Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cullinan Diamond Dash MTB

Ok, no Kinetic Adventure for me. But I did do the Diamond Dash MTB on Saturday.
Brendan was also there (eventually :-) ) and Adri. I had a thought that we try to do it as a team, but du to various discombobulations that didn't happen.
AdriFerrari was in the starting group 5 min behind me. I have no idea where B-Dawg was, as I never saw him on the morning...
This did create some mild... worry... as he had arranged to fetch our numbers and race packs. AdriFerrari said that he was under the impression the race started at only 8:15, not 7:30 as it was actually the case.
So I started at 7:40 (3rd start group) after having waited and looked for B-Dawg without a number board. No one seemed to mind except me though :-)
The route was fast. Very fast. Not too technical, mostly, but with a fair amount of thick sand.
We headed out of Cullinan toward the northern side heading mostly downhill-ish for the first 15km, with some short sharp exceptions. Then after an orchard, we were onto some jeep track, followed by a piece of singeltrack with a mucky river crossing. 
Then one of the best parts: we were routed into a private game reserve (not sure if it actually is a reserve...) with another river crossing, but then we hit rocky singletrack as we headed into a gorge (see the image just before the "lowest point" - you can actually see the greenery of the gorge) with a waterfall and a cave. 
Strue. A cave. Well, maybe more of a tunnel than a cave, it had two entraces, but we'll stick with cave :-)
Very nice.
Then we were back onto district roads and smaller farm roads for some good timetrial training. At about 40km we hit my other favourite piece of the route. About 3km of downhill singletrack. Not technical by any means, but flowing hardpack fast. I almost felt like going back up to do it again!!!
Some more roads (This was not Magalies Monster, remember :-) ) and then over a rickety bridge and onto a piece of road next to an orchard. 
Hang on, I know this part... We came the opposite way earlier! for whatever reason, the organisers did not take us round the other side of Cullinan like last year (with its killer climb right at the end), but back along the same route we came out. Of course, then, one knows that all the nice fast downhills of the outride were now uphill drags... At least we knew what was was coming.
A little surprise loop at the end took us to within spitting distance of the big hole and then back to the start finish, for my time of 3:17:25, which I manually had to give to the timekeepers, as I had no number board. I measure just over 62km and 700m vertical ascent, so by no means a fearsome tough race.
All in all, though, a well organised most enjoyable outing.

Trans Baviaans, here I come....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Great Adventure part 3

It is now nearing the end of an exceptionally long, tiring and , for my wife, very painful, day

Jesse was born this afternoon at about 14:15, weighing 3.985kg, being 52cm long and having a head circumference of 36cm.

Not a small baby, then. But par for the course, given that my second son, Connor plonked a 4.16kg onto the scale 6 years ago. With one small difference, which I'll get to in a moment.

Yesterday my wife went to see the gynae for her check up, and she told him that if he thinks the baby is ready to be born, then she's ready for him to be born. Very much ready.

He said it was fine and that we much be the hospital at 05:00 to get ready for an induction. Administered, we settled down to wait.

And waiting would be the theme of the day to come.

Funny how time can be such a relative thing...

Anyhow, at 10:00 nothing much had happened yet, so the doctor decided to rupture the membranes. It was very shortly then that things started happening very quickly.

So from 10:30, until 14:15, less than 4 hours, the labour went form almost nothing the fullblown extremely painful contractions which followed quite rapidly on each other.

We had decided upon an epidural, as with the others, but as the labour progressed, the anaesthetist just didn't shown up. My wife's gynae had a Ceasarian section to perform at 13:00, but the the same anaesthetist was late for that. This was problematic, seeing as how he was supposed to come BEFORE the C-section to give my wife her epidural.

So she never got her epidural.

Let me rather not get into bashing people who are not able to defend themselves, however.

It may actually have been a blessing in disguise.

Jesse took one look at the outside world and tried to climb back into the womb... Seriously, he got a little bit stuck at the shoulder and almost got pulled back in. But a heroic combination of pushing and pulling from mother and doctor got him out in one piece, if a bit bruised.

But I have never heard a woman scream like I did today. You alway hear it on TV and think that they're dramatising this whole event.

Believe me, they're not.

My wife is an absolute trooper, and did an awesome job today. For all my experience in suffering with endurance MTB and painful injuries (I will repost a story I wrote last year about my shoulder in a month's time, watch this space...) I don't think I could ever have dine what she did. Not just 'cos I'm physically not able to, but I don't think I (or most men for that matter) am mentally capable of it.

But to see that little child come out into the light... That is the start of the greatest adventure of all - LIFE.