13 members of the Pulse fitness family joined Mal to take part in the Act Belong Commit Augusta Adventure Fest last weekend. A two-day festival of off road racing starting with the mini race on the Saturday and then the full race on the Sunday.
Mal (organizer extraordinaire) rented a huge house for the weekend about a half hour drive from the event. We all arrived at various points on the Friday. By 9pm the last person had arrived, rooms had been bagged, eskies emptied and the beer chilled. Together we pooled resources and cooked up a feast on the BBQ. We all sat around the huge communal dining table talking race tactics etc for the following day, sinking a few beers to calm any first time nerves, and sharing stories from past races.
The first person got up at 5am everyone else gradually followed. With everyone fed and watered and gear packed, we headed down to the event to get registered. Today was the mini race. It’s aimed at first timers, and those who want the adventure without the extremes. The course consists of a 600m ocean swim, 900m beach run, 3km off road trail run, 11.6km off road mountain bike ride, 2.7km coastal run, 6.4km inlet paddle then finally a very short run to the finish. It can be done in teams or as individuals.
In our group we had Elisha and Joolz as a team, Matt, Geoff, & Craig, then Steve, Jo and Drew as a team. Sharon and Mal were both doing the full race as individuals.
The weather couldn’t have been any better, blue sky’s, very little wind and not too hot. Having such good conditions helped calm a few nerves.
Rego done we got all our gear into the two different transition areas then those taking part headed to the swim start while the support crew headed back over to the first transition. It was a great atmosphere standing on the beach waiting to be called forward in the groups. Jules, Jo and Matt started with the swim for their teams. No problems for anyone and all excited the water in decent times and enjoyed the run to transition. Next it was running shoes on and then out onto the trail. It started with a short sharp hill, but once at the top the rest was pretty easy trail and really enjoyable to run. All the other participants were being sociable and chatting as they pass which is always great for motivation.
No problems for anyone on the run so next out on the mountain bikes. This was a first for Sharon but she enjoyed it. Steve put in the fastest split time. The surroundings were beautiful and it was fantastic to be out in the wild. However it had been so dry that it was very dusty & slippy ride.
Back in and next it’s the coastal run back to the other transition. This was fairly hard work as it was all sand and rock. However it again was beautiful out there. Rounding the corner and into the transition for the paddle and final leg. No worries here for most. Elisha had a great paddle and looked happy and relaxed out there steaming along, and Drew smashing it despite a few falls. And Matt did well despite pushing the QE2 around the course. The paddle is great for beginners because the inlet is actually very shallow in many parts, so if you happen to fall out its very easy to just step back in. Knowing this calmed a few competitors nerves. While out there several of the crew saw a mother and baby dolphin which is pretty awesome. Back in from the paddle and the team members all regrouped and did the run to the finish together. Mal and Sharon did their own, although Craig ran in with Sharon.
Tears, laughter, high fives and photos followed all round.
Once all the gear had been collected, we all pied back into the cars and headed home, via the bottle shop, for hot showers and a celebration feast.
Again we cooked up a storm on the barbecue and spent the evening eating, drinking, swapping stories, celebrating our success and discussing arrangements for the main race the following day.
Sunday is the day the big boys come out to play. The main race starts earlier due to the much longer course, so our participants headed down early while the support crew followed on later. Taking part were Luke and Mick as a team. And Mal, Jason, Geoff and Matt as the second team.
The course is 12.5km coastal run, 1.9km ocean swim, 13km inlet and ocean paddle, 32km off road mountain bike, 2.5km team run to the finish.
The weather started out pretty good so the guys got the run, swim and paddle out of the way in fairly decent conditions. But then the clouds rolled in and the heavens opened up. This meant that the mountain bike ride was muddy and harder but at least it was no longer dusty like the previous day. All our guys taking part have done this before and none of them had any problems. Rashes from the life vest and some minor sunburn oh, and Geoff’s poor knees but apart from that it was all good. In fact they all seemed really relaxed and were having fun out there. The Pulse support crew spent the race going between the transition areas to support the teams before heading to the finish line to be there when our guys came in. By this time it was quite wet so they stood huddled under a tree attempting to stay dry while they waited. From a spectator point of view it’s a great day. The atmosphere is great and it’s a really relaxed event.
With everyone safely across the line we headed back to the house for hot showers and celebration drinks. The evening was spent dissecting finish and split times and sharing stories of the day. Unfortunately a few of the group had to head back to Perth that evening leaving the rest to finish the weekend in style. After a good sleep, Monday was spent enjoying everything that Margaret River has to offer before heading back to Perth.
The date has already been announced for next years race. If you are a seasoned adventure racer or a complete novice it doesn’t matter. This is a great race and a great weekend away. The Pulse Fitness Team will be doing a rerun next year.
ARE YOU IN?