Total Experience Adventure Race

Posted by on 23 May, 2011
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This year saw a disjointed team as Finbar and Karen were tapering for the    Rotterdam marathon (Finbar 2:49, Karen 3:15 BTW awesome times!!!)and Enda was  hauled off to India courtesy of his co-workers to help out on a project there. Many  teams had a similar experience but  yet 16 expert teams made it to this year’s TEAR  event. This is the 1st 4 person adventure racing event on the  Calendar every year  and doesn’t disappoint.

This year our team consisted of Chris Caulfield, Taryn McCoy (Belledock biker babe)  Mark Walker and myself.  We hadn’t raced together previously and it was really in t  the hands of Chris to get us to the finish line J

Saturday morning the place was buzzing, it was good to see so many friendly faces and good teams out today. We got the maps and route book at 9:00am and were in the kayaks by 9:55. We had put seats into the sit on-tops the night before. The difference was huge and it wasn’t long before we were off Mark and I , Chris and Taryn in the other boat. The argie bargie start had “Bridie Rovers” out in front and then a mix mash of teams between, Army AR, Multi sport Adventure Ireland” and ourselves. The front four teams were hitting the controls in much the same time with the Bridie Rovers edging out in front and gaining ground as we got on. The front four teams took the same route  picking up the Bonus sections as Chris yeld em… encouragement at Mark and I who were paddling our wee buts off to try and stream off the back of them.  We hit the shore position along with the Army and MultiSport Ireland. Beth and Peter came in after us – as we got ready to head off we turned to find Beth McCluskey, falling weak with the cold – she was passing out and Chris and Daniel and Paul were all just piling the clothes on her – as Paul asked us to head off that he would see us on the hills – I remember thinking I doubt it dude she looks bad !!!

Argie Bargies were gone out on to the hills ahead of us, with ourselves and ARMY AR in pursuit, off on to the hills Via Seans house –it was uphill in seconds and we climbed on in the direction of CP3 – This was a hard climb up on to the side of Moanbane. As we climbed up on CP 3 I could see MAI pass underneath us and they were approaching as we pulled away across the side of the hill. As we contured across we could see team Argie Bargie and MAI had went back down off the hill instead pof contouring around. They were moving quicker. As I looked down on them I hit the deck, stepped into a bottomless hole and whacked my jewels off the ground. Luckily Taryn heard the yelp and waited rather than continuing over the hill.  Winded I scurried across the hill where the lads were waiting and watching team MSA pass us on by. We hit CP 4 and they moved off up the hill in the direction of B2. It was now like a game of chase as we went after them as they moved off over the hills in the direction of Billy Byrnes Gap. We had been out the week before and the recce of this area was starting to pay off and we knew where B2 was in terms of Navigation. We moved passed team Argie Bargie sharing painful and friendly banter as we passed through. We hit B2 and then crawled up to B3.. It was a hard hard hike up must have been around Mulaghcleevaun.  As both teams climbed up the hill it seemed like we were catching MSA, but it was just the steepness of the Mountain – we climbed up and over it and were looking forward to some downhill that had to be on the other side –We moved pretty well across to B3 hitting it around a minute or 2 behind MSA. It was a close race and we were moving at full pelt – There wasn’t much time for idle chat as it was a case of myself and Taryn trying to keep up with Chris and Mark who were chasing down MSA.

After hitting B3 we moved across the big bog stacks – we were weaving in and out of the Turf stacks stepping in and out of the bogs as we moved. As we moved out of the stacks we picked up speed and moved very fast down along the Brook in the direction of the forest. We came down to almost the forest but hadn’t realised we had taken the wrong brook down.  From the bearing Chris had took and from looking at some of the features around us we headed for what should have been the second brook – we had to work our way back up the hill and across. As we did we could see people in the distance. We hiked across to hear someone calling out looking for Beth. We were confused but as we drew closer it was peter. They had lost Beth, but we hadn’t seen her and we went in search for the Bend in the Brook. We had to hike back up further up the mountain – Argi Bargie passed us saying they all start to look the same – At this stage Army AR were out in front, Argie Bargie in Persuit, TEAM MSA in persuit of Beth and we were looking for the CP 5. We had lost around 20 minutes – But keen to recoupe the wasted time.  We hit CP 5 and then raced toward TA2 where we transferred onto our mountain bikes

We went from there onto St Kevins way which was a nice bit of single track from there it was onto CP8 where we were provided with 3 Bonus bike loops. We had to mark each loop on our bikes which was a bit frustrating as the gridlines and references were a little unreadable on the copied maps. We eventually marked all Controls  on the map for the 3 bonus loops – we decided to go for as many as possible –and then at 4:30 see where we were in terms of making it back to CP8 before 5:00pm. The rain came down hard as we circled around the Controls – we had passed through Team Argie Bargie into second place and didn’t really know where the Army AR were at that stage. We just need to go all out and pickup what controls we could – we raced hard and decided with two Controls to go to head for CP8. Chris as usual was shouting encouragement as it pelted down rain – as we flew down the fire roads the dirt water mud could all be viewed close up !!! It wasn’t long before we were down into ballyknockan whre the lads managed to shoioirt cut it down to CP8. At CP8 we dropped the bikes into Brians Van and moved off in the direction of the beach for the final 2km beach run. We knew that the Army were only ahead – they were actually 2 minutes minutes ahead – We ran hard to see if we could see them on the beach – a beach was a bit of an understatement. It was pretty hard terrain, avoiding rocks and rock pools. It was hard going after over 7.5 hrs racing. Chris egged us on and we moved in persuit of team AR. Team Army AR Made it ahead of us with only 1:38 seconds ahead.

Another year another  great race course from Sean and Brian , thanks to Brian, Kipper, Sean, Danny, Lee and all the other volunteers that make this race a huge success.  Well done to Team Army AR – look forward to racing ye again. Thanks to Chris, Mark and Trayn, really enjoyed racing with you folks, I had promised Taryn we would be a fun team – but that’s probably the least amount she laughed in any race J

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