Catch up with former Alleygators

Last week we caught up with a couple of former Alleygators and discussed a few things about their new adventures since hanging up the boots. What started as a keep fit and social time together has turned into competitive racing and big planning for future events. We wish the lads all the best for next years events!


How did you guys first start?

  • Leigh McCarthy, Jarrah Johnson, Lydon Minaar and Stephen Gaggin started riding mountain biking together about 18 months ago for a bit of fun and fitness. We then started to a bit of running and hiking for some extra fitness. Former Captain, Committee member, Junior to Senior player and a past 1stGrade coach- Thomas Williams, began about 6 months ago and was the real driving force behind getting us into adventure races/Rogaine’s. 2018 player- Dylan Cooper was a late inclusion, because someone withdrew late before our last race.


When did you decide to compete in races?

  • Jarrah, Lydon and I had been talking about competing for about 12-18 months, but it wasn’t until Tommy came on board that things took place. Tommy is a master at administration tasks and seems to revel in organising the rest of us.


What’s harder: adventure training or rugby training?

  • Rugby training is definitely more physically demanding in terms of being tackled and hit, that can take a real toll on the body (probably not so much for backs), but adventure training is more time demanding. To be able to do 6-hour events, you sometimes need longer days training.


How much race gear and planning goes into it?

  • Our first race we were drastically under prepared and had never actually used a compass (apart from Tommy navigating his way around his kitchen). We’d never actually looked closely at a topographical or Rogaine map prior to the event, and added to that, we had a whole host of useless things that we carried for 6 hours. The second time around was much more streamlined. Planning and packing for the event will begin a week prior, during the event you have 1hr with your map to plan your route and then it’s GO time.


Who is the leader of the group?

  • Without a doubt Tommy and Jarrah. Jarrah is by far the fittest and Tommy loves to administrate. The rest of us are just there to make up numbers and for the banter.


What does the finish line feel like compared to rugby?

  • Finishing an adventure race, you just feel exhausted and thankful that it’s over. This feeling soon passes and excitement kicks in that you’ve achieved something pretty special. Than the cramps kick in… oh the cramps. Whereas when the whistle goes in rugby, there’s either the elation of winning or the disappointment of a loss. Both are followed by a few beers with other competitors and planning for the next one.


Recovery from racing compared to rugby?

  • Similar. Looking after sore muscles and doing your best to keep upright the day after.


What are the future plans?

  • Possibly a 12hr event early into next year, followed by a 24hr event in June.