Yesterday we lined up at the 24 hour adventuregaine race. Full off spirit and expectations. We haven't trained in a while, but we felt that we are up to it. Kerrie and I both agreed that if we take it easy we should make it through the 24 hours and still come up with a reasonable score. After all we felt quite good. We both have been working a physical job and had no time to train.
The scenery looked spectacular and the weather was fine. 60 teams of two took off on leg one, a spectacular trek along a Perseverance Creek and up a great gorge. I noticed the first sign of weakness as we were bringing up the tail and finding the rock hopping pretty tough going. It took us a lot longer than expected and we ran out of water about one third through the leg. I filled up with creek water just in case we needed it.
As expected we entered the kayak leg pretty much in last place. Finally our physical job helped out. Normally our weakest leg turned out to be pretty good. Bar one checkpoint we cleared leg 2. We decided to drop leg 3 (running) and concentrate on the bike leg. This is when it really hit us, we had to push up hills we normally cruised up and soon we realised that we could not make the 75 km journey. We accepted being beaten tucked our tail between our legs and decided to get some sleep after 11 hours racing and hopefully recover enough to continue early in the morning. Kerrie did not sleep well and I woke up with congestion. We had to admit once again that we were stuffed and for the first time in our adventure racing and rogaining time we did the unthinkable and finished early. Way early. It did not feel good at all. I don't mind coming last, but giving up hurts.
Several hours later, when I stopped sulking, I knew that we have learned the age old lesson. "No pain no gain". Our lack of training and preparation has taught us that you only get out of life what you put into it. Our failure today has spurred us on to make sure that this does not happen again. No, we have not given up racing, but instead we will be ready for the next one and if we should lose again it won't be because we were not ready and we will be able to hold our heads high once again.