WCAD #5 Adventure Race at Theewaters

12 October 2013

WCAD #5 Adventure Race at Theewaters
Article by: Tiaan Pretorius

Manus and myself decided it was time to tackle yet another new challenge and so be it that Glider Eyewear is one of the WCAD's main sponsor and offered us a complementary entry in conjunction with the WCAD organizers as I have been a Glider Eyewear Ambassador since 2011.

The week running up to the event we had a few nervous moments regarding equipment and also not knowing what lies ahead. We decided, LET"S WING IT!

Indeed we did, got to registration after a late night having a few drinks at my house and getting up at 4AM heading into the stormy Theewaters Dam. We received a map and got told to use the time and plan a route to cover the 50km. We highlighted a route, closed the waterproof bag and started getting our equipment ready for what lies ahead.

The Frantic Start:
At 8AM the countdown started and off we ran (with our cycling shoes), the 1st leg was a quick 2km run around the race village to break up the field as it's a own navigation event.
The 1st MTB leg took us 00:29:00 (fastest time on the day) and also in the lead with 1min as we entered T1, off with the cycling kit and quickly into our running gear it was to tackle the next leg which was a Trek (Run, Mountain Climbing, River Crossing, Mountain Sliding, Walking, Getting Lost, Not Knowing Where You Going).

We soon got caught by the 2nd team that looked like they have done this sport before and we decided to just hang on to them for the run as we knew we could open up a gap on the mountain bike again, when we get there!
So this is what TREK-ing is about, almost 40% of the route covered was without any route or trail.
Check point 2 & 3 was found without any issues, but we really got stuck at CP4 where we lost all the ground on the co-leaders which got to the next transition with a healthy 4min lead over us.
Total TREK time was 01:08:00 as maneuvered our way over mountains and rivers, finishing in the 2nd fastest time on the day.

It has been raining for the past 45min making visibility very hard as we picked up the pace and closing the gap between us and the leaders out front. Trying to plan a route, cycling off road and getting to your check points managed to get the best of us a we did a extra 5km by following the tracks in front of us and not plotting out our own route.
On 2 occasions we took the wrong turn off and Manus started feeling nauseous as the day was starting to take it's toll and the weather not at all on our side.
We even got stopped by a farm owner asking us what we were doing on his farm, as we once again missed another turnoff/shortcut. The final check points on the mtb route was covered and found with ease as we got closer to the final transition at the start/finish point where we came in with the leaders looking shell shocked with us cathcing up with them.
This MTB leg took us a healthy 01:47:00 and also posted the fastest time even though we wasted a lot of time and effort.

We have been looking forward to this moment the entire day as the organizers told us they will make the call once the leaders comes in whether we will be doing the paddle or not and as stated we were the leading pair with the co-leaders with us.
Luckily the wind calmed down from a tough 60km/h to around 35km/h and making sure it was still going to be a very memorable 1st paddle experience for myself.
The sun then decided to come out for the 1st half of the paddle when the next storm hit us just before finishing. Before the race we said we will have to use all our smiley faces and personalty to get through this day and this last leg really asked us to dig deep as Manus once again cramped so bad that he threatened to kick me from the boat if we didn't stop immediately... still in very good spirit! As I was still feeling as fresh as a daisy i decided to pull off on land and run bear-feet for about 1km in looking for the final check point 9(Once again no track, road or path) it was hurting like hell but i was not going to give up our podium position as the 3rd group were flying on the water clocking 21min faster paddle than us to move into 2nd place leaving us in 3rd with a paddle time of 01:02:00.
In conclusion Team Glider Eyewear & Tri-Plex Sport completed our 1st ever Adventure Race which makes this history for us as a very young multisport/triathlon team.
As far as myself are concerned I have just opened a new can of W%*^$*(^*(*^* as this was one of my best outings to date and loved every minute while doing it and highlighting the fact that I'm for sure a team player loving to battle it out with like minded people.
A special thanks to my partner, Hermanus De Jager and Partners: 32Gi that fuel's me through all these tough expeditions, 2XU for their unbelievable technical apparel and making being on my bike so much more comfortable and also help in recovering for the next training session so much faster with fantastic compression apparel, Puma for my wonderful racing apparel and running shoes, Cape Auto Centre that makes all of this possible and last but not the least, Glider Eyewear for your on going support and also making this wonderful day possible.

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