Teams have completed the formality of the final 3km run through the city of Al Ain, to cross the finish line of the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 2009.
Victorius Kiwi's Fill the podium! First placed Qasr Al Sarab(left) and second placegetters ADCO NZ (right)
Despite taking a slight wrong turn on the final run, the victorius Qasr Al Sarab team of Richard and Elina Usher, Marcel Hagnar and Nathan Fa'avae were first accross the line and overall by a 35 minute margin to continue their three year domination of the Abu Dhabi event and take home US$40'000 in prize money. Close on their heels were ADCO NZ captained by Fleur Pawsey, with Gordon Blythen, Nathan Peterson and Stuart Lynch. And in third place were the French team Vibram Sport2000 with Kiwi Dwarne Farley who has just experienced his first Abu Dhabi Challenge.
After all the teams had completed the run it was back onto the buses for the 160km drive back to the city of Abu Dhabi where it all begain 6 days ago. Asking Stu Lynch at the race headquarters hotel what had been the highlight of the race he initially replied "the hot shower I just had!", then went on to explain that really the highlight was being part of such a motivated and focused team. "Even when we lost our second SI card of the race in the desert, and got stung with our third 5 minute penalty making it a very small gap to the French team behind us, we were able to turn it into something constructive and just get on with the race in a positive frame of mind. The team just took a step back, and said 'right, this is what we need to do now to make the most of this situation' and we just went out and did it"
Teams must now face getting bikes, shoes and gear cleaned and packed up before the not-to-be-missed gourmet dinner and prizegiving tonight, before their weary bodies can finally enjoy the comforts of a soft bed!