Victory on the Wild side
MINIMISING mistakes helped guide Wurtulla’s Dave Schloss and team Thunderbolt AR to victory at the Wildside Adventure Race last week.
Joining the team as navigator with Bernadette Dornom, Joshua Street and Leo Theoharis, they were first home in two days and 19 hours after traversing more than 400km near Canberra.
Fellow Sunshine Coast competitor Gary Palmer was part of the Wild Earth Tiger Adventure team which crossed the line second but finished third overall (after receiving a time penalty for requiring additional maps), while the Mountain Designs Wild Women crew of Kim Beckinsale, Cass Kimlin, Gina Dunsdon and Alina McMaster were sixth and the first all-women team.
Staged in unseasonably warm weather, the race started at Lake Eucumbene in the Snowies, heading past the giant trout in Adaminaby, across Yaouk and Rocky Plain into the southern part of the ACT through the Namadgi National Park.
Victory to Thunderbolt AR delivered the A1 Series win, securing four titles from as many starts (X-Marathon, Geoquest and Hells Bells), which saw the team pick up a $10,000 prize purse that includes entry into the sold-out God Zone adventure race in New Zealand.
Dave said while the team started off conservatively on the 55km trek around Lake Eucumbene, it was the third leg which proved decisive.
Taking a ridge-line approach saw Thunderbolt secure the lead and never look back.
“We always knew that was the crux of the race, but at the time we thought we were going so slow because of the thickness of the bush,” Dave said. “Only three teams took the ridge-line and it proved much quicker.
“Leg number three was tough physically and mentally. It was a typical expedition race where you have to keep trudging on knowing everyone else has to get through the same thing.
“And it was hot, everyone was banking on it being cold. It was down to zero overnight in some places so there were major temperature fluctuations.
“We actually had to ask for more sunscreen because we ran out.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing with Joshua struggling mid-way through the race with what they believed was heat stroke.
Dave said Joshua showed amazing resilience to get through, and while he was assisted at various stages, did an outstanding job to finish the race.
Dave Schloss leads team Thunderbolt AR at the pivotal third stage of the Wildside Adventure Race.