Monday, June 16, 2014

Freedom Challenge - Days 5-7

Just a quick recap as I was out at Bryce:

Day 5 of the FC would bring Jill, Liehann and her fellow travellers Steve and Di to Vuvu. Due to a cross-country section, they pushed the pace hard to avoid having to attempt night navigation. They managed that goal, though Jill was pushed to her limits and bonked towards the end. I'm amazed that Liehann is able to ride this with his busted fork. They call his bike the "rigid lowrider". I presume it's at least aerodynamic!
On Day 6 the group went to Rhodes, where Liehann's replacement shock was waiting. The section turned out to be very technical and challenging, with a very steep off-trail pass crossing. Jill texted that they encountered 50-60mph winds, and she was unable to pick up both wheels of her bike without it being picked up by the wind! As if that wasn't enough, it turned out that we had actually not ordered the correct fork! The specs we had found mentioned a tapered steerer, but his bike ended up with a straight one. Liehann seemed unfazed by the mishap though and is trying to arrange for the correct fork to be sent to a later checkpoint. I actually managed to call Jill just as I was on the last 10 miles of the Bryce 100 (a race which we ran last year together, I missed her a lot). We both had a solid adventure that day!
Day 7 brought them to Slaapkranz.  She was in a great mood as they had a day of perfect navigation, beautiful sandstone canyons and mountains and generally a good day of riding.  Gone were the creeping doubts about the route after the hard and arduous days.  She did report brisk temperatures of just 21F in the morning, but they both seem well equipped for that. They are already back on the bike now, on the way to Kranskop.

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like an epic trip so far. Beat, how was your race?

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  2. Good to see you Sunday, Beat. I remember that phone call. You had a better strategy for that last ten mile then I did. Remember when I said we could go under 30 hours, and you said you weren't that ambitious? Turns out I pushed Rebekka too hard, too early and she ran out of steam. She came in at 30:37.

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  3. Thanks Beat. Are they wearing "trackers" and if so, where is the website?

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  4. Slo Jo,

    Several links, including a page with the trackers, is listed on this post:
    http://www.jilloutside.com/2014/06/freedom-challenge-bound.html

    Thanks for the updates, Beat. The FC sounds intense. I also looked up the Bryce 100. That course looks gorgeous. Hard to imagine feeling pain amid all that natural beauty.

    Eric

    P.S. As an English speaker may I say that I'm loving names like Vuvu, Slaapkranz and Trang!

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  5. Hi Steve, yeah I got a bit of a second wind, and adjusted my footwear to lessen my blister pain. With a bit more determination I could have gone under 30 after all :)

    Corrine, the race was great as always. The course is spectacular. Most people were moaning about the last 10 miles (which goes back up Thunder Mountain) but the views are incredible, and coming from the opposite direction I thought I saw a lot more than flying down it the previous morning.
    I might have gone out too fast, or maybe it's the sustained altitude, but I couldn't eat from mile 60-82, so that was a struggle. I had also forgotten to bring gaiters and with the fine dusty sand got some sublime blisters, which also slowed me down a bit. On the plus side I got to run with many old friends and acquaintances, and some new ones as well. The race organization is top-notch, I can definitely only recommend it.

    Thanks for the links. The tracker on the FC website basically doesn't seem to work. It updates like once every other day ... but the tracking I set up using the Delorme Inreach has been good so far.

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