Saturday, June 8, 2013

"When you get to the end of your rope...”

A great Roosevelt quote and one we can all relate to as runners. But a couple of weeks ago I was able to experience the quote first hand!

My good mate and top Australian Cross Fit and Obstacle League Racer Lachlan Dansie and I enter the Kathmandu Adventure Race at the Royal National Park each year. It's a fun event, always very drama packed with Locky and I not being overly gifted in the navigation department but we always have a great time! It seemed like a fun way to recover after TNF100. It ended up being one of the most timely reminders of what it means to endure and persist through adversity and is a good little story for all ultrarunners.

Anyway, back to the rest of the quote. Take it away Locky...

“When you get to the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hang on.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Third place in todays Kathmandu Royal National Park Adventure Race with team mate Brendan Davies. If you had asked me yesterday would I be happy with third, to be honest I probably would have said no. It is a race we've won before, and I think we can win again, but after today's events I can honestly say I am very happy with that result, and it is proof that perserverance pays. We had a cracking start in the Rogaine, and a good lead going into the first ride. Our strength is running and we expected the Armstrong boys to catch us on the ride, which they did but felt confident we could get them back on the next run, row and kayaking to come. But unfortunately things went pear shape. Firstly we stuffed up a checkpoint and added an extra 3km run for good measure, and then early in the next 10km bike leg my bike chain not only snapped, but managed to tangle itself all through the back tyre into some metallic mish mash of chain, spoke and derailer. Frustrated, tired, annoyed, throbbing Achilles, for a moment quitting seemed like a good idea. But just like when wrestling a crocodile, you can’t quit when you're tired. You only quit when the crocodile is tired. So I picked up the bike and started running. We were probably back around 50th position by the time I finally got to the next transition, and certain that a podium finish was unachievable, but we kept going anyway. Passing plenty of teams on the run, making up a lot of time on the row, and just sneaking into the cut off for the advanced course. Into the kayak, and with a clear view of all the other competitors we realised that we were back up into fifth spot, though there was a MASSIVE gap between the top three teams and us. Onto the last run leg, we hauled ass and got into 4th. Which we thought was ok, after the day we had had. But then came the validation for deciding to run the extra 3km for a missed checkpoint, as the second place team missed one as well copping a 30 min penalty and pushing us up on to the podium. So the moral of this long winded story, never give up. An unbelievable effort by teammate Brendan after backing up from his North Face 100km win and record last week with a 4.5 hour adventure race. The guy is an absolute machine. (though buddy how about a couple of chin ups into the training routine to add a bit more power to your rowing?) Thanks to Bounce Balls for fueling me up, and couldnt have done it without the Rock Tape holding the achilles together. Big congrats to the Armstrongs on an awesome victory.

One of the hardest won podiums ever!
As you can see, I had little to offer in the muscle legs of the kayak and row!