CHALLENGING: Billy Geddes and his machines. Inset: Billy competes in his truck. Photo: Randle Kilner
CHALLENGING: Billy Geddes and his machines. Inset: Billy competes in his truck. Photo: Randle Kilner Sharyn Oneill Roksdesert

Off-roader in double derring-do in Finke Desert today

RACING a truck more than 230km a day through rugged terrain in the outback seems like a big enough of a challenge on its own.

But Billy Geddes took on an even bigger challenge in one of the toughest off-road races in the world.

The Rockhampton man is the first racer to compete in both the truck and motorbike events in the Finke Desert Race at Alice Springs this month - and he made it to the end.

"We did just under 1000km in racing with the car and bike in two days," Billy said.

Billy took off in his truck on day one, and after making it to camp; he took a helicopter back to the starting line to do the same leg on his motorbike. He did the same on day two to reach the finish line in both events.

"I crashed the bike on the first day, but I just dusted myself off," Billy said.

The 37-year-old has more than 26 years of off-road experience under his belt, and started desert racing in 2010.

After a few years of Billy and the Geddit Racing Team competing in the Finke Desert Race, it was time to take on a new challenge.

"All racers know why we do it. I compare it to that dog that hangs his head out of a ute," Billy laughed.

"I'm sure there's a few people that don't get it."

For Billy, just the sheer speeds of competing in one the country's toughest races attracted him to it.

But it's not all about the speed, with 12 months of intense training behind the scenes.

With plenty of fitness training, including ice baths at night during the two-day race, Billy said he had to prepare himself mentally to endure the harsh conditions.

Billy took out second place in his truck class and seventh outright; 19th in his motorbike class and 211th outright.

"We didn't know it was possible to be done," Billy said.

"It's a great achievement to finish it and to have that one-off that no one can take away from me."



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