Fortunately, I spotted the tweet from @GoMulti announcing this race hosted by trisport.co.za. The appeal of doing 4 races over 2 days was just to good to skip, and so, off we went on a spur-of-the-moment family roadtrip.
Accommodation was promptly organised by @momallott and we loaded up the kids, canoe and MTB and headed into the sunrise. Needless to say, we arrived, ready to rumble in one of the more beautiful parts of our country, Sedgefield. Actually, South Africa is filled with beauty, the most beautiful place happens to be the one you’re standing in right now
The morning’s MTB ride was a straightforward, relatively non-technical time-trial across country road, jeep track, hiking paths, railway lines and one hectic little bump on the sand dune, fortunately covered with stone. A perfect start to the day to work up a good breakfast and just enough time to recover for the 2km open water swim.
The lake is big enough to pick up some wind chop when the wind does get going- and for the OWS, it got going. The surface current was pretty strong and the swim back into the current was tough going. Of course, that meant that the part when we turned and swam downwind was sweet! A great little swim in the middle of the day left plenty of time in the afternoon for lunch, playground and swimming with the kids.
By the time evening came around, the legs were a little heavy, but amped for the night trail run. Having never done one before (even bought a Pick ‘n Pay headlamp special en-route, just in case) I wasn’t sure what to expect. Race briefing included warnings of large mole rats, puff-adders, big holes in the soft sand (from rats and snakes alike) but no mention of kamikaze bats. It was at about 2km that it got dark and lights came on. Click. Rushing through single track, dodging bats above, roots below and keeping an eye on footing with a moving headlamp was thrilling. Having to chase down the lead with my torch switched off (so as not to give my progress away) was even more exhilarating If you ever have a night trail run pop up on your race calendar- do it!
The last day was a relatively easy start to the day, especially when you can roll out of bed into the transition area for an Ultra Canoe Offroad Triathlon. The canoe ended up being quite a bit longer than 6km (closer to 9kms almost) but still, an awesome paddle. As a result, the main swimming group were quite a way ahead so the MTB was an intimate affair up into the mountains and farmlands.
A fresh little squall passed over the top of the mountains to spark off the forest’s finest nutty pine aroma and kept things nice and cool for the rest of the day. The run, similarily was perfeclty fresh, and included a great combination of soft sand, hiking trail, jeep track, bundu bashing, passing over that same steep sand dune (we became good friends) before finishing up inside Pine Lake Marina.
As for the rest of the weekend, there was plenty of down time with the family, which included taking in the jungle gym mostly since the kids were absolutely fascinated with it- it has a foofee slide, which kid wouldn’t be? In all, perfect little country getaway, without having to take the kitchen sink with and certainly a great race venue with enough to do!