Today Mr BBB and I competed in the Urban Polaris – a biking and orienteering event. The general concept is that teams of two must reach as many checkpoints located around the city within a 7 hour time period. Each checkpoint is worth a certain number of points – with the closer checkpoints usually being lesser in value than those which are far away or difficult to reach. The winner of the race is the team that has collected the most points overall at the end of the 7 hours. Our day started early so that we could be at registration by 6.30am.
We soon arrived at the event HQ and collected our race bags which included a map and a list of grid references for the various checkpoints. Having not completed in the event before, we decided to avoid the “far” checkpoints and concentrate on the ones closer by. We did, after all, have 7 hours on the bike ahead of us!
After plotting all the checkpoints on our map, we headed over to the start line – to commence the race! Apparently there were over 150 teams competing so there were people everywhere!
During the first half of the race, we were north of the city – and came across some beautiful bike paths, equestrian trails and tracks.
We stopped for some fuel at various points along the way – although my ‘game plan’ to eat more during the event did not go too well as I didn’t really have an appetite for a lot of food. I did, however, manage some bananas and gels which seemed to keep my energy levels ok.
There was not a cloud in the sky however so the sun was relentless – especially when we reached this hill!
We also encountered a few obstacles along the way…
We also arrived at one checkpoint only to find out that we had to swim to an island to have our score card stamped! I was not expecting that – but the thought of a cool swim did not bother me in the slightest!!
Having cooled down, we continued our journey (now south of the city) where the scenery was a little more bland and the heat a lot more intense! Thank goodness for sunscreen – that is all I can say!!!
I can’t believe how dry it is! Someone needs to cut the grass – especially with the hotter weather / bushfire season yet to come. By now our muscles were tired and sore – so with an hour or so left on the clock we started our way back to the event HQ. We stopped at a few checkpoints along the way – but were quite happy when we reached the last one knowing that the end was in sight!
We then headed back to event HQ – arriving with around 30 minutes to spare. We debated whether to try and reach another checkpoint using the time we had remaining – however the lure of a cold drink and a cold shower was too enticing to ignore!
(hmm the headband may have made an appearance at this point due to an interesting combination of lake swim + helmet hair = so hot….not!!) All in all it was a fantastic day and we learnt a lot. I have so much respect for the teams that scored well in the event – knowing the hills they would have had to climb – and the speed in which they would have had to have done it. Both Mr BBB and I are already sore and will no doubt feel worse tomorrow. But this was the longest distance that both of us have ever ridden, plus the longest time we have spent on our bikes, so we are very happy with our effort! Now we are just waiting for the local Indian restaurant to open so that we can order a yummy feed to replace some of the ++++ calories burned during the race! Happy baking 🙂