Purao Biomedi Team win Baise Mountain Outdoor Quest
Kiwi Daniel Jones joined forces with international team Purao Biomedi to win one of the biggest races of the year the Baise Mountain Outdoor Quest.
Team Purao Biomedi fielded a top line up including top Australian multisporter Alex Hunt, adventure racing legends Jacky and Mimi Boisset and Kiwi multisport speedster Daniel Jones.
Thanks to Daniel for this great roundup of the 2017 Baise Mountain Outdoor Quest
Baise Mountain Outdoor Quest, would have to be one of the most scenic and unique multisport stage races, not just in China, but across the world. In saying this it is brutally hard on equipment, bodies, buses and takes a bit of an adventure to get to.
Below is a bit of a recap on what we experienced this year.
The start of the trip was pretty standard with athletes arriving in Nanning airport and taking a 7 hour bus trip along rough roads to get to the race hotel in Leye(this was my second time to Leye, Alex's 4th time and Jacky and Mimi's 9th time). The day before the race was also pretty standard with race briefing, last minute ascending practice, gear organisation and setup for the next day. There was also the last minute scramble for those that had to find half suitable bikes because of bike boxes lost in transit and of course the usual late arrival (midnight the night before race start) for the poor lot who had missed flights or had delays in their travels.
Day 1 of race:
Something somewhat unique is that the race started with an 800m sprint, leading into a wheelbarrow race that was more like a box carrier race, where we had to push the lightest person along an undulating concrete road for 1.8km. This is an interesting concept and one that I think should be explored in NZ adventure races, it certainly wakes the legs up after 30 hours of travel, it also adds a different dynamic to a normal street run (helmets were compulsory). Out team (Purao Biomedi) had a slight lead onto the bike so am not sure of the carnage that occurred behind. The race was still tight and it turned out to be a closely contested mountain bike that led onto a 4km orienteering section where we grouped back up with Thule and O2B. The following Jumaring (ascending) section gave us a few troubles and we were gapped by O2B first and then Thule second onto the final run stage, down by at least 5 minutes. With heads up and plenty of will to make up time, we set out on the chase. This last run was pretty spectacular with huge underground caves which we navigated by headlight, following flashing lights and a natural dirt track that we stuck to tightly. This was fairly necessary not just to preserve what is obviously a pretty extraordinary place, but to also avoid the seemingly endless caverns that fell away, sometimes on either side of the track. Making up time on this section we passed both Thule then O2B to get the Day 1 win by a few minutes.
Day 2 of race:
This was a shorter day with a cancelled kayak due to a dry lake. After a 10km run, which was primarily downhill with some standard Chinese concrete steps, we did a flying fox across a huge valley. Not for the faint hearted, you put a lot of trust in the ropes guys. Safely across we went out on a 40ish km mtn bike where we were chased down by Thule who were really humming along. They certainly extended their lead in a very technical hike a bike section and took away the overall lead by about a minute and change by the end of Day 2. O2B were just behind in 3rd.
On the way home our big passenger bus ran into trouble along the gravel road, busting its suspension and beaching itself in a dip in the road and then running out of fuel. We all had a bit of a laugh when the other bus tried to pass, also proceeding to beach itself and ripping off half its front bumper and blocking the road. Finally with a bit of perseverance and a cheer from us athletes the drivers sorted the situation and got out. Back at the hotel we packed and transferred to a different hotel two hours away.
Day 3 of race:
Day 3 had it all. We started with a short cave run onto a 1km swim. Not a usual swim but one where we were fully dressed, had our shoes with us, swam in a lifejacket and of course a helmet. After a short kayak and we were on our bikes where we did a big zig zag concrete road climb, which led onto what I would have to say would be one of the most impressive 20km piece of rock single track that I have ever ran. To think of the effort required to build such a track made it feel somewhat easier to run, however it wasn't easy. Highly technical and constant ups and downs, we thought we were going alright, until a quick look back on the final descent where we realised we were being chased down by the high flying Chinese team, led by a super effort from their female member who charged passed first. Luckily we had an 18km kayak and 2km uphill run to the finish to make the pass and take the day 3 win and overall lead again.
The Chinese team were passed by Thule in the kayak but managed to hold onto 3rd, well deserved.
Day 4 of race:
With an overall lead of over 10 minutes we knew it would be about going hard and not blowing to pieces in the final day. Starting in 20 second intervals on the mountain bike we pushed it and managed to hold off O2B (who had passed Thule) until the hike a bike where they caught us and we pretty much rode into transition together. With the very hilly 28km mtn bike finished we just had a measly 28km mountain run and 3km of orienteering till it was all over. Back at it again we pushed quite hard and knew we were going alright as we opened up a bit of a lead. On the race course you push yourself to the limit, being unaware of the gaps back to the competition. In saying this, we entered the final transition somewhat leisurely, pretty happy with ourselves. Upon leaving transition we saw O2B running in. This definitely made us get a move on and we narrowly beat them to take the day 4. The Chinese followed in 3rd again.
1st: Purao Biomedi - Jacky and Mimi Boisset, Alex Hunt, Daniel Jones
2nd: Thule - Martin Flinta, Helena Erbenova, Sam Clark (NZ), Rickard Norlin
3rd: O2B (NZ) - Marcel Hagener , Simone Maier, Sam Manson, Hamish Fleming
There is definitely something special about stage racing especially in China, waking up each morning rolling off the piece of wood you've been sleeping on. With your first stiff steps you remember you spent your legs on the course the previous day. You refuel at the Chinese buffet, for me rice porridge and condensed milk is my go to and a bit of a treat. Then getting to the start line alongside your team, family and friends to do it all over again and wreck yourself for the next day.
Cheers to the whole crew that makes it what it is and thanks for all the support to those who help us get there.