Raid Del Viento - Prepacking, race summary by Sanna

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: 

 

 

 
Going through the legs and planning energy for every stage.
 
 
 
 
We always bring some snack, but next time, I will only have them on trek legs. Dirty hands in there= not good. 
 
 
 
 
Equipment check and climbing scills. 
 
Jumaring. 
 
 
Weighing each box. 
 
 
Picking the right kayak.. 
 
 
Fueling. 
 
 
 
 

 

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!

NOS VEMOS!
/Sanna

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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!

 

 

2 Race Reports from Scotland

Scotland Race Reports

Mamores VK

We knew we weren’t best recovered. We knew it was a risk. But we also knew some of the best runners were going there. We knew many friends attending to the race. And we knew that we would regret it if we didn’t go. So what did we do? Well, just three days after our arrival home from TAR, we packed race kit, warm changing, and RAIN WEAR and flew to Scotland!

As predicted it was rainy, foggy and windy. But the mountains reminded us of northern Sweden, Norway and Island, with the grassy hills. We loved it. Though I was unsure whether to start or not. To be honest, I could barely run on the warm up. I cried a little for myself, realizing my knees were acing badly. But I hadn’t go to Scotland and the World Champs, to stand on the side..

 As time went closer to start, adrenaline filled my body, and I had no time to think about pain. I hold my fingers crossed for a good race. 5 km and +1000 hm. It was downhill that I couldn’t  jump, and take "landings" as I’m use to do, but uphill I knew I could be OK. What I didn’t like was the individual start. I was chasing Lina and Laura Orgue.. They disappeared quite fast from my sight, so I ran alone and got passed by some guys. I felt I had to focus more on where I put my feet, and how the angle on my knees got in right position, than run as fast as I could. As the trail got steeper and muddier and fewer people were cheering. The rain was heavier and the wind stronger. Though we were at first quite lucky with tailwind that helped up. Pushing the back, and it was fun. I dragged myself, grabbed every turf I could find. When the weather got even worse I couldn’t feel any pain, which was a relief, instead I felt tough, RAW and strong when I started to catch some other women, and even men.

It was a pity we didn’t get any view up on the ridge, since it was all white around us. The wind was now sideways, and my left cheek were frozen. My legs were totally red and I couldn’t feel them anymore. They were moving stiff, by themselves, and my hand were stuck in a weird position, unable to move. The last part was some easy scrambling. But it was slippery, and my energy was somewhere else, and I felt dizzy and didn’t fixed my sight properly, so it was quite hard to put the feet right. I had mud everywhere, snot all over my face, and thinking of this, smiling a bit I realized there was only ten meters til the top! A bunch of runners were fiddeling with their packs to get their rainwear out and start the running DOWN. I was a bit confused and didn’t know I had to punch my timing chip there. But finally it was done, and together Lina and I started the journey down the mountain. Now facing the strong wind and spikey rain..

Both Hillary and Lina cried on the way down, and Lina sounded like she panicked all the way with her heavy breathing. Though we finally came down and could recharge. The second day was all about rest, and support André and seeing other parts of the Highlands.

 

Lina came down with a second place after Laura Orgue! Silver medal in the world champs!

RING OF STEALL SKYRACE

On raceday both of us had caught a cold. We chewed ginger and hope for a magical recovery. For Lina it worked half way. For me, I had just negative feelings all over. The warm up was even worse than the Fridays warm up. I didn’t really wanted to speak to anyone, but put my fake smile on and kept my fingers crossed for making an effort. I wanted to be racing instead of standing on the side once again. It was boring enough the day before, so this time I wanted to be out there, in the mountains!

The start went off, and I had fun. Where did this energy come from?! It was fast on the road, because everyone wanted to come on the trail first, minimize the risk of being trapped in a que. I felt good in the front with Lina, Laura, Tove, Sheila, and some others guys and girls. Though just after a short time up the trail I got slower and slower, getting no connection with my legs. Hello, are you in there muscles? Some kind of panic caught me, and I started wondering where the hell this is going to end. The mud seemed to swallow my feet on every step. My quick running was non existing, and parts that I knew I should run, I walked. When I took a too quick or hard step it felt as my knee or a tendon in the leg was going to burst. Had someone being hammering on my knees? They seemed broken. I realized I couldn’t push and was afraid of the downhill that was coming.

 
Lina was still very strong upphill, and was in the lead for very long. But felt also a bit lack of energy, and pain in her knees. She manage though with a 12th place. 
 
 
Struggleing with pain in every step.. Should it be like that? The answer is simple: NO. 

Up on the ridge, when I had lost both fighting spirit and mode, the muddy, some part technical downhill started. I tried to jump and let the legs go as they normally do. But OH FUCK that wasn’t easy. IT hurts, I’m afraid, I’m sad. What If I REALLY broke? What if my running is over after this? Why race? Should I quit. GOTDAMMIT it’s a long way down. And it’s freaking slippery. Easy, easy. Ok, this is fine. This is nice. Let them pass, let everyone catch me. I’m not risking myself over a race. But oh it looks beautiful there. I’m curiuous. But racing? Nah. Be a part of the World Champs in this condition? Taking place in the race really unfair of what I really can do. Knowing that this wasn’t what I wanted my race in the world champs would look like. If I’m going to take part in an important race. I want to be fair to myself, be whole and ALBE to run properly. But Enjoying a day out in the mountains on a beautiful course, not pushing my lungs, legs or injuires to the edge could work out. Let’s quit here. Take that bib off, breath a little, stop crying and rise up. Cheer on the others and jog that course. Enjoy you’ve got two legs! This was what went trough my mind when I struggled down the mountain to the one and only aid-station. I took the bib off and crie, but told them I had to keep on, sorting some feelings out. 

It was like a stone let go of my heart. I was a bit happy again. I ran slow and admired the surroundings. Though in the same time I was so ridiculously self-pitying and low that I’ve been so stupid to start. I’ve could have jogged the course before the start, standing on the mountain cheering on the others, used poles for support downhill.  How ever,I continued on the course, and thought, this is fine in this pace. I ran, tripped, smiled, cried. Everything. I even stopped and put on the extra jersey I had put in the vest, and the jacket. Something I’ve never done on a short race like this, when the weather wasn’t too bad. But this time I could, because I wasn’t in the race anymore. Though I put on the extra clothes a bit too late. I had already been really helpful to the improving cold, and later it hit me like a bullet.. Rest of the race went also smooth and slowly. But I wasn’t so happy the closer I got to the finishline. It’s not fun to end a race with a bad feeling, not competing it the right way. People may think whatever they feel like, I don’t care, I cared about myself and what was a good solution for me.

Now, some time afterwards, I actually feel proud of myself too. I listened, finally, to what my body told me. I first refused to accept it first, and started, but realized all I needed was to be out there, not hurting myself, just run in a way that wouldn’t demolish my legs. So, in the end I think it was a good day. A travel I don’t regret we went on. Many insights, new friends, and memories of Scotland I want to keep!

See you out there soon!

 

/Sanna

 

(photos by Philipp Reiter!)

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Race Report GORE-TEX TRANSALPINERUN 2018

GORETEX TRANSALPINERUN 2018

Packing is done. Bodies are fine. Minds are nervous. Trails are waiting. Twins are READY to ROCK!

 

Exactly as last year, I imagine myself to sit by the computer every evening and write a little summary about each stage. Do you think I did that?

Nope. Well, anyhow, for GORE WEAR we wrote a little text how we felt, so that helped me now when I’m writing a little race report of the busy week that just flew away. Here we go:

We arrived late due to delayed flights. But manage to get some food and sleep after repacking in new bags. This time we were alone though, in a hotel room. Compared to last year in the gymnastic halls with the other campers. Messy and loud I remembered it, but still fun to see how others organized their stuff, and chat with some other runners before the start.

 Really energized and jittery we warmed up, crissed cross over the expo area. We felt fresh from the start and kept a good pace and running spirit the whole course. It went so fast, even though with  Sadly a bit cloudy, otherwise perfect day!

 


 

 

 
 


 

After this stage we got to wear the Leader t-shirts. 

The second day it wasn’t much of a view either, but so much fun on the trails together. I was very excited and started a bit too fast, and suffered on lactic acid the first kilometers. Kept on moving and finally found the energy again later on.  Roller Coaster on the energy level. And we missed some higher course points over the tree line, hopefully rest of the week will include that.

We fought to keep Jamie and Eva) behind us (who’s the leading mixed team, and in our GORE team. That was quite funny. They caught us in a long technical decent, and we chat for a bit, then the race mode begun, and we increased the speed and really push like it was the last part of the race, and could feel them disappear behind us. Though feeling chased the whole bit, but it was fun too, to have a great pace and just RUN!

 


 


 
 

 

  

It was time for stage 3, We ran 51k, a bit longer than A-plan, so less elevation. Which means, more roads, gravel and two not so happy twins. They had to change the course due to stone falls.. Though we had a good speed anyway and trotted as much as we could in the rolling switch backs. When the trails finally came we had some 'runners high' moments and couldn't stop smiling, we didn't want to decend into the valley. The nature felt like Norway or Sweden with soft trails and blueberry bushed beside the trails. And we had some time picking free energy too. SOO DELICOUS! Legs are starting to feel stiff and sore, but that's a part of TAR. We kept on running and really looked forward to the glacier and hopefully beautiful views of stage 4, cause at the finish line of this day we were surrounded by some impressive mountains!


 We shared many trails with these two teams. 

 


 
 

 

 

Mum and dad, that had been with us, cheering the first days were now heading home.. We were so glad that they could experience some of the stages and feeling of Trans Alpine Run.

Maybe we had needed their support one more day. Lina had her toughest day, her body empty of energy, and a knee that hurt severe in the downhill. Tough it was really our kind of trails and mountains. Steep and technical uphills, a bit of snow and WOW, what a scenery!

We felt that we by this time had been racing for 4days!  Some lack of energy made us slow down, and letting teams pass that we had been ahead of before. But, overall we had a really good day. At the finish we enjoy our own food, and great weather.

 


 
The hula hula guys cheered us along and give some strength for sure!
 

 

 

 

Both of us a bit tired with swollen faces. 
 


 
 

 

 
 
Falling asleep after race, snack still in my hands. hahah

 
Picknick El Kott style

Waking up to not so good sky was of course not what we had expect. Misty and foggy, bur still very beautiful. The pretty valleys we ran through gave us strength even though both of us struggled with much pain in knees and hamstrings. This time Zac and Amanda, who now was in the leading mixed team, and also a part of our GORE team, caught up with us, and tried to pass.  We changed position with master one much of the whole course, and they were ahead of us the last part, but we caught into them meter by meter, and manage to run fast the last kilometers with so much adrenaline, and couldn’t feel the pain, it ended up with a sprint fight with them! Guess who won? 😉

 

 

Spot us? 

 
We stuck togehter the whole week. Many other teams struggled to be togehter, but with the same speed, aim and BLOOD, we kicked ass. 

 
 
 

 
 

 

 

As every evening it’s pasta party and ceremonies, in the end they went out draining us of energy. But we enjoy the company of all the other runners and seeing the pictures and films from the day.

Both of us felt very stiff and had pain in our knees in the morning of stage 6. We started carefully and slowly, and runners were amazed that they could finally run some parts with us. But after an hour or so, about 15 km in, we were kind of warmed-up and could run pretty fast on the rolling trails. It was super fun, and magical, what happened? Rest of the race was a blast! We felt unstoppable! For sure the best day!

 


Oh shit, LAST STAGE!?

 

 
Voila!

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

It was sad that we were already on the last day. This year had been so much easier than last year, because we weren’t in same amount of pain. 2017 Our legs and feet were indescribably swollen and injured. We had inflammations, blisters and blue nails. This year, a completely different shape! We had been lucky.  And it was so strange, because this very last stage felt as one of the first ones. Our energy was good, our legs, sure they were stiff, but not too hurt. We was in totalt 10 hours ahead of next women team, but still we had been racing as if they were in our heels. We like to compete, so we measured us together with some men teams and the mixed ones. 

It’s hard to re-describe what landscaped we ran through. But imagine the alps, running on all kinds of ground, seeing views that fill your body with joy, and share this with hundreds of people with same kind of passions, then you know Trans Alpine Run. Fighting until the end, rising when falling, pushing even though it hurts, crossing the finish line in tears and smiles. The summarize of 2018 TAR is a lot of Joy, incredible trails and views, and a bunch of new friends, and we’ve realized that we are really competitive!

Here's a movie of us from parts of the week: 

https://www.facebook.com/GORETEXeu/videos/1909250442474030/

 


 

 In the fontane soaking ourselves with the men winners!

 

 

 

Greatest feeling is to wins something togehter. 

 



 

 
 

Pictures taken by GORE TEX TRANSALPINE photographers: Philipp Reiter, Tom Schegel, Andi Frank, XcRunDe and Harald Wisthaler. 

Thanks!

Sanna and Lina 

 

 

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