|By Rob Howard|
At Boat Harbour Beach there is a lot of activity with a local kayaking contest taking place, but the final TA in XPD 2011 is now winding down and was waiting for one last team – Latitude 19. There has been a group of teams pass through in the late morning and early afternoon, all of them limping in after the beach trek and ‘coasteering’, which they were out on overnight.
From 10.00 to 12.45 Midnight Sun, Loose Unit, It’s All Good, Tali Karng Trackers, Absolute Disorientation, Sportsworld Hong Kong, Missing Link and Michael Hill/Team Pink all came and left for the final bike ride into Burnie. I spoke to Sportsworld Hong Kong who confirmed they have visited all the checkpoints. and are a ranked team still, and to Missing Link, the team who started the race as a team of 3, and will finish it as a team of 3.
“We should have slept before the trek last night,” they said, “but when we were walking into bushes off the trail we knew we had to sleep. It was beautiful sleeping on the beach, but it was cold too.”
Absolute Disorientation are still together as a team of 4. They said they’d had a wet night camped out on the river and unable to light a fire and when I asked Adrian Ryan if they had any brakes left on the bikes the answer was “**** no! When you come on this race you know you’ll trash your bike, but having said that I don’t intend to ride it for another 6 months- I’m so trashed myself!”
Then, just before 13.00 there was a cheer and the final team, ‘Latitude 19 (destined to be ranked)’ walked into transition. Linda Davis was supported by a team mate either side as she struggled in from the trek, and was laid down gently on the grass by the TA. “I dislocated my knee on the last ride,” she said. “We put it back, but that last trek was too long and uneven and made it very sore.”
Her ankles were so swollen they barely fit in her shoes, and when she took off the first of them there was a gasp from the marshals at her raw and blistered feet. “That’s my good foot!” She said. Their overnight trek had been harder than it need be as they’d gone along the coastline and not taken the inland path. “It was bad,” Davis said, “we were in some difficult places and had it been daylight we’d never have gotten into them, but by daylight we’d gone so far we had to continue. It was beautiful too, the sunrise was picture perfect.”
Now the team know they can finish, as a ranked team, with just one more ride to go. After they had packed their gear box and given it in, all strapped up, they realised they’d left their checkpoint card in there! “Can’t do that!” was the call. “We’ve ticked every one so far!”
[Latitude 19 finished at 15.05 to close the race, bringing the total of officially ranked finishers to 47.]