Sporo już minęło czasu od tych zawodów, ale jakoś nie było okazji, żeby sobie poczytać. Inna sprawa, że poczytać można było co najwyżej w językach obcych i na zagranicznych wortalach - bo z Polski nikt na tegorocznym CZAR nie startował. To znaczy - prawie nikt.
Prawie, bo tym rodzynkiem była Uli Fuhrmann. I jej zeznania, czyli relację ze wspólnego z chorwackim teamem występu w Czechach można sobie poczytać poniżej. Z jednym wszakże zastrzeżeniem - to też będzie w tzw. języku, konkretnie - angielskim. Ale za to fajnie się czyta - i ogląda...
I still remember as if it had been yesterday. We started as “Team 360” Igor Błachut, Michał Kiełbasiński and Pavel from Prague and myself to compete in CZAR 2011. Igor was suffering from a very bad virus, first we slowed down on the bike, then we pulled him up the mountains, tried it with any kind of medicine, but nothing helped, and last but not least a beer, but it was no chance to keep him going. Michal, Pavel and I went on 100 k inlineskating, almost killed ourselves during the night to find Igor the next morning at the campsite not any better, that we quitted and DNF. Devastating for me and not understandable that even finishing in 3 would have been more acceptable than just leaving the course.
There was nothing I could do than …
… coming back in 2014 with “Perpetuum + Ulrike”.
Igor, Ivan and Vedran from Croatia are all extremely good cyclists and orienteerer, Igor by far the strongest and experienced one in our team.
It all started on Thursday 21.8. in Jesenik with pouring rain until 10 o’clock and the sun came out and we went off for the prologue: Igor and myself on the bike, Ivan and Vedran for the run. And it already showed that the next two and a half days wouldn’t be easy. Then the MTB section started with endless mountainclimbs. Amazing the first mandatory CP in the middle of the bike ride with the caving which took us into the depths of the mountains.
And it got even more technical on the MTB single trails where slippery roots and rocks made it sometimes quite hard to maneuver. When we arrived at Rychlebske where we left our bikes for a supposedly short trekking section of 20 k, we didn’t know what to expect. It slowly got darker when we arrived at “bols cross” (the second mandatory CP) where we had to climb or abseil anything rocky, the higher, the better, had to throw us 3 times in full outfit and harness into the quarry and swim across before we had to find another 5 quarries where we just had to swim across to get our CP’s. Some of the other teams just went in “naked” to avoid to leave the colder and wetter clothes on for the further trekking. We were freezing and our motivation sunk each time we had to undress and swim again and again and again. Back to the bikes and finally some “halfway dry” clothes on, we continued to bike through the night. Up and down in the mountains with stunning views in particular during the rising of the sun in early morning and another disaster slowly appeared since we ran completely out of food and nowhere a place to spend our mandatory “500 Czech crowns”. We ended up in collecting berries for the last four hours to make us going and finally reached the transition camp at lunchtime on Friday to have a big feast before we headed off with backpacks loaded with double the food for the next long trekking section.
So far so good. We had all CP’s, maybe weren’t the fastest, but still the orienteering was amazingly precise. Sun was shining on us. What came next could simply be described as “pouring down cats and dogs”, “strong wind” and “freezing to death” for the next 2.5 hours to climb to the top of a mountain and all the way down to get to the last mandatory CP the rock climbing. Before we did that we warmed up with hot tea in a bar to change our soaked wet clothes. Climbing in the dark in slippery mountains is probably the last thing you enjoy, but mandatory doesn’t take into consideration extreme weather conditions. We managed very well all 8 routes of various difficulties and did not need to go on any penalty loop. A real challenge!!!! And not easy at all.
We were now far behind the time schedule and decided to skip the inline skating section, just took the last CP and made our way 2.5 hours back to the transition camp to be able to do most of the following MTB stage. It proofed to be a wise decision. All night through we were struggling again with pouring rain, coldness and terrible tiredness. Our feet were aching and we reached the campsite on Saturday morning at 5 o’clock. There was no way to motivate my guys to keep on going in the freezing rain. 3 hours sleep, too long, but it changed the world completely for all of us. Freshened up, sunshine and a strong breakfast brought us back into the race and highly motivated we took off on the MTB. We gave our best to collect as many CP’s as possible within the timelimit and finished with 13 missing CP’s almost the same like the winning team Salomon-Suunto/Nutrend who crossed the finish line having done the following trekking section with “just” 2 missing CP’s.
(All photos by Vedran Berković & Lukas - CZAR organizing team)
Last but not least we made up for it when we had to “compete” in the final beer relay compulsory for all finishing teams.
Good fun, fantastic organization, great team and a real adventure, I will never forget.