“Trinidad and Tobago,” I patiently repeated for the second time.
“What?” She frustratingly retorted.
Staffers of Guardian Media Ltd (GML) are determined to take no prisoners in their quest to top Hardcore 2014 on Sunday in Santa Cruz.
The team, drawn from across GML’s radio, TV and print divisions, has been training hard for the past few months across the country at gyms, clubs and outdoor locations.
Trainer Jody White says the team has never been more prepared.
“Overall the team is very ready because we have mimicked most of the obstacles for 2014. They are all hyped, all anxious...ready to go...ready to do it.
“At the start of hardcore training, everybody wanted to come on board and be beasts. The time has arrived now for them to prove that they are beasts when it comes to the challenge on Sunday,” said White.
He also spoke excitedly about the return of one of the team’s original and strongest members, news anchor Golda Lee Bruce, who only just returned from maternity leave, but got right back on track and will be there on Sunday.
“The public is going to be happy to see that Golda is back with us. Her return was very much of a surprise to me as it has been for them. I really did not expect for her to be back. She is pretty much the MVP for this year and is totally ready for the challenge.
“Golda is very competitive and last year out of 21 obstacles she completed 19. She definitely has the fire, competitive spirit, the qualities of a team player and leader, as she pushes everybody through. So we are really happy to have her back.
“Otto Carrington is back too. We’re just hoping this year his pants can stay on,” White joked.
Hardcore is a gruelling five-mile obstacle course encompassing more than 20 water and land based military-styled challenges over rugged terrain. This year’s race is billed as the Caribbean’s biggest and “baddest” challenge race.
Last year, more than 2,000 competitors participated in Hardcore and challenged themselves against obstacles that included the Samaan Ladder, the Half Pike, the Electric Shock Obstacle and the Leechman. All designed to test the mental and physical strength of both able-bodied and disabled participants.
Hardcore is not only a test of strength however, for indeed stamina, endurance and will-power also come into play. Teamwork is also the key to success as team members are expected to support each other and race is only considered complete if every member crosses the finish line.
It is, therefore, not unusual to see team members carrying each other in order to complete the challenges.
It is this combination of factors that has made it one of the most popular events on the fitness calendar for both competitors, spectators and, of course, sponsors.
“We at Carib Light are always very pleased to see the level of participation and teamwork put out by the competitors at Hardcore,” said Kristy Alli-Shaw, brand manager of Carib Light, one of the major sponsors of the event.
“We are very aware of the growing trend in increased health and fitness activities and as such we believe that Carib Light is a perfect complement to this.
“As the premier brand for those that want the full beer experience without the calories it is important to us that we support and encourage these events and we truly wish all participants the best.”
For the organisers, a year of planning will hopefully culminate in a safe and enjoyable event for the participants and their supporters.
It does not end with the race, however, since Hardcore 2014 once again culminates with the ever-popular after party where all will have the opportunity to celebrate and recover from what promises to be an amazing adventure.