Headed up to Eildon for the inaugural e2a (Eildon to Alexandra). With all the gear checked in and my warm up run done it was time for the briefing and race start. With Liam Delany in the field the run pacer was set. We set off at a reasonable pace and then it wasn’t long before we hit the climb. I kept Liam in my sights and pushed up the climb, the descent was down some cool single track and then onto another fire road that was on the side of the hill. Once at the bottom and just before the camp ground there were heaps of Kangaroo’s racing around, some leaving it until the last minute to turn away which was awesome and scary at the same time. Into T1 and a couple of minutes down on Liam and in second place.

e2a starte2a single track e2a run

Out onto the river and getting ready for the rapids. I had paddled the river a couple of weeks ago however it was 2000mega litres lower now. The water was moving slower and there were more rocks exposed. I tipped out through the rapid, looking back I had entered at the wrong angle and feel that’s what dragged my boat sideways. I swam to the side and back in the boat. 3rd place had caught me while this was happening. The rest of the paddle was good and I was ready to chase on the bike.

e2a kayak

Out of T2 and knew I had to bridge a couple of minutes. I pushed along the flat getting ready for the climb. Once I hit the climb it was a lot steeper than I had thought and struggled to get a good pace going. After summiting the climb I knew I would be a tall ask to catch 1st and 2nd on the decent into town. As I came into T3 I was a bit bummed that I hadn’t even caught a glimpse of them on the ride. I slipped my shoes on and ran the 1.5km o the finish. 3rd on the day, a good result but had hoped to go a little higher.

e2a ride

The race was well run and the paddle through the rapids was cool. It has definitely got me thinking about the ‘coast to coast in NZ’.

Big thanks to Megs and Schmity for being my support crew.

And for the Pete, Sharon, Nicole, Terry, Josh, Speedy, Fi, Max and Will for cheering my on.

Cheers, Benny