Night Stop at The Pool
Author : Rob Howard
PhotoCredit : Rob Howard
Date Posted : 2018/11/08
With teams running well ahead of the predicted fastest times the leaders arrived at CP4, at the swimming pool in the town of Cilaos before midnight. First in were 400 team Naturex looking strong and composed, though the composure was lost when the race referees asked to see the strobe light which is part of the mandatory equipment. They couldn’t find it, and all the team unpacked and were starting to look worried before it was finally found tucked away in a sealed package. Then it was smiles of relief all around.
They had opened up a small lead of 1 hour 15 minutes over their rivals, but chose to sleep in the pool changing rooms where cots had been set up for teams and said it would be for 2 hours, but it was less than one before they were setting off again.
Maybe they changed their minds as the CP got very busy between midnight and one PM. DSN74 Hoka (France) were second in and they very rapidly found their strobe and disappeared into the building to sleep barely breaking step, but the next group of teams that came in all chose to continue.
First of these was the Russian team, Red Fox Adventure Team, and Viktoria Zarina limped in after the rest of the team before lying flat on the ground for a while. The others had been taking some of the weight off of her pack, but there was no attention given to her feet or suggestion they might stop.
The team have pulled in Latvian racer Andris Ansabergs for this race. He was the man in charge during their stop, giving a loud stream of instructions and questions for his team mates and speaking in English as he speaks no Russian. (He said he understands more.) He was full of energy and excitement and said. “What’s the matter with these estimated times. Now we have far too much food!” He left quite a bit behind along with spare batteries and encouraged his team to do the same.
Asked about their plan he said, “We are going as fast as possible to the pack raft, maybe we can even do it tomorrow!” He saw that other teams were sleeping but wasn’t really interested and the team left not knowing they were now leading.
Haglofs Silva followed with Aaron Prince soon shouting the team instructions, though the other 3 were all very quietly and efficiently getting on with what needed doing anyway! They didn’t stop as long as the Russians and as they were leaving as Swedish Armed Forces arrived. SAFAT all stopped to attend to their feet and change socks, but were rushing as they wanted to catch Haglofs Silva. They have two new team members and there was some tension in this team with tetchy exchanges and the 3 Swedes heading off and leaving Sam Clarke of New Zealand to follow with a half packed bag.
He had seen his compatriots in Team Avaya arrive when the CP was at its busiest and they too moved on quickly with no thought of stopping this early in the race. Chris Forne told a TV crew they were “just taking it steady and trying not to make any mistakes”. Asked what he meant he added, “Not getting lost or going too fast .” 400 Team Naturex were up and ready to go around the same time so there is an intense race going on among the lead teams through this first night.
Team FMR of France were next to arrive but they didn’t have a 360 degree strobe and received a 2 hour penalty. The Referees are instructing teams to take penalty time straight away and as there are comfortable beds here FMR are lucky they can take two hours sleep as a penalty.
Columbia arrived and said they wanted to sleep. Monica Aguillera just said, “It was a hard day and Angel Garcia wasted no time working on his feet. Nick Gracie said the team took a poor route choice and lost a lot of places but added, “The scenery been absolutely amazing.”
The North Face Adventure Team followed and then Sanlam Painted Wolf, Estonian ACE Adventure and Team Yealands and they all stopped so the beds at the CP were now all taken with sleeping teams, recovering a little from the hard days trekking in the Mafate crater.
About The Author
More About This Event
In 2016 I stepped away from top level adventure racing after winning the World Champs in Australia. The reasons were that I’d
The closing ceremonies for a remarkable 8 days of racing on Reunion Island took place at Village de Corail tonight. The beach
The last few days of bad weather on the Volcano have made the end of the race particularly hard for the teams at the back of the
The two Russian teams in the race approached the finish today, looking close together on the tracking map, but as they were both moving
More teams have been crossing the finish line of the AR World Championships this morning and I caught up with a couple of the teams with an
The 4th team to cross the finish line at this year’s AR World Champs was ‘Black Hill Salomon Opava Net’ from the Czech
The trek up and over the Piton de la Fournaise volcano is the centrepiece of this World Championship course and teams feel it’s the
You wouldn’t think it’s likely to have a sprint finish in an expedition adventure race, not after 5 days of brutal racing, on a
They said they were here to have fun and explore Reunion and that the result was secondary, that they had their doubts and were not
For the leading teams at ARWC 2018 on Reunion Island the end is almost in sight and the top five teams should finish sometime tomorrow
While the leaders paddle up the west coast towards an early morning finish tomorrow, a third of the teams in the race are still continuing
All of the action on day 4 took place on the East Coast of Reunion, but in some very different locations as the field spread out. The
This morning two teams, who camped out overnight on the River Marsouins, arrived at Transition two at the football field in Saint Benoit,
Teams slow down in the dark, but if it’s a Dark Zone they have to stop altogether as its deemed unsafe to continue. So beating
Losing mere minutes may have devastating consequences tomorrow. After an epic first leg of 106kms of mountain hiking and nearly 8000m of
Day two, and for all of the teams it was still about finishing the first leg of the race, the mighty 106km mountain trek. Most teams
On the morning of day 2 of the race I caught up with the Olympus Red Ants team from South Africa and briefly with the Merrell Adventure
Into the second day of the race the first stage continues as the teams travel through the 3 vast collapsed volcano craters which are such a
Teams woke this morning to a fine morning at Hell Bourg, with daylight coming around 5.30am. Some said they’d been a little cold on
As teams approached the village of Hell Bourg, the venue for the stat and prologue they got their first real look at the vertiginous
I took the opportunity to talk to Race Director Pascal Bahuaud this morning in the race office, while all around us the Raid in France
As teams checked in for today’s race briefing they were given 3 sheets of paper with a course profile, a summary of the stages and a
The atmosphere at the race HQ for ARWC2018 is relaxed compared to most previous World Champs, but it would be hard to be anything else in
The team list for ARWC 2018-Reunion has 64 names on it. Some are there for the experience, some have won a place as a World Series race
SleepMonsters will be working with the ARWS on the live race coverage, and you can read all the stories and news from Rob Howard right here
In an expedition adventure race the competitors cram in so many intense experiences and emotions they lose track of time completely, the
Merrell Adventure Addicts will be lining up amongst the world’s finest Adventure Racing teams at the start inside an old volcano on
When Reunion Island was announced as the venue for the 2018 AR World Champs the response was most likely, ‘Where?’ followed by