As my dear blog readers already know, when not running, I try to engage in other exciting activities instead. A couple of weeks ago an email appeared in my inbox. An email I was not paying much attention to – but V did. It was an invitation to subscribe for a rally. Excuse me, a rally? As in driving and navigating? Ehm, and I should be the navigator?
It turned out to be a ladies road race, one where funny outfits, coffee breaks and tea house visits counted more than speed and smell of the burning tires. So we subscribed, washed the old Saab convertible and on Sunday morning (after my early morning run through Leiden) headed to Soestduin, a beautiful spot in the middle of the woods.
More than 40 equipes were already lining up… at the coffee table. We signed the presentation sheet, gathered our ‘bolletje-pijlte’ (dot-arrow) route description, the list with treasure hunt like questions, the goodie bag and our start number 35.
The weather was beautiful and so during the next hour or so we walked around the parking lot admiring the equipment of some of the competing teams.
The route was supposed to be about 100 km long. Our first crisis came at km 3.2: we lost our way completely. Nevertheless, since this was a female race, there were 40 female navigators and I was predetermined to improve my reputation.
Ehm, km 25: we got stuck in black mud. Was this supposed to be the perfect day out? Luckily we managed to free the car and get back on the road again. Somehow surprisingly we kept spotting all the items that the treasure hunt questions were asking about. And little by little we started improving our speed as well. By the time we hit the lunch location (see the red and green team ‘Stop and Go’ below, frantically filling in their treasure hunt question sheet), we were in the middle of the race again.
In the afternoon, anybody who saw us would mix us up for a team of experienced car racing devils. We were quick and merciless (which reads as we managed to stay on the correct path without overheating the car) , passing others and filing in all correct answers. And then, after about 110 km of a great ride through beautiful countryside, there was the end. Lots of coffee, food, champagne and talking… We were quite tired and actually getting ready to head home when we suddenly heard the magic words: “And the second place goes to…”