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Race Report: XTrail China: New Zealand Adventure Race Team

XTrail China: Prologue

With only a 6 week build up for XTrail we all boarded the plane with some trepidation and doubt about fitness levels. We knew it was going to be very competitive with a handful of the top ranked teams in the world taking part. Our team consisted of Simon Bowden, Tom and George Lucas and myself. It was the first time we had raced together as a team, but when competing in GodZone over the years we were always very competitive with each other, so were confident we would be compatible and would have a fun time. We were most excited about exploring this remote part of China, close to the Mongolian and Kazakstan borders. "

We knew we were in for a real cultural experience. The scenery on the trailer for the race just looked stunning."

Many flights later we arrived in Lake Kanas, after a hair raising bus ride to the hotel. It was great to catch up with all of our friends who had been racing for the month in China prior to this race. We went exploring on the bikes and checked out the yurt village and the surrounding countryside which helped to get the legs moving.

jo williams outside sports nz

We were told the results for the prologue didn't count. So it was great to all just run together to the boats with no great urgency and a lot of banter. I was a good opportunity to jump into the kayaks and have a practice working out set up and see if we could steer! It was beautiful scenery of Lake Kanas reminding George of Canada and I thought it a little like Switzerland. The autumn colours were beautiful and the river looked great, but maybe not a good idea in the boats we were in, hence the change of course to a lake paddle. It was good to have a look around to see glimpses of the route we would be taking over the next few days. Then we ran around the board walks and forest and found ourselves trotting round with Adventure Medical Kits team, so again some good banter and we were over the line in second place.

jo williams outside sports nz

We got the maps earlier than usual which gave us time to route plan. What can change in 40 years? The Russians no more helpful than Chinese...1:100000 scale was different to what we are used to, so knew we had to take this into account, especially when we were tired later in the race.

To be continued...



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