What: Spirited Women All Women Adventure Race, Rotorua
Type of race: 3 hour short course adventure race
When: Saturday, April 2
It’s pretty hard to sum up a six hour race into one sentence. But to do it justice this race surpassed all expectations and then some.
Whatever you might know or think about adventure racing this event had it, but it came also with camaraderie from the other teams.
I was lucky enough to be given a team entry for this event. To be honest I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it. It involved stand-up paddleboarding, which still freaked me out a little bit, it involved mountain biking (which I’ve seriously neglected for a couple of years) and it involved navigation (I’m not bad with a map but I get competitive).
My team was me, Heather Wickett (Rotorua and a last minute call-up) Lynne Kiernan (Rotorua) and Nikky Doyle (Blenheim).
I worried we would be last (not that it mattered), I worried we would be out for hours and hours. I worried my team would hate it.
I worried needlessly.
What happened was this:
- We had fun
- We got wet and didn’t care
- We got muddy and didn’t care
- We helped other teams find checkpoints and they helped us
- We pushed our bikes down the track that intimidated us (one section of it at least)
- We rode our bikes all the way up the hills we thought would have us walking
- We had laughs
- There were no tears, no tantrums and no wanting to go home
If you ever want to have a weekend away with a group of girlfriends then this would be a great thing to do.
Neil and Katrin have done an amazing job, they spotted a gap in the market and delivered an awesome event.
It wasn’t just the race.
On Friday there was a fundraising stand-up paddleboard session and a yoga class for all teams.
On Saturday we raced. We started at Boyes Beach, Lake Okareka and end up at Brew Bar on Eat Streat in downtown Rotorua.
On Sunday we soaked in the Blue Baths then had breakfast and prizegiving at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre.
Our race packs included a flash Camelbak drink bottle (new favourite, thanks guys), a running cap (I needed a new one), other goodies (Balance protein bar, protein drink sachets), bananas, a cool new t-shirt and samples.
Some people complained in advance that the entry was steep. Admittedly it wasn’t the cheapest, but when you add up all that was included it was well worth it. It is definitely an event I will be recommending to others, regardless of their experience in stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking or running.
We did have an advantage in that we knew the area and could navigate the mountain bike checkpoints by memory (we got the race notes on Friday night and spent an hour planning our course of action). We lost time on the SUP (second to last team to leave the transition onto the trek) but we made it up on the trek.
We were in dead last at one point on the MTB but not for long. We ended up finishing in 11th out of 39, which surprised us massively!
Next year’s race is in Taupo. If you want an adventure, if you want to have a whole heap of fun with your friends, then you need to get this race in your diary and enter as soon as you can.
Go here for more info.
Thanks Dare2Sweat for creating an event that pushed us out of our comfort zones and gave us many happy memories. I know there are many stories to be told, but they all have the same underlying theme.