Adventure Race (ARA) 3:15:00 
30 mins into the race I found myself waist deep in a bog, I was scratched up having just ran around needlessly in blackberries for the last 5 mins, had been neck deep in water twice with my clothes and pack drenched and heavy, had pushed my bike up the steepest hill ever and then given myself gravel rash and some big bruises falling off coming down the same hill. I was hurting and grumpy but 5 mins later I had passed the lead solo male, was once again in 2nd place, my competitiveness kicked in and I started enjoying myself...
But back to the start -
Headed down the track from HQ only to find everyone milling about on the river bank getting snapped by the photographer. Wal and I had spotted a checkpoint on an island on a walk last night so I guessed that must be it but I had forgotten which way along the river it was. Decided to look upstream first and got lucky. Jen had caught up with me for the river crossing and I giggled as she went in up to her waist. Karma got me back by finding me a hole to fall in too and I was wet up to the neck already. At least I wasn’t worried about getting wet now so I swam straight across the river after CP1 and clambered up the big log on the other side. Only got caught up in a few blackberries getting up the hill and jogged it to 2 where Jen caught me again.
Hit the TA alongside Jen but she got the jump on me getting on the bikes so I had a motivated push up the hill to 4 trying to catch her. Slid the back wheel into a rut on the steep hill down to 5 and went down pretty heavily - luckily it was up the top and I hadn’t picked up much speed. Shakily walked the bike down the rest of the hill and then spent at least 5mins searching around in the blackberries for 5 only to find it (but almost lose my shoe) in a bog. Found a hole again and went down almost to my waist and got thoroughly covered in mud trying to get my leg out. I was getting a bit cranky by then but my mood picked up a bit as I caught the first solo male and passed him after telling him he was headed the wrong way. Found 6 and 7 okay and caught up with Jen and the Maids looking for 8. I had decided to avoid the hill to 9 and stuck to the plan even though every else went the other way - turned out alright as I rolled into TA just behind them and a quick transition saw me leave the TA at the same time as Jen, the maids and the first solo male.
Quickly got left behind again as everyone jogged off but managed to catch the maids as they were looking for both B and C and then hold them back to TA.
Held the maids to 10 and then caught up with Jen looking for 11. Eventually we found it on the other side of the track and headed down to Toms crossing. The maids paused on the river bank but Jen dived straight in and I jumped in after trying not to lose her.
Hit the TA at the same time as Jen again and the officials let us jump in a boat together. I was pretty thankful for that as it was hard work paddling upstream with some unfamiliar muscles being called upon. We soon settled into a rhythm of 2-3 strokes each side and collected the first 2 controls quickly. The last control seemed to take forever to get to but some teams coming the other way gave us some encouragement and we finally got there. Almost back to the TA we spotted the first solo male and then the next 2 solos all paddling individually in quick succession – not sure why they didn’t think to team up, apparently after us the officials were encouraging the others to.
Left TA alongside Jen but got halfway to Tom’s crossing before I realised I hadn’t punched out of the paddle TA. Turned around and blasted back to TA as fast as I could, punched, then blasted back to Tom’s crossing to see Jen almost across. Almost jumped on Jude in my rush to get in the water but she had seen that I was chasing Jen and was egging me on to catch her. Caught Jen just before HQ and got a small lead on her out onto the final trek.
Jogging down the first track I realised my fast transition was due to not changing out of my bike shoes, oh well at least it is only a short leg. I quickly got confused with the dodgy track marking around HQ and Jen caught me as I was faffing about. Neither us had legs left for running and at this point I commented that we could either split the win or go for the slowest sprint finish ever. The pressure off I was more than happy to walk/jog the rest of the trek with Jen and after another quick dunk in the river and a lot of circles near HQ looking for the last control (which I still maintain was mapped incorrectly) we jogged into the finish together to claim a joint win for the solo course.
I found the course quite demanding physically (in my current state of unfitness) but pretty easy navigationally apart from the treasure hunting for controls. Apart from a few minor and short lived unhappy moments I had a great day. I had popped an anti inflammatory tab for my knee before the race and it felt quite good during the race but was pretty puffy and swollen by the end.