They came…They conquered.
We had been waiting for this weekend just gone for quite a while. Ever since husb agreed to take part in the Anaconda Challenge with fast running friends husb, and his work colleague in fact.
The Anaconda Challenge is pretty tough, 1.9k ocean swim, 13km ocean kayak, 14k trail run, 18k mountain bike and to finish it all off; a nice 1.5km beach run to the finish line.
There were some crazy individuals who did the WHOLE thing themselves, our hero’s (team name The Newcomers) decided that as their name suggested being new to this whole thing, it would be a good idea to do a leg each.
It all started off well enough, there was a candidate for the swim, another for the kayak (albeit very reluctantly!), another candidate for the run and another for the cycle.
Brilliant, everyone got to training before the big event.
Until everyone started dropping like flies, first the swimmer couldn’t do it, so someone else was quickly drafted in to replace the original, only for replacement swimmer to then be unable to take part with 2 weeks to go. We thought the Newcomers were doomed only for fast running friends hubby being the athlete that he is stepping into the breach and taking on the swim with next to no training, in addition to the run leg he was already signed up to do. What a guy!
The kayak leg was touch and go at times too, as I think there was alcohol involved when he was originally asked to take part and he hadn’t quite thought it through before saying yes considering he had never kayaked before – ever!
Husb took on the mountain bike leg because the original biker had also pulled out as well.
So by the time The Newcomers actually reached the startline the team bore very little resemblance to the one that had orginally entered. But hey ho, they got there!
The whole event took place down in Lorne which is on the Great Ocean Road. It was a pretty hardcore event taking place on the Sunday so we made a weekend of it and we were lucky enough to stay at said work colleagues holiday home which was beautiful and had absolutely stunning views of Lorne and the bay.
We all arrived Saturday late afternoon, and while the boys went off to register (read – have a sneaky preparation beer or two) fast running friend and I were left to tend to our respective children.
Frf happily fed her child who sat there quite contentedly eating his dinner, while the Bear ran amok round this beautiful brand new (did I mention the house is barely a month old) house. Exploring his new surroundings picking up and chewing everything he could get his hands on while I attempted to simultaneously prepare his food and stop him launching himself off the balcony!
I managed to sort his dinner and while I was waiting for it to cool, I noticed that the Bear had something on his face. On closer inspection I realised with quite a shock that it was blood. What an earth has he done Frf and I pondered (slightly less calmly than it sounds here). I inspected him as he wiggled away out of my arms and I realised that he had cut his finger and their was blood .. . . lots of blood.
I am not sure at which point he cut it but I could tell you exactly where he had been after he had cut it, from the trail of bloody devastation left in his wake.
There was blood on the beautiful wooden floor, smeared all over the glass sliding doors, on the door frame, a trail of bloody tiny finger prints all over the pristine barely a month old white walls. I was mor – ti – fied . . . and very thankful that the owner of the house was not present.
I followed him round and cleaned up the mess he had caused and was still causing as the blood would not stop gushing from his finger, before abandoning my task in the search for a plaster to stop the carnage taking place. As the boys had picked up their race packs before we got to the house and they included a mandatory first aid kit, I naturally went on the hunt for plasters in there. I rifled through to no avail, I mean what kind of a first aid kit doesn’t have plasters? I managed to locate a very thin strip of medical tape and wrapped that round his finger which he immediately tried to wrench off. Luckily because I had wrapped it tight enough to actually stop his circulation, I managed to kill 2 birds with one stone, no more bleeding, no more wrenching.
Crisis over I chucked him into his seat and gave him his, by now, very cold dinner. All the while frf and her little one happily sat eating and being all angelic.
By the time the boys got back he was in the bath so there was no sign of the mayhem that had previously ensued. I think we got away with it, fingers crossed!
Anyway, onto the race at hand.
1st Leg Swim – went extremely well, frfs husb is a machine, with literally no training, he popped into the ocean had a swim and came back looking remarkably calm and not at all tired in any way,
2nd Leg Sea Kayak – I personally think that this was defintiely the hardest leg of the lot and work colleague was very game to give it a go having never kayaked before. The sea was really choppy so they changed the course meaning that he had to do one lap come back get out of the kayak carry it along the beach get back in (with no help) and then go out and do another lap. He did look like he could have happily throttled frfs husb as he was struggling to get back into his kayak to go out for the 2nd leg while we all stood and watched and shouted ‘encouraging’ things to him. He managed it though and was very relieved when his bit was over! (although he had forgotten that he had to do the beach run at the end as well so it wasn’t quite over).
3rd Leg – Trail Run – once again frfs husb was on the case, again having never done a trail run before as he is more of a road runner, he blazed a trail (geddit) through the course and came sprinting into the transition area for husb take up the batton with the mountain bike leg.
4th Leg – Mountain Bike – once the transition was done, husb zoomed off like the wind. This leg was pretty much an almost vertical uphill before more uphill and a bit more for good measure. He cained it though and as he zoomed into the transition to rack his bike and start the beach run his team mates hadn’t even seen him, they were having a bit of a chat! Husb chivvied them up though and it was onwards onto the beach.
5th Leg Beach Run – As husb dismounted his bike he sprinted off onto the beach leaving his team mates in his wake, until his legs turned to jelly and started to seize up from the bike ride. I must say on watching them run along the beach he didn’t look the most comfortable!
They did it though and over the finish they went in 5hours 19mins and 27seconds.
Husb was a bit broken afterwards.
I slept so well that night though- I tell you what, it is hard work this spectating business!