Jack Murray, Mitchel Joint, Will Morshuis and Angus Kenny competed in the South Island Secondary Schools Adventure Racing Champs in Cromwell.
The Adventure Race is proposed to be an 8-12 hour race that includes challenges in mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, abseiling and navigation, with team members must remain within 100m of each other at all times.The course is secret, and is revealed at the pre-race briefing on the Friday night of competition.
The course is punctuated by check points that must be passed as a team and are identified by map co-ordinates which the team follows.
The race started at 6:00am on Saturday the 7th of April. The first challenge was a short 5 kilometre bike ride to the first transition. The bike ride took us out over the Kawarau River and then along the shore to Cairnmuir.
After a quick transition we made our way up the true right side of Wet Gully, collecting points 1 and 2 and towards Goats Camp, where we collected point 3. On the way back down we jumped, ran and crawled through the cold water of Wet Gully until we came across a 4 wheel drive track leading us back to the transition point. Then we set off on a mammoth bike ride starting at the trailhead of the Bannockburn Loop track where we picked up point 4.
The Bannockburn Loop Track started off with a very slippery and steep climb which most teams had to push up. After slipping and sliding through the track we picked up points 5, 6 and 7 putting us ahead of four other teams on the track. This was until a slight map reading error, then they passed us when we made a wrong turn.
After a slog up Bannockburn Road we found another four-wheel drive track which was yet another steep climb that took us up the side of Tucker Gully to a saddle where point 8 was.
After a well anticipated downhill and then another long climb back around to Tucker Gully we had picked up points 9 and 10 and reclaimed back the four places that we had lost earlier.
When we got back to the transition we headed out to the abseil which was a 30 metre drop which all of us easily conquered.
Next was the kayak where we made our way down the Kawarau River collecting the last 5 check points. The race finished with a quick 1k run to the finish line; and by quick I mean as fast as our bodies would let us which wasn't that fast.
We finished 5th in our category and 8th out of 40 other teams which was a pretty solid effort from the boys, who happily tucked into the meal provided at the finish line.
We must say a huge thank you to the parents who helped with transport, organisation, nutrition and moral support. This is truely an event that would be impossible without it. This was a real challenge - physical and mental, and we look forward to tackling it again in 2019.