Puncture a blow-out for Bay's only GO-4-12 team

Brendan Webb, 15, Alex Miller, 17, and Mathis Lodewijks, 15, are three-quarters of the Havelock North High School Go4-12 ...
Megan Hunt

Brendan Webb, 15, Alex Miller, 17, and Mathis Lodewijks, 15, are three-quarters of the Havelock North High School Go4-12 team.

Minutes from the finish line, after 12 hours of running, paddling, climbing and riding Hawke's Bay's only GO-4-12 team collected a bike tyre puncture.

The Havelock North team of four had been up since 4am and nearly completed the final leg of the annual secondary schools adventure racing championship at Tutira on April 8.

Despite having to run the damaged bike for the final stretch, which saw them finish just over the time limit, the group were already looking forward to next year.

Sam Miller, 15, Alex Miller, 17, Brendan Webb, 15, and Mathis Lodewijks, 15, heard about the race last year and decided to enter.

*Waimea girls best in country​
*School's adventure racers score a perfect 10​
*Waimea College on the podium at NZ secondary schools adventure racing champs

The 12-hour event began with a rogaine course, similar to orienteering, where teams collect points for stations marked on a map within a set time.

Next they completed a number of challenges like high ropes, kayaking or puzzles which they received points for, followed by trek and cycle legs.

The aim is finish with the lowest time and highest number of points.

In the lead-up to the race the group prepared with running, biking and rock climbing training, plus a session of kayaking.

"If was feeling fine about it until the night before and we were given a brief and thought 'we cannot complete that'," Alex said.

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But after a meeting with competitors they were told not all activities needed to be completed.

"You can go at our own pace ... we opted for things we knew we could do and do well," she said.

The group regulated their time and challenges to make it home inside the 12-hour mark, but a second flat tyre on the final two minute cycle stretch to the finish slowed them down.

"Everyone got down the hill and we looked around, like where's Brendan?" Alex said.

Mathis biked back and found him pushing his bike, Sam gave Brendan his and ran the punctured bike across the finish line.

They finished 12 minutes over the 12 hour mark.

"It was great crossing the finish line," Brendan said. "I thought, 'I'm not dead-tired but I'm not keen to do it again right away'." 

But they were keen to return for 2018, they said with a reasonable level of fitness and three to four months of relevant training it was also achievable for other teens.

 - Stuff


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