Monday, May 15, 2006

Moganshan Misadventure (Part 1)

Right here I am to tell you about my (mis)adventure in Moganshan Explorating Race. Flying out on Friday afternoon with lots of familiar faces, they were all regular in KOTH races but finally I can put name to their faces. The Japanese girl who sat next to me on the flight said these races were like a school trip, you jumped on a plane and knows everyone. It turned out that she was the woman team champion of last year's race in Ziyuan.

The race started off with orienteering around the tourist region of Moganshan, we ran around the hill looking for checkpoints that contain puzzles to solve. We finished a little bit outside the allowed time but there were probably about another 7 teams behind us. Jumping on our bikes we glided down the single track bike trail, for the next 4 hours, it were just never ending undulating hills of biking, sometimes we were going through bamboo forest and sometimes we were on dirt road with think muds deposited by the down pours in the pass few days. One of the interval was to carry a 5m long bamboo trunk on our bikes and carried it for about 3km. The biking was not easy for me but I was enjoying the challenge and the landscape.

Finally we made it to CP3 and there was a choice to skip the technical biking session and take a short cut to CP4. As much as I would like to skip that, I felt like facing up to my inner fear. Also my partner Kin is a good biker and I don't want to deny him the fun. So we cycled up to a steep hill and entered the off road trail once again. There were so many sessions that was impossible to cycle and we had to push the bike. It was purely a matter of judgement of which slope to take on. Then on one seemingly innocent gentle downhill staircase made up of lose rocks, I followed Kin to cycle down. The first few steps was okay but I began to lose control with every bounce, the bike pushed me toward the hillside and I couldn't pulled it off. Finally I hit the wall and bounced off the bike, my head did a double hit on the rock chin first and then forehead before landing flat on the ground.

When the dust settled, I picked myself up and checked for injury. My word, there is this cut 3cm beneath my knee about 2.5 cm long and a few mm wide. I took a closer look, I see void inside, then looked even closer, it was a white piece of bone. Man! Nothing like this has happend to me ever and blood began to drip out fast. My only piece of first aid was a bandage and I asked Kin to take it out and wrap the bastard up, he did it so well that the bleeding stopped really quickly. Then we walked/cycled to the next CP the best we can. The pain was intensive at first but gradually goes away, I thought maybe I can just keep going and not to give up.

Couple of marshalls met us a little bit before the CP as another team who passed us has alert them, we knew the ambulance was on its way. In CP4, I unwraped my bandage under the curious glaze of the locals, 'Never thought you would be an operation theatre!' joked the marshall. Amazingly with the nurse at the CP was only better equiped than me in first aid terms by a bunch of cottom stick and a sterilising solution!! So we occupied our time by cleaning up the hole above my bones again and again until the ambulance arrived. My mind is toying with the option of getting some first aid and carried on as far as I can, or give up at only 1/3 into the race and get proper stiching at the hospital. I fought a bit with the doctor who propose the latter option, until he warned that the bones may be infected by tonight. My fighting spirit finally wavered away, I decided to jump on the ambulance...... (to be continued)
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