Rogaining race (Mr Rogaine Winter 24 P1) 12:31:33  50.64 km (14:50 / km) +1279m 13:11 / km
shoes: Salomon XA Pro 3d M+
TLDR: I Imploded at 10 hours.
Was still trying to recover from Gastro earlier in the week and was struggling to really eat and drink any reasonable quantity and had it not been a new partner and this particular event I probably would have pulled out last minute but instead did my best to wrap my mind around a hard effort and commit to it.
Drove down the morning of and we discussed anything could happen hoping to make Grand fully aware I don't know if I would last 1min or 24hrs or anywhere in between. Planned to clear the course which was the goal and was straight line 104.5 a big ask but high hopes!
There were some kids next to us spewing up before the event which I felt terrible for - my focus wasn't where it should be for the race I also had in my mind my left ankle issues from recent but thought that would be ok.
The plan was 5km/hr for first 6 the 4km/hr for 14 then 5km/hr to bring it home.
Started great and executed perfectly with a few minutes of time budget in fact in front slightly going into first water drop at 4. Saw an echidna in first 4 hrs too. Very slight mistake cost us a few mins at 21 however realised to short very quickly and corrected.
I had been having troubles with my bearings all day though and by this point was already getting a little frustrated as I felt Grand was always going left and he felt I was going right. I am sure in retrospect I was wrong or my compass is not quite right - im going to guess I wasn't holding it square or something because I was definitely drifting and I could see it in the day which annoyed me. Despite this nav was clean mainly as I was relying on the land to correct my drift. Grand did some hardcore pace counting i.e. this leg is 1.8km im going to pace it you lead. which meant some very long stints of absolute silence particularly back to back legs.
Darkness hit and we were 15 behind budget but we managed to claw some of that back. Sadly though around 730/8ish I had my first mental black spot. Thing is Grand had no idea as he was pace counting away or generally being quiet so I had to pull myself out of it which I managed but it took about 30 minutes to do so. Once levelled out I told him I had a bad spell and my nav really isn't on point and I am going to sit behind him and hang on and right myself for a bit. Don't think he quite got that as about 15 mins later he put me in front again which was fine at the point but don't know if it was the right call.
Anyway just before 10 I don't know what happened but I hit the wall hard, I wasn't physically having any problems I had rolled my ankle and it was fine, legs were good, the back was good, but I just felt empty. We were 15 mins behind maybe but we were going really well but I just went empty. I quickly said to Grand I am not good and then just went silent and for the rest of the leg I went from bad to worse to WTF is going on. I lost any concept of the map where we were, timing, bearing, nothing. I just knew we had a watercourse and a climb to control and just held on but pretty sure I just hit the bottom of the tank. Then the mental game kicked in hard how was I going to do another 14 hrs etc etc.
Got to control and said we need to stop and I need to try to get my head-ons straight which Grand acknowledged. We discussed options as I put everything in that I felt could/would make a difference. I thought we were there for 2-5 mins turns out it was closer to 15!
So we had to do the next 3 controls before making a decision push on or go home. The caffeine shot made a big difference and I was back in the game but I had sat behind Grand for this first leg and just looked at my watch to try to figure out a pace. Grand hit a spot and a feature that looked right and I thought this is too soon but I was a space cadet so didn't question it as he had been on point all day. We searched up and down this feature then I said I don't think we came far enough - he was adamant on pace counting but I convinced him to go further - we only went 100m or so and he turned back as he felt we had overshot... typically I would've dug in but didn't have it in me so we went back and did circles and after 45mins of looking for a 30 pointer bailed... and on exit we found the feature on the other side of a knoll which showed we where to short - that was annoying but I was too busy being livid with myself and my condition and not getting through the race like I wanted to, to care at that point.
Next 2 controls we nailed and I was mentally feeling good and physically good and said we can continue but I also said I am not sure if I am good because of the temporary caffeine solution or because I knew we could be going home and I didn't know if I would implode again if we went further away. Grand didn't want to risk it and had some knee pain so vetoed the effort and we went in. GPS died at this point.