Our training time is almost over and we did a long race today. We started by doing a retake of the traditional jumping photo. Note the sun was finally out!!!
When we arrived at the event there were so many people it looked as if we had showed up for a concert.
Carl, Tania and I ( Matthew) had the late starts around 12:30. Carl and I "decided" that finishing in 3 and a half hours ( the cut off was 2 and a half hours) would be a great idea. I speak on behalf of Carl and I when I say they we were not lost, we just could not find the control because they had already collected them.
When Carl and I got back to our "home" we did not have enough energy to shower so we sat on the floor and showered like that (the lazy man way).
Written by Mathew Siepman
So today we got up at 7:20 making ready for the race. Tania, Matthew, James and myself made our way to Sikla Alle by bus. We waited for about five minutes before Glen, our lift, arrived. We arrived at the event and saw Rory already walking to the start.
We made our way to the finish and sat down for about half an hour under the South African flag being proud. Heather and I made our way to the start, where again the people were standing in their masses.
I waited about ten minutes alongside Heather and then she went into the start block and I was alone entering only a minute behind. At the start I found my map and started running like the wind towards the start control, stepping in both streams along the way. I got there first out of my group of starters and felt confident running toward control nr.1.
It was quite easy to find the first control after I followed Nick and Tania's training: "Just keep moving." The scale of the map threw me off entirely, but I managed to adjust. Control 2 was a very long leg and I decided on a route choice that best suited my skills, running the field. It took me a while to find the field, again the scale thing, and I thought I was honestly running in the wrong direction, but "just keep moving" helped and I ended up eventually finding the field and running the nice 1,5 km to the road. I contoured along and found the light green motorhome park. From there I went up the hill and overshot the control by 10 meters. I turned around and found the control just down. I basically ran over the cliff not looking down and luckily another person finding the control pulled me towards it.
From 2 to 3 I dropped down and ran along the light green going uphill when it stopped. I found the hill easily, using the knoll to the side. From 3 to 4 I almost messed up thinking I was running from four to five. I just kept moving forward and luckily I was not that far off. I saw someone trip and fall hard. I saw an opportunity because I was really lost and the map made no sense. So I asked him where I was and he showed me and I realized I was on the long leg. I quickly corrected and kept going my direction and found the marsh. From four to five I ran down the slope and back up on the other side and dropped down again and up and so on until using the marsh with the boulder at the east side to find my control just going up the re-entrant.
From 5 to 6 I just used my compass and ran South as straight as I could. I found the cliffs and contoured around finding the control easily. From 6 to 7 I ran a compass direction using the power lines junction to find my way. I used the marsh and just went around over the hill and found the knoll easily. At the top of the hill there was an animal waiting there. Later I learned it was a grouse but I described it as a black thing with wing making a circle thingy with his head straight up and making weird sounds like "mawamamwanalagaga..."
From 7 to 8 I just used compass and went straight through the marsh and hit the control dead on. From 8 to 9 I went over the hill and jumped the dry ditch between the two big marshes running around the greenish stuff and running through the dry marsh. I was at the control site but ended up being pulled to the left. The mapped started making no sense so I turned around and went to stand back on top of the hill where I was and found the control. From 9 to 10 I ran to the field and ran through the field making a stupid mistake, running over the hill where I might have gone around. I found a photographer and saw the control 50 meters away. From 10 to eleven I dropped down the cliff and again I was 10 meters away from the control when I turned around and went searching back up. I went back and got the control easily after I realized my mistake. From 11 to the finish it was basically following the smiley faces ( from the kids string course) around the river and to the finish. In summary the race went quite good for the state I was in. I was started getting sick yesterday with a runny nose and a cough and felt it in my lungs. Looking at the results I realize how much improvement I need to make in the future. We have great coaches and this tour has taught me a lot. We have improved significantly from where we were just over a week ago.
Written by Andries Swart
(picture with Lina, who kindly lifted us, and waited for Carl and Matthew)
(most people had left by the time the boys finished)
(still had energy for frisbee, just couldn't catch it!)