Rogaine World Champs - Lara Prince story

Published
10/08/2016
 
 
Kiwi's Georgia Whitla and Lara Prince recently won the World Rogaine Championships held on a hot dusty and tough course near Alice Springs Australia.
 
Not only did the pair clean up the open womens in the 24 hour event at Ross River, they also placed 12th overall.
 
Lara shares her teams story
 
It was rough and technically challenging terrain, but was an amazing tour of the outback Australia. There was a lot of pre-race dialogue here and overseas about finding the perfect footwear and gaiters to withstand Spinifex grass. This is a tussock grass that in Australia has barbed leaves that punch through most materials and lodges in your skin, like super-nasty thistles. It turns out, it is pretty painful. I tested five pairs of shoes before settling on a pair that would keep out the Spinifex and still be comfortable enough to run in for twenty-four hours, or at least a few of those hours. 
 
In planning our route, Georgia and I decided not to venture into the southern part of the map, which had the densest swath of Spinifex and the biggest hills. Water stops were a serious consideration in our route planning. With no natural water sources, we had to plan our route around the water stops provided and what we could carry.
 
We started out comfortably hard and collected 400 points in about the first two hours. The points-per-hour rate slowed down to a grind after that when we spent six hours or so through the heat of the afternoon and into the dark battling through Spinifex.  
 
 
The navigation was tricky, especially at night. The terrain is rocky and complex, so we had to focus to keep in touch with the map -- at times, it felt like we were in a crazy-long distance orienteering race. Georgia has a special talent for navigating through the graveyard shift and she really got into her flow from about midnight.
 
One of my favourite moments in the race was at dawn when we visited a control in a rocky gully and the sun lit up the red cliffs. It had rained a couple of weeks before the event, so the wildflowers were out in force. It was worth staying up for the sunrise. We must have visited a burnt area at some stage in the night, and we had a good laugh at how sooty we were.
 
In the last few hours of the race, we had a long gravel road run, blisters and all, and visited controls in long rocky gullies. The day was heating up and there was no wind in the gullies. We decided that we had just enough time to visit an extra control that looked brutal on the map as it was up another long steep gully.  We set ourselves a time limit to turn around and abandon the control, but as it turned out there was a bit of a herd path up the gully that made travel a little faster. On the way back down from the control, we were treated with some spectacular views. We finished the race with 3210 points and time to spare.  Sooty and satisfied.
 
 
 
 
Kiwi's celebrated more success at the event with Chris Forne and Greg Hamilton taking out the mens... read the full report here...