Skip Navigation

One Step At aTime

Rob Howard / 12.11.2018

While the leaders paddle up the west coast towards an early morning finish tomorrow, a third of the teams in the race are still continuing with the pack raft and trying to reach TA2. They’ve already been through an amazing adventure and still have a long way to go.

I caught up with two teams who had decided to retire at TA2 this morning. They’d given their all and could go no further.

The first was Saferbo Seti from Colombia. Gustavo Arango was being treated by the medic for a bad knee and infected feet and they told me they’d been collected off the course by the race. I asked Lina Vargas what she thought of Reunion and she wrinkled her face and gave me a quizzical look. “The island is beautiful ,”she said, “ but the trek was brutal, then the pack raft was brutal . It was too much for us.”

The team were still in good spirits, and are now waiting for ride back to the event HQ. Three of this team are behind the new AR World Series demonstration race in Colombia, called PC12 and taking place in September.

Team 58 were also on the football field, sorting out their gear and coming to terms with the disappointment of withdrawing.  They were a bit more beaten up by the stages they had completed. Cecile Ciman had a bandage on her forehead and a badly bruised face where she had 5 stitches and a broken nose from a fall in the pack raft section.  Stephane Pineau also suffered from a leg injury on the trek and it was mainly due to this becoming too painful that the team pulled out.

I spoke to the Captain Julien Leborgne and he said, “It is a big disappointment. There is so much hard work and training that goes into a race like this and it was my main goal of the year so it’s hard to come to terms with.” Then he shrugged and added, “There is always another race and I am looking at ITERA in Scotland next year as it will be a beautiful place to race.” 

Through the morning more teams have arrived, crossing the football field which is now in use with hundreds of school children having PE lessons in small groups. The reactions of the two teams I spoke to are reflected among the teams pressing on.  The Uruguay Natural US team arrived and Ruben Mandure just said, “We are here, one step at a time. We had two dark zones on the pack raft, so almost 8 hours stopping each time but its good, we can continue. I have not thought about the rest of the course, only the next thing in front of us, it’s the only way on this crazy course.”

When I asked if he had enjoyed it he said, “Some of the time, but some I think is dangerous. The rope down into the canyon we just finished was hard to understand – almost 400m of ropes on cliffs while we carry packs with paddles and rafts. Just crazy.”

His team and most others still on the stage had beaten the cut-off at K12 (between the two canyons) at 07.00 this morning.  The cut-offs have been generous so far and there are more to come as the race wants to offer every team the chance to finish, but to do so they will have to keep up their race speed.

The cut off is not until the top of the Volcano at TA5 (22.00 on Nov. 14th) and Race Director Pascal Bahuaud has told me he will wait and see how things go today and my introduce a cut before that so the back teams don’t have to climb the volcano.  He does not want them to miss it of course, but the question is whether they will be able to do it.

There is still plenty of time as the course is open for 8 days (closing Friday morning) and the teams need to follow Reuben Mandure’s manta of one step at a time and keep putting on foot in front of the other for as long as they are able.

[If you enjoyed this story and would like SleepMonsters to continue reporting on Adventure Racing then we need your help. Please support our Patreon campaign or make a donation via PayPal.]

About The Author

Rob Howard
Rob is Editor of SleepMonsters.com. He's traveled the world reporting on and photographing adventure races and day-to-day he keeps his finger on the pulse of AR to ensure SleepMonsters is the heartbeat of the sport.

More About ARWC 2018 - Raid in France

Le Tour de Volcano; Team AVAYA Captain's Report


The 2018 AR World Championships on Reunion Island Comes to a Close


All Roads Lead to the Finish


The Russians Are Coming –Slowly


Mixed Emotions on the Finish Line


Czech Republic and Estonia Take 4th and 5th


On The Volcano With Team 20


A Sprint Finish After 120 Hours of Racing


Avaya - Champions Again!


The Denoument


Lost in the Land of the Volcano


Conflict at TA2


Chasing Shadows in the Canyons


All To Play For On Day 3


Through the Forests To TA1


The South African View


The Circle of the Cirques


Night Stop at The Pool


Straight Off The Track


Hot Wheels and High Fives – The Prologue


Exploration and Magic – The Race Director' View


Lots To Think About After The Race Briefing


Village Life


Champions And Contenders For The World Title


How To Follow ARWC 2018


’l’île Intense’ Welcomes The Adventure Racing World Championships


Merrell Prepare For UPHILL Challenge at Champs


The ARWC Guide to Reunion Island


Our Patrons

Adventure Race Croatia

Adventure Race Georgia

Danish AR Union

Open Adventure

Rootstock Racing

TanzNavigation

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing

patrons


Adventure Race Croatia

Adventure Race Georgia

Danish AR Union

Open Adventure

Rootstock Racing

Tanz Navigation

-- -- --

Brian Gatens

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Fiona McBryde

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Josh Hayman

Strong Machine AR

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Dejna Odvody

Ivan Park

Klaus Mygind

Lars Bukkehave

Marco Ponteri

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov