The Kawerau 6hr Adventure Race was my first adventure race and was also the first race for our new team Black Dirt Adventure which features myself, Mark 'Cabin' Leishman and Sam Clark. Joining us for this race as a guest athlete was previous Elite MTB National Champ and NZXC member Dirk Peters.
We were pretty relaxed heading in to the race as it was just a good hitout to work as a team and also get some base training under our belt. Sam Clark was a legend with setting up all the maps so the rest of us just needed to turn up on race day and follow his lead.
The race was a cool format, with four stages, and transition at the same place every time. We started with a bike rogaine, which ended up taking around 2 hours. The start was good but at the first activity a bit of miscommunication (our first mistae of the day) meant we were chasing for the rest of the race after losing around 15 mins straight away. After that though we were smooth. Sam leading and every one in tow.
The next stage was a bike/run where only two people are allowed bikes, and the whole team is only allowed 100m apart. With Sam injured, he stayed on his bike so we shared three bikes between myself, Cabin and Dirk. That made for a lot of running over a 10km stage...
Then we were on to the hike where we were joined by Scott Green (our support crew) who was getting a bit bored always waiting for us at transition. The hike was awesome. Bush bashing, running up/down streams and gorges was fun and the two hours went pretty quick. We made a small mistake which cost us 10-15 mins again but it didn't matter at the end.
Finally we were on to our bike for the last stage where we had a little battle for 2nd which we were able to take and some across the finish line in excatly six hours.
It was invaluable experience racing as a team, and also in the rogaine style, as myself and Cabin need to improve our navigation skills (as well as our kayaking).
Looking forward to our next Black Dirt Adventure race at the next 6hr race in Manawahe, late July