Off Road Adventures: Silva Duo
TA Members: Damien(Damo) Phelan, Kristine(KBS) Banks-Smith, Daryl Clemson

Silva Duo is an orienteering event where you receive maps after the gun goes and a new one at each transition – which was an added challenge for us first time orienteerers.

Format: Run 5-9km (must check 9 out of the 10 checkpoints), MTB Ride 11-15km (Set checkpoints that you must check in a certain order), Run 3-5km (Set checkpoints that you must check in a certain order).

Pre-Race: The day started at KBS’s apartment drilling holes in her map board while Damo explained the lightweight and aerodynamic aspects of his map board design which he made for himself, Daryl and Stu the one non-TA member. We soon hit the road bound for Ballarat where we decided to do it cheap and stay in the Ballarat caravan park ‘Welcome Stranger’. In brief while setting up our camp site we quickly discovered one of our group was a little less experienced with this style of accommodation. While pitching the tent Daryl was in charge of pegging it down. Daryl hammered in his first peg….. the wrong way, and spent the rest of the time trying to get it back out while Damo, KBS and Stu actually erected the tent! Following this we believe the comment was “I’m sure I’m capable of pumping up an air mattress”. 5 min later “Damo, how’s this pump work?”. 10min later “Errrr…. I think I broke the pump”….. (Note for others planning of camping with Daryl!)

We headed out for pre-race dinner with KBS and Daryl ordering pasta and water and as a result Damo and Stu feeling pressured to cancel their order for a pot of beer and instead reciting some research about the benefits of a glass of red wine the night before a race. KBS and her obsession for ice cream didn’t have any argument from the crew for a pre-race visit to Cold Rock. Following this it was back to the camp site to get a good night sleep.

1.30am. In true Caravan Park style we were woken up by two drunken (definitely not from Port Melbourne or Toorak area) people having a very heated argument displaying a very limited vocabulary range about how to treat a women, before the women in discussion came bursting on to the scene screaming ‘Don’t you touch my man!’.

Eventually that died down but not before another of their friends came out talking obscenely loud on his mobile. As a result Daryl cracked it, storming out of the tent shirtless to find the culprit lying down while chatting on his mobile, so Daryl stood over him informing him that some of us were trying to sleep. Daryl returns to the tent as we all hear the culprit return to his cabin informing his friend on the other end of the line of the following “Dude- this enormous man just came at me… He had boobs and all!” (Hilariously funny – Daryl won’t live this one down!!)

The Race: Race start, KBS went off on her own, whilst Damo and Daryl teamed up to beat KBS who declared today is not a race it’s about working on the Nav. Stu also joined the boys, but we don’t believe possessed the same motivation. After a successful start on the first leg, Daryl, Damo and Stu came into T1 with KBS nowhere to be seen, bike still in the transition area. The boys were then torn between concern, wondering how they were in front, maybe she’d hurt herself, and reading each other’s thoughts “we could let her tyres down and be guaranteed of a win”, they decided to power on and win honestly.

Little did the boys know that on the first run leg KBS decided to go get all 10 checkpoints, for as she said it was about learning to Nav….. and may she had gotten a little lost and the last 2 CP’s just happened to be on her way back to transition.

On the mountain bike leg KBS discovered her limits having a crash on a gravel downhill ROAD while on the bike, water bottle in one hand, eyes on her map board trying to work out where she was and as a result accidently veering a little too close to the dug outs at the side of the road and coming off. KBS will admit she thought about quitting, but couldn’t quite action the thought so continued on completing the ride and then finished off the last run leg as the successor in a sprint finish for 2nd place.

KBS Perspective: KBS went straight to first aid to get her cuts attended to. While sitting there she notice the boys in the transition area who she gingerly waved to pointing out her pieces of missing skin, Daryl came over had a quick look and then left. After a few minutes KBS started to think gee what great friends they are, not even sticking around to see how I am.

Boys Perspective: Powering through the MTB section, the two D’s cruised along with a sense of victory which grew stronger as they pulled into T2 and saw KBS’s bike was still there. At this stage the boys thought she must have pulled out injured and were feeling pretty good until she was spotted in the finishers crowd, having completed the 2nd and 3rd leg whilst the boys were still on their MTB. After Daryl quickly visited KBS he returned to Damo to express a few thoughts about KBS and her beating them, a few words that may have been used include bitch, hate and … well we have to keep the race report PG!

At the end of the boys run leg since they had run and rode the race together one may think they would cross the line together….. not at all. The crowd loved the sprint finish especially when Daryl somehow missed the big finish banner and started to run to transition, but before it was too late corrected himself and was able to pip Damo on the line.

The Wrap Up: Once all was finished we decided events that include orienteering is too much brain intensity and not enough physical intensity. In subsequent days we discover KBS was MP-ed for not checking the correct checkpoint 2 on the ride, and Damo was also MP-ed for… well… we’re not sure. Netherless a great experience and worthwhile simply for the  entertainment!

Written by: Damien Phelan & Kristine Banks-Smith

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