I would like to start this story off by thanking the large number of family and friends who were able to donate to my participation in the
Great Adventure Challenge. Without your generosity I would never have been able to reach my target. In fact, I managed to raise $1116.00 for Starlight..
It all began by one of my bosses calling me into his office. “Hey Em, you are fit”, “Argh, I’m flexibile”, “Well, we need you for the Great Adventure Challenge in November.” – At this point, I rambled a couple of Softball related excuses before agreeing to participate… If Kate does.
And just like that, I was in. On the website it said that it was about a 35km mountain bike ride, 15km of trail running, and a 10km kayak. 60-70kms altogether and I was only planning to do the bike leg.
At 7am on Saturday 14th Novemeber, we arrived at the starting line in San Remo. And it was cold. I was wearing almost everything I own. It was at this point we recieved our map, and information on the challenge.
After half an hour of quick decision making and route planning.. We were off.
As the kayak leg was first, our courageous team paddled their way from San Remo to the sandy shores of Phillip Island. It was cold, and I was happy I was waiting for them on the other side, in the car. After completing a memory challenge, we waited for the kayaks to arrive so the runners could head off on their first 10km beach run.
After racing back to the kayaks, the next stage was to paddle back to San Remo. Having planned a little better this time, the kayaks were off with a new tag in from Matt.
Once we arrived on land, we were challenged with a blind tent assembly. Then it was off to the bike track.
It was finally my chance to jump on these incredible Scott bikes, that were so generously given to us from Scott.
And oh did the bikes make a difference! Not only were we envied by our competitors, but we were speedy on the track. Not to mention the fact they were all matching.
After getting lost and losing a team member, we finally made it to the next check point. Then it was time for the coasteering. “Run along the beach and rocks, they said. It will be fun, they said.”
To say it was fun, would be a complete and utter lie. The sand was soft and the rocks were hard. I was not risking tearing a ligament. It was however a perfect time for a photoshoot on the rocks, and to pay special mention to our sponsors.
Then it was back on the bike, for another quick dash back to the checkpoint and the runners were off.
All reports conclude that the trail was treacherous, and pushed the group right to the end. By the time they scurried up the cliff face, we were on our bikes and headed for heartbreak hill.
The last part of the ride was painful. But we managed to pull it together to become #BadBoysForLife, we scaled the highest mountains and cruised down the other side. We had finally come together as the hardest bicycle gang around. Nothing could stop us now.
Pulling up to the last check point, it was time to assembly the team and race through the finish line – 5 hours and 42 minutes later.
Overall we rode at least 45-50km, I managed only to capture 31km of it here. (I kept forgetting to take my iPhone with Strava). We did however track the running legs which were about 21km. The kayak ended up being 14km return. As a team we were able to raise just over $8000, which did nothing to our help our time allowance, but was a great gift for Starlight. In all we came fifth and were only an hour behind the winner.
But most of all, I’d like to thank the seven other people who were in my team and supported me on the day. I had a great time, can’t wait to do it again.
There’s still time to donate: http://bit.ly/1KXhBfG
Follow me on Instagram – @MsMMango
Images: provided by Starlight Children’s Foundation event photographers and a few I snapped along the way.