Then it was time to head off to Lower Portland, we got there in good time. This way we weren't rushing around with the tents, getting set up after being allocated our 'camping spots' and working out what we were actually going to do. The 3 x 3 camp spots allocation were large enough especially as we had two of them 6 x 3 (we actually struggled to fill the second allocated section). At this point you could tell whom did it last year, as their tent set ups were quite spectacular, tent envy was happening! Our team of four neighbours had their own kitchen, bedrooms and changing rooms all set up. It was quite amazing especially compared to our $49 Kmart tent, ground sheet for our little camping area with its own camping stove and of course the Mace Fitness Roller.
Quite glad we did get there earlier, as:
- If you got there too late your allocated camping spot could have been quite messy and muddy
- the valium didn't squish all the nerves and a few visits to the porta loos were required.
The countdown is on...
I had also had an action plan with contingencies about how we would plan out the change overs (this was before I got hit by a car, so things did change), including if we wanted to continue round more than once or if we would swap at every lap. I don't think we even looked at this and it was decided that we would do a lap each.
Lap 1 - 1hr : 36min (Sabrina)
Lap 2 - 1hr : 23min (Dave)
Dave smashed out his lap and completed his first lap within 1 hr 23 mins. Thats both of us completing our first laps within 3 hours (not sure where we were at this point on the leader board).
The wait between the change overs came quickly, so while I was waiting for a few people my tactics sort of changed. Originally I was going to head out in my shortie and then change into my full wetsuit when it got cooler, but I was advised by those that had already done it that it does get extremely cold as soon as the sun goes down.
Lap 3 - 2hrs : 17min (Sabrina)
It started to become quite therapeutic running at night, as the stars were bright and clear, the moon was shining, the ground was soft and easy enough on the knees. The darkness also added an extra spin on things during the obstacles.
I was so disappointed in myself for talking 2hrs 17minutes on this lap (thats nearly an hour longer than then my first lap.
Lap 4 - 1hr : 45min (Dave)
Lap 5 - 2hrs : 39mins (Sabrina)
During the rocky (Goat Trial), Marty had caught up with me, so helped me with making my way through the rocks and the crevasses. I felt guilty holding people back and encouraged them to go on without me. The Muddy Mile wasn't too bad to navigate because of the open space and moonlight, there were points that I started to freak myself out with the frogs, mistaking the water vines for snakes and goodness only knows what other creepy crawlers lurking in the water. As my navigation skills still went slightly off course (towards the end of the muddy mile), I managed to find the next obstacle - and unfortunately my least favourite of all the obstacles - the Sand Bag carry. Since having done it twice before I knew that the ground was unstable as we are trying to get up a steep and slidey slope. You did really need to see it. The sand bag carry is both physically and mentally draining, and needing to see would also help. So I waited until someone appeared (not sure who it was but he was wearing a full camo suit, which was kinda cool) so I could complete the obstacle (unfortunately this one you had to complete regardless how long it took and you couldn't opt for a burpee penalty instead). 'Camo man' went behind me so I could see where I was going, I felt so guilty keeping him behind, but the light was amazing especially to see were I was going. He did ask if I needed any more help along the path but I said I was cool, I really didn't want to slow him down. The path started to get darker and denser and the moonlight didn't quite break the trees. The fog also didn't help much with my continued anxiety levels, the only comfort is that I knew I was so close to finishing.
Eventually reaching the monkey bars, I ran over to the pit area in the hope that I could see Dave and change my torch (the only time he wasn't there), I started to freak out and in a state of despair and franticness a wonderful women reached out and lent me her torch (I so wish I knew who it was, but at this stage I really wasn't think straight, I should have asked for her name or something just to try and find her). I swear she saved my life (it may seem melodramatic but at this stage I am going a little crazy and every tiny minute detail seemed like such a big deal). I tried finding her when I got back to thank her and to give her the biggest hug, I hope that she got her torch back too.
During the final stages along the path, I could see the drops along the path (which I probably would have fallen into as i was would have headed towards the camp lights). By the time I crossed over the timing chip, I was surprised I clocked in at 2hrs : 29mins, considering I fit half of the course in the dark and was waiting around until someone appeared at some of the obstacles I was actually pleasantly surprised.
I was also extremely deflated, emotional and in pain (the pain killers had worn off, and my right side just felt numb, I presume from the impact of the car). I couldn't take any more otherwise I would be close to overdosing so had to wait until morning. Dave told me to get some sleep whilst he ran the next 4 laps. I did try and make sure he had enough hot water and soup to try and keep him going and warmed up as much as possible.
Lap 6 - 9 (Dave)
Daves Lap times:
Lap 6 - 2hrs 21min
Lap 7 - 2hrs 17min
Lap 8 - 2hrs 30min
Lap 9 - 2hrs 25min
Lap 10 - 3hrs 3min (Sabrina)
Slushing though the muddy mile, my right side started to hurt again and getting through it took so much longer then anticipated. The knee and ITB issues started to haunt me (and I think everyone else on course) as I headed down hill.
I had no burpee penalties and actually felt confident with the time even thought everything was hurting, I reached the final stage of the rope traverse, when I just lost my grip and at that point fell into the water. Annoyingly if it wasn't for this I probably would have had a time still under 3 hours but I guess you live and learn.
- Take a spare pair of batteries on course either in a camelback or runners belt (which we had neither)
- Breath and take my time on the some of the obstacles including the pontoon bridge