Wildside Southern Highlands – Team 35

A race report from Melissa Caslick on the 2019 Wildside Adventure Race – Southern Highlands Edition.

I’m not one for race reports or recaps for races as I usually tell my story and experience in photos.

BUT this is one that I’d like to share.

4 girls – all different backgrounds – all with one goal – to finish!

We didn’t care how long, if we came last or how we did it – the goal was to have fun, create memories, and have an experience that we’d talk about for years to come.

For Monique and I it was the first time we’d ever navigated a course – Moni had more experience with navigation, me none ….. it was nerve wracking when we received the maps – almost vomit 🤮 worthy! WTF were we thinking!

Before the race even started, you get the feeling of being part of a community. I absolutely love the AR community! Everyone giving some assistance and helping us to work stuff out we didn’t know.

After a gentle reminder from Rich the Race Director to watch out for wombats – we were off! The legs were amazing.

Leg 1 – Trek/float

We chose to use donuts to float down and navigate the river. Wise idea? – No.

They were cute and fun for about 5 minutes then the novelty wore off! We had a blast though – and saw so much wildlife – wombats, echidnas, water dragons and kangaroos to name just a few.

Leg 2 – Canoe

OMG we so sucked at this! It took us ages to just to try and paddle straight. We didn’t get any better by the time we finished either!!! So clearly more practice is needed here!

Leg 4 – MTB to Rogaine

What can I say – I’ve never hiked a Mountain Bike up so many hills and big bastards at that! I truly feel that my training for Alpine in November and Moni’s training for the 6 foot track was well and truly catered for this weekend!

Leg 5 – Rogaine

It took 3 hours to find a checkpoint, by this time I had a 10min nap in the mud with the beautiful Gail – was so romantic!

I’m never one to nap at long endurance events but gees, I was mentally and physically exhausted. We all were at this stage. But in true form, we picked each other up and carried on.

Leg 6 – MTB back home

The last MTB back to the finish was relentless – I honestly think we spent 60% of our time hiking the bike up the biggest hills I’ve seen for ages. We carried our bikes up stairs, we threw them over fences and lugged them through creeks. Our bikes, Mavis, Zena, Juliet and Nelly were incredible!

Overall…

Overall – our team was perfect – I couldn’t even imagine doing it with anyone other than these 3 incredibly strong women – even in our sleep deprived, delirious state there was so much laughter, singing and even a lolly pop whistle concert (yes you read that right 🤣). There are some stories that will never be spoken about in a public forum 😳- Let’s just say it’s amazing how many uses barrier cream has …..

To navigate for the first time and make it to the end is awesome. We may not have done some bits perfect but holy shit I’m so stoked we achieved what we set out to do, we found our way around, we found our way home.

Thank you Rich Old, Karen Downman and the incredible volunteers from Fully Rad Adventures for an amazing experience.

Thank you Monique, Laura and Gail for just being you.

Troy and Terry – gees you two were the best crew we could have had – the noodles were lined up, the water was hot, the crew boxes were always ready to go – outstanding!

Until next year! 2020 we’re coming for you!

Watermarked photos are from fine folks at Fully Rad Adventures and Wildside – the rest are from the team and their awesome crew.

10 Challenges 10 months 10 thousand dollars

We want to give a massive shout out to Monique Bortoli for setting herself an epic challenge in 2019.

Starting in January 2019, Monique will complete 10 challenges in 10 months to raise $10,000 for the Yacaaba Centre

The Yacaaba Centre is located in Port Stephens in NSW. It provides a range of community services, including specialist support for families who are trying to rebuild after family and domestic violence.

The 10 challenges will include:

  • A 60km stand up paddle-board marathon in Myall Lakes National Park;
  • trail running ultra marathons (like the Great North Walk Ultra, Killkaze, Riverwood Trail Run and the Bilpin Bush Run);
  • epic adventure races (including events by Geoquest, Hells Bells and Wildside which are likely to go for 24 hours +); and
  • over Easter 2019, Monique will complete one lap of Mount Tomaree for every Australian woman who loses their life to domestic violence in 2018.  When we checked in with Mon in November, she was up for 72 laps and roughly 100 miles.

Why would anyone put themselves through all that?

Well, in Monique’s own words:

We need to end family and domestic violence.
Its a cause I’m highly passionate about. Its something I have personal knowledge of and I have experienced myself.

I also have the tools to do something about Domestic violence by raising awareness.

I’m an explorer, a trail runner, a mountain biker and an adventure Racer. I’m also certifiably insane! I’m pooling  all of these talents, I’m running wild and trying to raise a lot of money along the way.

– From the fundraising page – https://au.gofundme.com/10-challenges-10-months-10000

If you would like to join in any of the challenges, or just want to follow the adventure, you can head to facebook  or follow @elementaladventures on instagram.

To make a donation of your own, head to the fundraising page fundraising page.

Stay posted for a report from the first SUP challenge.