Adventure racing competitors Lee Rice, Clare Lonergan, Dane Roberts and Aaron Coles. Photo: Jay Cronan
For six days, covering more than 600 kilometres in a South Australian range, four ACT public servants suffered heat exhaustion, illness, sleep deprivation, blisters and muscle pain.
In the week that has followed, no one has been able to wipe the smiles from their faces.
The Canberra team of Dane Roberts, Aaron Coles, Clare Lonergan and Lee Rice has qualified for the world championships of adventure racing in the Central American jungle, after surviving the arduous landscape of South Australia's Flinders Ranges.
Racing under the team name ''That's Cray'' - simply because what they do is crazy - the quartet finished as the second-placed Australian team and was fourth overall.
Adventure racing features teams from around the world going head to head in the ultimate challenge of physical and mental endurance, racing through a course that could take up to 10 days to complete.
The sport involves teams of four navigating through rugged and severe terrain in several different fields including trekking, mountain biking and kayaking.
For the Canberra team, the race in South Australia pushed them to their absolute limits, with extreme temperatures causing one to fall ill.
''One of our teammates actually got quite sick and we had to stop for about eight hours to make sure they were OK,'' Coles said.
''The first day it was about 35 degrees and we had to do a very long trek which took us about 12 hours to finish. During that trek we carried about four litres of water and by the end most people were suffering from heat exhaustion. Luckily there were medical people at end with water.''
Lonergan said the team was trying to raise funds to represent Australia at the world championships.
''We are going to make some decisions in the next few weeks as to how we will be able to get there in the short time frame we have,'' she said.