By: Moana Lengkeek
Is a 8km survival run not enough to tire you out? Do you like combining puzzles with obstacles, running biking, racing and more?
This was our thought process as we signed up for the Goldrush 8Hr Survival Race. In stead of completing the course as fast as possible, the aim was to take as close to exactly 8hrs as possible, while covering as many km’s as you could. And if you couldn’t read a map or find points hidden in the wild, each of those kilometres would be for nothing. Starting the race you already know once you finish you’re gonna be both mentally and physically exhausted.
In our preparation we followed an adventure racing course given by Jan and Schelte. This included learning basic map and route skills, the set up of races, what kind of equipment is needed, and of course practice runs. Maps were made of Delft and surrounding to test our knowledge and progress, routes were made, and pairs got lost or failed to find points.
Slowly we got better at following the routes, (and the organisers got better at making them!), ending in the officially named Slopend Space Race. A teaser for the Goldrush, to see what we had learned, and whether we were ready or not. There was a thick layer of frost on the ground that morning, the first of the season, as we headed to Katwijk to start the Space Race with a bang, and a ride in a Soyuz!
The start was the Space Expo in Katwijk, and from there we made our way through the dunes back to the TU. It was a day spent running on lose sand to find points, and biking in between. Many lessons were learnt that day, namely not to be back late, and how easy it is to get lost in an urban environment. Not being familiar with the area, the hardest part of the race for me was trying to find the way back through Den Haag to Delft.
Finally the day of the Goldrush came! An early start to get there before the start at 9:30. It all seemed a blur to my sleep induced haze, and in no time we were standing at the start line. Running those two laps around the athletics course got the blood moving in the cold misty morning, and the puzzles that followed definitely switched on my brain. Spending a decent amount of time drawing in routes and coordinates as soon as we got the map, Leo and I were one of the last groups to leave the start location. This paid off however as we passed a number of teams following the oliaat and bolletje pijltje instead of drawing the end location on the map. However, we quickly noticed that we were running behind the suggested times scheduled on the map information, and unfortunately had to made decisions on what to miss out.
The race was divided into seven stages, each of them having a number of points available to collect; some easy, some hard and some compulsory. As we were behind time we stuck to the easy and compulsory points, even having to cut out the majority of the seventh stage to make it back before the deadline.
The end was what I would personally describe the hardest part of the course: the monkey hang over the river. Already rekt from the 8hrs before, I was quite nervous waiting in the cold for my turn to cross. When my turn came, I started off slowly, and continued even slower, but I made it across and could sink to the ground and rest; we finished the Goldrush Survival run 2018!