13 days and counting until the Addidas TERREX Sting in Stirling. As the biggest event of the year for most UK adventure racers, it's been highly anticipated (and highly feared) for a long time. In fact, we've been crossing my fingers for about a year now (along with all of the other competitors) that we have good weather during the event. Hah. Right. It's in Scotland...home of midges, bogs, and snow in summer. We'll hope for sunshine and bring crampons just in case....
The race will include trekking, canoeing, mountain biking, canyoning, and the odd little extra "special" challenge thrown in there. We'll be out on the course for 4-5 days, with sleep being an optional luxury...we hope to get at least 8 hours total in small chunks throughout the race! Food is a big issue, as we are constantly eating and even get sick of chewing. I have about 15,000 calories packed and a few more goodies will get thrown in for good measure, I'm sure!
While we hope to do the whole course, we are realists, and we'll be managing our pace to be able to finish as much of the course as we can but still finish on time. The numbers look a little scary as you can see below.
Longest courseDistance Ascent
Trek 159.00 km 10315 m
MTB 360.00 km 9110 m
Paddle 102.40 km 0 m
Total 621.40 km 19425 m
Trek 52.00 km 2868 m
MTB 277.00 km 6398 m
Paddle 102.40 km 0 m
Total 431.40 km 9266 m
We've put together a strong team for the event, and we are as ready as we can be (aside from packing, anyway). Here's a little info about Team WCP AR:
Team WCP AR Biography
Team Captain Jon Glanfield is the team expert on kayaking, with white water experience in rivers up to Class IV. Once a deep sea diver, now Jon is also quite confident with his rock climbing skills, with experience in leading trad routes all over the Peak District. He has been racing in ultra-distance running and biking events for 8 years, including mountain marathons and multi-day adventure races. Jon is the strong workhorse of the team, and could probably drag a tyre behind him for the whole race and still keep up with his teammates!
Dawn Westrum comes from a triathlon background, and in 9 years has completed over 50 marathons, 9 ultramarathons and 2 Ironman triathlons. Dawn is a relatively recent arrival to the UK, and switched to adventure racing after deciding that UK lakes were too cold for the swim portion of triathlons! 2011 was a successful year for Dawn, which included completing her first 100 mile ultramarathon and finishing 3rd in the Adidas TERREX Coast to Coast Adventure Race. Dawn views racing as a movable feast, and plans to chew through at least 15,000 yummy calories during the Sting.
Gavin Garner has been mountain biking for 20 years and really loves fast, technical descents. His biking skills have helped him compete in Polaris and MTB Orienteering races. In addition, Gavin is a black belt in three separate martial arts, and he has won over 20 martial arts competitions, including the British Open in 2005 and the WKA British Championship in 2007. Gavin is a long-time fell runner and has done 15 off-road marathons, as well as multiple mountain marathons and The Full Monty 140k. He has participated in several 24-hour adventure races and the 2010 Adidas TERREX Expedition Race. Gavin is the joker of the group, and preps for these races by memorizing jokes, which can be strategically retold at 3 a.m. to both annoy and wake up the rest of the team.
Tony Harris brings a multitude of extreme sports into the team’s repertoire. He started out with deep sea diving, and at one time held the record for the deepest UK wreck dive, the HMS Dasher at 144 meters. Switching to dry(er) sports, Tony now has a wealth of worldwide experience in rock climbing, ice-climbing, and high altitude mountaineering. He has summited Mt. Aconcagua at 6962 meters and has climbed Mt. Blanc in both winter and summer. Naturally rounding out his activities with fell-running and mountain biking, Tony has participated in several 24-hour adventure races and the 2010 Adidas TERREX Expedition Race. He is sorry to have missed out on the Swift in June, and returns as a strong addition to the team in both navigation and foot stages.