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nomad adventures "bike, paddle and adventure - that´s what life is all about!" emma & scott

Countdown to race start!

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 12 February 2010 | Views [872] | Comments [8]

Only one day until start! Right now we are at Kumara Beach, where the race starts, and have just done the registration and received all the stickers that we need to put on all our equipment. Holy cow! What we have been thinking about, training for and planning for, for months, is finally happening! 

Besides race preparations, we have also managed to do some whitewater rafting and kayaking since our last update. Went on a heli rafting trip on the Whataroa river. We were flown in by helicopter and dropped 20 km into the wilderness, and then we rafted out. It took more or less all day. Really pretty river with narrow gorges and green water! And some fun class 3 and 4 rapids!

In Murchison we rented som whitewater kayaks and did our own kayaking on the Buller River. Class 3 rapids with some huge standing waves and tricky corners. FUN!!! It has been quite a while since we last paddled a whitewater kayak -- we have only been paddling our multisport kayaks lately. So it took a while getting used to having no rudder and not being able to go faster than the current. So fun to just bounce along in these short little plastic boats, not worrying about hitting rocks and damaging the kayak :)

The rest of the time has been spent preparing for the race, and doing some light training. And carbo-loading! It is a full-time job preparing for a race like this. Don´t know how the locals manage to prepare for the race and work at the same time -- maybe they take a week off work just to prepare? 

For those that don't know what it's about (or missed our first update), here comes a race description. It is 237 km long, from Kumara on the west coast, to Christchurch on the east coast. It is the world championship in solo multisport. Starts off with a 3 km run from the beach up to the bikes, then 55 km of biking (on road bikes with aero bars), followed by a 33 km mountain run up and over Goat Pass (next to Arthur´s Pass). Then a 15 km bike ride to the kayaks and the 67 km paddle. Last comes a 70 km bike ride all the way in to Sumner Beach in Christchurch. Winning time for men is approx 12 hours and for women 14 hours. You´ve only got 18 hours to finish the race, then the finish line closes. About 200 men and 30 women will stand on the starting line at 6 am saturday morning. 

We have designed, fitted, tested, re-fitted and tested again different drinking systems for the kayaks. Since it is a five hour paddle -- and we want to avoid stopping and using our hands to eat -- we're going to get our carbs in liquid form. We are drinking a smoothie (with creamed rice, bananas and canned boysenberries), sports drink and water. Smoothie in a bottle on our life jacket, sports drink in a bladder in the boat, and water in the other bladder (there is a hole in the boat for the hoses to come out and attach to our life jacket). So that makes three hoses attached to our life jacket -- all connected to different water/carb sources -- we look pretty funny :)

Emma has also developed an intricate drinking system for her road bike. She wants to stay down on her aero bars the whole time, and not have to sit up to drink. Using the same types of hoses-- from the bottles up to the opening between the aerobars -- she can just suck up the liquids and keep biking.

For the run we just drink straight out of the stream at all the stream crossings, so no intricate drinking system required :)

We know that many of you are wondering what we eat during a race like this. Well, as described above it´s only liquid carbs on the paddling. We count on a minimum of 1g of carbs per kg bodyweight per hour of racing. On the run and the bike it is a lot of gel, energy bars and this new thing we "invented": mashed banana with honey in a ziploc - you just rip a hole with your teeth when you want to eat it and suck it all down! In the TA´s (transition area - where you change from one sport to another) we'll be eating slices of pizza and cubes of cheese (you get so tired of that sweet stuff so you´ve got to have some salty food). Of course some Coke and Red Bull to keep your mind alert too. 

The race is logistically very challenging. You need a minumum of two support crew per racer. We are lucky and have three support each. There is another Swede also doing the race, Martin Flinta. Among the three of us we have nine support crew, of which two are swedish (Emma´s multisport friends Jörgen and Caroline who are over here to travel for a month and helping us out). As "head of support" we have Aaron Scott. He is this great Kiwi guy that contacted us when he saw two competitors from Sweden on the start list. He is coming to Sweden this summer for three months and, among other things, doing the Åre Extreme Challenge (Sweden's solo multisport race). He has been helping us out so much. We have stayed at his house many nights, he is lending Emma his road bike, he helped rebuild Scott´s rudder for the kayak, he is pulling all his friends together to be support for us, and he is the inventer of the smoothie that we are gonna be sipping on while paddling! Hopefully we can return some of the favors in Sweden this summer!

There has been a lot of media coverage even before the race has even started. And believe it or not, both our names have shown up in several newspapers and magazines around NZ. We are tipped to do pretty well and give all the locals some competition. Emma is even predicted to finish 5th by race director Robert Judkins!! Emma thinks this is really hilarious because she does not belive she can do nearly that well, and is gonna be happy as long as she crosses the finish line, and very happy if she makes top 20 !

What we are the most worried about now is the weather. After four weeks of glorious sunshine, there is a big storm coming that is supposed to hit on saturday morning. If it rains too much, the rivers on the mountain run can rise fast and after just a few hours of rain they can be un-passable. That means that they might re-route the race, so that we have to run 30 km on the asphalt road instead. What a nightmare!! In 2004 they had to helicopter out over 100 racers from the top because the river rose so fast that runners couldn't cross them -- they don't want that to happen again! Keep your fingers crossed that we only have light rain ….

If you want to follow us during the race, have a look at www.coasttocoast.co.nz They are supposed to have live coverage of the race. The race will start at 6 pm friday night in Sweden, and 12 noon New York time on friday. Read the pre-race reports on www.multisport.se or http://www.sleepmonsters.co.uk . The real name of the race is "Speight's Coast to Coast" Scott has number 161 and Emma has 143. 

Now it's time for bed… Next update will follow after the race.




Very best for a great race, we will be watching from afar

  mary and graham coombes Feb 12, 2010 2:12 PM


Good luck you guys! I am sure you will do amazingly well!!!

  Tara Feb 12, 2010 3:30 PM


Hej! Lycka till båda på tävlingen! Ha en jätteroligt race. Kram

  Tina Feb 12, 2010 5:49 PM


Stort lycka till båda två!
Med specialsmoothien blir ni nog extra starka.

  Mikael Mattsson Feb 12, 2010 6:02 PM


Scott och Emma Lycka till! Övertygad om att ni gör ett bra race . Jari

  jari Feb 12, 2010 7:30 PM


Lycka till! Vi håller alla tummarna!

  Jenny och Micke Feb 12, 2010 10:20 PM


Lycka till! Ska be att Ni i alla fall kommer därifrån levande, o med hälsan i behåll... :-)

  Bernice Andersson Feb 13, 2010 1:26 AM


Lycka till! Kram från Susanna

  susanna Feb 14, 2010 9:54 PM

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