Team WCAD Racing BLOG

Team WCAD Racing BLOG

Adventure Racing Team

LED-Lenser Wartrail 2014

65 km wilderness run – 135 km mountain bike – 70 km paddle

The Wartrail is one of South Africa’s oldest and most adventurous multiday multi-sport events. This weighted statement is earned through it’s the lack of route markings, insane distances and the isolated but breathtaking scenery experienced along the way.
 

The camaraderie around the campfires each evening is also a very special part of the event. Everyone swops war stories and reflects on the day’s events
 

This year, we were lucky enough to, once again, be kitted out top to toe in Capestorm gear. Come rain or shine - we were ready.
 

Training for an event that includes a full day on the feet followed by a generous serving on the bike and a few pain staking (long) hours confined to a canoe is always difficult but we hoped we were ready. Preparations were in the bag. Now for the fun stuff….

The Run

4 am start with an aggressive ascent up the Witteberg, overlooking Lady Grey, served as the cold and dark start to the run. The 65 km wilderness run follows the same route as the iconic Skyrun, also hosted by Pure Adventures. We were with the front group until half way to the second check point, at which stage Jigs decided pacing for the three days had better kick in. We watched the front runners clamber over fences and skip past snow patches ahead of us. For the remaining breathtaking 40 + kms it was just the two of us, traversing what felt like the top of the world. After saving the legs a bit in the beginning we were able to finish strong.
 

Our teammates for EA (Expedition Africa, an upcoming 500 km + adventure race at the end of May) did us proud by coming in at 9hr25min, with us arriving in at a humble 11hr05min (position 10th and 11th over all). Back markers would be out for close on 16 hours.
 

Dinner in the Balloch cave, far out-did anyone s expectations. As usual, and it was fun to hear how fellow competitors had enjoyed the day’s adventure. Although chilly and windy, the weather had been kind with clear skies boasting spectacular views the whole way.

The Bike

The bike the next day started with a good climb which quickly split the field. We managed to re-group at the top and ride with the front bunch for the first 40 km as the route undulated through stunning farmlands. 2014 heralded a new mtb route including Joubert’s pass (South Africa’s third highest pass) roughly 80 km in to the ride. The descent on the other side snaked it s way ‘forever’ down into the valley of Lady Grey. The final 30 km were fast and scenic as we crossed fields, rivers and local villages to reach Mdlokovana 8hr18min after starting that morning in 7th and 8th place overall.
 

The Paddle

After some wild wind and brilliant food we curled up for a nights rest before the final paddle leg. We were in a K2, our fist opportunity to keep up with our teammates, who were both taking on the 70 km stretch of the Orange river in K1’s. With the first half of the paddle being in a steep gorge the water was moving quickly. The second half , however, involved dodging sand banks and trying, in vain, to find the faster flowing currents. Eventually the finished was in sight and we came in 5hr37 long minutes (7th position).
 

All in all it was a special race for us, many incredible hours spent in the wilderness together, experiencing some of South Africa s most rewarding landscapes. We were lucky to finish 7th and 8th over all, taking top honors in the pair’s category.

 

We strongly encourage anyone up for an EPIC adventure to give this event some thought for next year.  Enquiries contact: Mike De Haast, email: Michael@pureadventures.co.za or 0720785278.

It can be entered as an individual, a team or a relay event.

 

Essential gear:
 

Capestorm Jet Stream jackets

Jigs: “it s brilliant, it keeps the morning chill off and it s not too heavy, you so can wear it all day. I didn t take mine off for the entire ride.

Chris: “The Capestorm Jet Stream jacket is my new favorite item of gear! Fits like a glove, no flapping whilst cycling and packs into a pocket… what more could your ask for?... oh yes… it also looks super cool!”
 

Capestorm Storm tights

Jigs: “The material is so light and soft and with the perfect cut, it honestly feels like you re wearing a second skin. They are great to keep you warm in the early hours of the mornings and also to keep the midday rays of sun off. I don t plan in taking them off for two weeks over the Freedom challenge.”
 

Capestorm Magma Thermal Top

Chris: “This thermal is great I rode with it on all through the day, it keeps the warmth in and body dry, highly recommend it!”
 

Capestorm Merino base layer

Jigs: “Having a merino base layer in your backpack is a real life-line. You never know when you’ll need it but you know it s got your back when you get into a tricky spot. I wish I had one at last year’s Expedition Africa.”

 

 

Expedition Africa on TV

In 2012 Team Capestom WCAD Racing raced Expedition Africa as a "feature team" for the Wild Racers television series produced by NothinButShorts from Austrailia. The TV series is currently airing in South Africa on Supersport as per TV schedule below:


"Adventure Racing is the one of the wildest and most dramatic sports on the planet. Teams of four, pitting themselves against the elements, for days on end. Non Stop. “No second chances, no support and nowhere to go but the finish line”. Wild Racers

Freedom Challenge 2013 Video

This is a video from Chris and Julia Fisher's 2013 Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa. 
 
The 2300km Freedom Trail route is non-stop, unsupported and self-navigated from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl. 
 
For more info visit www.freedomchallenge.org.za
 
Music: 
Radical Face - Always Gold
Radical Face - Welcome Home
 
For more of Chris' videos visit: www.advlog.co.za

 

FREEDOM CHALLENGE 2013

By Chris Fisher:

 

Jigs and I recently completed the 2300km Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa. The slogan for the race is "the soul of mountain biking" and this could not be more true as the event is all about soul!!! 

 

The people organizing are full of soul, the hosts at the stop-overs have the kindest souls, the race takes you through the soul of South Africa, there are times when it tests you down to your soul and by the end of it all... your soul has been rejuvinated!!! I now understand why people return year after year to take part in this seemingly crazy event. The truth of it is that it gets into your soul, it becomes a part of who you are and once you have done the Freedom Trail... most other things in life become relatively bland!

 

There is no doubt that we will be back... hopefully many times over! Below are a few pictures from our journey. We have some wonderful video footage and are busy putting togerther a video of our experience. Watch this space.

 

Huge thanks must go out to those behind the scenes of the Freedom Trail for giving us what, has undoubtedly, been one of the best experiences of our lives! 

 

We must also thank our sponsors; Capestorm, Osprey packs, Glider Sunglasses and Bridgedale Socks for their continued support and fantastic gear that helped us through the event!

 

Chris and Jigs set for Freedom Challenge

Chris and Julia will be setting off on the 2013 Freedom Challenge on Monday 17 June. This is a 2300 km Mountain Bike race, non stop and unassisted, starting in Pietermaritzburg in mid-June every year and following South Africa's Freedom Trail to end in Wellington outside Cape Town.

Chris and Jigs will be treating this as a delayed honeymoon 'of sorts' and are not looking to break any records but rather just enjoy a few weeks of the simple life... riding their bikes through the heart of South Africa. As usual, they will be taking their GoPros along and filming their journey so watch this space for a new adventure film... with a twist.

For more information on the Freedom Challenge and live Tracking visit: http://freedomchallenge.org.za

Follow them on twitter: @advlogger @jigst

 

 

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