Apex AR World Series Interlaken Switzerland, a set on Flickr.
Some pictures from an amazing weekend at the Apex World Series race in Interlaken where this year I helped out by manning some checkpoints and clearing the course.
Very little sleep, a couple of days of running around to collect some sticks with orange and white flags on them, and hanging out with many like-minded adventure racers left me exhilerated and wishing it didn’t have to end on Sunday evening!
Last year I started this race with Team Inov8 Irish AR, we had an unlucky race. We stopped to take a break in Lauterbrunnen in the afternoon of the second day, before the long trek on the second night, not realising there was a cut-off to cross the ridge a nightfall. Upon leaving Lauterbrunnen, we realised our mistake. We got stuck in wild thunderstorms on the way up the Schilthorn, had to take shelter, and didnt arrive at the summit until about 19:00, upon when the ridge was about to be closed and we were unable to cross and continue the trek.
The teams this year were amazing – sometimes I just don’t know how they do it, and I definitely found myself asking the question “why do they do it?”. I know the answer to this question very well. It doesnt come across clear while the race is going on, it is a complete suffer fest. But it definintely becomes clear after the race. The complete satisfaction, sense of achievement, and incredibility of completing a race of such inhumane magnitude is IMMENSE. The pain and suffering doesn’t just disappear in a few hours as it might do after races of less magnitude, it takes a few days, weeks even, for your feet to return to normal, cuts to heal, chaffing to disappear. After most races, within a few hours you think “I can’t wait to do another one, that hurt, but it was great”. You don’t feel this after a 4 day adventure race – usually you vow, simply “never again”. But as the physical pain disaapears, so does the notion “I’m never going to do this again” and it is replaced by the desire to chase the adventure all over again.
Team Imboden Bikes R’ADYs won the 2012 edition of The Apex by 1 hour, after coming a close second last year to team Silva of Sweden (who coincidentally won last year). They slept about 1 hour between Wednesday morning and Saturday morning. I was present during that fabulous 1 hour of sleep they took on top of wetsuits on a cold concrete floor in Bonigen outside Interlaken. The team is comprised of some of the most talented multisport athletes in Switzerland and Germany, Andrea Huser (European MTB champ ’02, Inferno Triathlon winner, 3rd Cape Epic (mixed) ’12), Marc Pschebizin (Challenge Wanaka winner ’08, multiple Inferno Triathlon and Swiss Gigathlon winner), Jan Béguin (mountain marathon world champion ’99) and Ben Hug (veteran adventure racer, 3rd place Wenger Patagonia Expedition Race 2011).
Here is a great video with some clips from this year’s race
Check out more pictures from the experience here