Wow! What a perfect day for a race. Unlike my previous experiences with Storm The Trent, the sun was out, it was warm, and weather was not going to be a factor. All indications were that it was going to be a fantastic day.
That all changed only minutes after we heard the word “Go”. They don’t call it an adventure race for nothing! More on this later.
The Storm The Trent Adventure Race has always been my favourite race and this year’s version was no different. This race combines the three off road disciplines of mountain biking, trail running, and canoeing and throws in some basic navigation skills. The result is something like an off road triathlon with a twist.
There are three different distances for this race with the Hike distance being the shortest. The organizers keep the order of three disciplines and the exact distances a secret until the day of the race and every year they change things up a bit.
This year’s version of the Storm the Trent Adventure Race could be broken up into 4 stages. The first stage was a 5km trek through the trail system of the Northumberland forest looking for 4 check points, the last of which was located at the transition to the second stage, the mountain bike.
The mountain bike stage was about 17km and could be divided into three parts. The first part was true mountain biking in the trail system of the Northumberland forest. This was followed by a section that was on unassumed dirt (or should I say sand) roads which eventually lead to the country roads that took us to the next stage.
The third stage was another short trek of about 3 km in the trail system of the Golden Beach Resort (the host for this year’s event) where 2 more check points were to be found. After completing this section, it was a short bike to the canoe stage.
The last leg of the race was a 9km canoe on Rice Lake where two more check points were waiting to be found and then it was off to the finish line.
When you are in a race of this nature, never assume that those in front of you know where they are going, and when you figure out that they don’t know where they are going, consult your map carefully before trying to correct the error. Take it from me, making both of these mistakes could result in you getting lost. Very lost! I am embarrassed to say we made both of these mistakes and as a result we were the last team to arrive at the first check point of the race. When we finally reached the first checkpoint some 42 minutes later, my son and teammate, said something to me like “well we are going to have to book it now, Dad”. I think that means “we need to go really fast” in teenage talk. So that’s what we did. Once we were back on track and knew where we were on the map we started to make up as much time as we could. After being last at the first check point we picked up our pace and ended the race in a respectable time. I can safely say, I’ll do things differently next time. Lesson learned! Like I said earlier, they don’t call it an adventure race for nothing!