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Kowalski Classic 2014

Mont24Team's picture

By Mont24Team - Posted on 15 June 2014

Sunday, 21 September, 2014 - 08:00

The meeting times are 'ready to ride'. If you need time to prepare equipment then please arrive a few minutes earlier.

8 hours
Come Rain or Shine: 
I'll be there, no matter what the weather.
Ride Database Entry: 
Kowen Forest
Meeting Point: 

Millpost Road, just off the Kings Highway, between Queanbeyan and Bungendore.

Show on Google maps: Meeting point. Login or register to get directions.

Now in its third year, the Kowalski Classic is a one-day showcase of the famous trails in East Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill. The event celebrates the achievements of local trail building legends Paul Cole, Alan Anderson and the mysterious Kowalski Brothers who together with their trail crew have built all the trails in the area.

A singletrack marathon like no other, the Kowalski Classic is jam packed with as much fine flowing trail as is humanly possible to string together into one day of racing, including all time favourites and new trails built especially for the race. If you like riding oodles of singletrack, then you will LOVE the Kowalski Classic. Find your flow on the Bird and the Kow.

The Kowalski Classic is the ultimate single track marathon with two race distances taking in the very best trails in Sparrow Hill and East Kowen.

The Kowalski Classic will run on Sunday 21 September 2014. Mark your calendar, do your chores early and make sure you keep the weekend free – The 2014 course will be a cracker.

Who's in?
shano, evan, Lach, jp, garyinoz, Brian, adski, Mont24Team, Antsonline, Dicko,, cambo, sly_artichoke, Tristania, p2tx8, andyfev, Black Flash, Pete B, bmar560, sikllama, xmas, GarethP (22 riders)
shano evan Lach jp garyinoz Brian adski Mont24Team Antsonline Dicko cambo sly_artichoke Tristania p2tx8 andyfev Black Flash Pete B bmar560 sikllama xmas GarethP
What Happened?

Blog entries about this meeting (as this is a race standings and times are shown, click on the title for more and to comment)...

Who Title Status Time Pos.Gen. Category Pos.Cat.
jp Smashed but happy Finished 02:40:53 64 50KM/Masters Male 23
Pete B Kowalski Classic 50km Finished 02:54:05 105 50KM/Open Male 22
bmar560 Half Kowalski Finished 02:58:38 133 50KM/Open Male 29
andyfev Kowalski Fun Finished 03:14:51 260 50KM/Veteran Male 48
p2tx8 Half Kowalski 2014 Finished 03:14:58 261 50KM/Veteran Male 49
sikllama YEEOW!!! Finished 03:26:26 317 50KM/Veteran Male 59
Lach Single tracked out... Finished 03:31:14 350 50KM/Super Masters Male 47
shano Half Kowalski 2014 Finished 03:44:38 406 50KM/Masters Male 151
Tristania Serious Fun! Finished 04:50:14 11 100km/Open Male 1
sly_artichoke Tough day at the office Finished 05:28:48 61 100km/Super Masters Male 4
garyinoz Single track overload - where the hell am I? Finished 05:31:57 64 100km/Masters Male 18
GarethP Kowalski 100 Finished 06:07:10 119 100km/Veteran Male 22 Half Kowalski 2014 Did not finish 50KM/Masters Male
Brian Kowalski DNF Did not finish 100km/Masters Male
Black Flash Mountaholics Kowalski 100

Were you there and have a story to tell?

Ride Gallery
andyfev's picture

Pumped for this one already... 1st time event for me and might even enter the 100k'er for my first ever 100 too... Hmmmmm Eye-wink

GarethP's picture

Just entered, will be my first race back after various crashes/medical issues. Planning on making a long weekend of it and riding some of Canberra's fine trails.

Family is coming along as the Floriade spring festival is on as well.

bmar560's picture

Being soft and only doing the 50 this year, due to overall lack of riding.
Hoping the trails will be dry and not raining this year.'s picture

Love the trails have always wanted to enter this one.

Antsonline's picture

I went down there today and rode what will be the 50km course.

Geez its good. The trails are in immaculate condition, and are really dry. There was probably 1 little splash puddle every km or so...
Just enough to get your bike splattered!

Alan and the Kowalski team have done so much work.
Some of the trails at the back of Sparrow (which only the 100km riders did last year) are flowing so nicely.
Drop your saddle a few mm, get your suspension set-up right, and look forward to a great race.
Its so unusual - this much ST in a race - its unique, and certainly is a 'race' that doesnt just test lungs and heart capacity!

Cant wait.

Brian's picture

I better get my entry in

jp's picture

How do you think a hard tail will go Ants?

Antsonline's picture

Not many people have the option of both bikes, but if you did, I'd choose the dually.
Unless you have been out spending secretly, I reckon you are on the HT still, so as the saying goes "run what you brung"...

Go with a bigger bagged tyre perhaps.

You'll be fine though JP....

bmar560's picture

I was there Saturday, rode 25K in Kowen and another 25K in Sparrow. Kowen looks a bit different but the all the trails are still there. The trees just had a few trimmings, so it's a bit more open. Some trail signs have been ripped up so that $10 trail app on my mobile came in very handy.

So Ant, if I read your ride report correctly, this year's 50K will have tracks on both Kowen and Sparrow? That's good news !!

I'm still learning how to brake less and lean more on those flowy berms and corners.

Antsonline's picture

I have it on pretty good authority that this year the 50km will more on the Sparrow tracks than last year, with less of the Kowan trails.

Some of the furthermost trails of Sparrow - the really good ones (Pig Hollow is a favourite of mine) are going to get used in the 50km.

You are right @bmar - Kowan looked different without the trees everywhere...
Although it was a long of driving, I reckon I might go down next weekend too!

I'm about to write a bit of a race preview, so will post a link up here once its done...

GarethP's picture

I am pretty much beside myself with excitement so just wanted to say BRAAAP!

Can't wait!!

xmas's picture

Cause I have a habit of entering races without ever actually having ridden the course (or even been to Kowen/Sparrow (yes - shame on me)... I thought I would do it again.

So ... If travelling from Sydney is the fastest route thru Bungendore or is it quicker to go to Queenbeyan and then along the Kings Hwy?

Dicko's picture

Via Bungendore

xmas's picture

Thanks - much appreciated.

Antsonline's picture

As promised - a little preview of the race...

Not much here that you dont already know though....

garyinoz's picture

After all the fun in the Chocy Foot STM series time to have a go at some longer ST fun.

Brian's picture

Start list is up

jp's picture

Very strong elite field - should be a great race!

Lach's picture

.. in the 50. Approx 65% doing the shorter distance.

Antsonline's picture

I think there is a bit of a shift towards 50km racing for a large group of riders - it can be done and enjoyed with a lot less training and commitment leading into the event - and it certainly doesn't get at lonely either.

50 or 100km though - this race is a ripper. the field looks great, the course is incredible, and Alan and the Kowalski team have a great attitude. It deserves its title of 'classic'.

Just one race between now and then for me in Queensland. Cant wait.

Brian's picture

This is my first race in masters which means SXC will have 4 riders in this category for the 100ker

jp's picture

Looks like I'm travelling down on my own for this race - anyone keen to meet up Saturday night for dinner?

Rob's picture

So SXC are going to have a clean sweep of the masters podium? Eye-wink

Brian's picture

I could predict who will be on the masters podium but that just adds to much pressure Eye-wink

shano's picture

The Start list for this race is impressive...some serious xc racers!

Pete B's picture

Anybody been round Kowen over the weekend? Be interested to know how the trails are.

Brian's picture

So the 50 and 100 start together on the same loop based on your group. That mixes it up a bit.

GarethP's picture

Gah and I'm in wave 3c so about seventy gazillion people in front of me...

Antsonline's picture

I have a slightly different problem - the pressure of being a 'gridded' rider.
Plate #3 for me.

Its going to be shockingly fast for the first few kms. I predict XCO speed singeltrack for at least the first 20km. A snake of riders making almost no mistakes - which means you dont wanna be the one to 'dab' or over-shoot a corner...

Cant wait! Eye-wink

andyfev's picture

I'm in wave 4a Eye-wink

Brian's picture

I don't know why they wouldn't start the 100 at 8am and then the 50 at around 10am. Anyway, they're the organisers and quite experienced ones so they should know what they are doing.

Come Sunday arvo we'll be either saying how awesome it was starting together or WTF were they thinking.

Ian_A's picture

That's exactly what I think Brian. Start the 100km early and the 50km 2-3hrs later so they finish around the same time but on their different loops.
Last year I did the 50km and we caught the tail end of the 100km riders at the 13km mark and had solid traffic from there until the finish - it was shocking.
I'm not racing this year anyway but I think there needs to be decent separation of the 50 and 100km.

Lach's picture

...especially with a different finish run for the 100's.
I'd love to be at the top of the first climb to see how the leaders sort themselves out, but I'd struggle to get back to join my 4b start group.....
Hopefully it's a bit drier this year so the hundreds of riders who go through ahead of me don't have too much mud to churn up.

sly_artichoke's picture

Last time I looked, min overnight temp for Canberra was to be -2 deg C. Brrr. Chilly start.

evan's picture

All previous years of this race the 50km and the 100km have started at different times. Really odd they are starting together.

Anyway I hope everyone has a great and safe race.


Brian's picture

Evan, don't forget your knicks mate Eye-wink

Volker's picture

Hi All, you might have picked up from other posts around the site that I will not be able to ride the Kowalski Classic this weekend.

I have a 100km entry to give away if you want it!


evan's picture

Thanks for the reminder.
Have a spare set in the car now. Smiling

Pete B's picture

Is anyone doing a bit of a practice ride today?

jp's picture

I'll be setting up camp about 3pm then going for a ride. A few of us are going for a meal after that. I'm in a dark blue Mazda CX9.

Pete B's picture

I may just miss you, I'm aiming to get there about 1, register then go for a ride and leave around 3:30 to get to my mates place where I'm staying.

Tristania's picture

Depending on the plans of my mate, we may head down to Stromlo, then set up camp and then head out for dinner with JP and possibly a short evening ride there.

I'll be in a big ute with a "Hawkeye construction" sticker.

p2tx8's picture

Does anyone know what the temperature/weather would be? And what will you be wearing? Thermal clothes? Warmers maybe or just normal

Brian's picture

It will be cold to start with but the first hill will warm you up Eye-wink

sikllama's picture

Temps were very mild at the start I thought - race report to be written after the required number of post race beverages have been consumed Smiling

Brian's picture

I still can't breathe properly from yesterdays dust/pollen or what ever was in the air down there.

Lach's picture

.. it tastes worse (and sticks longer) than the stuff out at Back Yamma.

jp's picture

Photos are up on Aurora.

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