i survived. the mtb survived. and i have my finishers medal. it was a HUGE amount of fun but not just slightly painful. it was very painful. but in that good way. it is the hardest thing i have done to date. and i truly loved every moment. am i converting to mtb racing ? no - but i will be back next year.
i read quite a few race reports and alot of people go into the what i ate and when i pooped detail. lets just say i had an easy day friday but didnt take things too seriously. had a great 1500m swim time trial in the morning workout. chilled out and was up early saturday. dwellingup is a 90 minute drive away. i had organised all the gear for emergencies and the days requirements the night before.
the 100k race was due to start 30minutes prior to the 40k. they would do the 40k loop before coming back to the oval and past their special needs drop off before heading out on a final 60k loop. they had three cut off times that they had to meet.
|Start of the 100k Classic|
|The Tail End of the 100k Competitors|
all i knew was that i wanted to finish the course and without hurting myself. they tell you to self seed for the start and therefore if you are a beginner do not start up front. this becomes an issue when everyone hits the single track. so i was up the back. we did one lap of the oval before hitting the road. then after about 1k we hit the tracks. the course was designed and put together by four guys who are mtb lunatics. they actually cleared some track and this was evident. they were also called many names by competitors throughout out the day. sadistic was the common thread. the course was brilliant. i have nothing to compare it to but it had everything. if you were not climbing then you were going downhill and that was no easy thing. some sections i cannot imagine anyone riding it on the bike. mountain biking is a whole other skill level and i was reminded throughout the day. what got me to the finish was a decent level of fitness and maybe the years as a kid riding a bike.
the first really tough part was big bertha. a massive hill which apparently the elites would have ridden straight up. for most it was a chance to meet people.
|Looking back down Big Bertha.|
i took a camera along for the journey. it was a cheapy i bought and it was fun taking the time out to try and record the event. some folks had cameras attached to top of their helmets. that would be great vision.
the first sections were mainly fire track and gravel. gravel going up hill and gravel going downhill. some tracks had these big rocks jutting out and it wasnt until the last moment that you would spot them. if you hit a big one at speed you would probably take a trip over the handle bars. i had my camelbak with about 1.5 litres of water and two shotz dissolved. i had the usual repair and first aid kits. i also had 750ml of water with a gel mixed in. i then had another two gels and two energy bars. i consumed all but one energy bar. i should have eaten that as well.
|Murray River Crossing|
last year this was flooded and they had to alter the course. after this we headed into the more technical part of the course. and naturally it began with another hill.
|another up and down.|
|Just a beautiful spot.|
|straight up a muddy climb|
|Epsom salts and a lush bomb.|
once having soaked and relaxed i also determined that the body needed this to recover. i had burned 2000 calories so i felt a little peckish. i have not eaten fettucine carbonara in over 12 months. i only used light cream and light parmesan. and it was still friggin awesome. and yes kym - that is a turkish delight and i ate that in about three bites. it is a glass of wine in the bath shot. in bed and asleep by 8.30 pm.
as i write this just about every muscle aches. it feels like i pulled the muscle that runs along your spine. my knee is okay, my ankle has a good shiner, my arms hurt and shoulder is stiff and the finger has a good black colour starting to appear. i feel great. i am so glad i did this. it is the hardest thing to date. in comparison triathlons are easy. i will do it again. it will cost me as my bike will not survive the pounding. for anyone wanting to up their fitness and bike skills then mountain biking has it. amazing sport and i am happy to have survived it so far. and i cannot forget to include the course as brought to you by garmin -