Ian is working on a fabulous race report for the Adidas Sting in Stirling Race, unfortunately 4 weeks after the race his great masterpiece is still not finished. Something to do with getting back to work and having a life outside racing. So here are a few pictures from the race.
Relaxed chat before the start
Shame we didn’t complete the race as a competitive full course team but we gave it our best shot.
Expedition adventure racing is not the most traditional of spectator sports, waiting on the top of some hill for hours on end to see the odd team trundle past is hardly the same as watching the 100m olympics final, but with the latest GPS tracking technology you may soon find yourself unable to leave the computer for an instant.
At some point http://live.adidas-ar.com/ will go live, and when the race is underway you should see nice little dots shows the progress of each team. The site will attempt to rank each team in order so you can see how we are getting on. The site will have a load of photos taken during the race, and the off hurried blog from each team
Keep an eye too on http://www.sleepmonsters.co.uk/ for some great, detailed articles during the race keeping you up-to-date with all the news on the ground. And hopefully there’ll be a video published at some point after the race.
With just over a week to go until we pack up the van for the long drive North, we are quite happy with our preparations so far. In an attempt to avoid any unnecessary last minute panics, the team met up in Stu’s (recently tidied) garage to drop off our kit and bikes, and to make sure any remaining tasks were under control. I’m away with work next week, so all my kit (bar a very small to do list) was packed last weekend, and stored away ready for the start line. Just some final food shopping and a load of wraps to prepare between the team. Exciting stuff.
A few photos from our team training last weekend in the Lakes. Not that much in the way of trekking and biking but upteen transitions and a couple of paddles in the boats. Met up with Ben Bardsley to pick his brains about his Saab Saloman days, which was very good and generally ate a load of pringles (which is training if you think about it).
Night nav and tent practise. Thanks to Hope for the great lights.
Montane know how to make clothes reflective
Paddle upwind on Windermere
Ian and Andy practise support strokes!
The final details for our little race this weekend have been announced; no corner of the Dales will be un-explored. 5km run, 37km canoe, 89km mountain bike, 16km trek, 92km mountain bike and a final 65km trek. Plus what ever special stages lie in wait, expected to include caving, abseiling, orienteering, maybe some mountain biking around Gisburn and who knows what else? Then there is the compettive side; with some strong teams lined up, who knows how we will perform against some of the top names in UK and international adventure racing.
You can follow the race with live GPS tracking and updates at http://live.adidas-ar.com/. I’m not sure if there is a message the teams function this time, but feel free to leave any words of encouragement below, or on our facebook page. Or try and find us along the route!
Last week Renee and I [Stu] went on a 3 day sea kayaking course with Adventure Elements. We went to improve our pretty meagre kayak skills for use in general adventure racing, even though the Swift and Terrex will use Canoes rather than kayaks this year, we thought any time in a boat couldn’t hurt.
Day 1 in the straits
Based not far from the Britannia Bridge, Elemental Adventure use which ever bit of Anglesea is most appropriate to the weather and your skill level. On the first day the wind was howling and the only option was to hide in the Menai Strait. So no atmospheric seas, cliffs or beaches but we spent the day working on general stroke technique especially an efficient forward stroke for long distance racing.
Renee leads the way
Days 2 and 3 were a different story and we used the northwest coast of the island as our training ground. Day 2 was spent on steering whilst maintaining forward speed, examining the effects of the wind and the obligatory rescues.
On day 3 the weather was just about perfect and allowed us to explore the NW coast a bit more and venture into a couple of small races not far offshore. We also spent time on improving our support strokes and I proved that a support stroke done poorly is just rolling practise in disguise.
It was a great 3 days with James and we both came away with better technique and more confidence. Bring on the Ocean Kayak Race next month!
Exciting times are ahead for the adventure racing community in the UK, following the formation of the UKAR committee earlier this year. It’s aim is to create a central hub for all things UK adventure racing.
Here at Total XC, we are most excited about the UK rankings for both individuals and teams. For a team to qualify for a series score, a squad of up to 8 members will have their best rankings from a published list of races throughout the year added together to establish the top team in the country. As luck would have it, we are already entered into all the medium and long races (2 day, Swift and Sting) and one of the short races (April’s Open 5). So hopefully we can make a couple more short races, and pull out a few good performances, then well find out how we fare against not just teams we know well from up North, but right across the country.
So, let the championships commence.
Over the last few months we have been training regularly as a team, but now we can look like a team too. Our new Montane kit has been delivered so we can check it all fits. Can’t wait to try it all out in the best weather the UK can throw at us. We will be reviewing the kit as we get used to it but straight away eveyone loved the Krypton Jacket and Fireball Smock. Thanks Montane.
Had an amazingly clean and dry bike ride on Tuesday night. The frozen mud furrows were a bit tricky but the complete lack of water and mud mid winter was just a joy. Andy got a bit carried away bunny hopping the drainage curbs on the Keithley gate road mid loop but we climbed back up and carried on. A full team turn out for a 2 hour night ride around Ilkley Moor and then tea and toast back at my house for general team admin.