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Fri, 24 Feb 2006

XPD an exercise in sleep deprivation with a view - 18:08
If anyone thinks doing a 24 Hour MTB Race solo sounds intimidating you may want to sit down now. A number of my friends frequently participate in Adventure races, multi discipline (MTB, Running (and Trekking), Kayaking, Ice Climbing, etc etc) endurance races (the big races, or Expedition races as they are known tend to have the winning teams finish in around 5 days) in the middle of nowhere, at all times you have to be on the ball with navigation or risk losing a lot more time.

Right now the biggest Expedition race in Australia is happening down in Tasmania. XPD run by Craig and Louise (ex Canberrans now living in Queensland) of Geocentric Adventure Racing is a Expedition length (600 KM this time) race covering many of the disciplines available and racing through the Tasmanian wilderness for up to 10 days (course cut off). The inaugural XPD race was held in the Australian outback in 2004 near Broken Hill. Team AROC won that edition, and currently are on track to win this edition (though anything can happen in this style of race over such a large time period through such remote areas) just over half way through the race for them. (AROC also run short races in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and other places around the country, between 3 and 5 hours for most teams, held during the day, for anyone who wants to give Adventure racing a go a chance to try it out in a less extreme manner)

A number of my friends are competing, Tom (of Team AROC, though alas his wife Alina, the team captain in races usually is injured so has had to sit a race with the team out for the first time ever), Dave and Julie (on Team Tangerine), Alex and Randall (on Entropic), Matt and Michael (on team Mont Crank) and a number of other people I have met in passing also. So I, along with many other people, have been glued to the online coverage on the Sleep Monsters website. Notably the leaderboard and also the reports and other information that appears on the XPD race page. Some photos, news from marshals and people on the course, reports posted to the website by people down there and race HQ in Hobart (where the race will finish, right now many of the teams are still up in the North West corner of the state) and a forum in which you can write messages to the teams that are handed to them as printouts at transition points during the race.

I am jealous of all these people doing this incredible adventure, though I would prefer to do it at a much slower pace, maybe 2 weeks, and enjoy the scenery and the outdoors more than the pain and suffering. The list of teams entered is up on the XPD site if you wish to know who is in each team by the way.

[/mtb] link

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