A Wild Weekend at the LAST Ever Augusta Adventure Fest
Ben Allen Race Report
Great to see so many competitors and spectators descended on Augusta, Western Australia, for the 14th and final Augusta Adventure Fest.
Augusta is the perfect playground for all things adventurous and Rapid Ascent definitely turned it up a notch to make sure that everyone left Augusta with fond memories.
Credit Rapid Ascent
A chilly start at 8am on a Sunday morning at the iconic, Cape leeuwin Lighthouse got athletes eager to get racing underway. The 12.5km run was challenging, having to negotiate and choose a fast line through boulders and slippery sea rocks. A group of three athletes including myself, Sean O’Neill and Sam Maffett formed the lead group. As we approached the last rock section Sean was starting to feel the pinch and dropped back, Sam and I where battling it out for run line honors. As the trail diverted into the bush I opened up a small gap and managed to hang onto it heading into transition.
One of the hardest parts of this particular event is trying to put your wetsuit on whilst you are hot and sweaty. After what seems like forever, wetsuit is on and away I go searching for the buoys and negotiating my way through the 2km ocean swim. Not an easy swim with some wind chop and bad visibility. I had a solid swim and extended my lead heading into the 12.5km ocean kayak.
Lucky for me there was a bit of swell and a few waves to help me on the way back once I made the turn around buoy. Otherwise it was 6km straight into a headwind and gritting the teeth and making sure I had my leg drive and technique spot on. The out going tide added to the “can’t have the pleasure without the pain” as you rounded the last buoy in the inlet before beaching your kayak.
Was super cool paddling back into the inlet with all the spectators lined along the shoreline and Rob calling your name! Felt like a rock star and gave me a bit more motivation to get to the end of the paddle.
The last and final leg, 28km MTB was by far the most rewarding. A long grueling climb right in the middle of the bush was tough, even more so with the rain a few days before, making it slippery and loose. I was cautious of all the sticks and water crossing, as I didn’t want to have a race ending mechanical. Once you got over the climb it was undulating, with a single track section, road and fire trails and back into the suburb, which then you know is close to the finish line.
Stoked to be able to crack the four-hour mark in with a time of 3:53:54.Sean O’Neill wasn’t far behind in second place, a final time of 4:10:03 and rounding out the top three was Matt Duncan at 4:15:39.
Thanks very much to Rapid Ascent for providing all the competitors with an epic adventure. Augusta will be sadly missed, but I’m excited for “The Eagle Bay Epic”
Lastly, thank you to the volunteers, Augusta Community and Western Australia for allowing us the opportunity to challenge ourselves against mother nature, who I believe is our toughest competitor! See you at the next Adventure.
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