Sunday, February 04, 2007

Adventurous Paddle

So! Yesterday I competed in the inaugural Adventure Paddle; down on the Georges River in the 'shire.

I actually wasn't much looking forward to the event beforehand. I had done all of one "training" session, a 3 hour stint on middle harbour. I haven't done anything really tp get fit apart from on & off turn ups at the Sydney Summer Series (which I then mainly walked). And lots and lots of PS2 guitar hero. I signed up mainly to do something with Sarah, which I know that she would be interested in, and I thoughy that some of my mad adventure racing pals would have signed up too. "No, I can't be bothered."

Bah, bollocks to them.

So having slept like a log for 6hours, the alarm went off at 5am. Dozy brekky of museli & fruitibix, then an iced coffee up & go in the car. Disadvantage of travelling across town on the motorways is that there is no convenient cafe with nice coffees en-route, or even a dodgy fast food place with caffienated sort-of-beverages when you're desperate. We ended up pulling into a servo & getting a milky hot water thing with a splash of brown stuff from a vending machine, and a can of Vfrom me.

The Georges River National Park was filled with seriously buff looking people in sponsered swift looking kayaks, matching uniforms for the pairs. Maybe about 100 people all up? A bit of fluffing about, since I hadn't done one of these things in over a year, what with contacting the map, the checkpoint list, working out our route & times with thetides.

0800 -bang, and we're off! Run to launch the kayak into the water, and paddle around the corner, to pick up the 'checkpoint value' list. Of course we just follow the crowd, and head up the bush track to checkpoint 19. When we come down, it was like 'oh, that checkpoint value thing'. We picked it up anyway, ignored it and kept going. The next closest checkpoint already had a flotilla of 10 or so kayak parters waiting in the kayaks whilst the faster runners headed up thecliffline & got their stamp off the leg of a transmission tower. We opted to head upstream & keep going.

So. All in all, we had a pretty fun time. We got all the checkpoints that we wanted to, and one extra, number '9', which supposedly was accessible only around high tide, but we managed to get it about 90mins after the high tide mark, and it was still really easy to get there. We dodged some idiot waterskiiers, and jetskis; had to cross the main channel of the Georges river a couple of times. The bit closest to Mickey's point & Alfords Point bridge was the hairiest - we pretty much just looked both ways, and then paddled like crazy to getacross the channel before being run over.

5 hours, 260points, 16km of paddling. Pretty good effort!

The best bit was stopping at a picnic area on the northern side of the river, eating a snack, and then having tiny transparent prawns swim over and around our dangling feet as they spawned downstream.

I am so sore today though! We stretched out afterwards, mainly upper body and arm stretches, and ate a 'healing' sausage sandwich. Pretty much the top 3/4 of my back is just sore (not helped by the fact that I also went climbing thursday night), and so are the bony bits of mysitting down muscles!