Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Challenge 100

In this diary entry I referred to a camp that I went on a few years ago. A select group of students were chosen to embark on a 100km bike riding and canoeing trip. It involved camping in tents and organising our own food to cook.

I didn't talk about the trip that much in that entry, and I couldn't possibly write down everything that happened because there was just so much packed into those three days.

But I did summarise the experience when I got home, and looking back on the trip, it's a wonder we even survived.

This is the summary of the very first Challenge 100 that I wrote back in 2010:

Day 1
  • It started off with Trev's driving being so bad that Eliza threw up her travel sickness tablets and after stopping for some air had to walk the rest of the way to the shops.
  • Trev thought it'd be nice to take photos of us 'til our cheeks were burning.
  • Alastair ran over Zahara with his bike leaving a nice tyre mark on her leg.
  • At lunch Alastair tripped over a bike on the ground and fell off a small cliff and into the river.
  • Little Ash was bitten on the head by some insect and Tess had to pour water on her head with a home made water dispenser made of a ziplock bag.
  • Sam C went head over heels and lost a fight with the road. He was pretty badly incapacitated for the rest of the trip.
  • After pulling a similar stunt to Sam C; Matt D face planted in the middle of the road.
  • Tess was run down by an esky she was carrying.
  • I took a dive into the river to save a helmet while everyone else was happily climbing over the river on ropes we’d rigged up and waterlogged my camera in the process; rendering it useless.
  • And most of us made it up heartbreak hill on our bikes before stopping to set up camp.
  • With our butts badly bruised from the bicycle seats we went to bed tired and weak.
Day 2
  • We all crashed into a log or a rock at some point going down rapids.
  • Nathan deliberately capsized his boat to get Sam Badman into the water.
  • Sam C and Matt C went under a tree in their canoe, got sucked in by the current and took an hour to get their boat back on the surface, only to find a nice crack in it.
  • I took possession of the boat and first it cut Eliza’s leg, and then cut two of Ben’s fingers open. Ben managed to slowly make the crack worse until the boat was literally splitting at the seam. Water seeped in every time we rocked the boat and we managed to capsize it twice in the space of five minutes, and then a third time when Joel and Sam Badman ran over us. I quickly named it the Titanic.
  • We stopped to camp and were bombarded by mosquitoes. Within minutes of putting our canoes down we’d sprayed everyone with an unhealthy amount of insect repellant.
  • Then the three junior CFA members attempted to light a fire but were out lit by Big Ash who is apparently terrible at lighting fires.
Day 3
  • We woke up early in the morning to the familiar buzzing of mosquitoes.
  • We fixed up the Titanic with some duct tape. Of course it was still structurally unsound and in two pieces thanks to Ben and I but it was mostly water tight again...
  • We hadn’t even hit the water and Jess was run over by a canoe beating up her shin and leaving her helpless on the beach.
  • All through the ride we were bombarded with tree branches.
  • After the group was split up by a junction and half of us hit a dead end and had to paddle a bit upstream Eliza and Alex fell in when there was a collision in front of them.
  • Trev's camera finally ran out of batteries so we didn't need to stop every five minutes for a photo.
  • We finished the 100km hand in hand and ended with a photo and a group hug. We packed up camp and headed off home.
  • On the way we ripped Little Ash's bandana, wrote all our names on it and then ripped it into three pieces and plaited them together. We gave it a kiss and hung it up on the bus' rear view mirror for every other Challenge 100 group to see.
  • And then celebrated by slowly ruining our voices by singing songs the whole way home at the top of our lungs.
I met five people for the first time and made eleven new friends.

I only got a couple of hours sleep and I have a hole in my right leg for each day we were away.

We got burnt, scratched, bitten, stung, dunked, frozen, gauged, thrown, tossed, run over, pushed, pulled and annoyed.

But as the very first team to do the challenge we made it.

We knuckled down and did the 100km and it was one of the best experiences of my life. One we will all be talking about for years to come.

The 1st Challenge 100 team:
Eliza, Ash, Tess, Alex, Jess, Zahara, Sam, Gabby, Josiah, Nathan, Sam, Matt, Sam, Ben, Matt, Alastair, Trevor, Stafford, Ash, and Joel

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