to the Saasveld College which was T1 (transition1).
We had a quick transition replenished our food and goo supplies, changed our shoes and put on our other cycling gear, had some pronutro and water. Our seconds were my Grandfather and my aunty who were really awesome.
Leg 2 (40km MTB) – The cycle took us through the single track paths in Saasveld out into the forests were there some pretty steep climbs. For some unknown reason my dad was already starting to cramp and therefore we could not go at the speed we would have liked to. We then opted to rather go up to the power station on George peak and rode on and next to the Oteniqua choocho train track as this was a much more gradual climb (with a few tunnels to) which defiantly took much longer. We then went down the back of Montague pass to the Herald Wine farm which was T2.
We had another quick transition, put on our hiking gear ate a lot of food and stocked up on bananas, goo and energy bars. We needed a lot of water for this next leg.
Leg 3 (30km run/hike) – By now it had started raining and was very misty and overcast. We walked out of the Herald wines property towards the mountains to the start of the hiking trail. The Hiking trail wound its way around, up and down all the mountains until the Tierkop over night hut. We then continued making our way down the mountain back to the forests and to Saasveld. We then got onto the Groenewede trail and went to the Groenewede picnic spot which was T3.
We then put on our fleeces and waterproof tops (as it was still raining), got our cycling gear on and got more food for the next leg. My Dad noticed that his hydrolic caliper had snapped right off the brake leaver while on the bike rack, so he next cycle my dad had no back brakes.
Leg 4 (30km MTB) – This cycle took us over the two passes from strawberry hill to the back of Segefield. This was a fast cycle that took us along the farm roads down the a pass to the low water bridge which was T4.
We then got changed into our long tights, running shoes and our gators (so that we would be ready for the run as we got out the canoes). Had some soup and milo and ran down to the canoes to start the paddle.
Leg 5 (16km paddle) – the paddle took us from the low water bridge at Hoogekraal to the Sedgefield lagoon where we got out at the Sedgefield caravan park which was T5. We had a really good paddle and managed to pass 4 teams on this leg.
Leg 6 (20km beach run/walk) – We unforchantly got to the sea at high tide so we had to run in the soft sand which made everything a lot harder. It had gotten dark by now so we had our head lights on and were running along the beach towards wilderness. This section is were we got very tierd and sore and it felt like the end was just never arriving. When we arrived at the Touws river mouth in Wilderness it was already 11:30.
We were determined to finish before 12:00 so we put our life jackets on and got straight into the canoe.
Leg 7 (4km paddle) – We paddled from the Touws river mouth up the lagoon all the way to were it becomes a river, which then wound round for a bit and went under a bridge straight to the finish line! We finished at 11:55 in 18 hours and 45 miniutes.
It was an awesome race thanks to everybody involved in making it happen and making it such a great experience!
Team Hawkstone: Alec and Greg Avierinos | Merrell Eden Duo, Garden Route, 30 October 2010