Rogaining race (24hr - Into the Wilganess) 23:46:42  97.21 km (14:41 / km) +1945m 13:21 / km
44c slept:0.0 shoes: Salomons XR Mission
Well Friday was a frosty night getting down to -1C. After stirring around 7am I gingerly got ready in the car as I had no interest in getting out until I had too. Planning went well – we both agreed that we wanted the south west at night and try use the number of roads with the plantations to make night nav easier. Whilst we used the full 4hrs we definitely didn’t rush which was a nice change! Incidentally we plotted and ambitious 103km.
We started off at a slower pace just wanting to warm into it. We hadn’t heard about the 10 pointer on the gate so we weren’t ready for it and decided we would get it on the return. Out the road to 33 a few teams in front of us went quite far up the road but we wanted to jump in early we felt it was sooner – we lost maybe 20s by doing this as the team behind us who stayed on the road got to the point before us but at least we were safe.
From 33 we went: 67,78, 57, 56, 85, 96, 55, 88, 69. We had lifted our pace slightly after maybe 30 mins and had been pulling in 5-10 minutes per hour on our time budget. Our nav to this point had been almost flawless often arriving dead onto point son bearing. Only one a little off was 57 which we knew and corrected within 2-5mins. A few laughs were had on the way to 96 crossing the farmland river after I had already stepped in a swampy section making the tree crossing particularly hazardous with my slippery shoes
So about 25 minutes in front of schedule we went for 103 – we are still not sure (and I am looking forward to TBTing this one. How we didn’t get this – we went around the top of the steep slope and planned to drop into the gully, best guess is we overshot – we ended up checking 3 gullys and attempting to relocate off a few things but the only logical thing we can now think of is we slightly overshot it or misplaced but given the quality of the setting (one of the best ive seen) I am guessing the former.
We left empty handed on 103 cutting our losses and now 25-30 minutes down or so on time. We dropped 53 knowing we needed to catch up and went directly to 62 a bit shaky but we got it. We now found ourselves only 5 minutes behind.
94 and 52 went okay we still getting our heads back in game from 103 and weren’t hitting them flush and we got into our night kit on the way to 52 I believe. This is were I also discovered that I wasn’t developing chaffing but rather a stick/bark had somehow managed to get into my undies and been rubbing me the wrong way – some relief from removing this but the damage would have been done already.
73 – we couldn’t find it – I cant recall what happened I know we searched for a little but we called this one early because we knew we weren’t doing well. The mental game had kicked in and we were not on time budget at all. We dropped 63 and went to 51. At this water drop we decided to drop 74 and go directly to 83 this would put us back in front of time maybe just a bit.
So 7 hours in from what had been a near floorless 4 hours had turned disastrous dropping or missing 350 points! Given we had only scored 870 at this point dropping and missing 350 was pretty significant and I think taxing on both of us mentally especially heading into night. Also keep in mind up to 4hrs we got 620 points no drops. So 250 points in 3 hrs with 350 points dropped and being lost twice.
Long climb but easy nav leg to 83 – timing kinda went out the window now – we knew it was night we were going to be slower and some hard ground to hit – we had a rough idea of where we wanted to be when but nothing fixed like before – even though we were currently on budgetish. Still hating life at the moment though. The walk to 41 was long and a fog had descended over this section which was farmland. Torches/headlights became useless the vis was a white sheet and sometimes so dense you couldn’t see more than 5m easily with the lights on full power. Low power light or moonlight was the go. But it made spotting points difficult.
We hit 41 just fine and from here my memory is going to start failing on point to point because I was in survival mode mentally and body was starting to niggle in a few places. Shoes also completely drenched through from the fields and squelching!!! 71 was ok as was 101 the crossing of the river to 101 wasn’t horrid at all like we had expected. Up to 81 where the fog got the better of us and we missed the control even though we would have looked straight at it. We did however get it after relocating.
We opted to drop 90 and go directly to 60 and change our course flow a bit too. This ended up not being great because we got geographically challenged again at 60 for quite some time we did find it but it took some pretty outside the box ‘rational’ thinking before we got there.
104 was next and was the first control we hit perfectly and felt good about since about the 4 hr mark. We then proceeded to 80. I don’t know what the hell happened but the road too us right down to the oobs fence in the corner and we ended up walking along that and feeling pretty lost again. A black cow also managed to scare the shit out of me from the other side of the fence in the dark. We got back out from there and found the right road and got to 80.
We then pushed north to 70 where we picked up the wrong river and walked the wrong way for abit but when we realised we quickly adjusted and found the point. Up then to 91 which I don’t think we got flush but got within a reasonable time – again can’t remember exactly but it wasn’t a horrible point.
We then opted for point 30-82 and a long road walk that the shorter option of 40-82 and a bush walk. This was nice and helped us just take stock a bit. We however managed to get onto the non major road and walked to the oob before realising it was the wrong road! We also chatted because about our route because we where about 2 hours behind by the time we got to the water point. I had been battling mental demons for a while and would have been happy to go in now but wasn’t going to happen. The legs/feet also starting to let me know where problems existed.
We proceeded however as planned. Now about 2am ish at least whilst our nav had been shaky we had only dropped 100 points in 5hrs and about 2-3 hrs down on time. Up to 86 we went grabbed that and followed through all track walking picking up 31, 34, 72 then over to 93. I recall I believe it was this leg where we caught someone we had been pulling in for the last 4 controls they had been 1 hr in front if their intention was right and we finally got past them and left them behind. Quite a nice feeling. We almost got fooled by a small unmarked track but tried a theory and paid off moving 75 m north and finding the real track. Made getting this point a lot easier I am sure!
Memory of what happened is really starting to fade now – 95 I think was ok then down to 66 it was now 6am and a very welcome surprise of the patrol vehicle with cake WOO! Grabbed 77 which we were on the right road for it then decided to walk off ti and go down another road and boom lost again – SIGH but we got lucky on the relocate and back on track again. Up to 75 (cant recall anything special here but memory #failin. Dropped 65 and went direct to 102. Easy pickup then across to 84 which I had been worried about – but we got it relatively nicely.
We managed to cross the blackberries without any problems not even using the crossing (I think) then preceded down the road to 76. I can now state without any doubt that I was in extreme pain and suffering from the waist down. I would have written it earlier as it happened but I wouldn’t known when to start. My hamstring and my Achilles both felt like they could break my knees where sore and my ankles good god! Its after this point I implemented 20 minutes up 1-3minutes down as my leg really couldn’t take much more than 20min doses.
We dropped 64 and went straight to 50 – lets be honest going back to 64 would have been silly even if we had time! But 50 is where the hardcore cutting began. Lets just say forget the north, north west and area close west of the hh and we replanned.
We went 59, 54, 100, 25, 10 and this was by no means easy – it was struggle town every single step of the way – From 54 onwards I had to delegate full nav and decision making to Dave and just focus on left foot right foot. Surprisingly we made it back in time with about 10 minutes to spare! But body was destroyed!
Normally the first thing I would do is hh food but this time was straight into the car and was out cold for X time I don’t even know until David woke me about some problem with our gps devices. Which wasn’t a problem at the tent they just hadn’t checked us off! Went back to car and had another power sleep until top 30 was being read.
Despite the horrible dilemmas we had face we thought we had put in the ground to definitely get top 10 and hoped on top 5.
Managed the drive home ok on the (guessing 1 hr sleep). Was a pretty early night and a 12hr sleep woke up this morning feeling much more refreshed – still sore but walking ok. Legs definitely took a beating particularly the ankles. Chaffing non existent even though was present. A few blisters mainly from feet being wet a lot of the time but generally pretty good. A few bruises too from trees attempting to go through my legs.
I think the result was a good retirement for the shoes as they click up the 800km mark or so!
Great event and very very well set maybe the best I have been on so far (pending tbt examination of the unfindables). Dont know if I want to do a 24hr again seriously but I am sure that will change otherwise social 24hrs coming soon!
As always I am sure I could write more but 1 memory is failing me and 2 who really wants to read more dribble!