Mind over body
The key to win Portugal XPD Race 2004-10-13
“The great lake lands true adventure”
The true is that, a humble team with just the ambition of finishing the race became the winner of this very tough race. In fact from the 18 teams present for the Raid only three managed to become fully classified, all the others are ranked but according the race rules in a situation of disqualification (which means none of them would be eligible to win, if that was the case).
Fortunately, two teams in the mixed class manage to complete all the mandatory checkpoints – Teams EcoAtitude from, Oeiras – Portugal and the Bavarian Tri-Dragons from, Germany and Austria. The reasons for their success were a very careful beginning, tacking very few chances and concentrate their efforts in the accomplishment of the minimum route, marked by the mandatory CP’s. This strategy was also favoured by the health problems, that the favourite teams face during the two first stages; namely Megamédia, in the first stage and Gatorade Finland and Tietoenator in the two following stages.
In the all male category a similar picture also occurred, Aquafitness was favoured by their strategy, skipping the very hard foot orienteering section of the first stage and concentrate all their effort in the mountain biking and this proved to be crucial in their planning for victory.
In fact, strategies based in a very careful analysis of the race layout and in the team ability to navigate in a tricky terrain, particularly at night prove to be the key factors to success in The Great Lake Lands – Alqueva.
The weather also played a major role in the race because it forced to rearrange all the planning and by that, also forces to adapt the initial teams’ strategy, but in any case these changes apparently did not affect the final results because they do not interfere with the team ability to fulfil the minimum mandatory route.
Other important aspect of the race was the high spirit that was always present among all the participants and race staff, even in the face of the severe incident in the flying-fox of stage 3 that caused the injury of Peter Nejsig of the Danish Team – Fusion.dk. With everybody (paramedics, race staff and racers) promptly respond to the situation and giving their best to help, to all of them Peter had sent its best acknowledgments and gratitude in a simple message read at the final ceremony.
The risk management system implemented by the organization was not able to prevent the incident due to brittle fracture of the rocks in which the fixtures were mounted but proved to be very efficient in the mitigation of the losses and help to transform a very complicated situation in just a broken leg case which will allow Peter to full recover in an estimated six months time.
Other important aspect of this race was the introduction of a new non-motorized vehicle in Adventure Racing, the TRIKKE which is a 3-Wheel Cambering type, very adaptable to all asphalt and concrete roads and also much safer than the rollerblades. At the race final ceremony a new improvement of TRIKKE was presented to the racers, the TRIKKE 12 which pretends to be the all terrain TRIKKE, particularly adapted to the dust roads.
At the end, the idea in the mind of everybody was the wish to come back again next year and prove themselves again in this territory of legend and adventure and overcome the difficult task of winning or just get classify in the Portugal XPD Race.
Alexandre Guedes da Silva
Race Report @sleepmonsters 2004-10-10
Follow Portugal XPD Race Online 2004-10-05
Video On-line 2004-09-08
Registration deadlines 2004-08-23
Friday 20/08: 13 teams registered 2004-08-20
Site in English 2004-07-27