Wow, so I finished my first AR. I had a great time running and riding the trails; really a lot of fun. Kudos to Victor for taking good care of the nav - in retrospect I could probably have done a bit more of the work in this respect. And Barry was great at keeping team morale and energy high, despite having his own battles with cramp - always ready with a smile :) I was pretty happy with how I felt physically. I never made it to "the wall", and felt pretty strong the whole way. I took an educated guess to nutrition for this kind of race, consuming 3 tubes of shot-blocks, 1 banana, 2 stinger waffles, 3 gels, 4 apple cereal bars, 1 cliff bar, a mojo bar and about 5 litres of water, for a total of around 2200 kcal == 9500 kJ.
running 50:00 
Flat trail run out to the first CP and back. Nice, steady pace that I figured I could hold for another 24 k.
MTB 1:00:00 
Up the hill, from the bottom to the top. Tried to ride as much as possible, but was worried that perhaps I'd pushed a little too far into the red. Was really wishing I could ride with cleats just to spread the load over a few more muscles.
running 1:55:00 
An undulating sort of a run for the first 45 minutes or so, but a lot slower than what we'd been running on the first leg. There was some awesome trail that just made me want to stretch out!
Things weren't so good after CP4. We chose a route bush-bashing down a steep slope to the canal, and it was crappy. Really, really steep, low vegetation, lots of rocks that you couldn't really see and which had the potential every time you put your foot down to swallow and snap your leg into little bits. So at this point I gave up trying to go fast and just wanted to get to the bottom as quickly as possible without injuring myself. This wasn't fun. Noticed once we hit the canal trail (after about 30 minutes of steep down?) that it also shattered my quads a bit, but managed to run along OK.
kayaking 2:00:00 
Down the Yough.... Sitting in a double behind Victor. Found the paddle pretty heavy and with the wide boat and Victor in front of me the paddling motion was almost completely foreign. Arms a little sore from the beginning so was in some ways glad that we had to wait-up a little for Barry who was doing it tough by himself. Very fun, relaxing leg though, and put me in a much better mood :)
running 1:15:00 
Run back up to the bikes, up the trail that we rode up before. Legs were feeling good again after the paddle, and the hill seemed a lot easier to run up than it had been to ride. Again, we were taking it pretty easy, especially up the hills, but I tried to keep moving, finding a slow jog easier than a fast walk to keep with the guys. Really enjoyed the trails!
MTB 2:00:00 
Final couple of CPs were on the bike. It had started raining on the run and set in solidly for the bike, making the trails pretty muddy and slippery. This was also amazing fun! The descent down to the finish was a little sketchy, and I was glad that I still seemed to have a fair degree of coordination and wasn't too exhausted, as otherwise I would have face-planted for sure. In general though, it was nice not having the pressure of a shorter race to make me ride the scary bits - I was glad to have the time to walk the bits beyond my poor technical ability, in the name of trying to stay in one piece all the way to the end of the race.
running 5:00 
Final run in to the finish. Go team!! :)