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Kyle and Mari Make the Podium in Malaysia!

kyle malasyia podium

Congratulations to Kyle and Mari for their 3rd place finish in the Perak Amanjaya International Eco Adventure.

Details of their final day of racing are below…

To read all about their journey and race – check out their blog.

kyle end of race

Day 4 – Final Stage

Kyle and I knew what had to be done for the final day of racing. We were currently in 4th place and less than 3 minutes behind a spot on the podium which was held by Team Salomon TLDM from Malaysia. The day began with a long 48 mile bike leg which the majority would all be on paved roads and flat. The first 12 miles were pretty easy as everyone rode in a peloton as expected. The next 4 miles were insane as we had to loop around some rice paddy fields. We were forced into a single file line through wet tall grass with mud underneath. It was a struggle to remain with the lead group through the slippery conditions, but we hung on. At the edge of the paddy field was a bridge that led us back to the road, but we had to heave our bikes up onto it as it was 4 ft or so off the ground. Kyle and I were back on our bikes and on the road only to find ourselves a good 200 meters behind the peloton. We knew we had gotten off the bridge before the Malaysians and needed to get back with the lead riders. Kyle took off and I got on his wheel and we road as hard as we could and eventually caught the group. We settled back into the peloton and enjoyed the pull and recovered from our sprint. The pace had slowed again and the French team(Chiru Racing Bikes) and the Japanese team each tried to break away, but each time we caught back up with them. With all the goofing around with the pace, our Malaysian friends were able to rejoin the group as well. No one would take the lead and push the pace except us and the 2 teams from South Africa (Team McCain Adventure). I took the lead and Kyle got behind me and we picked up the pace. The next thing we knew, we were all alone and the peloton had dropped behind us. We expected them to catch us, but that was the last we would see of them for the next 24 miles. Kyle and I alternated leading, giving 1 min hard pulls while the other recovered all the while thinking at any moment the freight train of riders would run us over soon, but they never came. We held 24-28 mph on our mt. bikes as we were led by a police escort and camera crews all the way to the TA. It was pretty exciting to have gotten a break-a-way from such a strong group of riders and be in the lead.

We had a quick transition into our kayak gear and were off for a short paddle in the Indian Ocean to Pangkor Island. At this point we still had no idea exactly how far ahead we were and just wanted to keep our lead as long as possible. We expected to be caught on the kayak leg, as we are not the stongest paddlers, but no one came. We reached the sandy beach and now had to run up a hill to a 60 m repel down a steep rock face right back down to the beach. Because we had done the entire bike section while wearing our climbing harnesses, there was no need for the transition and gained more valuable time on the Malaysian team who we knew was not wearing theirs.

Now we were off for a 6k run along the edge of the island through the town of Pangkor. We were still feeling pretty good and settled into a comfortable pace but tried to keep pushing. Kyle had fallen back a bit so he we connected the tow line so that we could keep together. It seemed as though the entire town of Pangkor had come out and lined both sides of the street to cheer us on. They seemed confused to find Kyle and I by ourselves , most likely looking extremely tired , and why were we tied together?? We pushed on and reached the aid station at the base of “Killing Hill”. In the race briefing the night before, the Race Director had told us that this hill was harder than the one we had done on Day 2 and had almost destroyed a few teams. We decided to take the time to load up on water before continuing up the trail. As we headed up the steep trail we still saw no one behind us. It wasn’t too much time later when we heard the Swedish team coming up behind us and moving fast. Within a few moments they had caught us, passed us, and dropped us. We kept on trekking and a few moments later, Pacific Adventure made up of 2 Americans caught us, passed us, and dropped us. We decided that was enough, and in order for us to grab 3rd overall, we had to hold onto 3rd for the stage win. We never saw another team. We reached the base of “Killing Hill”, which ended up being way easier than expected and had a short run back out to the main island road. Here we would get to choose from a group of “local” bikes and would be allowed to use one bike for the 2 of us to go the remaining 5k to the finish. Kyle immediately grabbed a bike that had the essentials…2 inflated tires, 2 pedals, at least 1 brake, and hopefully the ability to shift a gear or 2. I took off running and Kyle passed me on the bike. It was hilarious as the bikes were all for people a bit shorter than us and he looked like he was pedaling a kid’s bike. For the next 5 k, we leap frogged each other with one of us riding a short distance ahead and dropping the bike on the side of the road and then the other of us running to it, picking up the bike and continuing. There was a lot of traffic on the road and I was sure at some point our bike would either get run over or fall apart. With the bike being so small it was very difficult to ride up the few hills we had along the way to the finish and I was having flashbacks of riding my little niece and nephew’s little cruiser bikes and thinking that maybe that form of training was paying off at last. ha ha. I was just starting to feel pretty crappy and had told Kyle as he rode by me not to make me run to far when we could start to hear the sounds of the finish line. Kyle dropped the bike immediately after he passed me and was off and running hard to the finish. I barely caught him when we rounded the final turn and crossed the finish line together to finish the 4th and final stage in 3rd place. Immediately we started our watches and waited to see who would cross the finish line next. After 3 minutes we knew we had the last spot on the podium secured. As time ticked by and only the Japanese team finished, we thought we had a shot at 2nd place as Chiru Racing bikes had 6+ minute lead heading into this stage. At 4 1/2 minutes, Team Chiru crossed the finish line. It was official…

1st place: Team World of Multi-Sport from Sweden, 4 day race total of 15:30:07 (co-ed team)
2nd place: Team Chiru Racing Bikes from Australia & France, 15:50:36 (all male team)
3rd place: Kyle and Mari, Team Tecnu Extreme/Asolo, 15:51:55

To read all about their journey and race – check out their blog.

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