Sanna starts to put her point of view of the race. In another Post, Lina will have a report.
Here are some pictures of our prepacking:
During and immediately after the race, these are some of the thoughts and conclusions I had, Many things we did, many things we have to learn until next time. Just some good tips for everyone, randomly ordered:
What to bring on Adventure races:
Duck tape (can save a whole race, repair what ever, strap things, tighten something, etc etc. )
Densification paper (To keep your hands somewhat clean)
Lots of toilet paper (Prepeared if -when- a bacteria or bad luck hits you)
Camelbak (Easier to handle than a water bottle. Always within reach, and won’t get muddy. Though bring bottles too, when the camelback is empty) .
Dehydration pills (You will get thirsty, probably dehydrated, so get those pills in your drink, to prevent, and to fix)
One extra pair of sunglasses in any of the TA-boxes. (The favorite ones you’ll wear from the beginning of the race will most likely broke, get knocked of by a tree, or get lost)
Poles one pair on each trek. (If someone in the team gets injured)
Fast and good energy is definitely potato mash or root veggie mash in powder form (it only needs to be in a small plastic bag that one fill with some water. Shake it, make a whole with your teeth, and squeeze! )
Any salty food is preferred after some time. (Life saver were chips and cashew nuts)
Cinnamon buns. (Well, do I have to explain why? Cinnabon buns are always good).
A warm hat. (It gets cold, especially in Patagonia. You will be surprised how fast the temperatures drops, how strong the winds are, and how tiny you will be. )
Arm sleeves. (As above. Weahter chaning, and therefor easily to take on and off arm sleeves than be stuck in a jacket.)
Extra changing of clothes in all TA (Just in case. Everyone gets dirty, wet, drained, SOAKED. So a new pair of socks, or trousers can be luxury.)
Never quit. The race takes you out. You never take yourself out of the race!
And even so, that’s just what I did.
I’ll make a long story short. (but not very short). I save the race photos for Lina's report. We went out with good spirit and kept it quite long. Lina and I had our KING NAVIGATORS, and didn’t really have to bother about getting lost, cause there weren’t a big chance for that. We literally rocked the waves, and the calm water, hit by hail, rain, but also sun beams on the water. This area showed us some fast turning weather. When we entered the boats (as first teams after a short Rogaining start) It was like middle of the summer, so we skipped putting our wetsuit jackets on. Just after some thirty minutes, the clouds got dark and threatening, and we were suddenly shaking cause it was so chilly. We made some good decisions though, especially Lars, who brought three hats with him, so Lina and I got one each too, even though we looked like fools. Other on point stuff we did was dragging the boats on the shore, where we reckoned the waves were too violent for us to handle. On the trek, the boys were strong again, but Lina and I suffered with pain in our legs that aren’t fully recovered from massive amount of racing this summer. So, we couldn’t use the speed we are used too. A bit sad for Tom who had been stressed all winter in NZ to be fit for the race. However, we didn’t lose so much anyway, we kind of had the same speed as the other good teams. We enjoyed the surroundings that were SOOOO beautiful. Patagonia, we loved you from the very first glimpse.
Soon enough we head out on the bike leg, and experienced a sunset, one of a kind. Everyone was filled with some much joy. We kept a good speed. Moon Light mountain Gear lights showed us the way. It was up and down, quite varied on gravel roads, farm roads, dirt roads and some trails. We got really muddy, had cold feet, but good mood. It was nice to come to next TA for some hot food and changing of clothing. At this point my stomach refused to cooperate. I hate my stomach. I hate it is so weak. I hate it’s sensitive. I hate I got something in it that it didn’t accepted. I hate that that ruined my mood of the race. I got sad, angry and bitter, and against the others too I guess. But it also drained my energy. But we kept on going and found the trek quite nice and funny. Though with Lina’s knee also struggling. Lars took advantage of our slow pace though and had some micro-naps in the middle of the trails or on the moss of the off-trail sections. Tom didn’t seem to bother of anything. He was whistling, singing ABBA songs, and all kinds of old hits.
As sun arrived we were soon on next bike leg. It went well, a bit slow, but we could see no clouds on the sky. And we had a steady third place. Though both Lina’s and my stomachs were a big problem, and not funny for any of us. We couldn’t find a good flow in the race because of it. After some time, the navigators did an unexpected wrong turn, and we faced some sticky bushes for a while that took us a long time to get through. After that we found out the gopro were also lost. Many check points were only images we were supposed to take photos of. But Tom was eager to solve the problem, since it was he who caused it. He went out being the one and only painter, Picasso. It got accepted by the organizers.
We went downhill in line, looked quite much as pros. Who would have thought that? But who were we also to fool? Just minutes after, some dogs from a farm house (inside fences) came running and barking from the side of the road. My trust on Tom, I didn’t really notice them. But he did. He got afraid and made a sharp left turn. In that speed, I had no chance to brake, turn, or do anything, my wheel got stuck in Tom’s back wheel and my bike turn to the side in a long, sort of jump before crashing into the ground. I yelled loudly, shocked and scared. Tears pouring down and my arm and hip aching as, as BLOODY HELL. It was quite a hard crash, but I was lucky there were only a big wound, and nothing broken.
The team spirit was gone, and I kept my lips closed towards Tom. It took some hours before we spoke again, but when we finally did we could laugh about it. Both of us a bit ashamed of our behavior. In the middle of the day we arrived for the other trek. Now on a totally different area with rocky, colored and sandy stones. A cool place, but a hot place. I suffered from diarrhea and Lina from her knee. The boys were fine. I hate to be the weaker one. And especially on a trek leg, that normally is our advantage. We had a good time though. And the really pain came on the next bike leg where food couldn’t be saved at all. Energy were fast lost, I didn’t drink enough, my arm hurt and I couldn’t think, decide, or giving strength to moving forward. On the way up to a jumar stage, a sort of climbing that I had really looked forward to, I stayed almost every minute for a shit. And everything was shit. What a pain in the ass! And what a pain in the ass I must have been to the team. I was so ashamed. IN ended also up in me not even trying to do the jumar since my arm was so hurt, and my diarrhea coming fast without warning..
But something that never have happened to me before was just someone saying don’t continue. You can’t go on. And suddenly, I saw blood in the gross shit. And realized I was scared too. What if this is severe? We understood hospital was needed, since it could be dangerous. The others made me decide by myself what to do, continue or stop. They were a bit afraid of being strict and hard to me. And in my condition of course I said I must stop. But know afterwards I regret it sooo much. It was just the last stages, and I might have continued with pain and worries. On the hospital they took care of me, testing a lot of things as if I had salmonella (that was the risk) and getting my severe dehydration sorted out. Lina’s knee had also given up, and she also had some bad stomach issues and was taken care of. Our bad ass (good ass) team mates continued the race. But many thoughts went through my mind that morning in the hospital bed.
Me, being the team mate stopping the race? Could it have been better with some sleep in the TA? Could I have been able to continue to the finish line and experience some very good moments, and taken the second place of the race?
But on the other hand I was in such a bad shape and so afraid of the sickness and bacteria that might have caught me. I will never find out how it could have been. No idea to reflect too much. The hatred I found against myself afterwards is massive. But the only thing I can do now is to never repeat. Lesson learned. Now it’s time for improvements. And after all we got a very cool Adventure Race anyway!
Here’s another list of good ideas when Adventure racing:
Do everything organized to avoid getting sick during races.
Hygiene above everything.
Drink A LOT.
Be really strict with decisions and have a talk before deciding.
And pulling out? No. It have be some serious chat if it’s not a serious action. (Though I telling myself this was that, since the doctor said so).
Have a Team Captain that has the last word, what so ever. (It was a bit unclear in our team who decided what).
You will get low and not recognize your mode and not controlling your feelings, so tell your team mates how you probably will react if they don’t know you.
Try not to be too mad when tired though. Have a fair play to your team mates.
In tough hours of the race, remember you put yourself into the situation.
Look around and enjoy sceneries they are most likely amazing.
Laugh about miserable moments. You will get through it.
Get electrolytes and salt.
Don’t be ashamed of your performance. Everyone can fail, that’s natural. See failure as a new chance to win.
With this said I end this race report, with already a big plan of returning to Argentina, since it’s is a BEAUTIFUL country with LOVELY people and THOUSANDS of undone adventures I want to do. See you out there CHICOS!
After the race we got to put all our stuff into this car, and stayed some days in San Martin De Los Andes. Thank you Gustavo for that!