One month to go til the start of the 2012 National Adventure Racing Series

In a little over 4 weeks I will line up with hundreds of others at the start line of the 2012 Anaconda Noosa Adventure Race. This is the first race in a 3 race series and will only the second time I have taken on the Anaconda challenge. Last year I had the additional support of other members of Tuesday Night Parmas – competing as a relay team. For this event, Meaghan and Os have decided not to participate. Leaving me to rule as the toughest, most committed, best looking, most humble and dedicated member of Australia’ Least Known Adventure Racing Team. As the only member of TNP competing in this event, I have nominated myself Captain. (That’s right Meaghan – you’ll have to reapply).

The Anaconda Adventure Races are based around disciplines of trail running, mountain bike riding and paddling. The Noosa event asks a lot of participants. A challenging 62 km course based around the spectacular Noosa township in Queensland.

Golden sands of Noosa Beach

The Rapid Ascent Website describes it like this –

Golden sandy beaches.. Warm water that’s as clear as the sky overhead.. Tropical rain forests.. Rolling hills and hinterland.. Flat water rivers and grass that’s as green as green can be.. If that’s what your dreams are filled with then welcome to your nirvana because the new Anaconda Adventure Races at Noosa include all these landscapes and more as part of an adventure escapade through paradise. Whenever I read the term “rolling hills” I get a little nervous, having completed the Lorne race last year.

The hills weren’t the only thing undulating last year. The swim and paddle were pretty exciting. The swell just kept building so that those back in the pack where I was had to deal with some pretty big swells. The race organisers ended up shortening the paddle course to give everyone a chance of completing the course. Still, by the time I was running the final km beach run, spectators were still collecting boats and paddles from a km or so up the coast. It was carnage. Heaps of fun though. Here’s a video that one of the competing teams made last year – I think it captures the swell quite nicely.

So what does Noosa have in store?

Starting and finishing on the iconic Noosa Main Beach, the course for the Anaconda Adventure Race at Noosa ticks a wish list of hot destinations as you swim through crystal clear water, paddle on the majestic Noosa River, mountain bike over hinterland hills and run along trails through deep rainforest with million dollar views. You’ll love it. Mmmm… Million Dollar Views…. That means hills right?

The event starts with a 1.9 km swim. I have not been doing enough swimming so yet again, I should be pretty easy to spot. I swim a little bit like a washing machine off-balance.

Following the swim we do the first of 2 paddles. This one is off the beach into the river mouth and upstream. Upstream? Is that even possible? Clearly I haven’t been doing enough paddle training. I am confident enough on a ski but if there are waves of any shape or size this will be pretty entertaining.

Here’s hoping that the Noosa paddle leg will be a little more tame than this footage from Forster.

Next comes the 34km mountain bike. I’m really looking forward to this leg. Race organsisers Rapid Ascent set great bike legs and I’m sure this will be no different. I did the Lorne race last year and was a little surprised at the “undulating” nature of the mountain bike leg. I ended up walking my bike up most of the hills. I am using the same legs and the same bike this year, I wonder if the Noosa course will be any flatter. If you are not sure what an “undulating” bike course looks like – check this out –

Then the run. The Anaconda Lorne run was the longest run I had done in 12 months. I tore my Achilles the year before and had not been able to run. This year I am mid training for the Surf Coast Century in September. I have my running legs back so I am looking forward to it. Though the description has me a little nervous –

fast gravel road that will have you flying footloose-and-fancy-free through the surrounding bushland. But all good things must come to an end as the course soon turns south for a challenging ascent of Mt Tinbeerwah that gives you some extensive views towards the coast. Footloose? Fancy free? Challenging ascent?

Following the run we jump back on the skis and paddle back down the river before finishing with a km run to the finish.

So all up, I’m really looking forward to it. I have no idea how long it will take me to finish. But I’ll be there at the start and barring bad luck or injury, I’ll be there at the finish, grinning from ear to ear. If you are in the area come down on the 11 / 12 August and check it out. Even better, why not sign up, solo, team or mini there’s a format for everyone.

Stay tuned for more.

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