TEAMS competing in the 36-hour Wildside Adventure Race began their epic 250-kilometre journey through the rugged bushland and rivers surrounding Bulahdelah at midnight on 1 October.
The course was designed to test competitors physical and mental endurance as they navigated their way over an unmarked route by foot, mountain bike and kayak.
Added challenges along the way required the teams to problem solve on the run.
Other categories included the 12 and 24-hour races with teams covering distances between 70 and 150 kilometres.
Hugh Stodart from Sydney and his winning team crossed the finish line exhausted on Sunday morning in a time of 32:45:00.
Speaking with News Of The Area, Hugh said it was a good but demanding course.
“The Violet Hill orienteering was very challenging as it was hard navigation across the difficult terrain. It really tested you, especially when you got stuck in the scrub,” he said.
“You had to stay on your game the whole time and trying to stay awake was definitely the big challenge.”
In a true survivor manner, details of the course were only made available shortly before the start of each race adding to the challenge.
The event was organised by Fully Rad Adventures and attracted some of the best endurance racers in the country.
Race Director Richard Old said the course provided a tough challenge.
“They’ve raced without sleep and it’s pretty mentally demanding,” he said.
“We also included a special urban orienteering leg around Bulahdelah for teams to explore the history of the town.”
As part of this leg, the teams were required to visit 25 sites including Ted Baker Lookout, Court House, Cemetery and Show Ground with most teams completing the task within an hour.
Mr Old said the race is held in a different place every year so teams don’t get used to the course.
The race concluded in Wade Park with catering provided by Bulahdelah Lions Club.
More than 200 people were involved in the event which included the Adventure Racers, support crews and organisers.
By Daniel SAHYOUN