Sometimes not reaching the finishline can still be a successful race.
Our team travelled to Malaysia IRON BOUND A1 Series event to experience new challenges and cultures and we certainly did that. Rob Preston was joined by 3 new team mates- Myall Quint, Sorcha Flett and Julian Dent.
Leg 1 135km MTB
Starting with a fast sealed road with a big bunch before heading up into the jungle, this leg was very tough and took us 13.5hrs to complete. The mud was worse than any we had encountered before (yes even Fiji) and keeping the bikes moving was a true challenge. We had an encounter with a wild boar, monkeys and were dodging elephant poo the whole way but sadly didn't see one in the wild. The conditions were hot and humid and keeping hydrated was difficult. The Roti stop when we reached more populated areas was very well deserved.
Leg 2, 40k kayak
Starting about 9pm, we had a bright moon to enjoy the fast flowing water and a few obstacles along the way. It was still warm but pleasant on the water. This was a good chance to cool down a little now the sun had gone down.
Leg 3- 30k trek
This started with a 17km on road section which was tough for running after a tiring day. We then had some jungle adventure when we couldn't find the preferred trail but we finished the tough 800m climb soon after sunrise. The descent was more like an abseil without a rope as we clung to freshly cut sticks cut by a local team with machete. After a few hours we were very happy to make it to the bottom unscathed, though with a lot less blood due to the leaches.
Leg 4, 70k MTB and ropes
We took time to cool down in the picturesque river before heading out on the final bike leg. But as the temperature rose, so did the gradient, and a final 700m hill climb was still in our way. Nearing the top, Sorcha reached booking point, and soon was unable to hold onto the bike, nor knew where we were or what we were doing. She hasn't kept any food or water in her stomach for over 24hrs hours so reaching this far had been an incredible effort. But we needed to call for help and soon she was in an ambulance heading to the local health clinic at 120kph. Ironically as we waited for help a huge storm came to cool us all down.
We would like to thank Shamsurie Mohd Yatim and the huge team for putting on such a professional event and Murilo Mattos for the beautiful images.
Thanks for Myall Quint, Sorcha Maree Flett and Julian Dent for joining me Rob Preston in Malaysia.
Adventure 1 World Obstacle - Fédération Internationale de Sports d'Obstacles