Team TBA – The pressure is on. It’s on like Donkey Kong for Ben, my team mate for this weekends Mainpeak Multisport in Perth.

My expectations are very high indeed. 

I completed the Oxfam Trailwalker event about 10 years ago and though I’ve forgotten most of the details of the event, the friendships we forged and the funny stories we recant have lasted much much longer than the pain of walking up Mt Donna Buang at midnight in the freezing dark.

Last year, I completed the Marysville to Melbourne multisport event here in Victoria in a really slick team – Australia’s least known Adventure Racing Team – Tuesday Night Parmas.  That event was so much fun we did it again in a newer, improved version of the same team. Having bonded strongly and worked on our fitness, comedy and sandwich preparation skills, it’s a pretty tough act to follow.

So, Ben is stepping into some pretty big shoes, some may say he has had a rocky start… in 2005 he was “Team Manager” for another obscure team of Open Water Racers for an event at Rottnest Island in WA. He is still living down the pre race comment

“Well, I mean, you guys aren’t gonna win it are you… It’s just for fun”…

Well, with an attitude like that from our Team Manager, it is no wonder we “didn’t win it”.

Meaghan, TJ and Simon sitting behind our fearless leader Ben.

Since that race, Ben has been quietly training up for years to make sure he is in peak form for this weekend… his best chance of taking a permanent place in Tuesday Night Parmas.  Recently he smashed the Avon Descent and the City to Surf Half Marathon as  “training hit outs” for the Mainpeak Multisport race.

When he read that the other members of Tuesday Night Parmas had left me to battle through the Anaconda Noosa race last month, he took his chance. We entered this weekend’s race as a team of three. I know what you are thinking, Ben + Me = 2. Well you’d be wrong, in a really crafty way of asserting his dominance and clear intent to drive a deep wedge into ‘The Parma’s’ Ben entered he and Tanis into the event, then quietly swapped his name into the legs that Tanis was advertised as completing.

Brilliant! TNP’s has been a little soft of late and now, Ben in his fine, Post Avon and Post Half Marathon racing form has taken 2/3rds of the Mainpeak Multisport team member slots. Look out TNP’s it looks like Ben is here to stay!! Anyone that is willing to stake a claim on two spots in the team to make sure he gets a run is a worthy shipmate. Truth be told I am really looking forward to the trip to Perth. Ben’s contributions on the Banzai Adventurer Facebook page have been priceless so far and I’m sure we’ll have a great time.

So without any further jibber jabber let me introduce you properly to Ben Kelly – of Team TBA – Australia’s Other least known Adventure Racing Team:

Ben ‘Ned’ Kelly. Ex-Army, environmentalist, outdoor education professional, part-time student and back-shed carpenter extraordinaire.
“Outdoor adventure wannabe who secretly wants to become famous (not a secret anymore I guess). Perhaps this team member bio and exposure through social media will achieve my dream.
Loves to run and cram his 6foot3inch frame into a kayak cockpit for paddling adventures too. Having conquered the Avon Descent this year for the first time is looking forward to the Mainpeak Multi paddle legs which are a mere blip on the screen compared to what he went through in early August. (have I spoken too soon??…..bugger, probably). Why do I sign up for these things? Addicted to events I guess – but most of all I love being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air and trees!
And what an event this will be!! First time crack at the Mainpeak Multi for us. In a team of 3 that has now become 2 (my lovely wife conveniently now has a work trip to take off on!!) – and what an honour that has been bestowed on me to race with none other than the Banzai Adventurer. I can’t wait for the good times of racing through some spectacular scenery, pushing the body to the limits and spending time with a tonne of other like minded folk just out to have a good time. Best of all, there is no chance of us winning and the luxury of sitting in the middle of the pack just tops it all off!!”

Editors note: Notice how Ben still insists on mentioning our chances of winning….

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