Finally a race on our gorgeous home turf! We were so excited and lots of our regular riding and training buddies signed up..
This year we will enter a team in the Geo half so this was a great chance to have our full team entered as MOJO derivatives..
24 + hour races are not for everyone. It takes a special kind of crazy to race all day and night.
We decided this race would be perfect for training as Liam’s proposed kilometers meant we would be able to cover our goal distance of 100k easily.
My race partner for this race was Jaime the super bike guy who rides road bike distances that would make your tyres curl. I was very hopeful that we would get to “play” in our favorite training area that we affectionately know as the “Hamptons”
My usual team mate E had volunteered to course set and so we were very good players and stayed away on course setting days so they could do secret Rogue Business.. I have to admit it is awesome to debrief the course now with one of the team as it gives us better insight into course planning, we also had a name to utter under our breath when we couldn’t find the CP!
So the race. Couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces when we saw the Hamptons were a key CP holder in the big race plan.
We also knew that our strength was on the bike and we needed to set our race plan accordingly.
I had done a trek through the Valley of the Diamonds early this year, on the hottest day ever (literally) and have a love hate relationship with it. Our average pace on out trek was mind bogglingly slow and I wanted to avoid it at all costs.
I find with racing there is the plan you make, the plan you wish you had made and the plan for when you break.
We found an immediate nemesis in CP 9 on a watercourse in an area of gullies and watercourses. It was not to be our day with it so we (eventually) crawled out of a gully ( but not THE gully) to find some other CP’s.
I felt unwell and wanted to get to HQ ASAP, but we pushed on and got some high points on the way. Once we got there I was able to get sorted and felt better and then kayak time.
Cressbrook is a beautiful dam. The kayak leg was intentionally smaller than our plan and by the end we paddled in dark and I was shivering.
Thank goodness for team mates who make you coffee!
We had eyeballed the CP’s for the trek leg from the kayak but the cold and the sore legs after the first trek made us dump even an easy CP.
I really wanted to get on the bike to make up for lost points. At 8 PM we got on our bikes to travel up to the Hamptons. 6 hours later via some very cool CP’s and a steep climb up we made it. I could have kissed the ground up there (mostly for being flat!)
We zipped around the Hamptons so fast Jaime told me to slow down. Fast is good but I was a bit excited to be in familiar country and was riding too fast to sustain for hours. The ride back to Perserverance was amazing and fast too.
Back at HQ it was decision time after 9 hours on the bike, we could do a number of cool things kayak, archery, stand up paddle board or Liam’s “easy 4k orienteering course” We decided to start with the orienteering and finished it – but a bit slow as we hadn’t slept yet, archery was cool and I make a rule of racing with guys who can shoot. It hasn’t let me down yet! We finished with a stand up paddle board,as the thought of getting our kayak down the slope we has walked a few times by then was too much for our brains to synapse.
Having never paddle boarded before I tried kneeling but my feet cramped so badly I ended up lying on my tummy and arm paddling the whole way. (There are photos – apparently)
2 hours before finish time we stopped – having achieved our distance goal and learned some very important racing lessons. (Learning is always good!)
We had a great race. We didn’t score highly on the leaderboard but our effort was massive. We definitely had moments where we thought “what the heck” but the awesome course and high 5 moments made up for it. On a personal level I found out I do no sleep well, except that sleep monsters make me giggle. Incessantly and for no reason.
Thanks as always to Liam and the band of volunteers who supported us. It was a well planned and challenging race, and in such amazing place too. But there is one last question that needs to be asked for this race.. Where the heck was Checkpoint 9????