Saturday, 22 October 2011

22/10/2011

Surf Coast 12 hour:
I really wasn't sure how I'd go, given the lack of time on dirt, given the hard week in my legs and most importantly, given how I felt yesterday.

I lined up on the 3rd or 4th row, there were a few riders around me that I knew I'd be faster than, but figured it was a good spot to race from so I could to get to know how my body would respond. I was right and very wrong. When the race started riders seemed to materialise in front of me, the opening fire road stretching ahead seemed filled with riders of a calibre I didn't want to be near come single track time. I guess this moment, 15 seconds into the race is when mental shift from "hrm I dunno about racing today" to "I must wring every ounce of speed I can out of the course, my bike and my body", but more on that later.

I don't have full results yet, but I think with a bit of effort I made my way up into the top 20 for the 12 hour, possibly the top 10. It didn't feel like it, but I'd forgotten that there was a 3 hour race intertwined into our 12, so a few of the riders in front were only doing 1/4 of the race.

JP, Steve and I worked lap on lap off for the next few hours, slowly climbing up the overall leader board. This fuelled my motivation, my body was feeling good, I was growing in confidence and my lap times were getting faster. My 3rd lap was quick (38min), the 3hr riders had cleared out and the 6hr ones hadn't started (yep, another race within a race), I was eager to do another for my 4th but as I waited for Steve in transition the 6hr riders started. Moments later Steve arrived and I set about making my way through 80 odd riders, all thoughts of being able to get one last quick one out driven from my head.

Then there was lap 5, I can't tell you what possessed me, possibly it was the knowledge I had only 1 after it, possibly the knowledge that it was my last in daylight, possibly it was seeing Leigh Howard pull at 36 minute lap, but I fucking drilled myself. I had 4 laps of track knowledge in my brain and I wrung it out searching for every scrap of traction and momentum I could. I failed to match Leigh, but I did slip into the 37's but nothing could wipe the grin off my face, not even my need to gasp in air.

My last lap was in the dark, something I've not done since... um... June, I'm happy that I managed to sneak in under 40 minutes. It took a lot of trust in my memory of the track because my new helmet and light combo wasn't ideal, the beam wasn't pointing far enough down the track.

Blah blah blah, on to the results.

2nd in Men's 3s and 4th overall.

Not a bad day at all, but most importantly I left feeling confident about my fitness and ability to hurt for a long time.

D: 84.8km
A: 1,395m

PMPW: 94kg

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