What Can You do in 24 Hours? Central Otago Adventure Racing
In fairy tales, as the clock strikes twelve - carriages turn into pumpkins, horses become mice and the heroine stands in rags. Not so at midnight on Friday 21st November, as adventure racers from all over New Zealand start the 2015 “24 Hour.” Lowburn Hall, just north of Cromwell will become the official base for Central Otago Adventure Racing and competitors will either: mount their bikes, paddle a kayak or head to the hills in running shoes (instead of glass slippers).
Bill Godsall organised the first 24-hour event in 2000 and since then it has been annually testing people’s physical and mental strength, as well as their ability to work as a team. Over 100 people are expected to enter this year’s race, which is hosted by the Southern Lakes Multisport Club. It has been designed as an entry level adventure race that anyone can afford to do, as long as they have the right gear and have done some training.
Teams are made up of either two or four people, and can be all male, all female, or mixed. The competitors must stay within 100 metres of their team mates throughout the race which is divided into sections that must be completed in sequence. Each section is an “Out & Back” leg which creates a clover leaf circuit around the main base and transition area. Each section can include kayaking, rafting, trekking, navigation, abseiling, or mountain biking.
When asked why do people do it? this year’s Race Director Malcolm McLeod said, “I don’t know really, I guess we’re all a bit mad...” McLeod who has competed in numerous multi-sport and adventure racing events over the years (including this month’s Pub to Pub Bannockburn Gutbuster) is almost annoyingly understated. Especially when you think of the massive challenge associated paddling, cycling, abseiling and hiking the day away in an increasingly sleep-deprived state.
McLeod admitted later that some teams use the race as part of their training build up for other events such as the GodZone, while others are keen to see if they can “just finish”. You can only assume that the geographic adventure associated with not knowing where you are going pre-race, and the journey into your own mind to see if you can “just keep going” also has something to do with it.
If you want to volunteer or enter the event you can find out more about Central Otago Adventure Racing and the 24 Hour event go to www.southernlakesmultisportclub.com.