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Rachel Baker – Spring Challenge

The countdown has begun! With only 2 weeks until Spring Challenge I’m starting to get excited. For those that don’t know Spring Challenge is an all-women’s adventure race. It involves rafting, mountain biking, running/hiking and navigation. It is raced in teams of 3 women. There are 3 different race options – 3, 6, or 9 hours. We have entered the 9hr race. It’s an awesome race and I’m really looking forward to it. I have raced it twice and each time it has been quite different. Each year the race location changes and this year it is in Wanaka which is really exciting because it’s such awesome place.

I’m on study break so I decided to head home to Wellington. I had an exciting weekend of training filled with mountain biking, running and lots of hills. Although our Spring Challenge team is spread throughout NZ we all managed to be in Wellington for the weekend to do some training. Kathryn and I weren’t exactly sure how our Saturday was going to end up, we were recently warned that Spring Challenge is going to have lots of mountain biking and hills in it this year so we decided find some hills to ride(which is easy in Wellington!). Kathryn’s sister wanted to take us mountain biking in Belmont Regional Park so that’s where we started. About 3.5hrs later we made it back to Kathryn’s house – sore, cold and a bit muddy having concurred a few hills. Wellington threw some great weather at us – we got not just rain but heavy hail!

We decided that wasn’t enough training for the day, especially since the weather was clearing up. We enjoyed some much-deserved food, got warm and then went for a run up Mt Kaukau carrying gear. My legs did not enjoy it the run very much.

To finish the day off Kathryn and I loaded the car with our bikes and headed off to Wainuiomata to meet up with Nicole for a mountain bike. Yay! We managed to all get together as a team! We enjoyed some nice single track, a four-wheel drive track and some more hills… I slept pretty well that night.

On Sunday morning I enjoyed a little sleep in and even managed to get some study done before jumping back on my bike. Kathryn, Nicole and I got to enjoy some wonderful sunny weather mountain biking in the Akatarawas. Kathryn had to leave a bit early to drive back to New Plymouth, so Nicole and I continued on. I even hut bagged a hut for the first time on a mountain bike (I really like hut bagging)! It was awesome way to complete a good weekend of training. It was also exciting exploring mountain bike tracks that I don’t normally ride. Now bring on Spring Challenge!


Nicole, Kathryn, Rachel