Special Thanks To Minister for Sustainability, Environment And Conservation South Australia Flinders Ranges National Park Co-management Board Vulkathunha - Gammon Ranges National Park Co-management Board. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. We acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are travelling on. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal people to country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal people who may be undertaking or assisting in the event from other areas of South Australia/Australia.
Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary Wertaloona Station Wirrealpa Station Angorichina Station Rawnsley Park Glen Lyle Station
South Australia, the festival state, is home to a vibrant and diverse events calendar. With the Santos Tour Down Under, Tasting Australia, Adelaide Fringe – and now for the first time the XPD Adventure Race – South Australians love to welcome visitors from all over the world.
devour seafood on the Eyre Peninsula or find your inner self on Kangaroo Island. Providing an iconic backdrop to the epic XPD expedition race, South Australia’s Flinders Ranges are the very essence of Australia. This is nature at its most awe-inspiring.
Adelaide is a hub for local artists and musicians, with sensational food and award-wining wine the perfect mix. Our laneways are bursting with vibrant events, restaurants, bars and cafes, all offering something unique.
It’s a place of impossibly blue skies, immense ancient landscapes and generous, open-hearted people. From the weathered cliffs of the Flinders to the sweeping deserts of the far north, the region will awaken your spirit of adventure and invigorate your soul. Marvel at the natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound, camp beneath a canopy of stars at Arkaroola and explore the region by bike, on foot or by air to get a true sense of perspective. Flinders Ranges – adventure in an ancient land.
South Australia’s regional landscapes also provide the ideal setting for gourmet food, wine, music, culture and adventure. About an hour’s drive from the CBD the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, Barossa and Murray River await, offering romantic getaways, action-packed escapes, delicious food and wine and relaxing breaks. A little further afield expect the unexpected in the state’s Riverland, tour the Limestone Coast, hideaway in the boutique Clare Valley,
See more at southaustralia.com Image - coming into Port Augusta
10 days racing September 2 - September 14 2013
Which XPD event was your favourite and why Broken Hill, Tasmania, Whitsundays, Alps, Cairns, Tasmania, Flinders Ranges? No I don’t have a favourite. The Whitsundays event however, is the one I’d like to tell you something about because it was the least like I thought it would be, in terms of the landscape. The kayak, runs, and snorkels around the Whitsunday Islands were fun, and they did only deserve one day. The coral was okay, the islands small, it is windy which is fine for yachts (but not for Sevylor blow up kayaks). Our team vowed to see if we could buy the Sevylors at the end, and ceremoniously burn them. Many teams pulled the pin because it was so hot during the day and no water. As a result of being last and in my haste to catch up, I led us astray on the MTB. Russ insisted on asking a farmer to check our location – the farmer’s blue heeler promptly attached itself to Russ’s Achilles heel. We thought Russ’s race (and ours) was over, it was a funny sight. After Russ played with the dog for a minute or so trying to kick it off, he confirmed we were in the wrong spot. Each day was like a day out of the kids TV show “Total Drama Action”. Dave, Wal & Russ could deal with any disaster in good humour and I would race with these guys anytime. What has formed the basis of your teams ability to make and finish all six events The concept of XPD and going for 6 days ( 9 days in Cairns! ) and “racing” in challenging terrain doesn’t terrify me. My team mates have some fascinating life experiences, and it’s a great chance to share an XPD finish as a team. I also find discovering Australia in each XPD an inspiration. I’m proud to be Australian. I know this sounds over the top, but everyone who finishes the Flinders Ranges course will probably relate to this. Why have you come back for number 7 Deb, Genevieve and Emily (my wife and kids) are generous. I’m keen to explore more of Australia and with my kids being aged 7 and 11, they are not quite ready to see Australia the XPD way. We’re out to finish, not first or bust. We still only average 2 hrs sleep a night and I’m sure we get to experience just as much trauma and joy as any other team.
Which XPD event was your favourite and why Possibly nothing can beat XPD1 in Broken Hill. Being the first ever event for Team Goldfish beyond 2-day Geoquest standard, there was huge anticipation and a giant leap into the unknown. The vast scenery of the desert, the heat, the cold, the endless dust and the surprise rugged canyons served up unsurpassed atmosphere. Fewer teams competed back then, so there was a heightened sense of knowing all the competitors and revelling in chance meetings out on the course. What has formed the basis of your team’s ability to make all six events There is the practical side, as soon as the next XPD date is announced, setting aside holidays, and getting leave passes from work and family. More important is the desire to compete. Team Goldfish have an enduring motto, of Friends, Fun, Finish and perhaps Fast. These ingredients set up the basis for an insatiable desire to return. Why have you come back for number 7 Being based in South Australia is a big bonus. Craig and Louise have promised to take us across salt lakes and climbing the highest cliffs in the state. We are assured of new adventures in wide open spaces. Two weeks spent with the very best of friends is also an opportunity to be treasured. Is there additional pressure on the team to make the distance to keep the “record” intact Team Goldfish have never aspired to the endurance speed feats of the leaders. That takes away much of the pressure, aligning our adventure more with the XPD motto of “as much an expedition as a race”. We will grab more sleep each night, and be sidetracked momentarily at the most scenic lookouts or alluring swimming holes. Have you learned new thing with each progressive race. Perhaps no.1 discovery is the importance of picking the right team. We have seen teams disintegrate, whilst the best teams share the highest level of mateship and compassion and caring for their team mates. Beyond that, there are the practicalities of preparation and gear and course savvy. Much of our gear has got lighter, by buying and accumulating more of the right stuff, and by discarding unnecessary extras.
How do you figure how much to take on a tough trek leg First we look at the distance and the terrain and estimate how many hours we think the leg will take. Then we work out our food based on one bar or quantity of food per hour plus a bit more for emergencies - in terms of water we take a look at the maps and work out where we may be able to get water on the course. We try to carry as little as water as possible as it is heavy. Most Memorable moment in adventure racing I have had so many memorable moments during the last 13 years of adventure racing it is hard to pick one. But I guess my most memorable XPD moment was crossing the finish line in Tasmania in 2005. I did this race with three of my best friends and for two of them it was their first ever expedition length race. It was also the first outing for Team Girls on Top. I still get a warm feeling and have a little smile on my face when I recall how proud and happy I felt at that moment. Goals for the team for this race Regardless of the event we always have the same goals which are to beat the course, be as efficient and effective as possible, have fun and focus on our own team bubble. We are always looking to improve our performance and to pull off the perfect race. Tips for night navigation I’m no navigator but my top tips would be to - Know how to use your compass, trust your compass at all times, always know where you are, try to involve all teammates in compass work and reading the terrain. Navigate from feature to feature. Be aware of individuals tendencies to drift off course either to the left or right when solely following a compass bearing and learn to recognise when your core navigator may need to have a nap or a break. Concerns for Flinders Rangers XPD Obviously, it is hard to know what we will come up against in terms of terrain and conditions however we are assuming there will some challenging sections across salt lakes and some wide open vast expanses of land. Our main concern will be looking after our feet, ensuring we are well hydrated and able to manage our fluids, and that we don’t get too cold at night. Aussie is notorious for its creepy crawlies, weird plants and active night wildlife so we will be keeping an extra eye out for hazards particularly over zealous roos at night trying to knock us off our bikes !
What are your team goals for this race and does your team have separate responsibilities In order of priorities our goals are: 1. No permanent injuries 2. Finish better- as better racers, better friends, better human beings 3. Finish as a team of 4 4. Finish full course 5. Race everyone we know =) Recently we’ve added an additional challenge of raising at least $5,000 for Soldier On and also added another goal “Get to the start line in one piece!” What will be the greatest obstacles at XPD Flinders Ranges for you and your team At the moment, getting to the start line!! So far we’ve had to replace 2 team members due to injury and other priorities so all 4 of current team members will be now coming from 4 different locations. It’s definitely added another challenge, combined with the fact that 1 of them will meet the other 2 for the first time in Port Augusta. Other than that, I am confident that all 4 of us will not see any obstacles, only challenges. What is one good point about each team member when racing In chronological order: Fenno (Michael Fenton) - a booming bundle of positive energy. Big, gregarious, generous and reliable. Kimbo (Kim Gilfillan) - thoughtful, level headed and intelligent. Will be a steadfast, calm and reassuring presence throughout. Also shares primary nav responsibilities with me. Paddy (Patrick Howlett) - “can-do”, positive, cheeky and likely to compete with Fenno for the status of team larrikin. All very strong physically and mentally and are committed to doing whatever it takes to get over the finish line as a team of four. Everyone has also promised to stink, and some to snore loudly, which is a great reminder for me to carry earplugs.
six all GOT 1ST
Is there additional pressure on the team to make the distance to keep the “record” intact No, there isn’t additional pressure. However we all want to finish. We have invested heaps of time, energy and money to get to the start line, and it’s a great relief to start the event and enjoy it. Our team wants to be at XPD, we haven’t been talked into it, we are prepared to slow down for each other, if that’s what it takes to finish. We don’t want to waste this chance to explore South Australia. So how do you deal with someone who is injured or doesn’t want to go on This will be difficult, but don’t make rash decisions. In some ways it’s fortunate the race is so isolated that there is time to get “over” it. The quickest way to return to the finish, may well be to finish the event. • Have you learned new things with each progressive race Yes, I have learnt in each race that something unexpected will happen. Recognise this and it will be easier to deal with it.
Has the type of food you take evolved over the races Not really. Gels are popular for short races but you can’t live off them in XPD, but it won’t stop people from trying. We have never prepared any hot drinks/meals in previous XPDs – we are this year. Why? Happy people move faster. There is also a good chance that we don’t see too many shops in the Flinders Ranges.
What do you think the biggest challenge for your team at xpd flinders be Working as a team is always a challenge. When it happens, it is very rewarding. This is the 7th start for team “Mawson” and it will be quite an honour to ride along the Mawson Trail. Hopefully all teams gain some inspiration from Douglas Mawson and XPD is our way of appreciating the feats of the early Australian adventurers. To finish I like a quote by Lao Tzu, 4th BC. “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim is fulfilled, they will say, “We did it ourselves”.’
Has the type of food you take evolved over the races Goldfish have rbeen sponsored by Sanitarium, the makers of peanut butter, soy milk and Weetbix. These have been a staple for every XPD. We are also sponsored by Defence Science and Technology, who manufacture dehydrated meals for the army. Magic foil pouches, mixed with boiling water especially on cold nights, have provided countless filling and varied dinners and suppers. We also have Snackman, catering for those inbetween bursts of energy. A whole fresh pineapple emerged from Snackman’s pack in the wilds in XPD6. In Cairns and Tasmania, Snackman has also produced fresh scones, adorned with jam and cream, at appropriate mountain outlooks. Has your equipment changed over the races Like a favourite axe, we’ve had a tandem at every XPD. We have updated clothing to lighter, more insulating versions . Volleys remain our preferred footwear, as at home in a canoe, or on a bike or providing the best grip on slippery trekking surfaces. In XPD1 we carried a single down doona large enough for all four to use simultaneously as a communal sleeping bag. What do you think the biggest challenge for your team will be at XPD Flinders. Its interesting to contemplate how one might navigate across a salt lake. The heat in those conditions might also require more water than we can carry, or the night cold might be particularly energy sapping. Blisters, swollen ankles, and high speed night crashes with wandering wildlife are always mundane but ultimately potentially showstopping XPD realities. Simply finishing within ten days will always be a challenge.
Sleep monsters - how do you deal with them It is hard to describe, but it is like some force (the monster) is trying to shut your eyes and turn your mind off so your body and mind can have the rest they crave. Some techniques I use are screaming, singing loudly, hitting myself and even talking directly to the sleep monster telling it to go away and leave me alone. We often see faces of people and shapes of things in rocks, cliffs and trees - again there are certain levels of acceptable hallucinations and not so acceptable levels. Tteams need to manage their sleep strategy so the sleep monsters and hallucinations don’t get out of hand. What type of food and why choose it Variety is the spice of life. We pack a variety of different types of food as you never really know what you will feel like eating. Your favourite food can quickly become your least favourite and teammates or other team’s food seems more appealing than your own. Generally we eat more savoury than sweet foods as the race goes on. We favour food that is lightweight, high in energy and doesn’t need heating out on the course are best. We use food from Adventure Foods NZ - incredible dehydrated meals and smoothies that simply need a small amount of water and turn into food to die for. Also GU gels, chomps and shakes for extra boosts. Caffeinated roctane gels help to keep us awake on nighttime kayak legs. For transitions we like to have soups, canned fruit, 2 minute noodles, beans, creamed rice etc. Strategy for cuts and infections Hygiene is so important in adventure racing as a simple cut can turn into an infection in no time and end your race. Our strategy is to keep any cuts and abrasions clean. We carry antiseptic wipes and betadine in our packs and try to keep on top of infection. The key is to identifying potential risks early on. Luckily we have never had to give emergency treatment to a team mate and fingers crossed it stays that way :)
Team Cyco Girls On Top
Tell me why you like adventure - and what reward does it give to you personally It’s hard to even know where to begin. Adventure for me is the most intense personal growth that I consistenly achieve in fairly short periods of time and the after effects of which I harness throughout the rest of my life. I strongly believe that the day we stop learning is the day we start dying and adventure, to me at least, is a way of finding immortality. Whenever I am unable to be outdoors for long periods of time I start resembling a caged animal, tense, grumpy and the transformation that is 100% guaranteed with every step that I take on a new trail can be quite dramatic. I think I can describe a pivoting moment for me on a climb about 6 years ago- we got off route and ended up on something considerably above my physical and skill ability. It was a traverse, above an overhang and too high to be lowered off to the ground. My climbing partner on the other end of the rope was out of sight and almost out of earshot. I was looking at the wall quite lost as to what to do. And the mental conversation in my head went something along the lines of: 1. I know that I physically can’t do it, but I have no other choice. 2. Therefore, the next question is “How?”
I’ve used that memory many times since, in a lot of races and events I’ve participated and in life in general.. It’s definitely carried me through TNF100 which I entered 4 days before the start, at GeoQuest, when my derailleur broke about 25kms into the first bike leg and will hopefully carry me through XPD which in turn will create a sufficient memory to tackle even bigger challenges. Plus I never cease to be amazed by the calibre of people I meet along the way who tend to have such inspiring stories that I can’t ever see myself not aspiring to be around.
Tecnu Extreme / Kailash Team Soldier On
Volunteers and Staff Charlotte Petersen Max Collett Michael McCluskey Minh-Tam Nguyen
Adventurefit (12) Scott Rogers Dave Talbot
Real Discovery (7) Kiko Suzuki Todd Panietz Goshi Ozawa Daisuke Minami
Mountain Designs (14) Gary Sutherland Dave Schloss Leo Theoharis Kim Beckinsale
Hamish and the Wheelbarrow (8) Hamish Nicholls Tony Reynolds Christopher Cox Andrew Readhead
Ian Stewart Andrew Paszkowski Andrew Earle Gina Dunsdon
Ongoing Concern (9) Robert Joscelyne Elizabeth Woodgate Andrew James Nick Harvey
Ekky Thump (16) Saulo Cavalcante Mike Pickavance Emily Wilson Robert Powell
Golddfish (11) Richard Barnes Mardi Barnes James Terpening Phil Newman
“ I have to say logistics offers the closest to competing as far as reward and sense of accomplishment ”
Coulda Woulda Shoulda (18) Daniel Coletti Dan Barry Ben Taylor Tim Gill
Glenn Smith - Logistics
Vicious and Delicious (19) Lesa Muir Belinda Brooks Cindy Morgan Janet Musker
Paul Gruber Karina Vitiritti Angus Rodwell Michael Kolody
Juggernaut (21) Andrew Thomson Justin Smart Bradley Briggs Kurt Lynn
That’s Cray (28) Lee Rice Dane Roberts Aaron Coles Clare Lonergan
Rubicon (23) Kolya Miller Joe Friend Tim Barrett David Barlow
Outward Bound Australia(29) Ben Kaiser Nick Atkin Micaela Hartley Jason Schreiber
Muppets (24) Michael Phillips Adrian Beard Hamish Becker Steven Phillips
Fully Rad Adventures (31) Dave Hunt Irene Hunt Peter FitzGerald Richard Old
Noel Duffy Shaun Jackson Trevor Mullens Kevin Piercy
Havacrack (32) Mark Imbert Grant Pepper Trina Whittaker Robin Simpson
Bear Hunt (5)
I think one of the best ways to try and describe the experiences and the motivations behind working as part of the XPD logistics team is to compare it to being a race participant. While the context of many challenges may be different, there are plenty of similarities to racing. Some of the challenges faced by the XPD Logistics team include smooth teamwork, endurance/fatigue management, communication, planning, packing (and unpacking, then repacking and re-repacking), handling soggy cardboard bike boxes, fitting Team Goldfish’s double-bike boxes in the trucks, the list goes on. To ensure the operation is as smooth and seamless as possible, logistics team members and hopeful volunteers (who have been known to beg for a logistics role just to hear Ben’s jokes) are required to commit to a training program in the months leading up, which generally consists of between 15-20hrs per week of multi-disciplined skills development including Tetris, Jenga and the Colin McRae World Rally Champs computer game. Additional familiarisation training is carried out in the fortnight before the race in map reading and deciphering Craig’s crazy logistics planning diagrams.
Having been involved in adventure racing for over 5yrs now in a variety of roles including competitor, search and rescue, transition manager, course setting/ clearing and logistics, I have to say logistics probably offers the closest (apart from Race Director) to competing.At the end of an event, when you finally have time to sit back and reflect on what transpired over the duration of the race, there is huge reward and a sense of accomplishment. Logistics is a role that, although not glamorous like ‘Search & Rescue’, is an essential component of the XPD machine.This creates a strong drive and passion to make sure that everything is executed 100%, the right gear is delivered to the right place at the right time and any problems are solved quickly and efficiently by going the extra mile (or 100 miles, twice, after midnight). And, just like competing, there are good and not-so-good moments, and plenty of those “Why the f*** am I doing this!” moments… But, just like racing, months down the track when someone throws out the inevitable “Are you going to the next XPD?”, any of those lingering, less-positive memories of the last one have faded and the excitement and anticipation of being there as a part of such a unique and spectacular sport makes it hard to say no.
XPD Flinders Team Soldier On (33) Kim Gilfillan Paddy Howlett Olga Poberezovska Michael Fenton
Nokondi (20) Simon Vandestadt Rolando Rivas Daniell Cowley
Melinda Halliday Douglas Peres Bill Silvester Adrian Halliday
Outer Edge Racing (38) Rebecca Wilson Daniel Hovenden Rohan Kilham Roland Trease
Bivouac Colts (39) Dayne Mcknight Ryan Thompson JJ Wilson Becky Law
Osprey Packs (22)
Outer Limits (6)
Steven MacLeod Andrew Macdonald Blair MacKinnon Andy Reid
Kate Sanderson Andrew Baker Michael Hull Hal Benson
Hugh Stodart Sam Stedman Jennifer Roberts Damon Goerke
CYCO Girls on Top (40) Emma McCosh Debbie Chambers Anne Lowerson Isak Meyer
S.A. Ambulance (36) Evan Jones Morgan Coull Owen Jones Beau Griffiths
Amy Potter Karen Wishart John and Jess Basham Jan Leverton Pam and Bryan Palmer William & Helen Simpson Robyn Simpson Heather Rankin Cameron Muster Zanna Hammat Geoffrey Goh
Cassie Weir Jason McBride Zoe Cross Suzie Macauley Carey Barlow Sandra Spinks Carolyn Russell Craig House Rhonda House Harrison House Geoffrey Lillistone
Keith Conley Kaye Potter Monique Blason Abdul Rahman Abdullah Catherine Horan Rob Marlow Jim Zirn Anton Trenorden Glenn Smith Ben Tucker Justin Ranford
Bradley Baumber Peter Young Craig Shaddy Shadbolt Noel Wolstencroft Jenny Wolstencroft Ben Stubenrauch Gilbert Meunier Stewart Hayes Lucas Trihey
The boys on presentation night. Louise Foulkes
TRIBUTE TO TEAM REAL DISCOVERY XPD is a long journey….but getting to the startline of XPD is a much longer one… Team Real Discovery had a tragic start to their XPD training early this year when they lost 2 of their teammates, Nadia Sunada & Toshihito Shibata, in a kayaking accident on Tokyo harbour. Nadia joined Team Real Discovery in 2009 to race Geoquest here in Australia. Some of you may remember her as she also raced in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Tasmania 2011. She was a passionate adventure-racer and a skilled wild water paddler representing her region at the National championships. Nadia was a great competitor, and a very warm and friendly
woman who touched the hearts everyone who knew her in the adventure racing world. Toshihito joined Team Real Discovery in 2012. He, also, was a very experienced Adventure Racer along with other adventure sports such as Rogaining, MTB and trail running. The pair set off for an informal training session on the morning of February 16th, and they were very conscious of the conditions on the Harbour that day. The wind was extremely cold and blowing a strong northerly (which meant offshore) so they decided on the safer option of a river paddle instead. Where they launched their kayaks was 1.5km from the river mouth into Tokyo Bay and a safe entry point. They planned to have a nice
24km river paddle and return to the same spot. By nightfall Nadia’s mother was worried her daughter hadn’t returned and subsequently phoned the police. They also notified the other family and a full scale search was launched by the Japanese Coast Guard. At 3.00am on February 17th two broken kayaks were found off Sodeguara which was about 20km south of where they entered the water. Later on the same morning 2 bodies were discovered on the coast of Ichihara. It seems they fought very hard as a team to survive noting the final location of their bodies… and their kayaks. No-one really knows what happened to Nadia
and Toshihito …… and why they failed to call for assistance. Somehow they got into Tokyo Bay…. and the rest is tragic history. Both athletes were self-rescue trained, so they must have put in every effort to get back home. We are reminded that this sport we all enjoy carries many risks, and we measure these risks and try to minimise them, but sometimes fate takes a hand resulting in the loss of life. So let’s now take a minute’s silence to remember these two great members of our adventure racing family and be aware and thankful that we have made it here….and are here ready to begin this amazing adventure…. by Jan Leverton
FEET ON FIRE
“The race has been like nothing I have ever experienced where by 3 hours into the first day I had very little quantities of intact skin left on my feet. I have been constantly dehydrated and struggling with this heat.” Hamish and the Wheelbarrow
Goldfish – Team 11 Wow,wow,wow! What a team, what an expedition. The highlights?? So many where do I start? Jim’s commentary on the coach on the way up; The swim in the waterhole to cool down Vicious and delicious Team 10 A challenging couple of days that seems a lot longer than the 50hrs its been since the start Nokondi – Team 20 What a crazy first 2.5 days. Just settling in for a sleephe nav man needs to get his beauty sleep as we have a long 24 hours ahead of us Team 6 Outer Limits Damon here - Ditto from MD’s. Stinking hot and a lot of suffering out there. Got a bit dry on the first trek. Hugh ran out and was so desperate he filled up from a stagnant pool which stank so bad it almost made me vomit – no amount of shotz tabs was going to make that drinkable. Luckily we found another cleaner pool before he had to drink it.
JUGGERNAUT – Team 21 G’day all. So far 1 word really describes this race – Epic! We knew it would be hot in the Outback, but to find out they were going through a heatwave was a bit of a surprise. The legs are all very hot, with hardly any water around – on day 1 we filled our bottles from a stagnant waterhole with a dead kangaroo beside it. Nice.
Yesterdays trek through the Gorge was amazing and damn hard, the rocks underfoot tore our feet up and we are all suffering with a few blisters each and Mick’s feet have blisters on blisters!
Rubicon – Team 23 What an absolutely epic first 3 days. Leg one day one set the scene – HOT and HARD through a magical gorge – the outback at its best. Dehydration and heat exposure took its toll on many many teams – Tim suffered badly and after 10 hrs we made the TA – here we could recover and get fluid back into our bodies – the last 3 hrs we walked with no water.
Outward Bound Aust – Team 29 So why did we sign up for this again?
Pharos – Team 27 KV here , Damn hot days here, we have been overdosing on electrolytes during the days to help survive the extreme heat, a few of us have had our moments of heat exhaustion but nothing too serious.
Thats Cray – Team 28 We are well, race is enjoyable. Basically I was crook from running out of water in the Gorge.
Osprey Packs – Team 22 Day one, Blair falls on rocks in first hour, gashes leg, all good thanks to Dr Sue’s antibiotics and some paramedic assistance, by-passed waterholes that looked a bit rank.. what NZers call a swamp Aussies call a water supply, then ran out of water .. causes Steven to get debilitating cramps for 2 hours, whole team inch him along growling step after step .. we discover that kiwis training in NZ winter struggle in 36 degrees .. the other NZ teams must have done sauna training
Shaun Jackson First XPD
Well what a way to start the trip, we almost missed our flight. After a two hour flight we finally land in Adelaide. So there we are standing at the glass windows watching for our cargo like hawks watching their prey. Yes, a sense of relief, thank god for that, all systems are go, and our bags have arrived. Off to the cafe we go, to sit around the Adelaide Airport until 1:30pm for our transfers to Port Augusta. As the day goes on, more and more fellow competitors arrive and before we know it, the cafe has turned into a mini TA area for XPD people.
months of emails and the odd phone call, our team is about to meet for the very first time. No pressure on Trev or myself. After the meet and greet, we decide to head down to the Flinders Hotel for a meal. Trevor and I are informed of a few team rules (the toilet one being the best) and possible race trails (Kev as been studying up on the Mawson Trail, Wilpena Pound and Port Germein). Sunday Time is flying; off we go to the team registration welcome brief and competency test. What a buzz! 120 plus like-minded excited competitors all in the same room and ready to go. The diversity of people really amazes me. All shapes and sizes, some who look like athletes some who don’t, some there for the challenge, others for the racing, all sizing each other up. Thank god for the swim, weather in the Port hits 35plus today.
Saturday Arrive at Brisbane Airport at 5am all excited and ready to go. Sit down with Trevor Mullens and we start chatting about food for the race, completely forgetting about our flight. All of a sudden Trevor says it’s 10 to 6 (oops we’re running late) so off we go, running to the gate. As we get there the flight attendant is on the radio calling for our bags to be removed. Sorry, sorry, sorry is all we can say.
Monday Yes, today is the day: course hand out and team prep day. Down to the Barracks we go (Race HQ) to receive the maps. We all gather in the hall to watch a promotional video from Wild Racers. A cheer goes up as the video ends and the course hand out begins.
I’ve only been competing in AR for five minutes
One o’clock comes around and little Miss Amy pops in to meet and greet new and old competitors and direct us to the bus. Finally the wait is over. We arrive in Port Augusta and it’s time to meet our fellow teammates:Mawson’s very own Kevin Piercy and Noel Duffy. After two
“ We plan for a monster day ride, trek, ride, climb and ride. Team Mawson is about to ride the Mawson trail.”
Home we head for a big day of decision making. Job delegation begins. Trevor sorts and labels the trunks, Noel takes to the trekking, Kev to the overview and individual leg timing and me to the bike. That’s
when the real nerves set in. Before this moment all I knew was that I would be able to have a crack at ONE mountain bike leg. Not the whole course. For those who don’t know me, I’ve only been competing in AR for about five minutes (March this year was my first race) and all of a sudden I’m navving for the most experienced and successful team in XPD. After a few questions and one big breath, it’s time to jump in and have a crack. Here we go, it’s all real now. We hand in our gear, get on the bus and head for the start line - Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Six hours later, one delicious camel pie and a good look at the countryside we are about to cross and we are here. Time to set up our tents for the night, collect some water and then off to dinner we go. Only one problem - my brand new three litre bladder has a hole in it. Out comes the bike repair kit, no luck, to the spare we go. What a great meal to have for our last supper, BBQ and pasta followed by an Aboriginal blessing of safe passage
across the land. Finally time for bed- first night in a tent with the team on our travel mats. Oh what comfort......not! Wednesday Up early (5:30 am) the camp is a buzz, not the best sleep. We pack up the tent, hand back our bike boxes and trunks, and collect the last of our water. Time is flying, it’s already 6:30 am and we need to get moving for breakfast. As we arrive at the restaurant the first thing I notice is that most teams, if not all, have taken advantage of the $18 hot buffet feed. We scoff down a couple of plate loads, a bit heavy in the gut, but food is energy at this stage. The weather is set to hit 35 degrees today. Angry Bird Boxer shorts are my weapon of choice to trek in today. I get some pretty funny looks, but it works. My nerves are down and my mind is set. Thanks Trevor. Out to the pretty blue HQ van to collect our wristbands and seal my phone, drop off some non-mandatory gear and begin the one
hour walk up to the start line. At the start line teams gather for a reading from race director Craig Bycroft. My head just keeps saying you’ve made it, time to do it. The message is an eye opener for a lot of us. Team Real Discovery from Japan lost two of their team members earlier this year in a kayaking accident on Tokyo Bay. One minute’s silence is taken. As a salute to our fellow Adventure Racers, Team Real Discovery leads the way down the hill holding two team shirts and a flag. Race on from the dam. From here on I don’t know what day is what, I just remember stages. Our discussed team goal is to take it easy and walk back to the HQ van for the leg 1 map hand out. Stage 1: 29km Trek from Arkaroola 9km Rogaine Mt Elva, 20km trek along ancient Arkaroola Creek. Well the plan quickly gets thrown out the window, as the nature of racing takes over and Noel decides we should be running. As we find out later on, not a good idea. The first four CP’s come quick to
start with, as all teams are within eye sight. Then the gorge arrives, the temperature rises, the stones get more uncomfortable and creek sand appears. Kev’s competitive nature takes hold as he hits the front to push the pace. Trevor the energizer bunny is starting to warm up, but Noel is starting to feel the heat.
trouble. So I sit back, lower the heart rate and have a rest. As we finish stage 1, the doctor checks Noel and says,“Take your time and rehydrate please!”Kev says, “Don’t worry, he’ll be strong tomorrow.” The rest of us get some food and put the bikes together. The nerves are setting in, as it’s my turn to nav. My head just says trust yourself. Team after team come in dehydrated and blistered up.
About an hour later Kev still keeps up the pace with Trevor and me just keeping close to Noel. Not long after Noel says to me, “I need to hold on mate, I’m struggling with this heat.”
Stage 2: 48km MTB to Wooltana Two hours later with both little toes blistered, we’re off. We leave in 13/14 position. The pace is high and it’s time to direct and motivate. We pass three or four teams quite quickly as we hit the first two CP’s. But CP 7 is another story as the track disappears into the night and my nav is to get its first test.
At this stage we are sitting in 4th place after just passing Bivouac Colts, who are really feeling the heat as well. Then bang, I call a stop as Noel is looking pretty bad. I don’t think he wants to tell Kev. Ten minutes later, with Trev carrying Noel’s and his own pack we’re off, up the small creek towards the saddle. Kev is still in front, with me close behind, then Noel followed by Trev. Then we hear a scream of pain. Kev and I stop, and we hear more. So back down we go. Thirty metres down we find Noel on his back with both quads and calves cramping at the same time. Trev tries to stretch them, with not much luck. Kev sits down with Noel as Trev and I find some shade. Noel mutters some dribble as Kev says, “What shit are you talking, lie down and have a rest.” Beep, I say to myself, day one and we are in
With several teams around us looking for the same track, we stop for a quick discussion and decide that the lights in the distance on the bearing must be the TA area. We go straight through the bush - poor bikes! After another 20 mins we hit the electrified dingo fence, only 300m from the TA. Then we find the right track and the gate to head in to the TA area. To our surprise, our bike boxes haven’t arrived yet. Twenty-five minutes later with our bikes already disassembled, they arrive. The discussion over dinner is how much water do we take on the salt lake? We decide that 7.5 plus litres each is a must. All of our bladders and spare bottles are filled –35 litres in total. Trev and I take an extra carry bag each for our water.
Additional images CYCo GOT David barlow outer edge racing Jugganaut
SALT WATER SALT
“We were completely alone yesterday and the night before last on the salt lake, just us, the stars and the salt.” Team Bear Hunt
SA Ambulance – Team 36 The start of leg 3 was set for an interesting and challenging leg across the salt lake Frome. Challenging it was with the salt crusted layer taking its toll on my feet in a big way. Owen’s Nav was supremo as always and he landed us in 13th place After the gruelling leg across the lake. A needed rest was well deserved and after 3 hours sleep in transition we hit the bike leg hard and made some ground on the above place teams.
meals as Thursday in XPD 2103. The salt trek took a bit out of us. Thanks here to robin for starting trek with 16 litres of water in his pack. Team travelling well, and enjoying it more as the weather is cooling, slowly. Soldier On – Team 33 We started off extremely well but as with most teams the salt lake and the heat has taken its toll slowing our progress. The team is still in high spirits and beside some blisters and chaffing everyone is feeling fit and happy, bring on the rest.
We left transition in 19th and am now in 10th. I am worried I will not make it through this trek. My feet have blisters on their blisters and are taped up to the hilt. I’ll do my best to push through the pain as I did with ol Salty and even clipping in and out of cleats on the bike is horrible.
Fully Rad Team – Team 31 To say this has been hard is an understatement of biblical proportions. The last 3 days have been hot hot hot. We are all suffering from over heating and dehydration. We started the rogaine strongly hustling along with some of the best. Pete’s nav was superb with Dave, Irene and Rich trail blazing and nailing CPs.
Havacrack – Team 32 32 ‘Avacrack, we’ve shortened the name to save weight. Phew, none of us will be adding salt to our
Bivouac Colts - Team 39 This place is unreal, loved the salt flat and 30km on a bearing in the dark but will happily never go near
another salt flat again. Sleeping, drinking and eating now at the TA until we are fully recovered. Cooler temp forecast for the race so hopefully will be back in the game soon enough but safety first out here, not the terrain/weather you want to take chances with! CYCO GOT – Team 40 Oh yeah what an incredible two days we have had. Brutal is the only word to describe the temperatures and the harshness of the salt lake. The team is coming together nicely and is working as a tight little unit. We are looking forward to the next few legs and getting some of the bigger treks and bikes under our belt. MAWSON – Team 26 Hi everyone. It’s hot. Noel had a few cramps after the first trek, so stopped for a massage. Recovered and then we bet the bike boxes to the next transition. The salt lake REALLY got interesting when we walked through a few km of shoe deep lake water.
Main Story Stage 3: 51km Trek - Lake Frome We hit the lake at 1:30am with the CYCO Girls on Top. Our decision is to go directly at CP 8 on a bearing of 165 degrees, using the stars with no headlights on.The CYCO Girls on Top, head around a little further for their route choice.We walk through the night, only having three 10minute rests for food and sleep. As the sun comes up, to our surprise the island CP 8 is right in front of us. After second guessing our position for a short while, we decide to trust our bearing and head straight at the island in front of us. As we get closer, teams start to appear. First we see CYCO Girls on our left about 1.5km away, then Juggernaut slightly behind on our right and Outer Edge Racing on our far right. We all hit the CP and then start heading towards the TA. Juggernaut & CYCO girls take the lead. Not long after that I’m having my first hallucination. I can see water. Noel comes past and says,“I think we need your boat.” I say,“No it’s too far to travel.” Then to our surprise, the teams in front stop and turn around and start walking back! There is water, a shit load of it. The question is: how deep is it? We start to back track to see if we can walk around it. The water just keeps getting bigger.Juggernaut and we decide to have a crack and just walk through it. They lead the way and we follow; it ends up only being ankle deep. Back on track we go. Another few hours pass, we’re out of the water now and the two teams in front of us start heading left. We head further right. Trevor is having some great hallucinations; he keeps falling over a cliff. Noel keeps seeing a fishing pier, Kev is suffering at the back and my mind is just concentrating on keeping me upright. Finally we decide to take our first break in about five hours, a quick ten minute rest stop. We all sit down. As I say,“I’ve got the clock, ten minutes only,” two seconds later a camera man pops up and says, “Get up! Come on, you’re almost there!” Just the injection we need. Off we go towards TA, only 4km to go and no water left. So much for that 35litres! We hit TA in third place. My feet are shot. I have a new addition to my blister count. This one is about 10cm long and 4cm wide on the ball of my right foot. Yaaaay! I quickly wrap my feet and cut my bike shoe to allow my foot to get in. (Thanks Jan.) The flies are unbelievable, 1000’s upon 1000’s.
How do you begin to describe an experience that is beyond description? Words are a start but words can only paint a picture that at best conveys a pictorial sense to the reader. Words are sterile until they are fertilised by the imagination of the person who reads. On their own, words are onedimensional; they lack the visceral nature of the experience, the sights, the sounds, the tastes, the touch and ultimately the mental turmoil that engulfs the few in the reality of their chosen adventure. Can one experience have the power and the position to define an entire event? Indeed, can it define an entire genre? Leg Three of XPD 2013 did that for me and I believe many of my fellow adventurers would feel the same. The monster that was Lake Frome would become a defining moment in our lives. It is prosaic to say we were adrift on a sea of white. Where multiple footsteps meant nothing - where the march of time was measured not by any visual references but by the track of the sun; where any anchoring to reality dissolved into a mirage. Where your only point of sanity was a compass bearing that pointed to nothing. This was the reality of the Lake - a surreal place that became for me an outer world experience. Most of us live sanitised lives. Some of us have a job, kids and a family - some of us don’t. Either way, for most of our daily lives we live in a regime - we work, we train, we socialise and we do stuff! Our lives are generally co-ordinated and measured by rationality - and some of us - a privileged few, choose to be Expedition Adventure Racers. Perhaps we were born a hundred years too late. What we seek would have been the norm, a sensible day’s work when the world was traversed by square-riggers and there were spots on the map marked “there be dragons”. In another time, would we have been those adventurous souls that tackled that great unknown? For many of us - I think he answer would be yes. And so the question is often asked, why do we do it? And I struggle to find an answer that can summarise the complexities of emotion, fear, elation, exhaustion, pain, challenge, pleasure and the suffering that all of us experience when engaging in an endeavour that takes us to a place that few have been. So the answer is ultimately paradoxical; if you have to ask the why then you will never be able to understand the how. Because it is only the souls that have been,
done and endured that can truly understand the why. And so it was - with the journey that was Lake Frome. A monster by any description, a journey so simple and yet so diabolical: walk across a dry salt lake and on the way find a checkpoint on an island. When you start, the horizon is flat and so is the sky, it melds into one giant focal plane of white and hazy azure. The common point, a wavering mirage where
David Barlow - Rubicon
“ Where your only point of sanity was a compass bearing that pointed to nothing. This was the reality of the lake.”
A journey so simple and yet so diabolical
sky meets salt somewhere out on a vastness so great, that finding a comparable life experience is impossible. I look at the map with a scale of 1:150000 and a slow thought leaks like a dripping tap into my mind. What we are about to do is a step well beyond my navigational experience. At zero metres above sea level, the big flat of Lake Frome appears to stretch to the mythical edge of the world. At two metres above the salt, the horizon line is five kilometres away; there is absolutely nothing between me and the curve of the earth. Whichever way I look, it is white. It will take four hours of walking and twenty kilometres of nothing before the target will literally rise from a mirage. The island is a long way over the horizon. With a deep breath and a leap of faith the metaphor “to cast off” takes on a dramatic meaning for us all. Heat, flies, sun, wind and the crunch of salt under our feet become the rhythms of our life. Left right left right left right; it seemed we walked on the spot, marching up and down for hours. Logic said we were moving but without visual cues the mind became it’s own source of delusions. Is that the island over there? No, it must be that one, wait - what are all these other islands? No, that can’t be right, the compass points that way. And so it went. With no reference points for scale, little islands looked big and big islands looked small - those far away seemed close and the one close appeared distant. It was as though we were in a giant fun park - where mirrors distorted reality. When you are tired, sleep deprived and exhausted you seek to bend your current existence and make something that is not right fit your picture of what “should be”. And so it was. Many teams were to explore the smaller islands before they found “the one”. Eventually logic, sanity and rational thought prevailed and the checkpoint was found. With water low and severe blisters
forming, the unrelenting flatness and sharp salt crystals of the Lake began to take a toll on many. One more compass bearing to land, old hands now, we cast off from our island and headed to the shore - a mere 25 kilometres away. The sun had worn us down; our faces plastered in sunscreen appeared more haggard than our ages deserved. It was day two and the race was becoming a mission to endure. Somewhere out on the emptiness of the Lake our experience had shifted from the physical to the mental. As all expedition racers know - the journey and the fight was now within and so it would be for the remainder of the race. After relentless hours of staring at nothing, water emerged. At first it was a mirage - something not to be taken seriously. Then as time progressed it became very real and the cursing started. As did the anxiety - was it deep, would we have to swim, could we navigate around it and would we lose our bearing if we did so? The answer was simple - hold the bearing and hold your nerve. So we waded for five kilometres; a surreal experience within a surreal experience. Then the light left us, the day had gone in a blink and so had our strength. With darkness came a new challenge, how to find a checkpoint in a world of black amongst sand dunes and clay pans? A kindly placed red light, guided us into the Transition - a true beacon in a vast sea of nothing. Encapsulated in one leg of one race was a lifetime of experience. After 14 hours, Lake Frome had delivered: vastness, hardship, pleasure, amazement, suffering, wonderment, pain, perseverance, great beauty, anxiety, elation, relentlessness, frustration, strangeness, respect, challenge, rawness, tranquillity and mesmerising intensity. It is what Expedition Racing is all about. And that is why we do it.
“Everyone thinks we’re crazy for doing this, and I can now confirm that opinion as being completely valid.“ Adventurefit
HAMISH and THE WHEELBARROW Well it was a very long trek after our last post taking us nearly 21 hours through the night and through another hot day. It was a long and taxing leg but was topped off with a cracking pie at the Blinman general store. Bodies and blisters are very sore but we are still pushing on attempting to make the rope cutoff by Sunday 6:30pm. We had another mountain bike leg which had some great sections and Hamo only fell off twice. Trek was super hard nav and we had trouble with CP and just took a west bearing to the road and slept for 2hrs before having another go in the morn. Leo and I were both a little sick through the night so struggled but we took it slow and survived. Coulda Woulda Shoulda 18 In short, buggered. Since the salt lake (which has left a permanent scar in our minds) we’ve biked across the plains (90 km), completed a tricky nav section through the night (38km) and rode 68km down from Blinman. We even managed to grab 3 hrs sleep last
night as well. Grabbing a feed before heading off for a lap of Wilpena pound tonight. Due to the heat, night time is the key! Hello to those reading and love to the wives. The boys; Dan, Tim, Ben, Dan
on the seal - not much fun and reminded us of how quickly our race could end. All focused and on fire and ready to take on the rest of the course. Bring it hi from all of us :)
Team Juggernaut things were going great everyone strong and racing hard, we were having a great leg but we just broke a bike we have stripped the crank so we are down to one pedal on brads bike, we will get the hike done now and see what we can do when we get back here, might be towing it home, Big high to everyone watching our dot hope you are enjoying this as much as we are.
Soldier On – team 33 Right oh, first of all hello and love to all our families we are all doing well and in high spirits. Had a big couple of days tracking down check points in the sun. Kims nav has been awesome and we have been hitting the check points with a min of effort. Used the ground to mask our movement a bit yesterday after it became obvious we were being followed. Had a great ride today/last night some good downs and single track. Got to goo have a feed and get on to the rogaine.
HYPOACTIVE –Team 34 Having fun - check, Still Going - check, No fights check, plenty of good pics ( mostly Kate falling off her bike). CYCO GOT – team 40 Have had an incredible day today. Awesome as trek in hot hot conditions followed by amazing mountain bike. Deb managed to get taken out by a kangaroo
Vicious & Delicious - Nightmare on Flinders Ranges! was really hot and we sweltered! The T/A was a welcome relief because we were able to shower BEFORE heading off again in the heat to walk god knows how many hills we went over, through, around and over the Flinders Ranges.
main story Stage 4: 90km MTB to Wirrealpa Station Our plan is to find CP 10 and then have a sleep. I stuff the nav up twice on the way to CP 10. It takes us about 25 minutes longer to get there. Finally sleep time! It’s been around forty hours since we had our last sleep. I bring up in conversation to Captain Kev that this is my longest mountain bike ride ever. The look on his face is priceless! “What do you mean?” he says. I tell him my longest mountain bike ride is about 50km. The TA is at the sheep station - what a beautiful place. We all decide to have a hot shower (what a great idea).
Stage 5: 36km Trek Angorichina Station to Blinman First we head off for CP 13. We miss by one whole mountain range. Not a good way to start, but we get there. Noel sets us on our way again. We hit the water drop, thank god for that! It’s hot. We head up the creek and follow Soldier On to CP14. From here on Trev and I push the pace, the sun is going down and we want to have a shot at CP15 in the light. We miss again. After about an hour of sitting on the top of a hill no less than 500m away from where we should be, we decide to take a safety bearing west towards the road. We hit a farm house. We miss again! We look for another 2 hrs. We have a crack at what seems to be the only hill top we haven’t looked on. As we walk up the hill, team Bear Hunt walk past us, and straight to the mark. Six hours of looking! Some 20 plus hours later we finally arrive at Blinman and we decide to have a sleep. This is a weird night. We all crash in the hall. About an hour in to our two hour sleep, Trev jumps up banging and crashing while running out the door. Then five seconds later walks back in and goes back to sleep. For me, I wake up freezing cold having a weird dream trying to get into my pack. All I remember is tipping the contents of my bag on me, then curling up in the fetal position and going back to sleep. Stage 6: 68km MTB Heysen Range We plan for a monster day: ride, trek, ride, climb and ride. Team Mawson is about to ride the Mawson trail. We’re sitting in about 10th place. The pace is on, the train is formed and off we go. What a ride, the best of the trip by far. I think anybody that rode this leg during daylight would have loved it: high speed, down hill, single track and picturesque. Only one small glitch on this one, Trev breaks the rack off his bike. I feel the pace towards the end, but spirits are still high, all enjoying the challenge.
Additional images fully rad aventures
TO THE POUND
“Glad to be off our bikes now even though we had some epic mt biking today. I think we’ve chalked up our 15th puncture.” Osprey Packs
Team Real Discovery 7 Thank you everyone for your such a great support and messages. It is around 3AM Sunday morning at Transition area in Wilpena where we finally could see your trail mails. It has been tough course but everyone pushing hard to complete the course. - especially the salt lake leg was really hard on feet. Maki`s feet got some damages but somehow she is trying to deal with this. HAMISH and THE WHEELBARROW Well it was a very long trek after our last post taking us nearly 21 hours through the night and through another hot day. It was a long and taxing leg but was topped off with a cracking pie at the Blinman general store. Bodies and blisters are very sore but we are still pushing on attempting to make the rope cutoff by Sunday 6:30pm. We had another mountain bike leg which had some great sections and Hamo only fell off twice. We bedded down at the transition fro 2 hours quick sleep and have now got up to bang out the Wilpena Pound
circuit before the ropes. We all feel pretty horrible but are going to keep going with the half way camp now looking closer. We hope you are all well. Adventurefit - Team 12 We’ve made it to Wilpena Pound. Many many thanks to those of you who have left messages on the website! We’ve all just huddled around the computer in transition reading them whilst eating dinner. Deb potato & rehydrated peas for me. Dave & Scotty have wild mushroom and lamb risotto, which sounds a great deal more gourmet than it actually is. Today was a good day, following what was a horrendous night. We misplaced ourselves in the dark and had to backtrack for hours to find a checkpoint which we later realized we were only 15 metres away from on the first attempt. After that mishap we bunkered down for some sleep and then continued on at dawn, when we could actually see the terrain, which improved things dramatically. Dave continues to astound by
navigating directly to controls, I think by using magic. Today’s bike leg was great, and with Mick giving me a bit of a tow we powered through the bitumen section, and then had some fantastic downhill trails & views through Wilpena Pound. Isodopes Hi everyone thanks soooo much for all your thoughts we are having a ball. Great riding today , a bit of everything , about the head out into the night trek. We are all travelling well, Ian still has some great jokes, AP ‘s paper cut has healed and the earle is going great guns on the nav. Ian and I are having a competition for the best blisters!!! BAAM – Team 37 BAAMAmazing team work and effort. There has already been 1,000 team and individual experiences in this race. We started out strong, only to finish the stage with Bill suffering heat exhaustion. And, what a recovery, after another two days of racing he is now back in form and blasting along. OK - out for a night trek in the beautiful mountains.
“Highlight of the day was definitely the ropes section – Mick said he had never been so scared in his entire life.” Muppets
Hamish and the Wheelbarrow -Team 8 Everyone was in good spirits after making good time to base of the roping leg. On the way up to the base of the cliff we came across several teams on their way down, all assuring us that we were in for a treat. The 100m ascent didn’t disappoint. Keep an eye out for the photos.
were deep orange, the air fresh and we were pumped. How can you have so much fun in one adventure race.
Ongoing Concern – team 9 We have had an awesome Day 5! A short bike ride and we trekked up in hot hard conditions to a sheer rock face. Awesome views over the surrounding Plains and Mountains. We were soon hooked up to the ropes and all four of us went up the rock face together. An absolute blast which was topped off by a ‘flying fox’ descent back down.
Coulda Shoulda Woulda – Team 16 By a stroke of luck we passed the Visitor Centre right on opening so got a quick coffee before heading to Moonarie. The ropes course was great, it was funny to see so many ropes on the Great Wall. It looked a bit like power lines had been installed overhead. We were all very tired and vague so the rope guys and the TAFE students made sure we were tied in.
GOLDFISH – Team 11 If we thought Wilpena Pound was special nothing could have prepared us for the ropes this morning. On our bikes at 4 we arrived at the check in and then scrabbled up the ascent in the dark arriving at the base of the wall just as the sun rose. The rocks walls
Adventurefit – Team 12 Dave here. Quick report as we`re about to head out on the big bike leg. Been travelling really well and moving up through the field out of the Pound. Worked it hard on the short bike to Moonarie then pumped it up the climb to the base of the rope ascent
Isodopes – team 15 Yesterday was the best day of mountain biking ever, and today was the big wall climb. Let Mikey Johnston know we made it up the wall.
halving the expected time of 90 minutes and passing three teams in the process. Highlight of the race so far was the ascent up the cliff. Nokondi – Team 20 We have loved everything except for the near death experience with dehydration on the first day..)…. we had to skip a couple of check points to make the rope section but glad we did as was very enjoyable. Yesterday started as a shocker..we forgot collectively to carry our running shoes to the climb section while riding so begged and borrowed 3 pairs ( all 1 to 1.5 sizes too small ) and made it through by putting up with the pain and DC walking in socks for the mornings leg. Mawson Its really been great fun and very challenging, but as Noel says without challenge there is no change. We all want to be there, and get great rewards from what we are experiencing. We did the ropes last night, we were stuffed, it was edgy but once again exhilarating.
main story Stage 8: Roping Moonarie No break this time, off we go to the rock climbing. On the way we hit our first mechanical - a very large rock in the middle of the track. I manage to stay on as Kev and I both hit it pretty hard. Bang goes my tyre. Beep goes my mouth. Twenty minutes later, with a half inflated tube and an offset tyre we head off again. We make it to the rock climbing TA.
From the TA it’s a further one hour,forty minute walk up to the rock climbing. Up,up and then up again. Noel hits the wall first and his climbing experience shows. He’s halfway up the wall before anyone else is even clipped in. Great climb, our only disappointment was that we climbed it at night. We head back to TA for a twenty minute sleep. Stage 9: 54km MTB Chase and Druid Ranges to Mid Camp We head off and about 15km into the ride my head is all over the place.
The route and distances don’t quite match up. I can’t even read the map. We turn around and head back to a small shed for a sleep. We all crowd into the little tin shed, I think it was a chicken coop; the wind blows and the temperature drops. Trev snores and the tin roof bangs. I get no sleep, but do have a great rest. Up we get, off we go. To my surprise, we manage to find our way through the pass in the night. At this point we come to our first and only hike a bike, still nowhere near Hells Bells. The boys have great fun riding down the other side. From here onwards I have my worstnav and biggest down of the race. In the following two hours, I get three punctures and still can’t find the CP (ruin). I throw my bike down, crack the shits and walk off in complete frustration. When I get back the boys have almost fixed my bike (thanks guys). Noel suggestswe go back and try another track. It works and off we go. We finally find the ruin but then can’t find the CP. We continue to look for a further forty-fiveminutes. Then another team arrives andTrev says, “If you can find it I’ll give you $100.” They reply, “How about a round of drinks?”Two seconds later they find it. I think this is the first time I have ever seen Trev frustrated. On we go to mid camp. Mid Camp We arrive and head straight in for a feed. Then the boys all head to bed for a sleep. I jump on my bike and ride into Hawker to the bike shop. “One drive train clean and tube repair please.” This time I have a sausage roll, a pack of Tim Tams, a large chocolate milk and a bottle of lemonade. Back to the bike shop, a mum and son back yard business. Ten dollars for a complete bike service! Thanks . Sensational!
Richard Old - Fully Rad Adventures
“ As I ascend my team mates are revelling in the moment. I am fighting the voice in my head that is saying “You don’t want to do this!”
An adventure race can be broken down into pieces - legs, CP’s, TA’s - I find after the race it is usually best separated into moments - highs and lows, wins and losses, pain and just mild discomfort. XPD Flinders presented extreme moments – epic highs and deep deep lows for me. My lowest point lies very early in the race – Leg 1. The end of the day sees the team sitting on a nondescript track perhaps no more than 3km from TA1 as the sun is setting. Our fast start has been slammed to a slow crawl as I struggle with heat exhaustion and dehydration. I have reached my limit and the team rallies around me as I am positioned on all fours convulsing, crying and vomiting. This is not a good start and I am not a happy camper. My head space has gone to pot. The only water that remains is the purified filth from the creek earlier. It is a taste I will never forget. But the team fuel me up with what little they have and give me tablets that settle my stomach. Then they drag my sorry arse up and on to TA1 - its lights and reward of food and water are an oasis and command me to push on. We arrive to see many teams in the same predicament – it is like a war zone with teams nursing sick team mates while at the same time resting, refuelling and rethinking their approach to this unforgiving landscape. The team sit and rest as I drink, eat and get my head back in order. There is a long way to go and the salt lake beckons – this is going to be fun.
the team quickly realise that I am fighting demons
My highest point would undoubtedly be Leg 8 – roping at Moonarie – both literally and metaphorically. I am not the best with heights and always knew this was going to be a challenge while at the same time a once in a lifetime opportunity. We left Wilpena in high spirits and refreshed. Hitting the ropes mid morning we tackled the trek up quickly. As we climbed the magnitude of what we were
about to tackle slowly grew. The ropes team were well rehearsed and ready for us when we arrived. It helped to have the friendly face of Rob Marlow greet us as well – this took a bit of the edge off and lightened the mood. Safety briefing, rope check then up we go to the start point. Ok – I tell myself – we have practised this – just focus on the action – get this done. Once the team is all hooked up we start. As I ascend my team mates are revelling in the moment. I am fighting the voice in my head that is saying “You don’t want to do this!” We keep climbing up and the team quickly realise that I am fighting demons . They rally around me shouting words on encouragement and willing me up. Up we go. I dare not look down – I am focused on the action – lift with the legs – trust the rope – get to know the rock face. Mid way things change quickly. My brain all of a sudden says “No” – this is not going to happen and I freeze. “Oh –
crap” My team mates try every trick to bring me round. I realise in a brief moment of clarity that there is only one option – UP. I argue with myself – “get your butt moving” Up we go – albeit slowly – pose for a photo – I don’t think so – the others pose – I keep focused on the goal – the top. Over the lip to the ledge – the view is stunning – damn we are high - the job is done – well not quite – still got to get down. As I am lowered down the ropes the team joke that I grip the rope like my life depended on it – in my head it did. I look out and up and take in what has just been accomplished. The team celebrate . What did XPD Flinders teach me – this really is a team sport – throughout my race I was supported by team mates or I supported my team mates – this is a team event for it is not something you could tackle solo but more importantly it is something that to truly appreciate needs to be shared. XPD Flinders has created memories that as cliché as it sounds will last a lifetime and moulded a team that can now tackle any challenge.
Additional images David barlow
“Woke up to tackle the remaining when we hit a 700m vertical climb , very hot at 11pm at night we were sweating when a nasty storm blew in it started raining sideways blowing trees sideways” Fully Rad To The Power of Sick
Adventurefit – Team 11 The big 155 km ride which I’d been dreading turned out to be one of our best legs, and we were pretty pumped after it and decided to head straight out on the 50 km Mount Remarkable trek, which was horrendous and took about 16 hours, but we slogged kept passing team after team during the night. Admittedly some of those we passed were sleeping, which made it fairly easy although we did have to tiptoe carefully past them. We arrived at the Melrose transition at about 5.00am in 10th place to find that Bearhug, the team directly ahead of us, had decided to take a nap in transition before heading out on the last leg. Coulda Woulda Shoulda (Team 18). As a personally set challenge to replace the kayaking, we decided to try and pull an all nighter on the 50 kilometre Mt Remarkable hike. We were walking zombies, falling asleep as we walked and stumbling sideways, then waking up and continuing on. We looked for anything to keep our minds alert, resorting to tracking our progress on easy ground just to give us
something to stay focussed on. In the end we realised we were moving so slowly it wasn’t worth continuing so we caught a quick nap. PHAROS - 27 We saw Juggernaut out there who had left hours before, so didn’t feel too bad about our start. From there we got the job done, but pulled Paul around who was still struggling. We decided to get some sleep in Aligator Gorge and were rudely awakened by That’s Cray. Refreshed we packed and the race was on. We had picked up pace and appeared to be on par with them, though I’m sure they looked fresher than we felt. When they stopped we turned on the gas as we went up the hill. We then checked the tracker, finding out the kayak was cancelled, which gave more incentive to put on some ground. Our efforts to gain ground blew us out and also wrecked our feet. At the last of the grass they went past us and were gone. BAAM – Team 37 Amazing, Last nights trek is now formally quoted as “BRUTAL”. A 55km trek through, up, down, and
around the flinders rangers. This leg took us 22 hours of hobbling and dealing with major blister issues on terrain that you wouldn’t send a goat over. With sleep depravation and blisters effecting Ado and Dougie, speed crept to 3 km/hr. We found the Flinders Hilton (option; hikers hut) and slept comfortably for 2 hours while a major storm front came in with 80kt winds a colder 3c - Over the next 35km of the trek our feet started to pull apart which was not a great experience. Outer Edge Racing The weather gods started delivering sideways rain while we were tracking down a control point, and Becs was struggling to stay awake while walking (and has no memory for a chunk of that search) and getting really cold. We aimed for a hut and were incredibly relieved when it emerged from thick clouds, offering a refuge to spend a few hours sleeping off the weather. The hike finally ended, and the news that a few teams that had overtaken us during the night were not too far ahead.
main story Stage 11: 51km Trek Mt Remarkable Mount Remarkable here we come, 51kms of uphill shit with sore feet. Time to suck it up and just get on with it. We start the leg at 4:31am, two hours and thirty-five minutes behind Soldier On, in
8th place.Alligator Gorgeis a beautiful way to start the walk. Trev powers on as usual, Kev and I push through our pain and Noel just keeps going. We are all a bit tired on this walk and it shows. Kev takes a slip and goes for a swim in the narrow stepping stone section of Alligator Gorge. The laughs go out, and spirits are lifted again. Then we hitthe 7km trek up Mt Remarkable. Hot sun, strong winds and tired bodies make this a real challenge. The sleep monster bites me hard here, as I find myself talking to the mountain like it was a person challenging me. Noel comes past and looks at me weird. I just say,“sleep monsters”. On our way to the 2nd CP, nature calls. About a kilometre down the track Kev stops me and tells memy bag is open and I’m dropping stuff. I run back over the hills for about a kilometre and manage to find all five items I had dropped. The largest being a crape bandage and smallest, my money bag containing $150. Lucky boy. We manage to find the CP without too much fuss. By now my feet are really hurting and I decide it’s time for some Panadol.
Kev has a couple as well. What a relief, the pace quickly increases as we all realise that none of us want to be out here tonight and I want to take advantage of no pain for a while. We hit the final CP and head for the TA. On the way down the final 5.4km trail towards the TA we see some headlights. Our pace quickens, still not fast enough for Trev but quite fast overall. We catch the lights towards the bottom of the hill. It’s team Soldier On. We say a quick hello on our way through.As we approach the TA the tasks are given. Noel is to get some hot water, while we get the bikes ready and I grab the maps. We decide to take our time as the dark zone is already here. When we arrive at the TA, officials say to us, “It’s been great watching you on the computer chasing each other.” We say. “What? We’re taking our time, saving energy for the paddle.” That’s when the guy says, “The paddle has been cancelled. Haven’t you read your yellow brick?” We all reply, nope. “You have a 65km ride straight to Port Augusta.” Many colourful words fly under our breath.
Paul Gruber - Pharos
“ Dawn sees us at the summit and then we have a 5km decent that seems to go forever”
Michael Phillips - The Muppets Hawker to Mt Remarkable
and in good spirits. Highlights include visiting graveyards and gravesites along the way – always interesting during the night. We check our yellow brick at a checkpoint along the way and find out that the paddle is cancelled due to dangerous wing conditions – bummer we were looking forward to this.
Leg 11 Trek - Mt Remarkable 51k We headed in to towards the trek with hot meals in hand almost 4 hours behind Juggernaut, but our pace felt like it was at an all time low. The long flat asphalt section leading to the trailhead we passed the time discussing our current rate of movement and likely scenarios for the dark zone, as it was looking like we wouldn’t make it to Port Germaine before dark.
We were woken by another team walking past us. I’m not sure we made much sense when we chatted other than telling them our team name. Like a flash we packed up sleeping bags and started climbing up the stairs. It must have been an awesome sleep we had, or the excitement of seeing a new team on the scene as I was now feeling great and Mick had lifted his pace and was now able to jog slowly. This kept us in touch with the fresh looking and speedy pace of That’s Cray. We stayed in touch with them through the flat creek section leading to Scarfes Hut. Just before the hut they stopped for a rest and we pushed on, starting the long heartbreaking climb up towards Mt Remarkable. We concentrated on getting some food in, and water as we climbed. The hills were massive and the maps showed this climb was going to last most of the day still. The higher we got, the windier
It is amazing to reflect on what you can fit into six days with three like minded team mates and 30 other teams that share a common vision – this is the xpd adventure race. For team muppets it all starts when the notification goes out advising of the next xpd race, I go home from work to the family and within ten minutes jo - my wife says to me “they have released the race dates haven’t they?” Apparently I am a dead giveaway, to be fair this will be race six for me (and team mate ab) so I guess she has sent it a few times now, but the excitement is as same as doing race one.
it seemed. I commented to the others that we would probably go backwards in the kayaks if these winds kept up. About 30 min later, I suggested we check the Yellow Brick. We pulled it out and selected the message inbox… I couldn’t believe it! “Karina, they’ve cancelled the kayak”. “I don’t believe you” she responded, “Give it to me!” To say she was elated would be an understatement! Mick on the other hand was not impressed, kayaking being his strongest discipline. I won’t repeat what he said! This put some extra emphasis to push up this mountainous trek. It lasted for another 30 min before we all started to feel a little flat and demoralised by the never ending hills. Some sections we were almost on our hands and knees to climb up. We refilled water at a tank as the mountainous rocky terrain became green rolling hills and proceeded to CP 42 on a creek corner, but by this time Karina’s feet were now cactus, and the off camber entrance and exit from the creek wasn’t helping. We picked up the Heyson trail markers here seemingly in the middle of nowhere. What sane person would walk this trail for
fun? Exiting the creek, That’s Cray appeared behind us. We had given our all on that climb and although we were putting on smiles, we were spent. We proceeded up the trail towards the out of bounds area. That’s Cray descended down before their final push to the summit while we attended to some now painful blisters on Karina’s soles and heel. We ended up using a packet of wipes … must remember to pack these for next race. The final push up to the summit was hot, windy and soul destroying. Just for good measure, I had another blood nose as we reached the summit. Little did we know the descent was going to be on rocky boulders the whole way. It was torture… every step seemed to make our ankles hotter and hotter until they burned. I don’t want to ever do again in my life. It felt like putting our battered and blistered feet into an oven fired mincer.It didn’t stop until the end of the trail when we came out at Melrose. I decided I’d rather walk up that mountain for 7 hrs than down that track for 2 any day!
The muppet team is organised and it will consist of me and Adrian who have each done five previous xpds, my brother Steve who will be in his third event and new boy Hamish who at age 20 ends up being the youngest competitor in the race. Hamish was so enthralled by the 2011 AR world champ race in tassie that we invited him to join in and he was keen you could get. The next months are spent fitting training in and around family and work, getting gear organised, travel and accommodation plans as well as keeping the bank balance as close to normal as possible. Then in a blink of an eye we are on a bus to the start line in outback South Australia. Off we trot along with the other teams into a very hot first day trek, for us we suffered just like many others, heat exhausted and dehydrated. Transition was very interesting, there are people vomiting everywhere – seems we are one of the better off teams! From there we are on the bikes and the start of our puncture nightmare in one section of track we had six and by race end we had a total 32 punctures. As a team I think we have had 6 or 8 punctures in our previous 5 races so we made up for it in this one.
In reflection the salt lake was an awesome trek ………. At the time it was long hot and monotonous but thinking back we got it done with minimal problems and got to see a spectacular sunset across an amazing area. Good night navigation got us through the next trek and into Blinman for an ice cream, back on the bike and the ride to Wilpena was as good as mtb gets. A sweet bit of single track led us into the transition and then out for another night trek. Back in transition and on the bikes, our race suddenly stopped 3km from wilpena when a back wheel failed, with no other option we ran it back to the previous transition to see what we could do, with no bike boxes things looked very grim until a life saver from one of the volunteers – aunty jan kindly donated a back wheel, we will be eternally grateful for her generosity. We rode to the roping section and soon found ourselves on one of the best xpd legs ever done a vertical ascent of a sheer cliff face, this one will go down as an all time favourite even though I
there are people vomiting everywhere
The slow pace worked against me as soon I was in struggle town and just wanted to close my eyes. After having concerns we had missed the turnoff of the track, and wasting time checking out creeks, Angus took over the nav and found our camp site a few hundred metres further up. The climbing started from here and soon we saw lights up ahead of us. I was confused as I couldn’t work out how Soldiers On had got ahead of us. Perhaps they’d taken an alternate route?? Turns out it was Juggernaut who had been going back and forth for hours trying to find CP39. This gave us a bit of a buck up mentally, though we stuck to our own pace and race. We saw them again on their way out of the staircase at the top of Aligator Gorge. We figured they had got CP 40 and were walking around rather than through the gorge, although it seems this wasn’t the case. I was still struggling and any chance I got, I’d curl up and close my eyes. The CP was located where the gorge opened up. We grabbed this one, filled up water bottles and continued down the gorge towards the entrance. At 5am we decided to have a 1 hr sleep in a nice spot just before the climb out, with Karina finding a nice rock for a pillow.
“ We limped into mid camp with only one AAA powered LED lighting our way and the sleep monsters well and truly with us.”
was shit scared – what a view. The volunteers at the rope section were brilliant and helped make us feel safe and more relaxed. From the ropes we are back on the bikes and enjoy a hike –a-bike up over gregories gap, then a nice tail wind ride in hawker and midcamp for a bit of r&r.Next is a 155km bike leg that we start around 9pm, the ride goes very smoothly with some good practical jokes being played on each other to keep us awake
Dawn sees us in quorn – too early for breakfast so on we go, the wind increases to ridiculous levels and we understand the reason for cancelling the paddle. Transition is quick and we are on a trek to mt remarkable. Along the way we stop at a shop and the female shop assistant takes a very keen interest our young team mate which resulted in some free biscuits for the “cute young fellow”. Further on the trek we find a golf ball who is quickly named Gordon, we have some great times with Gordon on this trek – funny the things you do during an xpd race. We trek through the night and encounter some “tassie” weather with the temperatures dropping, wind and rain. Dawn sees us at the summit and then we have a 5km decent that seems to go forever and eventually we are transition and on the bikes to the finish. A pretty cruisy ride home sees us pass family and friends on the outskirts of Port Augusta who have been over for the race – a nice moment. We arrive at the finish line in 11th place. We congratulate each other and sit on the couch to savour the moment – this is the best part of xpd. I love this race and its organisation, the places it takes you, the experiences, the physical demands and the mental strength required to complete the event. Add in team mates with the same desires and you have the ultimate team sport. It is so refreshing that in a world where we seem to have a culture of making things easy and comfortable ,that there is events like the xpd where it is just you and your team mates, and all decisions made are your responsibility, if its hard and tough you get over it, if its broke you work out how to best fix it and you get to experience and see some of the most stunning environments on the planet. Finish the xpd and normal life seems that bit easier. My favourite comment when I see someone stressing over little things is you need to do an adventure race .
FINISH THE GLASS
“Gobsmacked! What a fantastic event...had a ball, wouldn’t be dead for quids!!” Team Goldfish
Soldier On – Team 33 Well XPD is now completed, 7th place, the team is amazed at what we have managed to achieve only having met for the first time a couple of days before the event, and the support we have received is overwhelming so thank you all, We’ve had an incredible time at this event pushing ourselves past our personal limits and the team feels that we have achieved our goals of firstly getting public awareness for Soldier On and secondly completing this gruelling race as a team.
competitor in the field), who battled sleepmonsters, sleep deprivation and of course epic legs to survive his first ever adventure race.
RUBICON – Team 23 We made it! we just finished riding in from Melrose and are relaxing on the finishers couch eating pizza and enjoying some cold champagne.
Mountain Designs – 14 XPD finish with a paddle. The only two who got on the water! A little bit shorter than expected. But, the team was in great spirits knowing that we were going to cross the line ahead of all other teams, For Schlossy!
MUPPETS – team 24 Stumps officially pulled on Tues at 12.56 with muppets arriving at the finish line in 12th position. Well, an epic journey with lots of highs and lows. A big congratulations to Hamish (the youngest
HYPERACTIVE - Team 34 The HypoActive team has reached the “Finish Couch” of XPD 2013!! Kate, Hal, Michael (Hully) and Andrew are all sitting down eating the celebratory awesome tasting pizza and champagne having reached the
Ongoing Concern – team 9 We are four very happy adventure racers! We finished XPD to a beautiful sunrise in Port Augusta about 6am this morning. We are stoked having ‘cleared the course’ getting to all the check points on the course (a first for us).
finish line together as a complete team of 4 people. Everyone is healthy, happy and still friends. Team Real Discovery #7 Finally… Finally got to the finish line – although kayak leg was cancelled due to strong wind. It’s been a long journey to come here. 2010 GeoQuest, 2011 ARWC and here XPD Flinders Ranges. It’s been such a long and challenging race. The heat attack, flat tires, bike issue, sickness etc... but We travelled the whole course with team of 6. CYCO GOT – Team 40 XPD 2013 – OVER woohoo – We tamed the course that was XPD 2013. What a brutal, tough, stunning fun course that was. We are very proud to have a podium finish – Best result for a GOT team EVER. Thanks to all our supporters, we hope you enjoyed watching our dot. We apologise for the numerous times our dot went walkabout, but that is the nature of the Australian Outback.
Mt Remarkable and Kayak to the Finish
Now Sloshy was on the maps again and had said this trek had some hills. We encouraged Leo to once again set the pace, and to run a bit……as it meant we would just get there faster…..both he and Sloshy had bad blisters. So this is the point where I started to get excited, I just tried to keep the pace up, whenever it was flat, downhill or not too steep I was running and the boys just had to keep up. We had 5 CP’s on this trek, two were in creek junctions, one at a hut, one at a creek bend and the other right on top of Mt Remarkable. We found CP 39 and 40 quite early on and then we had a 13km downhill run ……yes 13km…..my knees were aching so much I had to slow to a walk …..We were all falling asleep again so Gary was singing Peter Allen‘s ‘I go to Rio’ and dancing all the way down the hill….we were playing name games to keep stay alert! We hit Alligator Gorge in the dark…..it was so amazing, and awesome running and rock hopping along flat rocks…..lucky it was flat and dry! Out of the Gorge we had a trail run to Blue Gum Flat, and 7k seemed to take forever on the windy trail….we all were taking turns on the front to keep up the pace. We hit CP 41 just on daylight and commenced the climb up the ridge of Mt Remarkable …..over 800m of climbing….again somehow I was on fire and setting a cracking pace…..poor Leo just had to keep up…..he was trying so hard to ignore the pain! CP 42 in the creek was just beautiful, it was lush and green and looked like a sheep’s paddock in NZ…….but soon the terrain changed yet again on the final ascent up to the peak. We found CP 43 at the trig point and commenced the 7k descent into Melrose……it was a single track all the way, and it was in full sun…….Gary and Sloshy were playing aeroplanes in the background (falling asleep again) as Leo and I just kept motoring …..we just wanted to finish. As we arrived in Melrose the town bell rang and all the MTB riders in town from an 18hr MTB race were all cheering us on! We had arrived before midday and paddle was now a reality….so another quick transition….and we were out of there. Leg 12 MTB - The Bridle Track – 38k Leo went into the café, purchased 4 paddle pops and we rode off with these in hand……it was now super-hot again and the wind was behind us….but we set a scorching pace. We climbed up to the top of the range and we could see the
ocean! The final descent into the Port Germien was awesome…….spectacular views and super-fast riding…….we hit the TA at 2pm……mission accomplished….so we thought! Sloshy was reduced to tears when he saw his wife Lea and son Kyson at the TA to greet him….a total surprise! Everyone was so excited for us to be in the lead…it was the best feeling ever!
Leg 11 Trek - Mt Remarkable 51k
His new nickname was ‘the fire walker’
Leg 13 Paddle – Spencer Gulf – 87k It was a real challenge to get going, we knew we would not get to paddle far, as we would have to stop paddling at 6.15 ….the dark zone! So we packed food and water for our overnight camp, as we had a jet boil and dehydrated meals. What we did not realise is that it would take us another hour to get the kayaks to the water….as the tide was out! I am sure it was more than 1k….so we had to carry them all that way……and it was so windy....thought we were going to get blown off the pier! I have no idea how we had any energy left…..but we found it somehow. At about 3.45pm we started paddling into the wind, it was very bumpy and I was totally soaked and freezing……we made it to the sand bar and had another portage…….I had to put on a jacket……and it did not take too long for Leo and Sloshy to do the same……Gary was super-human at this point! We lugged the boats over the sand bar and began to paddle as hard as we could, as we only had one hour. At 6pm we started to come in close to shore to find a spot to camp…… the tide was still out and it was a 400m hike back into the beach….Gary ran in and started a fire……and I just stood there and warmed up as the boys brought in the boat and the gear! We had a great night under the stars and had 9hrs sleep. Gary announced that his new nickname was ‘the fire walker’ as he got up in the middle of the night and walked across the hot coals……forgetting where he was and that we had a fire…..he was very lucky not to have severe burns! We were just packing up ready to get paddling in the morning when Craig & Louise turned up…….they had bad news…… the Colts had portaged all night and were now just 5k up the road, but there was a severe wind warning and that the
paddle would have to be reduced. So we agreed to cut the paddle short but they still had to find the Colts…….they did, and we were picked up and taken to the TA loaded kayaks and headed north. The Colts had little sleep, and we had a 1hr 23 time credit as well as an extra 5k lead (which would equate to a 1hr head start for the shortened paddle)…..so our lead was not threatened….as we got further North…… the conditions were severe! So a decision was made to take us North of Port Augusta for a 10k paddle to the finish, and that we would start together, as our lead was impossible to beat realistically. So off we set finally, just 10k to the end of XPD….we had a tail wind and there were camera’s everywhere as IRB’s motored past …….it was a very emotional paddle into the finish line……we exited our kayaks arm in arm, with tears running down our faces……we could not believe what we had just achieved as a team, not only had we finished for Sloshy ….we had won XPD Flinders Ranges – World Series International Adventure Race. Thanks so much to all our friends, supporters and sponsors who have helped make a once in a lifetime opportunity a reality…….three weeks ago winning XPD was only a dream! Please support our sponsors Mountain Designs, Salomon, Hammer Nutrition, Ay UP Lights, and Tri Adventure.
Kim Beckinsale - Mountain Designs TriAdventure.com.au
“ We were all falling asleep again so Gary was singing Peter Allen‘s ‘I go to Rio.”
Stage 12: 65km MTB to Port Augusta I run inside to check out the new maps (not the best I’ve ever seen). The boys have a blinder, ready within eight minutes. The only problem, no bike shorts for me! Soldier On arrives and we are off. The officials just say go, go, go! We stop less than a kilometre down the road, are we going the right way? We quickly work it out and head off again. The train is formed and the speed increases. Ten kilometres down the road and the going is tough, with a 30 plus km head wind. We carry on through Wilmington to the pass; up,up and up we go. The team is falling apart. Communication has dropped and we are disorganised. A voice cries out, come on guys relax and enjoy. We settle back in and enjoy the down hill rush, 3 to 4km of high
speed fun. We make our turn and head towards Stirling North. The map says follow the highlighted route, but I can’t find the road.What a mess! There is only one problem, the road’s not on the map; it seems to be an old rail line. Where is the track? A local offers some assistance. We get back on track, but the map takes us towards the lights and then away from the lights. Frustration hits boiling point. And then bang!the cork blows. How about that - we go 650 plus kilometres having fun, enjoying the sights and then within 10 minutes of the finish line the fireworks go off ! Wow, my head is spinning now. We follow the road under the bridge around the corner and to the finish line. Yes, we’re done. We’ve finished!
Race Results 17
XPD - Australia's Expedition Adventure Race Full Pos Team
Mountain Designs (14) Race Time: 120h 45m inc credit 1h 23m Bivouac Colts (39) Race Time: 124h 17m inc penalty 2h 00m
CP9 CP12 CP17 CP21 CP25 CP28 CP30 CP38 CP44 CP47 Finish 19
09:00 15:27 19:08 05:55 12:42 09:30 14:48 22:03 03:35 09:15 23:15 11:32 14:45 11:08 20 09:00 16:39 21:42 16:39 08:30 19:15 01:00 07:00 11:06 15:25 06:30 19:41 22:45 11:17 21
CYCO Girls on Top (40) Race Time: 125h 10m
09:00 17:39 00:12 16:35 04:26 17:42 00:11 07:26 12:30 18:22 11:30 09:14
That's Cray (28) Race Time: 131h 03m inc penalty 0h 27m
09:00 17:37 06:44 22:30 10:15 02:36 11:48 21:12 02:47 15:15 00:00 16:02
Juggernaut (21) Race Time: 134h 17m Pharos (27) Race Time: 134h 37m inc penalty 2h 00m Mawson (26) Race Time: 135h 20m Soldier On (33) Race Time: 135h 38m Adventurefit (12) Race Time: 143h 59m Bear Hunt (5) Race Time: 147h 37m Muppets (24) Race Time: 147h 56m Outer Edge Racing (38) Race Time: 148h 20m Goldfish (11) Race Time: 148h 20m Coulda Woulda Shoulda (18) Race Time: 150h 25m Fully Rad to the Power of Sick (31) Race Time: 151h 38m BAAM! (37) Race Time: 152h 15m inc penalty 6h 00m
Controls and Time Visited
14:10 22 19:36 23
09:00 17:28 22:56 16:31 08:30 19:15 05:05 12:44 18:14 01:24 16:45 18:49
09:00 17:31 22:32 16:30 00:36 17:48 03:30 11:56 17:51 08:30 20:30 17:26
09:00 18:02 23:51 15:39 04:54 02:51 11:42 18:57 00:50 13:45 03:45 19:52
09:00 17:38 22:22 18:01 06:58 21:00 07:55 15:30 21:15 13:30 01:45 20:01
09:00 19:49 03:26 21:14 14:25 12:44 19:54 07:35 11:56 01:00 11:15 05:08
09:00 18:58 05:06 20:25 11:00 06:59 14:33 22:23 07:45 13:30 10:30 09:12
09:00 19:26 02:20 21:17 12:32 09:46 17:45 08:46 14:34 20:00 12:45 11:20
09:00 16:59 00:14 22:04 12:42 10:03 18:01 03:50 10:39 18:45 15:15 17:17
Vicious and Delicious (19) Race Time: 159h 42m
09:00 19:28 02:40 20:18 11:50 09:45 17:14 06:56 12:26 19:15 17:00 19:29
09:00 19:26 04:24 21:13 11:58 10:55 19:25 06:42 13:11 03:15 18:15 21:26
09:00 19:28 02:19 20:24 11:45 10:21 18:32 08:53 15:22 22:30 15:45 22:47
09:00 19:34 02:41 22:13 16:07 15:46 01:34 12:59 19:30 11:15 09:15 09:07
09:00 21:25 06:05 01:53 16:45 13:44 23:35 12:05 18:12 03:45 08:45 11:05
09:00 19:34 04:46 21:29 14:28 13:47 22:31 12:20 17:57 06:00 08:15 10:52
Ongoing Concern (9) Race Time: 165h 18m Isodopes (15) Race Time: 172h 28m inc penalty 6h 00m Rubicon (23) Race Time: 173h 07m Real Discovery (7) Race Time: 174h 41m Hamish and the wheelbarrow (8) Race Time: 186h 04m inc penalty 12h 00m
Controls and Time Visited
HypoActive (34) Race Time: 153h 40m Nokondi (20) Race Time: 162h 38m Osprey Packs (22) Race Time: 185h 15m inc penalty 2h 00m
CP9 CP12 CP17 CP21 CP25 CP28 CP30 CP38 CP44 CP47 Finish
09:00 02:15 14:45 03:23 15:30 18:45 03:15 15:55 03:22 15:45 08:45 12:30
09:00 21:25 09:00 02:53 15:07 15:45 01:05 10:55 15:53 23:45 19:30 21:20
09:00 00:29 14:00 03:51 22:08 10:17 22:08 11:15 18:56 11:30
Controls and Time Visited Start
Outward Bound Australia (29) Race Time: 156h 59m
09:00 18:57 04:41 01:20 13:26 09:45 17:47 02:15 08:33 17:00 08:30 06:46
09:00 19:27 03:31 07:10 16:15 11:20 19:12 06:08 14:14 21:15 15:45 12:20
09:00 18:38 00:44 19:22 12:50 08:31 17:19 04:27 12:17 18:45 20:00 16:40
Ekky Thump (16) Race Time: 155h 38m
09:00 16:49 22:32 17:59 08:30 09:54 15:58 01:41 10:13 15:30 08:45 10:12
09:00 18:53 02:53 21:00 13:24 09:15 17:39 03:53 10:54 16:00 10:30 08:55
09:00 18:49 23:56 19:20 11:18 08:13 16:49 07:25 13:01 00:30 18:00 16:24
Non Competitive / Unranked
09:00 18:47 01:04 16:57 08:30 02:27 13:28 21:47 03:58 10:45 07:15 01:22
Havacrack (32) Race Time: 155h 28m
Outer Limits (6) Race Time: 31h 03m inc credit 0h 10m S.A. Ambulance (36) Race Time: 48h 15m
CP9 CP12 CP17 CP21 CP25 CP28 CP30 CP38 CP44 CP47 Finish
09:00 15:37 19:17 08:45 16:13
09:00 18:53 02:59 20:04 09:15
Daisuke Minami - Adventure Team Real Discovery
“ I can not stop thinking about having the finisher glass someday”
In previous XPD in Tasmania, I closed this Personal Journey with following “I can not stop thinking about having the finisher glass someday.”. To achieve the goal, we started moving rather early to prepare for XPD 2013. We knew team building is core part of competing in XPD and personal strength comes on top of the base. We had a new teammate and started our team training about a year ago. We believed that we were becoming real one team.
The tragedy happened at that very moment. On 16 Feb 2013, our team member Nadia (Yoshiko Sunada)
I Promised to take nadia to the finish line and smile
and Toshi (Toshihito Shibata) went out to paddling training on the day and never came back. There were some partial witnesses, but no one really knows what exactly happened to them. That accident crashed our heart, but at the same time Goshi and I as remained team members committed to do XPD regardless. Therefore, the memorial ceremony at the start meant a lot - not only to us, but also adventure racing community globally. We all raced with the soul of them. The race started under very hard conditions. The heat and dehydration attacked us. We obviously under estimated water consumption, and it end up with drinking green salty water from the ground. The taste wasn’t that good! So glad we brought purification tablets. On top of this, Goshi started suffering from heat stroke. Eventually his condition recovered from couple of hours of rest, but it affected my sense of judgment how much further we should push ourselves
next couple of legs – particularly the salt lake. Be honest, I have never felt such fear in my racing history. Obviously the gap of the sense caused some internal conflicts in early stages. Regarding the heat stroke, I really appreciate some teams stopped by for us. Especially thanks to team Rubicon and Isodopes. The salt lake trek (leg3) was one of the highlights of course. After taking CP8, we were walking through middle of darkness. Suddenly, we realized there were thousands of stars blinking on the ground! It was a complete mirroring of the sky. It did not take long to recognize that we need to walk through the water though. It was something we don’t see in daily life. Due to cancellation of kayak leg, we were heading to finish line on day 8. As team of 6 (carrying 2 extra
bibs through the whole course), we could reach to the finish line. It is hard to express the feeling there. There were lots of hard and fun moments pre and during the race though, anyway we got there. When we decided to do XPD last year, I promised to Nadia to take her to the finish line and make her big smile. Nadia, I kept that promise!! Lastly, I would like to thank to my teammates, friends, families, sponsors, all XPD crews and competitors for all of your supports and thoughts. And special thanks to Todd being such a great teammate. We could not achieve this without having you! Okay, so what is coming next?