Lozere Team2raid Take The Win At ITERA
On the final morning of ITERA, and going into the fifth day, three teams were still on the full course for the race. SWECO had lead in the early stages with their paddling skills, then Columbia Vidaraid pulled away to build a substantial lead only to make a navigational mistake and be passed by Lozere Team2raid. And it was then the French team who held on to the finish line to take the win this morning.
Their total race time was 93.48.36 and they were the only full course to complete the whole event as the other two received a penalty for being too late to do the rafting last night. The team of Maxime Brajon, Camille Defer , Benjamin Monier and Nicolas Rambier were emotional as they crossed the line, particularly Maxime Brajon who was crying with his hand over his face.
Monier explained, “Max had a very difficult time on the last night. We had to stop many times for short sleeps so we could keep going to the finish. It was really tough.” They had only slept a few hours in the whole race so the final push for the finish line took all they had to give.
Monier continued, “It was a good, tough race and we think Scotland is a perfect place for adventure racing. The landscape was amazing and we had every kind of weather. We raced well, especially with Camille who was with us for the first time and is only 25.”
It was something of a French celebration as they arrived with the Ligeraid team and both teams had their supporters there to cheer them in. This was particularly true of Ligeraid, a team with a husband/wife/brother combination. They put on their trademark blue capes to run over the line to the cheers of their extended family who had come to see the race. There were 8 children, several partners and some grandparents I think! The children had not slept,were very excited and sang a special song for the team.
Nathalie Pomenon said, “For us the best part of the course was the trek up An Teallach. It was sunrise and we enjoy climbing, so liked being on the rock.” She said all of the family will stay for another week to see some more of Scotland.
All of the teams were given their medals on the line and also a miniature of Glenmorangie Whisky, which some chose to drink for breakfast. The Belgian team, Buval AR Belgium had no hesitation and neither did Sharon McDonald of Calabrian AR. This team had taken the final course option which was presented to teams last night.
This was to take the country roads to the East of Loch Ness, rather than ride the Great Glen Trail. It provides a quicker ride to the finish (and is a superb ride in its own right) and the race still needed to move the now exhausted teams on to the finish. After 6am on Friday morning all teams will be directed this way as otherwise they may not finish before tonight’s Civic reception in the Town Hall.
Those who did ride the Great Glen trail enjoyed it but most were moving slowly and sleepily now. Columbia Vidaraid were clear in second place but made another navigational mistake, a sure sign of extreme fatigue on a waymarked trail! After this they stopped for some time and SWECO caught them and moved ahead, so the race is on for the podium places.
In the short course category the competition is just as tight, but a bit more confusing as it depends what penalties teams have accrued. An early finisher today were Team Endurancelife and they may well finish as first short course team and 4th overall, ahead of Swiss/UK Adventurers who raced the long course right up to yesterday.
The final rankings will be calculated later when all the teams have finished, but for today it’s all about reaching the finish, and celebrating an amazing journey across Scotland.