Interview with the race winners Jen and Rachel- ‘She made me do it’ team



Q: What was the highlight of the race?

Jen - Mastering the micro sprint orienteering leg after a dismal effort last year in the same race, and finally getting a win after several attempts at this event. 

Rachel - the whole thing came together for us in this race, all our transitions went smoothly and we were able to locate  each checkpoint in line with our planned route.  The orienteering leg was definitely a highlight for me as well, as there's less opportunity to prepare,  and we were able to effectively read the map and collect the checkpoints much more efficiently than we did on our previous attempt. 



Q: What was the hardest part of the race?

Jen - Paddle - we’ve never had any paddle training and it was only in our last event that we realized we’d been using the paddle upside down!!

Rachel-the run was most challenging for me,  especially starting off straight up a big incline! I was happy to up near the leaders towards the end of the run leg; Jen  is fantastic at keeping me focused as I really have to push myself to keep pace with her. 


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Q: What did you enjoy the most?

Jen - Navigating to the checkpoints in good time and not going off course!

Rachel - it's always satisfying when we are able to locate the checkpoints where we expect to find them,  and as I said it all came together in this race collecting one checkpoint after another with no hesitations or delays. I always enjoy the mtb / ride leg as it's my favourite discipline. 


Q: Did you expect to win?

Jen - No, especially when we saw the Dornom sisters were competing! They are amazing athletes and it was great to see them introducing newcomers to the amazing sport of Adventure Racing!

Rachel- No! We both really enjoy the AJ races as a challenge,  but we never go in expecting to win as we don't have a specific training schedule.  The women only race is always more competitive simply because all the teams are female and there are some really amazing athletes that love adventure racing as much as we do!


Q: A bit of Bio, what do you do for work?

Jen - Neuropsychologist at Austin Health, and mum to three kids (aged 14, 11, & 8)

Rachel - Occupational  Therapist in community health, mum to 2 girls (aged 7 and 5).


Q: When and how did you start adventure racing?

Jen - 5 years ago I was looking for a sport that would keep me motivated to exercise but didn’t involve mud, swimming, or electric shocks! I came across a link to the Women’s Only Adventure Race at Lilydale Lake & entered. I loved it so much I entered the Lysterfield Lake event, and then couldn’t wait to compete in the next one at Westerfolds Park. I have competed with various friends (thanks Kath & Kirsty!) as well as my husband & sister, but finally found my Adventure Racing soul mate when I competed with Rachel, who duly named our team “She made me do it”. Rachel has taken our team to a new level with her amazing navigation skills and mountain bike experience. 

Rachel- I'm approaching my 3rd year of adventure racing, and I've always competed with Jen.  It was initially just to fill in at the last minute as Jen's partner had an injury, but I enjoyed it so much (despite the cold and rain and copious amounts of mud!)  we've competed in every AJ sprint event as a team since! 

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Q: What’s your favourite discipline?

Jen - running, and catching my breath at checkpoints!

Rachel- as mentioned above mtb  is always my favourite,  and strongest discipline.  Having said that,  one of the things I like about adventure racing is that it does combine multiple disciplines, helping me to push my boundaries and motivating me to train across each. 


Q: What is the most attractive in AR for you?

Jen - the orienteering aspect is a real leveller. It’s not just the fittest & fastest teams that win but the teams that can navigate their way around the course, and support their team mate along the way.

Rachel-so many things! The orienteering is a great challenge and enables you to set and focus on smaller goals across the race rather than perhaps feeling as if it's too much/ too far. 


Q: What’s your average training week?

Jen - Monday - strength training, Tuesday - netball, Weds - run, Friday - ride, Sunday - walk

Rachel - currently: Tuesday-netball;  Thursday -ride. Friday-run or walk.  Weekend-walk as we're currently training for a 30km event. 


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