Old but not cold (ok, a bit cold)
By: Lenie Badenhorst, Team Addicted2Adventure.co.za Family
I’m a mom of 4 children and turns 60 in October this year. I also have FOMO and love to challenge myself.
My hubby, Johan Badenhorst (64yrs old) came to me earlier this year with the idea of doing a 120km Full Moon adventure race and asked me if I am interested in joining him. At that stage I was only cycling about 25km’s per training session max.
I told him that I will first ride Suikerbosrand (about 30kms from Boksburg where we stay), a total of 59 km’s of heavy hills, for a training session and tell him afterwards what I’ve decided.
The first time I’ve done Suikerbosrand in 2015, I cried my heart out on the loooooong uphill called Heartbreak Hill. I was not fit enough. So I cycled Suikerbosrand this time and finished without crying and decided I am game to do the race.
First we thought we will train for the Drakensberg Full moon 120km adventure race in October 2018 and our son, Lean, also an adventure racer, gave us a training schedule accordingly. After we spoke to Stephan we’ve decided to do the Cape St Francis race instead, as he suggested that this was a better race for first timers, which meant that we had about two months less training time.
At that stage we did not have any team members to make a 4-member team, and we knew nothing about adventure race navigation. This will be our first 120km Full Moon race.
We tried to get members that can navigate and one day I asked our daughter Joléne Matthysen and her hubby, Thinus, if they would consider joining us. They are much more advanced and fit than we will ever be. They both have participated in Expedition Africa and Expedition India races before.
Thinus went with us for a training session at Suikerbosrand in the middle of winter, early morning at 2 degrees celsius and after that they’ve decided to join us because they saw that we were really dedicated and not just talking. That is when the Addicted2Adventure Family team was born.
I was over the moon (no pun intended) because they are experienced adventure racers normally racing as team Addicted2Adventure, and Thinus is a very good navigator.
Now we had to train, train and train some more. Which we did.
Just before the race our team of 4 had our briefing at home of what to pack and how to pack etc. What an organisation that was.
The race itself was such a GREAT experience. It’s a huge tick off my bucket list, and to show myself if I put my mind to something, anything is possible no matter what your age is.
Heidi & Stephan’s organisation of their races are so well done. A huge thank you to them. Heidi made everybody feel so loved and cared for.
What I will remember from the race itself, is the awesome views we had of our beautiful country from a different angle, by foot, bicycle and kayak.
I’ve never kayaked in the dark before and the full moon made it super cool as well as the hiking on the beach at night. We switched our head lights off and just enjoyed nature.
Although I fell into the river on the sand bank and I was soooooo cold that I was shivering so much, my teeth were clapping together. Luckily not far from the transition point. What a challenge to get dry clothes on while shivering. My hands just wouldn’t keep still. The fire at the transition point was a life saver.
The thick sand we had to cycle through or rather push the bike through was a challenge as well as the 50km per hour winds and rain at 03:00 in the morning on the last bicycle leg.
At the beginning of the race, about 20kms in the race, after the 15km hike and about 5kms into the first cycle leg I got cramps in my calves. I never before got cramps and I knew this wasn’t good. Thinus gave me Slow Mag to drink and I ate everything I had that contained salt, stretched my legs and carried on. Luckily that was the end of my cramps. Afterwards I heard that people do not recover lightly from cramps once it started. Well, I was the lucky one to be able to carry on without any cramps later on.
It was such a privilege to experience this with our daughter, Joléne and our son in law, Thinus. A BIG thank you to them for looking after us. Our teams’ dynamics were very good. We never got annoyed with each other and was one happy team and family without moans and groans. We just put our heads down and carried on and did what we needed to do.
Will I do it again? My hubby said he wanted to experience it only once, but time will tell. I will have to train for something and need a goal to train for. Watch this space, maybe…………
Thanx again for a GREAT EXPERIENCE
Enjoyed this blog post? Subscribe here to our Addicted2Adventure blog to receive more posts