Mengy's Words - Adventurethon Enduro - 1 July 2017

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts". 

That describes perfectly the amazing phenomenon that is TriActiv8 Tribe.

There is such a connection among the individual athletes that it is better than what each one would be individually. 

Looking back over what was yet another adventure and fun filled weekend, I was thinking how bloody lucky I was to have what felt like the perfect race when so many of my teammates overcame challenges that would have brought any ordinary competitor to their knees. But then I realised how different my outcome would have been without the support and encouragement of our tribe. Arriving in Pallarenda Beach on Friday afternoon to get fitted for my hired kayak, I almost didn't bother taking it out on the water.  It was cold and windy, I wasn't dressed for it, and it was getting late. Minni insisted I try it out .. and we all know how hard it is to ignore I got changed in the car park and braced myself for the uninviting conditions. When I got in the kayak eventually getting past the waves crashing in,  all I could do was go round in circles! Nothing I did helped me to alter course! I asked Minni to get in and have a go, in case it was just me, but as she had the same problem we reported it to Sam. On inspection we found the rudder cables where in a twisted mess!! Imagine my panic if that had remained undiscovered!!.. It would most definitely have marked the end of my race before it had even begun!  Cara who has only been with Tri-Activ8 for a short time was also on the beach and offered me her kayak to take for a spin so I could get a feel for it! I felt heaps better knowing that once mine was fixed I would be ok!

On the morning of the race, with everyone gathered on the beach for the start Nikki noticed I didn't have my race belt on! Without it I would not have had my kayak or MTB time registered so I bolted into transition to grab it with only moments to spare! 

I was seriously sweating bullets having to launch out into those rolling waves with bugger all experience in ocean kayaking!! For the first couple of kms I felt like I was standing still while the gap between my competitors got bigger and bigger. Next minute a voice behind me pointed out I had my paddle upside down!!! In my effort to stay afloat I had eyes only for the horizon, so I have no idea who it was, but I owe them big time! Off I set, determined to reduce the gap! 

Once I rounded the last buoy and headed back to the beach, anxiety was replaced by the thrill of riding my first wave!!  WOO HOOOO!! Sooooo much fun! Just the same I was relieved to reach the beach to the waving arms of champion supporter Minni. 

I knew there were stacks of competitors ahead of me but with no opportunity to look behind, I felt like I was one of the last out of the water. 

With the MTB track totally unchartered, I found it a bit challenging at the start but once I remembered to focus my sights on the track ahead instead of where I was riding, I got used to the rocky terrain and took the chance to sneak a peak at the spectacular views! Finally, with the flags and transition shoot in sight, sure enough there was Minni again- cheering and encouraging me along! As she trotted alongside me up the beach on my way out on the run I was surprised to hear that I was the first of our tribe to come through - that put a spring in my step and a smile on my face!  As I headed up, up and up the mountain, I knew I had this,  as Nikki had only last weekend taken me out to climb up The Leap. The views were just too amazing to pass up a photo opportunity and the friendly marshalls were more than happy to oblige! Grabbing a quick drink of water and some lollies from a couple of lovely elderly vollies, I was on cloud nine as I started the descent towards home. I never thought I would say this,  but the finish line almost came up too soon! 

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I was stoked to make it onto the podium but the real heroes of the day were Martine and her hubby Brett who had a disastrous paddle and Dan who could literally write a book about his relentless race nightmares.  Each of them just refused to give up and finally crossed the finish line with a smile !!  What an amazing experience with amazing people! I'm well and truely hooked now so with some seriously needed paddling .. AND abseiling coaching ... I just can't wait to take on the Ultra in 2018!! 

Cath Meng