This was my first Full Fling after doing the Half last year. I had memories of hurting after 40km last year so wasn't sure what to expect this year but I'd spent a lot more time on the bike in preparation.
Thursday before the event I decide to commute on my 29er hardtail just to make sure there are no issues. On my journey home I discover that my bottom bracket is stuffed - great! Turns out it's actually eaten part of the carbon frame so its a warranty claim. Plan B is to get the 26" dually out.
Preparing for these events when you have a family and work commitments is always a balancing act. Last year I was able to follow a proper training plan for the first time in the weeks leading into this event and had a really enjoyable race as I cruised through in a bit under 6 hours.
A long days riding. Felt like I was a tortoise on my trance.
The conditions were perfect and I had no mechanicals.
Walked alot of hills to prevent cramps and kept eating regularly.
Just before Wingello I was sure I would quit. Then I got to transition and like some kind of robot filled my water and ate, couple of painkillers and back on the bike after a little lube from the Shimano Van.
I actually rode more of the last stage than I did in the second half of the 2nd.
I made it up broke back mountain and through all the rock garden ridge.
This is the first time I raced the highland fling and it was a great weekend. I am really happy with my result, my fitness was good but I struggled with cramps for the back half.
I started the race with about 100 people in front of me and really wanted to use the first stage to warm up and it was clear that there was many people behind who wanted to race from the start. There were lots of riders passing me but after a couple of kms the testosterone and pace of the riders around me settled down and there were some good packs forming to ride with.
Coming into the Fling it had been touch and go whether I would race as I didnt have a bike, however that was solved one week out from the race which was fortunate, however having not touched the MTB in 3 months since August, I was definitely out of shape on the MTB front, however I still had some goals, which was a Sub 5 Hour Fling.
I made a pretty determined effort to get under 3 hours. Not quite there but very happy with the ride.
I made it hard for myself at the start, again confusing start time and rider briefing - I thought I would be lining up in plenty of time but of course everyone lines up well in advance of the rider briefing. This meant I started well back only just inside the starters shute. It wasn't a problem passing riders but it meant I had no-one to work with, and the only way to do a good time at the fling is to work with others.
I can’t exactly explain why I signed up for the 100Mile, there are many excuses that mask the complete lunacy of doing 100 (it’s actually like 165K’s and 3500M of climb) miles on a mountain bike, but I think the best reason is that 100K events just seem so “yawn” and don’t represent any real challenge
Three years ago the half fling took me 3:30, 2 years ago 3:15 and last year 3:01. I keep telling my wife some things do get better with age, and this year I was determined to improve again.
I've been training pretty hard in the last few months for this and I've actually already doubled my 2011 total kilometres in 2012 so I've really been at it all year.
This was the my last marathon for 2012 so I was keen to finish off strong and I'm pretty happy how it went today.
With four training rides of less than 2 hours and a blast for three hours on Monday, and then getting a stinker of a cold on Friday night I thought I would struggle to finish this, so I was very happy with a sub 3:00 for the half.
I did the Dash the night before (came 20th compared to last times 10th) as well and I think that it helped to remind me of what real hellish pain was, thanks to all the people shouting me up constitution hill, that was much harder than my last effort in 2009.
As always the fling turned out to be a brilliant event, really happy we went along.