The Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series commenced in 2007, following on from the success of the original AROC Adventures. Catering for everyone, the series continued to challenge the more experienced teams while also providing a stepping stone for beginners by offering specially designed Novice Courses.
The Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series involved teams of 3 travelling around the course together by mountain bike, kayak and on foot. Using a map and compass, each team navigated from checkpoint to checkpoint. Lots of short stages requiring quick switches between disciplines, along with some surprise challenges along the way, kept it super interesting for all teams.
At the completion of each Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series, a final race, the AROC Adventure Championships, were held. This event was typically a little longer and harder than the Adventure series, taking about 5 to 10 hours to complete.
A selection of race reports, are provided below. These describe the action, the drama and the various challenges (planned and unplanned) that each team faced as they navigated their way around the course.
- No rain, but mud and puddles galore for the final event of the Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series 2007-08. Official race report, April 2008.
- Rain, mud and furious seas – another day at the office for Paddy Pallin adventure racers at Lake Macquarie, Official race report, April 2009.
- ‘A cracker of a race in Port Stephens’, Official Race Report, March 2010.
- ‘Cockie Stinging Arrows battle the elements to come out on top at Shellharbour’ Official Race Report, October 2010.
- ‘The sun shines in Canberra as new winners emerge’ Official Race Report, November 2010.
- ‘Dora Creek flows with Adventure’, Official Race Report, April 2011
No rain, but mud and puddles galore for the final event of the Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series 2007-08
Official report, Lake Macquarie, 19 April 2008
With so much rainfall in the days preceding the event, it was nothing short of a miracle that rain held off for the whole day on Saturday 19 April, when a record 220 teams turned up for AROC’s most popular Adventure Race to date on the shores of Lake Macquarie. The event started with the 50 Novice teams leaving on kayaks at 9AM, followed 15 minutes later by the first wave of Classic Course competitors on foot.
There was some real competition in the Novice Course with some of the faster, more experienced teams missing out on a place in the Classic course but deciding to have a hit out anyway. The Old Bulls were not disadvantaged by their age, leading much of the way. But in the final sprint to the finish Wherethafrickarewe Tribe had some extra juice in their legs, managing to cross first and grab the win. Less than a minute behind in third place were the Three Stooges. The Sistas were the first all female team home in the Novice Course and 16th overall.
Hurry Up Dad had our youngest competitors for the day with AROC regular Alan Yeung racing with his two daughters, Bianca (9 years old) and Natalie (11 years old). They got every checkpoint and finished with tired but very big smiles and lots of hugs from the rest of the family.
The Classic course started out with a crossword orienteering around Stockland’s Murrays Beach. Crossword puzzle addicts may have got an advantage on this first leg, but it was good navigation that made all the difference in the foot orienteering of leg 2. Some of the participants in the second wave of the Classic Course had to wait a little bit for boats to be freed by the first wave racers who took their time to find checkpoints 1 through 4 between Stockland’s Murrays Beach and Rafferty’s Resort! Team Crank’s Michael Merriment, Matt De Belin and Matt Shields struggled with fitting the words into the crossword, coming out of that leg around 40th place. But good riding skills saw them reeling in the field and just pip ARNuts Flat Chat in the last ride, to finish first in 3 hours and 46minutes.
The Classic Course paddling leg was relatively straight-forward, but with a head wind picking up, it was hard work to cross the lake towards the Gwandalan peninsula.
The rogaining section then took teams running in a residential neighborhood, looking for clues to answer questions instead of traditional orienteering punches. On this trek, many a team was found counting “upturned” boats on the shore of Lake Macquarie, searching the top of a tree for a “man-made object” – a Coke bottle – or looking for a single word to describe a burnt and ruined house!
With many tracks turned into creeks by the heavy rainfalls of the past weeks, the first of the two mountain biking legs was a hoot with knee-deep puddles and a real mud fest for competitors and bikes alike. The large number of tracks in the area made for some more opportunities for navigational errors for hasty riders! The mud was lots of fun but also hard work and took teams almost twice as long as if the tracks had been dry. Some teams learnt to swim through some super huge puddles and Matt Bacon from Hardtale.com was seen going over his head at one point! He is not known as the little man for nothing!
It was then on to 3 short orienteering checkpoints hidden in watercourses and then back on the bike for the final leg which included heaps of muddy hills to conquer, on the saddle or off, according to the level of fatigue of the participants!
The Bedraggled Berra Babes were really not so bedraggled and won the all female category. The Pulsettes were second and Team Three Queen B’s third.
It was a long day for some with Team Do or Die Trying finishing in the dark but super stoked that they did keep trying for over 11 hours and actually did do it – well done.
GU sports drink and a complimentary barbeque welcomed the weary finishers at Stockland’s Murrays Beach. The rain finally came during the prize ceremony but was gone again by the time the party kicked off at Rafferty’s Resort. Freshly showered teams showed up by the pool to share some stories and congratulate once more the super resilient winning team, Team Crank.
Rain, mud and furious seas – another day at the office for Paddy Pallin adventure racers at Lake Macquarie!
Official race report, April 2009
An unprecedented 738 people took part in the Season Finale of the Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series on Saturday 18 April 2009 at Stockland’s Murrays Beach in Lake Macquarie. What a field, what a day, what a year it’s been! It had to end in true adventure race style and there’s nothing like rain and mud (though less than last year) to add that extra touch of excitement! The coasteering section had every team talking at the event hub after the race: who wouldn’t want to jump into water channels and swim fully clothed through rough swells! The last leg of single track mountain biking was also a favourite.
As always team work and camaraderie prevailed with teams helping injured competitors and team mates pushing each other to accomplish a feat to be proud of: finishing a first adventure race.
With three start waves of competitors 10 minutes apart there was some suspense at the finish before the winners of the Classic Course were announced and the bonanza of prizes started to be awarded. While mixed teams had been claiming the overall top spot in recent events it was an all-male team that came out on top this time, with team KRH (Hugh Stodart, Richard Mountstephens, David Simpfendorfer) finishing the course in 2:52.
They were followed by second male team myWorkspace.com (Chad Armstrong, Ryan Armstrong, Dean Degan) in 3:11. Mark McDonald, Heather Logie and Julien Wicks (Team Blackheart Ultrafit) were 3rd overall and first in the mixed category in a time of 3:15, with a good 17 minutes to spare before the second mixed team Outdoor Magazine Australia (Kim Philip, Sean King, Jeremy MacCue) showed up in 3:32. Teen Millie with outdoor legend Toby Cogley, along with his 16-year old nephew Josh Bell and Ian Stewart claimed 3rd place in the male in 3:19, while Just Trippin (Tsalina Phang, Luke Su, Rastislav Droppa) rounded up the mixed category podium with third place in 3:36. The first female team in were 0055 Slap Me (Rachel Merton, Kim Austen, Susan Login) completing the course in 4:29. They were followed by 3x the fun (Jeanette Dillon, Liza Whitfield, Dot Stockwell) in 4:36 and The Green Sprouts (Lynita Clark, Cami Ward, Melinda Rogan) in 4:54.
The Novice Course participants took on a much longer than usual course and seemed to have a blast. Winners overall in the Novice Course were mixed team Keen Genes (Sonia Brown, Nikki Brown, Toby Brown) in 2:31. 2nd overall and first male team was Boost (Nick Redpath, James Currah, Scott Poole) in 2:39. 3rd overall and 2nd mixed team was Leisure Gear (Leonard Davis, Anthony Torr, Ange Morrison) in 2:41. 2nd male team were Maggots (Ty Fallins, Mark Huff, Chad Griffith) in 2:46. Robyn Curtis, Narelle Van Dorssen, Simon Resch from team wecandoit proved that they could indeed do it in 2:58 which gave them 3rd place in the mixed category. All-female team Rusty Toys (Stacy Mail, Jaci Richards, Angie Physick) showed they weren’t so rusty after all when they beat the 3rd all-male team whynot (Steve Williams, Craig Murrell, Matthew Jones) by 10 seconds and won the female category in 3:06. Rio Darby (Amelia Souter, Danielle Colless, Casey Death) finished 2nd female team in 3:37 followed by 3rd female team 3 Musketettes (Sarah Evans, Julie Shaw, Libby Myles) in 3:43.
The organisers would like to thank all the participants in this season’s Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series for their performance and their spirit at the events! We hope to see many familiar faces next season along with the newcomers who are discovering adventure racing and becoming hooked! A big thank you to our sponsors who provided wonderful prizes to winners and punters alike throughout the Series: Paddy Pallin of course, with Salomon and Sea to Summit, but also Fitness First, Icebreaker, World Expeditions, Rudy Project, UltraFIT Magazine, GU gels and hydration, Outdoor Australia Magazine, Red Bull, City Bike Depot, the friendliest bike store in Sydney, Chirosports and AddVenture Training. Thanks also to Warren and the guys at Stockland’s Murrays Beach for their assistance with the final event.
A cracker of a race in Port Stephens
Official race report, March 2010
The 2009/10 Paddy Pallin Adventure Racing Series concluded in style over the weekend with 230 teams (nearly 700 racers) traversing a landscape that is famous for its striking beauty. Indeed Tomaree National Park, the Worimi Conservation Lands and the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park provided a spectacular backdrop for the Paddy Pallin Adventure Race. 30 hours before the race start, the scene was set with a 3.3 magnitude earthquake hitting Nelson Bay.
Saturday 13 March 2010 – 10:23AM: starting at the base of the famous Stockton Beach sand dunes, competitors were looking up at the near vertical sand climb in front of them; teams knew a real adventure was to come and the anticipation was stirring. The near-record field spread out quickly through the rolling sands looking for elusive codes on hidden checkpoints before starting their coastal assault. Jumping on the bikes at Boat Harbour, they tackled a fast ride along One Mile and Samurai Beaches and then a short push through Tomaree National Park to Big Rocky. Teams were then faced with the highlight of the event as they had to swim out to a small rocky island complete with a crystal-clear, 3m deep rock pool containing the next checkpoint.
Back on the bikes, teams headed off to Fingal Bay for a paddle across to Fingal Bay Island. All teams got a rock-hopping coasteer in while the top ten teams visited the historic lighthouse. From there it was a last chance to catch a wave on the kayaks followed by a beach run and finally a short ride to the finish at Fingal Bay oval. Phew, what a day!
Newcastle locals, Undecided, (Stu Adams, Scott Taylor and Chad Singleton) took out overall line honours and the male category, after a tight tussle the whole way with Team Crank (Matt Shields, Matthew de Belin, Jeffrey Price). BMX Bandits (Dave Ellis, Adrian Betts, Will Robb) came in 3rd.
Australian Geographic Outdoor Magazine (Andrew Renwick, Tsalina Phang, Luke Su) were the only mixed team to qualify for the bonus leg in the mixed category and they won the class. Old Butt Slow (Roger Simionato, Robyn Simionato, Graham Johnston) arrived in second only twelve seconds in front of third-placed Up the Creek without a Paddle (Andrew Povah, Rachael Best, Andrew Howlett) who only just managed to score a podium position after chasing down Outdoor Link on the final ride to the finish.
Competition in the women’s category was fierce with Blasko Era (Melissa Backhouse, Nicole Barwick, Bek Hall) edging out The Smiling Assassins (Aimee Quinlan, Cate Butcher, Dot Stockwell) by under a minute in a three and a half hour race. Only a Number (Liza Whitfield, Jeanette Dillon, Lynne Pinsent) proved that they were in fact more than that as they stood on the podium in third place.
Whynot might be looking to step up to the Classic Course after a comprehensive ten-minute win in the Novice Course. Steve Williams, Craig Murell and Brett Russell got an early lead in the kayaks and held it all the way to the finish. Family team The Racing Rieses (Gregor, Jessica and Asher Riese) won the mixed category and second overall after turning an 11-second deficit to Wecandoitagain at the last transition into an 8-second lead by the finish. Mis-adventures (Jade Pattie, Clare Hoskins, Stacey Halliday) came out on top amongst the women.
AROC Sport would like to thank Paddy Pallin and all others involved in helping create another exciting and successful event! Thanks to our hosts in Port Stephens (Port Stephens Beachside Holiday Parks, Samurai Beach Resort), our amazing volunteers (Carl, Josh, Mari, Jenny, Vanessa, Joshua, Tony, Diana, Chris, Andrew, Tim, Steve, Bob & Drude), supportive sponsors (Fitness First, icebreaker, World Expeditions, Salomon, Sea to Summit, UltraFit Magazine, Australian Geographic Outdoor Magazine, GU, Red Bull, City Bike Depot, AddVenture Training, Club O2 as well as our local partners: Moonshadow Cruises and BOAB Boat Hire) and keen participants. Particular thanks go to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for their fabulous support of the event. See you all in October for the start of a new adventurous season!
Cockie Stinging Arrows battle the elements to come out on top at Shellharbour
Official report, October 2010
The Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Series opened the 2010/11 season in blustery conditions in Shellharbour over the weekend. It was the first time the Series had visited the South Coast and competitors were treated to an array of differing terrains and views. From the tubing down Minnamurra River to the coasteering along Bass Point and singletrack mountain biking in Blackbutt Reserve the course had it all!
A windy morning greeted the competitors standing on the start line on Minnamurra River with their tubes in hand. After a quick trip down to the mouth of the river it was a dash up Mystics Beach to the bikes at the first Transition Area (TA). Two teams, the Cockie Stinging Arrows and the Stingers opened up the beginnings of a huge margin on the rest of the field here. It was then onto the bikes and through the picturesque Killalea State Park towards Bass Point Reserve and the renowned Bushrangers Bay.
Using memory from a ‘NearMap’ image at each Check Point (CP) the teams navigated their way around the point. The cold conditions (and the fact it was found to be a shark habitat!) prevented the full swim from happening but the teams still got wet. Cockie Stinging Arrows managed to open a lead of 4mins by the end of this leg. The rest of the field was still fighting hard behind the two leading teams with B3N, Sleepmonsters, Just Trippin’ and Freddi Furlongs amongst those tussling for third. The Stingers Chics were beginning to be as equally dominating as the men and were up by 14mins to The Happy Ladies and Daisy Dazzlers.
An urban ride to Blackbutt Reserve to discover what a dog’s nuisance is and to tackle the orienteering section. Unfortunately the locals had decided that the race was not exciting enough and decided to rearrange the Check Points. Realising this the leaders returned to TA5 and headed out on the singletrack route but again the locals had decided they knew a better route to mark and soon both the top teams were led astray. Some quick relocation and they were off towards the finish via the paddling leg which had been moved to within the channel as the surf conditions were too rough for the ocean paddle.
The Cockie Stinging Arrows edged out the Stingers by just under 4mins to take the first win of the season. The battle for third was a cracker with B3N and Sleepmonsters never more than one minute apart after TA4. It was B3N who was next across the line only 41 seconds ahead. Stingers Chics romped home ahead of The Happy Ladies in their first ever adventure race and Daisy Dazzlers completing the podium for females. Maximum Adventure won the mixed category with What Are We Thinking and Middo’s + 1 filling the podium.
The Novice Course teams jumped into the kayaks first for a quick paddle. It was an initiation of sorts for the many teams making their AR debut as the wind gave them a real challenge to steer the yellow sit-on-top kayaks! No Compromise were first back to the bikes with a 3-minute lead and headed off for the quick ride and wade to Barrack Point. The teams got a taste of some coasteering around the point before heading back to TA3 and their bikes. It was here that No Compromise lost their leg to Racing Rieses and the male team The Brothers Grimm.
The Novice teams were off to Blackbutt Reserve next to get stuck into the same ‘redesigned’ orienteering leg as the Classic teams. Las Tres Chicas, all orienteers, showed their navigating skills to record the fastest time by 3 minutes on this leg. The singletrack was next and by then the Racing Rieses had opened a 4-minute lead on The Brothers Grimm and No Compromise who were separated by only 11 seconds. The ride was to determine the podium and The Brothers Grimm powered home to win by two minutes from No Compromise. The Racing Rieses were next across the line but unfortunately missed a CP which allowed HotSox to take third overall. Las Tres Chicas managed to open a healthy enough lead that held the fast finishing Not too sure at bay in the female category.
Organisers would like to thank all who made this event possible: Shellharbour City Council and Tourism Shellharbour, all volunteers (Garth, Ella, Erica, Karen, Anne, Chuong, Yanna, Kyla, Neal) and Surf Life Saving Clubs (Warilla-Barrack Point, Windang and Kiama Downs), and finally the Series sponsors: Paddy Pallin, Fitness First, icebreaker, World Expeditions, Salomon, Sea to Summit, Suunto, Skins, UltraFit Magazine, Australian Geographic Outdoor Magazine, GU, Red Bull, AddVenture Training, Club O2. Particular thanks go to Deon from NSW Maritime Authority.
The 2010-11 Series continues with the next event in Canberra on 27 November 2010, and then going in to the new year, 12 February 2011 in the Canberra area and the Season Grand Finale on the Central Coast on 12 March 2011.
The sun shines in Canberra as new winners emerge!
Official Race Report, Canberra, November 2010.
The second Paddy Pallin Adventure Race for the 2010/11 series saw clear skies and brilliant sunshine greet competitors at the Crowne Plaza. The maps were received and the Classic teams already had smiles on their faces in anticipation for the slides on the second leg of the race. First up though there was a challenging run leg to collect 34 points worth of checkpoints amongst the long grass and rocks of the Pinnacle Reserve. It brought some of the teams unstuck, including some experienced navigators but Egos like Hairdos and The Bexton Experience took in their stride to open a four-minute lead on the rest of the field, a lead they would never surrender. Third onto the bikes were ucniss.net however they would later realise they only collected 32 points which meant they would incur a time penalty.
A fast and furious ride to Black Mountain Reserve was broken up by the activity everyone was waiting for, the waterslides!! Each team had to have three goes before continuing and in the hot conditions it was a welcome relief. By the time they climbed off their bikes Egos like Hairdos had opened a gap of one and half minutes on The Bexton Experience and VO3MAX had moved into third. Bedraggled Berra Babes had already streaked the rest of the field and had opened up a 30-minute gap on their nearest female rivals whilst AG Outdoor were leading the mixed teams.
The Autobots had a scintillating run on the Black Mountain leg moving themselves up into 3rd position. VO3MAX weren’t as quick however and went the other way, dropping to 11th overall. The other main mover for the leg was the youngsters in Team Abs. Making up for some first leg shenanigans they used their orienteering background to come out of the bush in 4th. The two teams out in front maintained their positions. A tour of the Black Mountain fire trail system brought the teams down to the lake for the kayak/run/swim leg.
The water was again a welcome relief from the heat as the leading team headed out across the water from Black Mountain peninsula to the check points along Yarramundi Reach. The leg included a brief beaching of the kayak to climb the play equipment within Weston Park before reaching the kayak drop point back at Kurrajong Point. From here it was swim back to the bikes with some teams heading North to the bike path whilst some swam straight for the bikes. It was this leg that saw Egos like Hairdos stretch the gap to The Bexton Experience out to six minutes. The fastest time for the leg however went to Kirrawee Hunting Club pitting them in a battle for 4th with Team Abs. VO3MAX had moved back into 3rd after a quick ride on the previous leg. Bedraggled Berra Babes still lead the women’s category, Marshi and Shadows were the 2nd female on course but unbeknownst to them had missed 4 check points on the Black Mountain Leg which would drop them to 3rd behind 1 Kiwi Chuck & her Pom Pom’s.
Urban terrain was up next with a question-fuelled orienteering leg within the ANU followed by a ride along the lakefront. Teams Abs got themselves back into 3rd with another strong run leg and VO3MAX again slipped back during the run leg. They more than made up for it however on a storming last bike leg to take the 3rd step on the podium behind first time winners Egos like Hairdos and The Bexton Experience. Australian Geographic Outdoor were the top mixed team and 7th overall with The Giggitys showing consistency pays off to be the 2nd mixed team and R.C. Bar Studs were third. Bedraggled Berra Babes were the dominant force in the women’s category and took 9th overall, 1 Kiwi Chuck & her Pom Pom’s were 2nd and Marshi and Shadows overcome the missed CPs to still take 3rd. The number one corporate team ucniss.net are already talking up their chances to retain their title whilst the winning family team was the Wild’s team let’s try this again shall we?
Whilst the Classic Course ended with the ANU leg, the Novice Course started with it and Doug Ashy All Stars blitzed the field to open a four-minute lead after just one leg! The second team onto the bikes were LendLease Legends, the eventual winner of the Corporate Category. The Novice teams then crossed the Black Mountain saddle on their bikes before dropping down into the transition into part of the run leg that the Classic Course had also done. Doug Ashy All Stars had stretched their lead here while behind a tense tussle was eventuating with three teams, LendLease Legends, Lost in Transit and Greedy Skinks all within a minute of each other going into the run leg.
It was LendLease Legends who emerged first from the scrub ahead of Doug Ashy All Stars whose race had unfortunately begun to unravel as they collected an incorrect check point during the leg. Greedy Skinks – also the leading male team – were five minutes behind and Lost in Transit a further two minutes back. Crank Pants lead the women’s field. Jumping in the kayaks after another ride through Black Mountain, the gap between the top three had been whittled down so that only all three were only one and a half minutes apart: it was turning into a battle royale!
Greedy Skinks must have gotten their guns pumping as the all-male team emerged from the water with the lead after passing both teams during the paddle. LendLease Legends were 2nd, one minute down and Lost in Transit had dropped from 2nd to the 3rd. With only a fast bike section left it was going to be a hectic race to the finish line. Lost in Transit must have been foxing in the kayak or saving some energy as they caught and passed both teams to take overall line and mixed team honours only 15 seconds ahead LendLease Legends, the winning corporate team, while Greedy Skinks may have lost some time over the closing stages they still won the men’s category. Cranky Pants were never troubled in winning the female category whilst the quickest family team, The Storms also rounded out the top ten overall.
Organisers would like to thank all who made this event possible: our amazing volunteers who go well beyond the call of duty, thanks guys: Anna, Graeme, Jennifer, Craig; our cracker staff: Adam, Malcolm, Wanda, Steve, Finn, Angus and Beth; and finally the Series sponsors: Paddy Pallin, Fitness First, icebreaker, World Expeditions, Salomon, Sea to Summit, Suunto, Skins, UltraFit Magazine, Australian Geographic Outdoor Magazine, GU, Red Bull, as well as local partners The Bike Shed and the Crowne Plaza.
The 2010-11 Series continues with the next event in the new year, on 12 February 2011 in the Canberra area and the Season Grand Finale on the Central Coast on 2 April 2011. Entries are currently open online and early-bird specials are available.
Dora Creek flows with Adventure
Paddy Pallin Adventure Race Report, 2 April 2011
Dora Creek, near Lake Macquarie, provided a brand new adventure playground for teams in the fourth and final Paddy Pallin Adventure Race for the 2010/11 series. After some land owner issues there was a last minute change of venue but this did not prevent AROC from producing a course worthy of the 600 plus crowd who arrived at Dora Creek Oval ready to race. Some didn’t have the best morning with one team losing a bike off the car roof on the F3 and another dropping their bikes at a wrong location, something they would only discover mid race!
For the Classic teams it was straight into the terrain with a rogaine-style run leg to collect 60pts of CPs worth 3, 5 or 7 points. The scattered location of the CPs was designed to split the teams up and it sure worked, with yellow bibs seen heading in all directions. It was team GHD first out of the bush and onto the bikes with a 4 minute lead over Goldfinger.
Next up was some fast fire trail riding before a short blast along some beautifully manicured single track. GHD stretched their lead to 6 minutes as VO3Max closed in on second. In the female category, Hygienic Lilies had a cracker second leg to turn a 13 minute deficit to The Smiling Assassins into a 6 minute lead by the time they hopped of the bike.
The third leg was another orienteering leg with V03Max slipping up to lose time on Goldfinger while the theme continued with GHD taking another 5 minutes out of the field on this leg. Castlebell and R.C. Bar Studs had been developing a strong battle over the opening stages of the race but it was on this leg that Castlebell managed to open a 3 minute lead to head towards a victory in the mixed category.
The fourth leg saw teams head for Dora Creek and the kayaks. First though, they had to contend with a touch more singletrack and some deceptively straight forward navigation on the bike. Although it isn’t their forte, the lads from GHD had enough time in the bank to lose a few minutes in the boats and get across the line first, qualifying for the bonus leg. Next home was Goldfinger, 13 minutes down and 6 minutes in front of V03Max. R.C. Bar Studs were trying their best to run down Castlebell and managed to scrape through to qualify for the bonus leg as only the second mixed team to do so.
The bonus leg did little to shake up the final overall placings with GHD, Goldfinger and V03Max maintaining their overall podium positions, No roads were fourth overall and the third male team. Castlebell held off the late challenge from R.C. Bar Studs to win the mixed category and Mixed Resultz took third. The Smiling Assassins powered through the kayak leg in an attempt to run down the 8 minute deficit to Hygienic Lillies but fell agonisingly short as just five seconds separated them from the top step of the podium.
The Novice Course produced the youngest ever overall winner of a Paddy Pallin Adventure Race, when Annika Mountstephens, just 10yrs old, lead her parents over the finish line. With mum, Katrin Van Der Spiegel, a two-time 24hr World Solo runner-up and dad, Richard Mountstephens, a former Aust. Orienteering Rep and accomplished AR veteran, those middle-aged men she left in her wake can at least take solace in the fact she has some serious pedigree. They were just ahead of the all-male Wombat Warriors who were the next team home, just over a minute down, with AROC regulars HOTSOX third overall and top mixed team. Hunter Water Cruisers won the battle of the businesses in the corporate category and Alicat were the top female racers.
As with any successful event AROC Sport have many people to thank that helped make the race a success! The crew of staff and volunteers including – Timmy (who, with Tom, spent 13hrs grooming that sweet single track!), Chris, Ian, Sally-Anne, Brett, Mark, Daniel, Robbie and the amazing Dawson Family.
After some last minute issues with land access we are incredibly grateful to the follow people and the bodies they represent – Nicole from Lake Macquarie City Council, Greg from NSW Maritime, Debbie and Vicki from NPWS, Jeff from Centennial Coal, Sam from LPMA, Geoff T and Dennis from Newcastle Orienteers, Steve from the Dora Creek Oval Committee and Don from the Dora Creek Community Hall.
Our wonderful sponsors who continue to support the series and provide plenty of prizes to spread the love around – Paddy Pallin, Fitness First, icebreaker, World Expeditions, Salomon, Sea to Summit, Suunto, Skins, UltraFit Magazine, Australian Geographic Outdoor Magazine, GU, Club 02 and AddVenture Training