Note that this article was first published 9 April 2014 at Rogue Adventure.
One of my small peeves in following adventure races from around the world is that in general, online reporting tends to only focus on the leading teams. Indeed, in some races you would be almost forgiven for believing that the race was over once the first team had crossed the finish line with a virtual media blackout from that point. I believe this slightly undermines the effort of all those middle and back-of-the-pack teams who in all likelihood are putting in more effort and are being dished out more suffering than the elites. And lets face it, without these teams (and their entry fees) there would be no race.
One of the (many) things I love about the rogaine format is that all the teams are out there pushing themselves to the best of their ability for virtually the same amount of time. In fact, it is plausible for the first and last place teams to cross paths multiple times during the race and it is very hard to DNF a rogaine, even an adventuregaine – you just have to make it back to HQ under your own power.
So while all competitor’s efforts at the Rogue24 Adventuregaine stand equal in my eyes, I still do understand our fascination with winners. These are the guys and girls who are pushing the limit of the course, entering for the competition, not just the journey. So at this stage we’ll have a collective look over the team list and make some predictions as to who are the contenders for the title.
First up, the mens pairs. In all past editions of The Rogue, the overall winners have come from this category. Sentimental favourites would have to be team RUSH. Russ and Shaun have raced every Rogue Adeventuregaine and have placed second at every one of them. They came agonisingly close to the win last year, missing out by less than 5 minutes after sweeping the course, but I believe this could be their year. They will be pushed all the way though with a number of strong all mens teams who are certain to feature at the top of the leaderboard. Perhaps their closest competition will come in the form of team Bike On’s Justin and Howie, another Sunshine Coast pairing. The Tiger Adventure teams will also make a strong showing, in particular the “Vintage” Brett and Trev. Team Outlandish, He Ain’t Heavy and Borum Boys are also outside dark horse chances.
Turning our hands toward the mixed division, this is perhaps an even more competitive category. I’ll stick my neck out based on recent performances and say that Team Explore’s Paul and Angela are my top pick and should give the overall top results a good shake. It’s a tough call though as there are many top mixed teams with team Calories and Tri Adventure Petite just as capable of the win: it will all come down to who can post the most consistent race on the day with the right blend of speed and navigation. Other mixed teams that could be nipping at the leaders heels include Tiger Adventure Yellow Mixed, Juggernaut, Husband & Wife and Bicycles Without Bruce.
Finally, it is unfortunately a slightly depleted field in the womens category with a number of recent withdrawals and team changes. However, the remaining womens teams are all very experienced and should rank well in the overall field. My pick for the win will be Tri Adventure Vintage’s Jan and Gina. Of course, in all of these predictions, there is a very good chance that I am missing some dark horse teams that I’m not familiar with or an up and coming team that has put the training in and is flying under the radar. We have teams travelling from as far as interstate and New Zealand for the race, so there is guaranteed to be some top competition hidden amongst the field that are there to prove me wrong.
Regardless of the top results, all teams are in for a quality course with varied, challenging terrain and some moments of tricky navigation requiring close concentration on the map. Controls have started going out, sponsors are ramping up their cross promotion and the final touches on administration are being made. It looks like the Friday evening before the race is going to be a great night with almost 90 competitors and volunteers taking up the chance for the pre-race activities.
Speaking of sponsors and volunteers, a quick thank you goes out to our large team of volunteers for the race along with sponsors ARea51, Globe Trekker, Ferno and Coconut Groove. There will be a ton of swag to be given away at the race for both winners and spot prizes. In fact, we have already had a number of prize winners through our Facebook promotions – Gina Dundson came closest to predicting the distance to sweep the course (171km), Nic Droste was able to name the only two time winners of the Adventuregaine (Dave Schloss and Gary Sutherland) and Mandy Caldwell came closest to predicting the total available check point score on the course (4190 points). Keep an eye on the Rogue FaceBook page in the final build up to the race for more sponsor deals and prize opportunities.
The live website will also be launched in the next couple of days. The site will be a one-stop resource for competitors to check in on all the pre-event information, as well as a means for spectators at home to follow the race through live tracking, photos, course flyovers, maps and news updates. If all this is not enough to keep the pre-race juices flowing, make sure to check out the original event location announcement here and state of play article here. There may even be some handy clues there for competitors.