Augusta Adventure Fest 2016

The Augusta Adventure Fest encompassed everything FUN, FITNESS and ADVENTURE

What a weekend in the stunning South West of WA down at the bottom of the cape in Augusta. The event took place over the weekend of the 5th-6th November, with 11 competitors and friends both competing and supported over the two days. Between us we tackled both the individual mini and team main adventure race, along with nearly 10,000 other people.

Entering these events brings you closer together as friends, gives you a focus for your training and challenges you physically and mentally. I did the marority of my training for this event with the Fremantle Tri Club, where I’am also a coach. If you live in Perth, WA and want to join in the fun, head to www.ftc.org.au

We all stayed in a house near Margaret River, due to the popularity of the event accommodation booked up quick, so it was a 40 min drive to Augusta. Not ideal, but being all together in a nice big house was so much fun and a welcomed break from our usual camping. Lots of competitors camped at the campsite where the event starts and finishes and I think this would have been perfect. Turner Caravan Park is a beautiful campsite with grassy sites and amazing views along the inlet. If you want to camp here, book in early, details at www.turnerpark.amrshire.wa.gov.au

The Mini Event on day 1, consisted of a 750m Swim, which was a big challenge to a lot of competitors as the currents were strong and fast flowing. Then a 15km mountain bike, tackling a few muddy puddles and carrying the bikes up steps and over tree logs, followed by a 6km trail run and then back in the inlet for a 6km paddle. It was a hot day with lots of sunburn and tired legs. You can also do this event as a team of 2-4 people.

Day 2 was an early start, with those competing as individuals yesterday enjoying a nice lie in after a few beers the night before to celebrate, before heading down to support the team event. To undertake the Adventure Race as an individual over 56km would be no mean feat, so I was pleased I was in a team with brother and Sister Lauren and Bryn Winder. Bryn was up first on the water, with an extremely challenging 13.8km inlet and open ocean paddle. Being new to this sport and with only experience training on the river, this was a huge challenge which he tackled, with a few capsizes along the way out in the huge ocean waves.

Next up with me on the mountain bike leg a 28.5km loop through the bush. They don’t call it heartbreak hill for nothing, with the middle section of this long steep climb, finding me off the bike and struggling to push up the hill. The rest of the ride was good fun with muddy puddles, beautiful scenery, a bit of single track and a few more hills, before passing to our swimmer Lauren to gracefully swim the 1.9km in the inlet in a great time.  The final leg saw Bryn back in action running the 13.7 trail run along beaches, bush and rocks, before we all ran 400m hand in hand over the finish line.

An amazing event, very well organised, with the kayak leg being the biggest mass start paddle ever in Australia and was impressive to see.

The events expo was great too, with lots of food trucks and shops  selling all those bits and pieces you might have forgotten and providing much needed pre-race coffee pick me up’s and post-race food. There was a survivor event for kids too which looked a lot of fun, with them all crossing the finish line covered in mud, this truly makes this event a family affair. Having been all day at the mini, the briefing at 5.30pm was late on the Saturday evening and would have been much better done, at the event start on the morning. But apart from that I couldn’t fault a thing about the organisation. Luckily Bootleg Brewery was on site and we enjoyed a cold beer and a catch up with some other friends who were also down here competing. Would I do it again………Oh yes and next year I want to do the main race as a land and water duo.

If you want to sign up too here is the website. www.rapidascent.com.au.  A want to say huge thank you to Rich, who supported me on the Sunday as well as all our other cheer sqaud. Finally, our top tip for the weekend……..bring binoculars, it was so much more fun for the spectators watching everyone head out and back in on the water events.

Sarah x.

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