Words: Graham Bird, Merrell Adventure Addicts Captain
If you can be heard by someone while singing an obscene song, you’ll be in trouble (Australia, Summary Offences Act 1966). Dire are the consequences of wrong doing Down Under.
Photo credit: Glenn Murray
When getting ready for any World Series expedition adventure race, not much specific information is made available to the participants. In August, the Merrell Adventure Addicts are off into the unknown once again, traveling to Townsville, Australia to take on eighth edition of Geocentric Outdoors XPD with the knowledge that they will be trail running, trekking, biking, paddling and probably tackling some other activities, somewhere in the rainforests, islands and outback of the North Queensland Tropics, over a distance of about 700km and a time span of maybe 5 days.
The route and details will only be given to the 43 four person teams at the briefing 24hours before the event starts. So aside from trying to figure out how to pack all the necessary gear, equipment and supplies into the maximum allowed baggage of 37kg and eating all the biltong before giving the Customs officials the chance to do so, the only thing more that can be done in terms of preparation, is research how to stay out of trouble in this most regulated of countries – where the first policemen were the best behaved convicts.
“In Queensland, it is ‘illegal to walk on the right-hand side of a footpath.’ Our strategy then, is to run.” Captain Graham ‘Tweet’ Bird lays down the game plan for the Adventure Addicts’ third participation in this well organised event. Although billed as “As much an expedition as a race” the Merrell team will be looking to OUT.PERFORM. the competition and complement their Expedition Africa win in May this year.
The team members who recently completed the Knysna Big 5 Challenge events all in one day as a training exercise, are fit and ready to race. Grant Ross and Robyn Kime now make their overseas debut for the team, joining the stalwart Graham Bird and old dog Hanno ‘Smelly’ Smit, who races every event “like it’s your last” but still shows no sign of laying down.
Thanks to our main sponsor Merrell, who shares our approach to lifestyle and sports so we get to participate in these incredible adventures with top notch gear. We have the support of several proudly South African products and even with the prohibitive weight restrictions, we will definitely be taking PVM Nutritional Science, Black Diamond head torches and Extreme Lights to power us, Island Tribe sunscreen to protect us, ButtaNutt spreads and Llama Bars to delight us and our Giant Bicycles with Squirt Bicycle Lube.
With the exchange rate as it is, we really can’t afford to make silly mistakes.
For more information on Team Merrell Adventure Addicts, their sponsors and upcoming races, check out the following web sites -:
Team Information - www.advaddicts.co.za
Main Sponsor - www.merrell.com/ZA/en
Twitter - https://twitter.com/merrelladvadd
Instagram - https://instagram.com/merrelladvadd/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MountainRunnerEvents