We did it!!!! We finished the Raid in France in 5 nights & 5 days. We even managed to finish 14th overall. This was the longest race we ever participated in. Before we started we weren't sure whether we would be physically capable of doing such a race. This would be the first Adventure Racing World Series Race we would participate in, and we were very aware that this is the highest level of adventure racing, a level we have not yet experienced before. From the other hand, looking at the distance, it didn't seem too much. 'Only 450km'. We've done more kilometers before, in a shorter timespan. Harm, who already participated in 2 Raid in Frances before, warned us that the amount of kilometers would be misleading. ‘They’ll send us over very technical terrain, there won’t always be paths, it will involve a lot of bike-carrying, there will be a lot of altimeters, and we might be struggling to meet deadlines’. We couldn’t wait to find out and see.
The start wasn’t great for Arjan. He’d caught a stomach bug just 3 hours before the race start, and only 15 minutes before the start he was still hugging the public toilet in Font-Romeu. I also wasn’t feeling well and still struggling with a cold and high temperatures. We decided to just ‘suck it and see’.
We started with a prologue for which we had 50 minutes. Maarten’s navigational skills are excellent, and we easily managed to find all the CPs within the timeframe. We then got the maps for the first part of the race.