Monday, November 09, 2009

Cuchulainn Challenge 2009

An unsatisfactory day at the office for Tango & Cash with Pimm's & White on 7 November, at the 8 hr Cuchulainn Challenge, understudy to the 24 hr Cooley Raid. We don't know how we did, but it was well short of our exacting standards due to a range of factors, all of them our fault!!

(Edit: turns out we were 1st team of four, and 3rd overall in the 8hr race, but loads of teams doing the 24hr race skinned us, so it's not actually much to shout about!)

(Another Edit: there was supposedly an error in the results, and we were actually 1st team of four and 2nd overall in the 8hr race - the bad day at the office turned out pretty darn good!)

Highlight of the day was watching Billy and Gerry of Passing Wind paddling their canoe for about 100 metres sitting BACK TO FRONT, wondering why it wasn't handling so well, then nearly ending up in Carlingford Lough trying to get turned round - brilliant stuff!

We struggled in the kayaks (even though we were sitting the right way round), losing about 10 minutes or so on the front-runners, then really suffered on the initial climb on the bikes until we got warmed up. By that time, we were about 30 minutes off the pace, and never to regain it.

Davy took a nasty tumble off the bike not long after the kayaks, trying to avoid some chap who just stopped in the middle of the road whilst Davy had his nose in the map, so at least that gave us something to talk about! We hardly saw another team all day, so the usual banterous exchanges were kept to a minimum.

By the time we had finally found our mojo, we knew we hadn't a mission of catching those in front. So, we took a gamble and went for the foot orienteering instead of the bike bonus, in the vain hope of aliens abducting anyone they saw on bikes, to leave the way clear for us. This section through a misty, barren, featureless wasteland removed any remaining energy and enthusiasm for life, as well as most of Enda's epidermis (due to him breaking in a new pair of shorts - ouch!!).

It was pitch black when we were dropping back into Carlingford on the bikes after a tough enough final section, so we even skipped the easy bonus at the end and were delighted to finally arrive back at base after about 8.5 hrs on the trot.

Thanks to Ivan and the rest of team CCAR for another great race, albeit it wasn't our day.

Gerry Kingston from Passing Wind hones his pony-trekking skills

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