Race Recap - Adeline Gourdon-Porcher
Words & Images: Adeline Gourdon-Porcher
"This Raid des Etoiles du Verdon, in the south of France, was unexpected. But when Emilie sent me a message asking me to replace their injured partner, I didn’t hesitate for a moment, I replied: "Why not?". So I found myself the leader of this team that I did not know or that very little, Emilie and Alice.
What is incredible is that they both trusted me completely. They believed in me, in them, in us.
We arrived at the camp and started immediately with a first event: a short race full of obstacles, in relay. This test showed me what levels the girls had, so I was able to adapt for the next few days.
The next day, the foghorn sounded twice to call us on events: canoeing and running, then orientation. Then we went to bed, exhausted. The foghorn resounded in the middle of the night to wake us up to start a trail race! I pushed my team physically and mentally to the finish despite the fatigue that pulled me into Morphee’s arms.
We finally rested and did some paddle then the horn rang around noon for a mountain bike race. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done on this raid. We pushed our bikes for an hour because the slope was too steep and rugged to ride. The girls were exhausted. I pushed their bike. When I got to the end of the hill, I cried. I was nervous exhausted. It’s hard to be a leader, to have to smile, to encourage, even when it’s hard for you. A competitor fell in front of me, I had to do the care and calm her down while my teammates called for help. I sat him down with his team and went looking for help. It was a waste of time, but we didn’t care. This is also the raid: solidarity. We arrived holding each other, dripping with sweat, tears in our eyes.
On the last day, the rain was falling, we were called in the middle of the morning for the last race and not the least! So we left for running, mountain biking, canoeing and open water swimming. The pains and fatigue of the previous days weighed, but our motivation carried us. We crossed this last line for a total test time of 8:52. We end this raid with stars in our eyes, in ninth position.
This adventure proves once again that sport is the school of life. We did not know each other and we were more united than ever. We outdid ourselves physically and mentally, we helped other teams, we helped each other, we supported each other. We have experienced something strong, unique."
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