While we were feeling a little tired and depleted after the Ultra Trail Australia here at ioMerino HQ, one of our amazing supporters Sally Caston was just getting started, and gearing up for the SA Rogaining State Championships. As an official sponsor of this local event, it was awesome to have Sally and ‘Team ioMerino’ there helping us spread the ioWord to all of the Rogainers competing for the State Champ title in the 24 hour Rogaine and 12 hour Roving events. Sally and the team competed in the 24 hour Rogaine, meaning they had to stay out searching for navigational checkpoints ALL night, so it’s safe to say they were glad to be wearing their ioLayers as they stayed warm in the nights and mornings, but didn’t overheat during the day when the sun was out. 

With the World Rogaining Championships being held in Ross River, Alice Springs this upcoming June, the SA State Championships saw more competitors than usual with people taking the opportunity to get some training in before the World Event. According to Sally, there were a number of teams that had traveled from interstate and some had even traveled from ‘across the pond’ in New Zealand. There were even a few furry creatures that came out to play too! 😉

It just so happens we’re also sponsoring the World Rogaining Championships this year as well, and have made some super awesome Merino Wool Tees for the competitors (see pic below!), so be sure to keep an eye on our blog for updates or click here if you’d like more info. And if you’d like to grab yourself one of our Merino Wool Tees, click here to check out our current range. The SA State Champs were held in Nacakara, a town around three hours North from ioHQ, on a private property with the generous permission of two landowners to explore, camp and spend time enjoying the Australian bush. And boy oh boy did Mother Nature put on a show with this magical sunset!We recently caught up with Sally to hear her take on the event, so here’s her report:

The State Champs are always of a world class standard, big course, hard on your mind, rough on your adventure spirit, and extremely well set.

Previously I had entered 24 hour events and have had a bad run on actually finishing with a team all in one piece. Previous years we’ve had hospital visits with sticks in legs, twisted ankles, swollen knees and dented egos. However this year, myself, Emma Munzberg and Jeremy Cater who all made up Team ioMerino, were determined to make it work for the full 24 hours. Not knowing how my fitness would hold up coming off the back of surgery and then really feeling like I’d not had a decent amount of leg time training, I did at least know I could deal with whatever the course and Mother Nature threw at me and I wouldn’t have to worry about keeping cool when I was hot, but warm when the temps dropped at sunrise because we choose a full kit of ioGear. And we weren’t let down.Through the day I wore the Altitude Racer Back Tank layering it through the day with a True North Tee. As the temps dropped, I layered up with the new Mongrel 2.0 (my absolute fav ioProduct!), Altitude Necktube and Park City Vest, and kept my head and ears warm under the Beanie!

At no point did I feel uncomfortable – no chafing, never too hot through the day as we powered up the crazy steep hills and with 57km/hr winds and a chill factor of what felt like zero, we never felt too cold either for that matter.

I could not have been happier with my choice of gear, it was one less thing to worry about on the course when we were trying to navigate around in the night under a glorious full moon casting long shadows. So all I had to worry about was not getting lost and staying on course so we could enjoy our adventure!We spent a fabulous 22 hours out on the course collecting 31 controls and giving us a total score of 1490 points placing 15th overall. Yes, we did get lost at 4am for a good hour or so and then some when our minds were fatigued, but we were running with the Bush Bermuda Triangle theory! It was truly a magical night to stroll under a bright and clear full moon and without the need of a head torch to navigate. An opportunity not everyone grabs with both hands, but such an awesome adventure that I’ll continue to chase!

*All pics credited to SA Rogaining and Sally Caston (@heyheyits_sally on Instagram!).
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