Friday, 28 April 2006
Adventure Racing: SPUR Adventure sprint - Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants
Author: Brian Gardner
With less than a week to go before the most extreme race of the year kicks off in Swaziland, Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants took a late decision to go and give the Spur Adventure sprint race a bash! It was definitely worth it; if you weren’t there, you missed out!!
With Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants having only decided to race on Saturday, it was really surprising that by Sunday morning, we managed to field three really strong teams for the race. Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants 1 was Ryan and I in the men’s pair category, Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants 2 were Gerrard and Nicky in the mixed category and Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants 3, also in the men’s pair category was made up of PJ and Wouter. With the lack of some of Gauteng’s other top racing teams there, we really thought that with three teams, we should at least get a category win!
With the clouds rolling in, the drizzle coming down and 90 teams on the start line, the race kicked off with something totally new to adventure racing… sack racing… yes, like the stuff you did when you were 7, and thought even back then that it was rather childish… well, its back, and seeing 200 racers bouncing down a grass field in sacks must have been quite a site!
With the 30 meter sack race under the belt (or in the sack), it was a fast sprint back to the bikes and we were off! Ryan and I managed to get a good start with the sack race, and soon found ourselves out on the bikes first, closely followed by Fritz and Christy Pienaar in second. Ryan set an almighty pace up the first hill, with me hanging on for dear life! Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants 3 (PJ and Wouter) were just behind us, but unfortunately got a puncture, which held them back somewhat!
The first MTB was a case of some hectic bike pushing and carrying along a hiking trail, combined with fast flats and downhills! Ryan and I held our position into Transition 1, and headed quickly off on the run down to the tubes at the river side. Arriving in first meant we chose the BIGGEST tubes to do the tubing section! Lekker advantage! The river was awesome! With a few little rapids, and some rather sore backsides later, we got to the first take out point for the circular hike with about 4 minutes on Fritz and Christy, with Gerrard and Nicky close behind them. The short 2.3 km circular run through bush, grassland and forest was fast, and we were back to at the tubes to complete the last 600m of tubing.
We knew that all we had to do now was to just hold a steady pace, hope for no punctures, and we had the race in the bag (or sack)… From the end of the tubing section it was a pretty technical (rough terrain) run back to the bikes for the last 6km ride to the finish.
With some super quick cycling, Ryan and I (Team Red Ants 1) crossed the finish line first overall, in a time of 1 hour and 16 minutes! We were stoked! Fritz and Christy came in second, 7 minutes behind, with Gerrard and Nicky claiming second in the mixed category and third overall. PJ and Wouter rounded out the top four places overall, coming home 2nd in the men’s division.
A good day for Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants, getting all three pairs on the podium in their respective categories! A huge congratulation’s to Ugene Nel, Lisa de Speville, all the guys and gals from Spur Steak Ranches for putting on an awesome event, and getting some youngsters into the sport! It is really nice to see new and enthusiastic faces getting out and doing some hard core adventure racing! Hope we see all of you at the next sprint race!
Thanks to everyone, especially our sponsors, Sandown Mitsubishi and Ultimate Sports Nutrition (USN), you guys keep us racing, strong in body and mind and motivated! We hope to make you proud at the Swazi Extreme!
Check out Team Sandown Mitsubishi Red Ants website here>