Kinetic Full Moon 2017
Team Red Ants travelled to the Free State to take on the 120km Full Moon this past weekend. After a successful Expedition India just a few weeks ago expectations were high. I was honoured and surprised when the team asked me, an AR newbie, to race with them for the second time this year. The team was expecting some fast racing as the field was really strong.
As expected the pace was high from the start, and Red Ants were in the mix with the two strong teams of Nevarest Jabberwock and Keyhealth Nevarest. After an hour of high tempo running team navigator, Tiaan Fullard succumbed to dehydration, and possibly a bit of ‘India Bug’ and started to cramp. Our pace slowed a tiny bit but the team pulled together to get into T1 in 3rd place.
A short 19km ride took us to T2 where we transitioned to the boats. Unfortunately, the ride didn’t go well in the heat; we were caught by 2 other teams, entering the water in 4th place and slowly slipping further behind during the first few kilometres of the 15km paddle on the Vaal Dam. After a bit of a refocus and talking to from captain Nicky Booyens, the Red Ants started to dig deep and we clawed our way back into 3rd place. Tiaan and Jeandre Theunissen did some great work here.
A very tough run leg awaited, especially for Tiaan whose legs continued to cramp and he started to struggle to breathe as his condition worsened. Luckily the ‘tower of power’ Jeandre was on hand to help him and keep us moving at a steady pace, with teams still breathing down our necks.
All four of us were a bit broken by the time we reached T4 and the 60km halfway stage. A 60km ride in the dark lay ahead, with Team Three Old Farts And A Tart pushing us hard in transition and obviously sniffing a podium finish. It was finally my turn to contribute and I reluctantly hooked Tiaan up to the tow rope, put my head down and absolutely buried myself in the first 20km of the ride to try to open up a gap and consolidate our 3rd place. There wasn’t much left in the tank after that and I was relieved when Tiaan finally started to find his second wind.
The Red Ants really came together on this leg, showing great grit and fight to make up some time on the two leading teams and we were very happy with 3rd place on the day. Well done to Nevarest Jabberwock and Keyhealth Nevarest for dominating the race from start to finish.
Nicky Booyens was inspirational as ever, keeping the team together and moving in tough circumstances. Credit must also go to Tiaan, whose navigation was absolutely spot on, despite being in very obvious and serious pain for 90% of the race, and for finishing so strong in the end.
Thanks to Stefan and Heidi from Kinetic Events for another great event. The venue, Frankcolin Creek, was a great setting for a race, and the hospitality from the owners amazing (best post-race breakfast ever).
Thank you to the famous Red Ants for the invite (hopefully I’ll get more).
All photo credits are Shireen Oiliver/Kinetic Events