The Orc & Hobbit….An Unexpected journey…
An Orc and a Hobbit are an unlikely friendship ordinarily…but in this instance, it seems that this friendship has begun an unexpected journey…
That is we will see them tackle their first BNG Sports Ultra Adventurethon. This event includes 16kms of paddling (to & from Magnetic Island), 29km mountain biking & 16.5km trail run (including to the summit of Mount Marlow).
Mackay mates in their mid 40’s, Darren Waters & John Summerhayes worked together in the same crew and when Darren started cycling about 4 years ago he became instantly hooked. He then went about motivating John to buy a bike and begin riding together. They both say, “it’s definitely more motivating to train when you are relied on to turn up, at work and on our days off. We keep each other honest”.
In 2016 they discovered Onamission and raced in pairs. A second placing saw them addicted to the multisport style of event, and the pairs racing meant they “didn’t have to suffer alone”.
We wondered how the OrcHobbit combo began, and John told us how he once saw Darren marching in an Anzac parade, and his description of him was that of an Orc as he stood out from all those around him.
John continued, “Being a good mate I had to tell him. When thinking of a Team name for the Zach Mach, with Darren being 6″3 and me 5″6 (and I do have hairy feet, naturally I was hobbit worthy), the name just stuck.
Yeah we are an odd looking combo but what I lack in size I try and make up in determination so I think it helps when training with Darren, especially when riding, he’s so bloody strong. I’m usually going full noise just to stay in touch and still he leaves me in his dust.”
Earlier this year they raced the Zach Mach, the local Mackay multisport race together, placing 1st in pairs, again cementing their enjoyment of the multisport events.
Even though they are registered in the BNG Sports Ultra Adventurethon as individuals, they will still be looking out for each other…and loving every minute.
Who will cross the line first? John says, “I want to say I will cross the line first, but I know how much fatigue can set in a play it’s part in such a long race, (I think Darren will play the old man card if he loses), I will honestly be happy just to finish, but we are sneaky hobbitises. Running is definitely my strongest (which isn’t that good) which in this race will be very taxing due to mentally having to think about every step, being off road.”
Darren adds, “Adventurethon Townsville will be our first individual race and our first taste of the Adventurethon format, so why start small…we are attempting the ultra!
This race format will see race lead between us change at different stages as I am the stronger bike rider and John the better runner. No sheep stations being bet on this one I will be happy to complete the distance either in front or behind it won’t bother me. It’s all about creating long lasting friendships and memories.”
“Yes”, replies John, “I’m really looking forward to doing this and I think it will be first of many. I’m expecting to be very challenged and exhausted but the memories u get from such things are it’s own rewards, it’s definitely about the journey and the friends u make, not the finish line, though I will be very happy to see it by the time I’m done.”
There are events and options for every ability, fitness and keenness…If you would like to come on your very own Adventurethon adventure regos are open till Wed 28 @ 9pm. Check out more info at www.adventurethon.com.au/events/townsville
The Ultra Adventurethon kicks off on Saturday at 7am from Pallarenda Beach in Townsville.