Planning shenanigans - spilt coffee and maps going everywhere.
Our route choice was simple:
- Leave the optional "Split" run leg to last, just in case we had time (yes we are always optimistic);
- Get all the first run leg checkpoints bar one;
- Because of the wind and kayaking being our weakest leg, just get two checkpoints on the water;
- Followed by a quick second run leg, with a bit of cross country navigation;
- Nail the bike-leg with most checkpoints; and
- Hopefully finish on time to do the optional "Split" run leg.
The first run leg went pretty much according to plan (yes we did have a plan), apart from maybe the lantana causing steady blood loss. We really have to do something about gaiters.
We had a great time with the kayaks in the mud and nearly rolled the boat several times. But the kayaks were perfect with rudder and moving nice and fast through the water. In hindsight we should have picked up more check points in the water. A wind gust caught Kerrie unawares and the map and instructions went sailing behind us. Instead of turning around, I took the plunge and retrieved the paperwork. I must say they are really good quality and the water didn't affect them (lucky because our contacting skills are not the best). The kayak leg was finished as expected with only being a little behind expected times.
Now we were keen to make up time, but as so often with rushing you just fall further behind and we went down a wrong watercourse. This cost us another 15 minutes.
On top of this, our cross country ventures were hampered by more lantana, but Kerrie was awesome doing some of the navigation. With time lost in the second run leg we were faced with a decision. Do the bike leg, which included a steep climb and descent (with a possibility of us ending up a red smudge on the way) or cruising back to the hash house and go for the 300 points "Split" leg. We did the sums and decided that it would be close to impossible for us to pick up 300 points on the bike leg in the remaining time. We had 1hr 45minutes left and decided on the second option. It only took us 15 minutes back to the hash house with an exciting dash down the road towards the dam wall. This left us 1.5 hours to do the last leg, we thought this would give us enough time. On retrieval of the maps we were surprised that it contained a swim leg. Being close to sunset Kerrie was quick to decide that it would be beneficial for me to do the swimming. I agreed and for the next 20 minutes was still thinking about what the benefits would be, only to come to the conclusion that I have be tricked. So the plan was for me to get 3 checkpoints, Kerrie 2 and then head for the swim. I got the 3 checkpoints quicker than anticipated and found Kerrie wandering in the botanic. Kerrie couldn't find her first checkpoint but got her second one straight away. Together we went back to look for her first checkpoint and Kerrie turned a little red when she realised that it was in plain view from the road. To my pleasant surprise the swim leg didn't exist because the water levels were too low and Kerrie graciously offered to get the final marker, which was only a 2 minute stroll to the fake island. The "Split" leg was finished in less then 45 minutes and we were stuck with not being able to pick up anything else and had to finish our race with 40 minutes to go. We scored a respectable 990 points and were a bit annoyed not having gotten another 10 points.
Looking back we acknowledged several mistakes (as you so often do in hindsight) but we didn't worry too much about it as we had too much fun doing our first rogaine in a long time.
The pizzas at the end were awesome and the organisers did an incredible job making the whole event an absolute success. Thanks for making this amazing event possible.
BTW, we ended up 3rd in the mixed oldies category. Hurray!
Hopefully we will be back stronger and faster.