XPD Racers Set Off on 700km Course
XPD competitors Prepare for the race start outside Race HQ in Crystal St.
The XPD Expedition Adventure Race began this morning at 9 am in Broken Hill. “Pre race nerves were evident amount the 20 competing teams,” said race organiser Louise Foulkes. “Everyone seemed very exited to be here, and they were keen to get underway.”
The racers received a police escort and a rousing send off from Broken Hill locals who turned out to see the spectacle. The police escort peeled off at the edge of town and the race began in earnest. Teams cycled toward to the Sculptures in Living Desert National Park before heading to Daydream Mine.
Competitors search for checkpoints at the Sculptures.
XPD Team ‘Adventure Hedonists’ try to figure out the underground map inside Daydream Mine.
Three underground checkpoints had to be punched before competitors could continue. “The mine provided a diversion not normally found in an adventure race,” Ms Foulkes said. “These kind of ‘special’ sections keep competitors thinking throughout the course.”
Teams then raced to Silverton where they dismounted from their bikes and set out on foot to Mt Umberumberka and the Mundi Mundi ruin. The rough terrain proved taxing for some teams. “A few competitors took a break on Mt Mundi Mundi to rest their feet,” said race photographer Gareth Dyer. “The spectacular views seemed to take their mind off the race for a few moments.”
Team ‘Aussie Bodies’ take a brief rest on top of Mt Mundi Mundi.
XPD teams leave the summit of Mt Mundi Mundi just before sundown.
There was no resting for the lead teams however, Team AROC in the lead as the daylight faded. “AROC have opened an hour’s lead on second placed ‘Team Mille’,” said Race Director Craig Bycroft. “’Team Giddi Up’ are one and a half hours behind Mille, but at this early stage, the race is still anyone’s.”
“A simple navigation error or equipment malfunction could cost a team several hours. Often the winning teams are the ones who make the least mistakes,” Mr. Bycroft said.
Late evening saw Teams ‘AROC’, ‘Mille’ and ‘Giddi Up’ reach Eldee station where they transitioned back to the bikes for the ride to Byjerkano overnight. The Eldee checkpoint is 95km into the race. The remaining teams are yet to reach Eldee tonight including ‘Team Tigertrek.org’ with Broken Hill local, Clem Florence.
Spectator vantage points for Thursday are:
Dawn to 1000 – Midfield teams to cross Silver city Highway between Byjerkano Station and Sturt’s Meadows (Mountain Bike)
1500 - Nightfall – Lead teams to transition from Mountain Bike to Trek at Little Topar Raodhouse
Media contact: Gareth Dyer, 0428567106
More information: www.xpd.com.au