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Open Adventure 2 Day – Coniston

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Standing on the start line of the final stage of 5, on equal points with Team Mountain Hardware, knowing that whoever is first back is the winner. Kind of puts the pressure on a little!

Poring over the maps for the first running stage and mountain bike stage

This past weekend Nick, Nicola, Matt Martindale and myself were over in Coniston to take part in the 2 day race. A hark back to the old ACE races as put on by the legendary Phil Humphreys a number of years ago. It is a great format, 5 stages over the 2 days, a 2hr navigational hill run, a 4 ½hr navigation mountain bike stage, a 90minute night navigation run, then the next day a 90minute kayak and then a trail run to finish the race off, along with the competitors!

Saturday dawned bright, but cool. After a briefing, weather forecast, and map give out, we headed up the road to Elterwater, where we would start the 2hr running navigation stage and then the 4 ½hr mountain bike stage.

The run went really well, 15 controls to be visited in any order, with 3 of them dummies, so you couldn’t plan too much before the start. We chose what we felt was a good route, the plan was to get all controls, but with options to drop a few if we were running late, penalties would apply getting harsher and harsher the later you were.

Matt and Bruce checking the next control on the side of Loughrigg

Running well and navigating smoothly we got around one half of the map in good time, then set off around the second loop, it was looking like we could do it, but it was going to be tight. Coming off the hill I was shouting out the minutes, luckily it was all downhill, and we were going to make it. With 1 minute to spare we were finished, banking 500points plus a bonus point for finishing early. A great start to the weekend.

The mountain bike stage looked good, some great riding to be had, but also a good distance to cover. Matt had a good look at the route, and we all agreed with the plan, thinking that it was going to be close to clearable.

We set off well, but soon found that the first few controls were taking a long time, we discussed dropping a few 10 point controls, but decided to go for them. This ultimately cost us dear. As we headed south we were slow along the roads, and then lost time on some of the many technical downhills. Once we hit the south, we were committed to a set route, this again took longer than planned, and left us with a 10+km ride along the road back to Coniston. It was going to be tough with 20minutes to go! We pushed hard, but lost time, getting back 8 minutes late, costing us 25points, but more crucially we had had to miss a lot of high value controls, costing us dearly.

We found out that after the first 2 stages For Goodness Shakes (FGS), Mountain Hardware (MHW) and ourselves were very close in points, the night nav was going to be crucial. It was turning into a great battle.

Heading up to Tarn Hows as part of the tricky night navigation stage

We set off well on the night nav stage, but I messed up our second control, and was lucky to relocate close to its location. We pushed on hard, skipping a 30point control in favour of a 40point, but sadly we failed to find this, and with time running tight we had to bail out and push for the finish. Again we were slightly late back, but managed to get the top score of the night amongst the teams, meaning that overnight we lay in 2nd place, only 1 point behind FGS and 3 points ahead of MHW!!

A good nights sleep was had, and with an early start in the kayaks we got prepped before the briefing. The weather had also taken a turn for the worse. The wind had picked up and the kayak section on Coniston Water was going to be very interesting.

The teams set off at 30second intervals, MHW taking the lead, and luckily for us they led us into every control, helping us shave vital seconds off our time. FGS were sat in behind us for a while, but as the wind and waves took their toll on already tired bodies they dropped back a few minutes. Racing hard to the line we punched, knowing it was very close to the wire, finding out later that we were less than 30seconds late, -2points to us. For MHW though it was a different story, they just finished inside the time, gaining a bonus point, levelling us on points.

It was all to play for on the trail run, a tough run up over the Old Man of Coniston, Swirl How and back to the finish.

We again set off just behind the Mountain Hardware team, a target for us to aim for as we headed up to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston. Slowly we reeled them in, but they must have taken some super sweeties at the top as they took off so fast we could hardly see them.

Heading up the Old Man - A tough final trail run

The head wind along the top was amazing, blowing me clean off my feet at one point, Nicola was suffering in the wind, and it was hard work to shield her and stay upright.

We pressed on to the top of Swirl How, sheltering off the ridge from the ferocious wind, popping out on the top to see Mountain Hardware disappear off down the Band, starting the long decent back to Coniston.

The ridge was rocky, and with MHW all being pretty decent fell runners, we watched them fly off down the hill side.  As we ran down behind them, we could all see them gaining more and more time on us, and any thought of us beating them went out of the window right there.  Our race wasn’t over though, we still had FGS somewhere behind us, so we couldn’t ease off till the finish line.

We crossed the line about 7 minutes behind Mtn Hardware, they had taken a well-deserved win by about 30 points, it had been close all weekend, and the 30 points could have been found anywhere, one control on the night nav that we ditched in preference to a 40pointer we didn’t find, or any number of different routes on the mountain bike, or being back in time on the stages.

All in all it was a great weekend, good to dust of the team racing shoes again, to have a brilliant social weekend with lots of great mates, and to have a brilliant head to head competition all weekend with Mountain Hardware and For Goodness Shakes.  Its always hard to come 2nd, but we have lots to go away and think about.  Mtn Hardware have been doing a lot of team training, and it showed, so hats off to them for working so hard, and seeing it pay off.

Mountain Hardware 1st, adidasTERREX 2nd, For Goodness Shakes 3rd

Thanks to Open Adventure, Tom Gibbs, Paul Noble and countless others for putting on a brilliant weekend too.

Congratulating Tom on a brilliant race

Our sponsors were also great this weekend, providing top class clothing to keep us warm and protected in the Lake District weather, keeping us fuelled and hydrated, and able to compete for the win.

Team Overall Results

Next up is the adidasTERREX Swift Race in June.

(photos courtesy of James Kirby)

Multi Day Race Nutrition

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

With the season of the longer races almost upon us, its time to start thinking about what to eat and drink during those long days and nights.

Nick has written this article for the adidasTERREX Swift and Sting events this year.

You are what you eat? perhaps not!! by Nick Gracie

Getting nutrition and hydration right is a key element of any adventure race. With expedition (multi day) racing there is a need to consume large numbers of calories, on average you will be burning between 8,000 – 12,000 calories per day – depending on the activity, the intensity and also the weather.

There are 3 general rules to expedition racing nutrition:

  1. Eat little but often
  2. Keep properly hydrated the whole race
  3. Eat a balanced and varied mixture of foods.

In multi day races it is important to eat real food as well as the normal stable of energy drinks, gels and bars. Try and keep to a bit of a routine if possible – have something more substantial for breakfast, maybe a sandwich for lunch and in the evening a larger portion of food.

There is always going to be a trade off between eating well and going fast. Generally the faster you race the more your diet may suffer. Preparing and eating proper meals takes time and energy. If you are on a long bike leg or Kayak stage you have little options but to eat bars, gels, sweets and maybe the odd sandwich, anything else will just force you to stop and slow you down. On the trekking legs it is a lot easier to eat real food as you are moving slower and you have both hands free to sort things out.

Eating in transition is an option but if you want to race competitively you need to avoid it turning into a picnic.  Transitions should always be done as quickly as possible and not viewed as a time to stop, have a rest and eat a three-course meal. There are always things to do in transition but there is no reason why you can’t eat as you sort your admin. Things like tubs of pasta, Pringles, bananas, tinned fruit, fruit juices and yogurt are all good things to scoff down, as they are heavy and bulky to carry on the course.

An expedition race is never going to be a gourmet culinary feast – you need to get into the mindset that eating is purely a process of fueling your body. A race is never going to replicate what you eat in a normal day; eating food becomes a real function rather than a pleasure.

Sports Nutrition:

Sports nutrition is generally well packaged and easy to use, contains complex slow release carbohydrates and numerous vitamins and minerals. Although a cereal bar from a supermarket may be similar to a specific energy bar like a Clif Bar it is very different – a cereal bar will contain high levels of white sugar which will give you a very quick high and an equally quick low – you body will spike with energy in between hits – energy bars release energy much slower so you have a more consistent energy level which gives a much better performance. It’s the same with comparing a jelly baby to a Clif Shot blok – although they appear similar the ingredients are very different. General foods found in supermarkets are designed for the general public or as treats and not as energy sources for athletes pushing there bodies to the limits.

That said trying to eat 8,000 calories a day is not easy so there is no harm in eating sweets, chocolates and other supermarket food just don’t plan to survive on it.

Energy drinks are the best way to absorb complex carbohydrates quickly into the body however in multi day races they do have the drawback of having a very sweet feel in the mouth which can cause ulcers which are good to avoid in a race. I would recommend using energy drinks sparingly and probably best saved for kayak / canoe stages when it is the easiest way to keep energy levels up while not slowing down progress. It is the one discipline of adventure racing that really limits your ability to eat well. I would recommend eating as much proper food pre and post paddle stages and then whilst paddling use energy drinks in a bladder or just scoff down a handful of energy sweets or a gel – keep it quick as every time you stop paddling you lose time! The best drink I have personally found for long races is High 5 4:1 drink (4 parts Carbs to 1 part Protein) which helps maintain and rebuild muscles as well as providing good energy levels.

Protein recovery bars and drinks are great for long races and I would aim to eat a protein bar at least every 6 hours during a race. Protein drinks such as For Goodness Shakes are also very good, as aside from tasting great they have a very milky texture to them, which is a welcome change to other foods, you will be eating which are generally sweet or salty. When you stop at night for a sleep or another rest that is a great time to get some protein in as it helps rebuild your muscles as they rest.

Generic daily food plan.

Breakfast (6.00am): Cereal bomb / For Goodness shakes / Cereal bars
Every hour: 1 item of food: Energy Bar, Gel, Savory Snack, Nuts etc.
Lunchtime (1.00pm): Sandwich / Roll / Wrap
Every hour: 1 item of food: Energy Bar, Gel, Savory Snack, Nuts etc.
Tea Time (5.00pm): Sandwich / Roll / Wrap
Every hour: 1 item of food: Energy Bar, Gel, Savory Snack, Nuts etc.
Dinner Time (9.00pm): Sandwich / Roll / Wrap – Pasta / Potatoes if possible.
Every hour: 1 item of food: Energy Bar, Gel, Savory Snack, Nuts etc
Before you sleep (2.00am): Protein Bar and Protein Drink

The kinds of foods you can eat on an hourly basis are:

  • Energy Bars: Clif Bars, High 5 Sport Bars, Cereal Bars etc.
  • Protein Bars & Drinks: Clif Builders Bars, High 5 Recovery Bars, For Goodness Shakes, Peronin etc. (at least 1 every 6 hours)
  • Energy Sweets & Gels: Clif Shot Bloks, High5 & Clif energy gels etc (excellent for kayak stages or for easy to consume quick hits)
  • Savory foods: pepporami, baby bells, pork pies, scotch eggs, peanuts etc
  • Seeds and Dried fruit

Meal times:

  • Cereal / Muesli – made up in a pot or bag with powdered milk or recovery drink powder – add water and you have a solid breakfast. You can eat this while trekking but forget it on the bike or kayak.
  • Sandwiches/Wraps: make sure they are moist so they are easy to eat – keep in simple cheese and ham etc – don’t worry about the sundried tomatoes or rocket!!
  • Pasta / Potato salad – this is heavy to carry but can be eaten quickly in transitions – it will help replenish carbohydrate stores but it will only keep for a few days so towards the end of a longer race this is less of an option.
  • Meal replacement drinks: super easy to consume and quick to make up: For Goodness Shakes and Peronin are both excellent. These can also be used whilst kayaking and biking.

Hot Food:

If you do decide to stop to make hot food – have a good cooker that heats up food fast so there is less hanging around – keep it simple – soup or noodles as they are easy to eat and quick to cook. Hot food can give the team a real boost especially if the weather is cold and your bodies need warming up. If you have the luxury off passing a shop, café or fast food establishment that you can get hot or even fresh real food from it is worth considering, it will no doubt waste time but the benefit of some good food may have very beneficial effects physically and mentally.

During the adidas TERREX race we will be making hot food available at all the overnight transitions areas. An excellent local caterer will provide this and it will be a combination of potato’s, pasta, soup and bacon rolls etc. This will be a great thing to take advantage of and should help with your overall nutrition strategy.

Supplements:

As your diet will suffer during a race and also your body is under fairly extreme pressures and sometimes environments depending on the weather and temperature a few supplements may help you prolong the body deteriorating and also give you better energy levels. High levels of Vitamins and especially Vitamin C can be good – multi vitamins and Berocca work well for me. Creatine could also be used as it allows your body to recover faster. – there is a lot of information out there about Creatine so best to make your own mid up about using it.

Caffeine:

In moderate doses caffeine can substantially increase the absorption of carbohydrate and fluids. Caffeine also stimulates the body’s nervous system: reducing fatigue, making you more alert, increasing your concentration and reducing the feeling of effort during exercise. If you are sensitive to caffeine and experience symptoms such as hand tremors or heart palpitations I would recommend not to use caffeine. Caffeine can be taken in many sports drinks, tablets or drinks such as Red Bull. In the middle of the night when the body most wants to sleep then caffeine can become essential if you need to push through a stage. It can also help out one of the team if they are feeling tired and the rest are not.

Hydration

Staying properly hydrated can be critical to a successful race. It is important to keep drinking the whole race and also to use electrolytes. Water on its own is good but if you add in electrolytes the water is absorbed quicker into your body and there is less waste – meaning you don’t have to drink as much and you won’t need to go to the loo as much (both saving time). Electrolytes are also helpful in avoiding dehydration and cramp. The easiest best way to take electrolytes on is through products like High 5 ZERO – simple easy to use tablets which you can drop into bladders or water bottles.

Conclusion

You basically need to eat a hell of a lot in a long race, probably three times as much as you would in a normal day without the luxury of a kitchen or restaurant. Therefore set you watch alarm to go off every hour to make sure you eat and everyone in the team should always be making sure everyone else is eating and drinking, even forcing them to eat if they don’t really want to – try to avoid getting hungry as by then it can be too late.  Eat some really good quality food and there is no harm in throwing in some fatty junk, as you will need ever calorie. Four days before the race starts you can begin fattening up a little as it will have very little effect on your performance but it will just give you some extra reserves to call on during the race. Little but often is the key.

World Adventure Racing Champs – 2011 – Tasmania

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Tom Gibbs

From the UK it’s hard to go much further away than Tasmania, and after 2 days of travelling it certainly felt like the end of the earth, that was until enroute to Race HQ in Burnie, we drove through the town of Ulverstone on the River Leven.  Both names being the same as my local town and river back home !

After a few days sorting kit, getting registered, packing kit and marking maps we were on the start line on the sea front in Burnie and ready for the off.

The race started with a sea paddle along the Bass Strait to the fantastically named town of Penguin.  Each team had one rigid sit on top kayak and an inflatable kayak.  With the crosswinds the inflatables were struggling to hold their line constantly wanting to turn into the wind.

The teams at the start - 7 days of hard racing ahead

Apart from Team Seagate all the teams were closely packed, with ourselves in 17th place, a quick transition saw us up to 12th and storming up the hill behind Penguin to the Shooting.  Here we were past the local school, where all the kids lined the road and cheered us on – a fantastic atmosphere.  Nick “One Shot” Gracie duly dispatched the Clay shooting with his first shot catching the rest of us out with his fast shooting.

The next stage was a foot stage through the bush-laiden hills of the Mount Dial Range.  We kept up a good pace and chose some nice lines pulling us up to 4th by transition.  Here was a short bike to the Gunns Plains Caves – all into a headwind, it was harder than expected.

The Caves were timed out, and only took 30 minutes to navigate round the magnificent formations, giving us a further 30 minutes to reorganize and eat before the next stage, a 50km bike where we lost a few places to other teams due to a mechanical.

Warren in the caves

At the end of this stage we were back on our feet and onto the first long leg, the 60km Trek over Black Bluff to Lake Murchison.  Here we were into the first night and as we passed over the highest point on the course, the weather was decidedly wintery.  We were glad of our warm kit.  Once over the high point, we followed various paths and tracks, increasingly smaller in nature to lead to the abseil into the Vale River.  Due to water flow levels, the abseil was canceled, but we still had to negotiate a very cold canyon and bushwhack 8km downstream to the Rafts.

Here we had 1 inflatable between the 4 of us, which made for a interesting and cosy paddle.   The trek had taken longer than expected, so we pushed on to get the rafting stage done before dark.

Thanks to good choice of kit, we were reasonably warm allowing us to transition quickly and take time out of other teams and kick onto the next stage, a paddle down the length of Lake Murchison.  By now it was dark and into the second night of the race.  At the bottom of the lake we had a tough 1 mile portage up a big hill and down into the river feeding Lake Roseberry

Back in the boats, we paddled up to Tullah and the next Transition.  Tom was feeling mentally tired here and took a 20 min nap to refresh the grey matter.   The team tried to avoid a longer sleep as the Mid Camp with its mandatory 6 hour stop awaited at the end of the next bike.

After a longer than usual transition the team were back on their bikes and heading over the hills to Roseberry and onto the magnificent Montezuma Falls, the highest falls in Tasmania at 104m.  They were a truly magnificent sight and a highlight of the course, as was the following descent on the bike, a long flowing  10km long downhill which had us all grinning.

Here we picked up a disused railway line to Zeehan, then it was a long stretch of tarmac through to the last couple of checkpoints near Strahan.

The team in determined mood, setting out on foot for the next long trek

Thanks to some mistakes by other teams, we arrived at midcamp about midday in 4th place and were greeted with a full cooked breakfast – the only complaint was there wasn’t enough of it !  After some food and kit sorting we got our heads down for our first proper sleep of the race, most of the team got a good kip, with  only Tom seemingly oblivious to the heat of the tent !

Far too quickly we were back on our feet for the hardest leg of the race, the long 65km foot stage up the wild west coast.  We kept the pace on to clear the first section of Ocean Beach to the very tricky controls placed in a dune system.  We managed to do these in daylight, we found out later the following teams lost many hours here, and pushed further up the beach to the second half of the leg, a trek through the snake infested hills around the Heemskirk range.  Here confusion paths led up through Bush to a land of scrub and few paths.

Next up was a superbly placed checkpoint in a mine on Mount Cumberland.  After this we had a long section across wild hills with no tracks and many tussocks, this took a lot of time and effort and we were very glad to hit the road that led to Granville Harbour and the next transition,  After nearly 20 hours on foot we were glad to see our bikes.

This soon changed as we tried to find the next control.  The map suggested that one route was unrideable but navigatible, so we decided to go along the beach then cut into this track.  This was all going very well until we got to the edge of the bush and the track was not there.  All we could find were some tracks coming along the dunes, which basically left us a bit confused, we pushed into the bush, following the tracks and it hit a track, but the track didn’t do as we expected and after a while of hunting around, we decided to take the tough decision of going all the way back to the start of this tricky section and following the unrideable track, following this we discovered that it just led back to where we had been 3 hours earlier, devastated we had no option but to push on along the track that we didn’t trust,  and it soon joined the path we were looking for.  Cursing our luck we pushed onto the control, counting the cost of at least 5 hours lost and any chance of a top 3 finish.

It had been over 30 hours since our last sleep, so we got an hour before crossing the Pieman River.  Here we discovered we had dropped to 8th place, some 3 hours behind 4th so we knew we had our work cut out to get our position back.

We kept up a good pace on the next section of the ride, passing a sleeping Merrell to get into 7th.  As dawn broke, we were all feeling the effects of sleep and stopped for a quick 10 min nap, this sorted us out and we were soon heading on the road to Waratah.  Getting to the next control in the town, we were an hour or so behind a couple of teams, as we still had a 60km or so of the ride to do and we were low on food we took advantage of the café opening to have a quick refuel, after a sandwich, cake and a hot drink we were on our way.

As the temperature rose we knocked off the remaining part of the ride, nearly missing a key junction, we later found out that Blackheart had missed this and had lost 3 hours.  Climbing the last hill to transition we met AXA going down to the Paddle Put in.  We were only 45 mins behind them and knew that we were back up to 5th and AXA, in 4th, and in our sights.  After a very quick transition we were down to the water, meeting Merrell, Blackheart and Cyanosis all climbing the hill on their bikes.  This meant we only had about hour on them.  All very close.

We got on the water and then went past AXA’s boats, they had taken an interesting choice of a short steep bush bash to the first control, we went a little further and used the track that led up to the control.  We didn’t know at the time that AXA were having a nightmare and lost over 2 hours finding this control.

We quickly got the control and raced back to the boats, eager to get as far down the river as we could before the mandatory stop time of 7:30pm.  We managed to get a further 40 minutes down the river and pull in at a lovely sandbank.

Here was a chance for us to relax and enjoy some hot food and a good sleep as we couldn’t get back on the river until 6:30am.  We could also take in the Prehistoric, Jurassic Parkesque landscape of the Tarkine region.

Trekking into the sunset

6:30 came around all too soon, but we managed to get on the water bang on time and push onto the second short trek.  Here we met a few teams as we finished the trek, but more importantly saw that AXA were also behind us – we were back in 4th !

Pushing on we enjoyed the fantastic river, with lots of easy rapids and beautiful scenery.  Probably the highlight being a massive Eagle fliying overhead with a Tiger Snake in it’s Talons – real David Attenborough stuff !

By early afternoon we were on the last trek, and again saw the chasing teams as we completed the trek.  This control was up a side river, and as we rejoined the main channel we saw 2 teams just in front – we assumed these were teams on a short course.  It took us until nearly the end of the paddle to catch them, and we found that it was Team Blackheart and another Aussie team, City Depot.  Blackheart had lost their map and asked us where the last control was – we told them 16km upstream !

Devastated from this, they then had to trek back from the end of the paddle to the missed control – 10 hours of trekking overnight.  The good news for us however was that they wouldn’t be pushing us in the finishing stages of the race.

Again we had a very quick transition to bikes and a fast ride we reached the last trek just after Sunset.

Here we knew we had at least 30 minutes on AXA and pushed the pace on the beach to try and extend this.  Rocky terrain and runable paths led through a few controls to Sisters Beach, a very posh looking resort.  Here there was just one control to the end of the leg.  Not long we though – how wrong we were.

Climbing the last hill, we were on the lookout for a stream crossing, with the control being a simple 25 metres upstream, sounds easy and it would have been, if there had of been a stream, or even a stream bed.  At 1:30am with undergrowth and little visibility is was impossible to find.  We looked for an hour before AXA turned up, then together we searched for a further 3 hours, trying various methods to find the elusive stream.  With the heavens opening and a heavy downpour we retreated to some flat ground and put up our tent until daylight.

The sprint for the line.

AXA had done a similar thing, and once light we resumed our search – it took less than 10 minutes to find it in the light.  By  lining up the hill tops and being very creative with our imaginations we found the control.  In an act of sportsmanship we told AXA where it was.

After this we were not sure of what AXA’s intentions would be – would they want to race, or consider this bad form after us finding and showing them the control.

We decided to not wait and see and pushed onto the end of the run and were quickly on the bikes.  Lack of food and drink really hurt us here and we did our best, always keeping an eye out behind for the Swede’s.

Then finally with 12 km to go, they caught us.  We managed to get on their wheels and sat in.    As we cycled a marshall explained that the finish was a lap and a half of the velodrome track, not what you want after nearly 6 days of racing !

We quizzed AXA about their intentions and team captain Michael Lindnord said that they wanted to race.   As AXA were a faster biking team, I was fully expecting that we would lose out to them, then I thought to myself, no way is that going to happen.  We will beat these guys.  We have to beat these guys.

So for the remaining 12 km we just sat behind them and let them do all the work, which they seemed happy to do, I believe they thought that we would not be able to hold on.  Once we arrived at the track the plan was for us to sit behind for the first half a lap or so, then go past AXA to take the flag.

Hitting the track there was some jostling and then we were speeding round, AXA leading it out just trying to ride away from us, perfect for us and I couldn’t believe they were not being more tactical.

Almost what the team looked like on the last lap!!

With a lap to go, we pushed on passing the bulk of the AXA team and isolated Michael at the front.  Having three adidas TERREX riders on his shoulder was too much pressure for him and our fresher legs took us to the line first, then Sonya came in between the AXA riders to secure our 4th place by about 2 bike lengths or about a second.  Probably the closest finish ever to an Expedition Adventure Race !

We were elated and over the moon.  AXA were very generous in defeat, Michael saying he preferred to come 5th in a race than joint 4th – and I think he was right – it was a brilliant end to a great race, though I probably would be saying different things if we had lost !

Michael was astonished that we beat them on the bikes, but we just explained that you don’t take on the Brits at Track Cycling !

It was a great event and the best World Championships race in a while. We would like to thank all our family, friends, sponsors and fans for supporting us through the 2011 World Championships.

The team, very happy with their 4th Place.

Now it’s time for a well earned rest now and then we will be concentrating on the 2 adidas events in the UK in 2012 and then the main focus of next year, the World Championships in France.

Thanks to all our sponsors for their support and great products:

  • adidas TERREX: our principle sponsors who help fund our race fees. They also provide high performance, comfortable and durable outdoor clothing, great footwear and cycling gear.
  • adidas eyewear: brilliant sunglasses for every environment.
  • Marin: mountain bikes that are a joy to ride and super reliable.
  • Nik Wax: excellent waterproofing products that keep all our kit in top condition.
  • Paramo: Amazing wet weather gear that keeps you dry and warm.
  • Exposure: the best lights available – super bright, user friendly, efficient and reliable.
  • OMM: Great backpacks which are light and functional
  • Nordenmark: The best mapboards from Sweden.
  • Terra Nova: Awesome team tent and sleeping bags.
  • Leki: again the best trekking poles – light and strong.
  • Salewa: multisport helmets – light and very breathable.
  • Clif: the bloks and bars are our stable food for racing.
  • High 5: ZERO electrolyte tablets, 4:1 energy drink and gels are all fantastic products.
  • For Goodness Shakes: great tasting recovery drinks.
  • Powerthemachine.com: sports nutrition website that provides us all our energy for racing and training.

Race Tips: