Monday, September 19, 2011

Dwellingup 40k MTB Race Report 2011

last year this was my first ever official mountain bike event.  i was over the moon to complete the course and at that point in time the most challenging event i had taken on.  this year they did make changes to the course - due to rain damage and to make improvements (although i thought the course was terrific anyway).  they put in more single track which is not my strength and not good for me.  still - the course was excellent. 

events on saturday are a bit annoying as you need to switch your focus from the working week straight to the race.  you need to be organised.  however one advantage is that you do get sunday to recover.  dwellingup is 90 minutes from home and for the first 30 minutes i was in a bit of a panic that i hadnt left home early enough.  i really hate being late.  however i arrived at 8 a.m. (as planned) and had plenty of time to get organised before the 9 a.m. race start.  had green day blasting on stereo which is perfect mountain biking tunes.  i felt the need to be wearing black with skulls and some anti-establishment slogans. 

the weather was perfect and while we would avoid getting wet the track was very wet and muddy.  this did not work in my favour.  i started at the back of the pack and amongst 299 males and 36 females.  very male dominated sport.  the first few kilometres are on easy fire trail and lets you get comfortable and sorts out the pack a bit.  then comes a major downhill.  probably the steepest for the day and it was very muddy.  i walked it last year and due to the mud decided that was the best course of action again.  sadly a girl got caught up in the hype and her day was over before it really began. 

for the first 20k it is a combination of leg busting hill climbs and terrifying downhills with some rolling fire trail to recover.  the 'big bertha' climb was still in and i saw one guy slowly crawl up it on his bike.  there was a new hill called 'blame decy' which i did climb while everyone around me pushed their bikes up.  i did this quite  a few times and was really stoked at my progress.  my legs really hung in there.  however i still suck at single track.  from about the 20k mark to 30k mark the majority is single track.  easier than the rocky outcrops of kalamunda but steep twisting turns and very, very muddy.  i started off quite well but then was passed by quite a few people.  i came off twice.  if i was a guy i would have done some painful package damage but the new extra padded bike shorts were a crutch saver.  then i skidded out in the mud and landed in a prickle bush.  ouch.  it was like pulling out cactus spikes.  i was really disappointed in myself.  next year i am going to get some instruction. 

the last 10k is big climbs and downhill fire trail.  here i managed to catch up with alot of people.  this is when the legs feel it and your true fitness is tested.  i swear as soon as we hit the road and the last 2k back to dwellingup oval i passed 15 people.  i rode like i was on my road bike.  i flicked the rock shotz thingy and peddled like mad.  it is a bit cruel because while you may be back on the road it is still an uphill climb. 

bit disappointed that my time is pretty much the same as last year but the course is different so i will take my placings as a comparison instead.  and this i am stoked about.  okay last year i was overall 251/328.  this year i was 232/335.  for gender i was 35/38 last year and 9/36 this year - MASSIVE improvement.  for age group i was 12/17 last year and 7/16 this year.  interesting fact - of the top ten 7 were in my age group of 40-59.  only 1 girl in the 19-39 group was above me.  GO the old girls.  the winning time for the girls was 2.32.49.  my time was 3.30.38.

trievents are putting together these great youtube clips for all events now so enjoy !  p.s. the riders climbing up big bertha are probably the 100k riders (who btw finished in approx 4.5 hours yikes !).


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