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That was ouchy!

GarethP's picture

By GarethP - Posted on 10 November 2014

Re: This ride meeting: 
2014 Highland Fling
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

Gee whiskers! That was hard. I've done heaps of endurance events (mostly running) and that was one of the worst I've felt after a race! but I digress...

Woke up nice and early (3:30) to drive down to the race. Unlike a weekday though when I have to go to work I pretty much lept out of bed, excited for the day ahead.
Driving down and arriving in Bundanoon I could see conditions were perfect but I knew it was going to be reasonably warm later on too. Registered and drove to the start - can anyone explain why they don't just do rego at the start??

I mentioned on the thread that my goal was sub 6 but because I can't be bothered with lining up I just started right at the back. Plenty of place for overtaking and for the whole of the first stage I was passing riders. I find it hard to compare this stage with previous years - not too much difference in terms of difficulty?

After a quick fill up in transition I was off on the Wingello leg, riding strongly. When I hit the single track it felt a bit strange - so many kays of fire trail riding I felt a bit unprepared for the transition to technical riding. But mostly managed to hold my own despite a few small mistakes.
At this stage I was pretty confident about hitting my goal - in fact a bit over confident!

The elite ladies went past here and I tried to hold on to them for a few kays, was good motivation trying to keep up. Mostly I was able to but the difference was the intensity they were riding up the hills and the elastic broke.

I was a little disappointed to see one of the elite ladies chuck a gu tab (and there seemed a lot of litter in general). I know it's only the tear off tab but still.

It was about this time that the relentless hills started to bite. The sun was beating down and I ran out of water about 7kays from transistion. But things were still under control and I was still anticipating going under 6hrs.

Got to transition and gulped down some water, filled up and headed off. It was here that I realised that my goal was looking extremely tight. I knew the final few kays were tricky and I had very little buffer. But I was determined to try so I buckled down. Things were getting increasingly difficult though! The pinch climbs on the rollercoaster section and the final sections of technical single track were the final nails in the coffin. I could barely ride the technical stuff after brokeback mtn but somehow made it through unscathed. I think there was a sign here that said 10km to go which threw me but it turned out to be accurate.

Went the short way on your call and finally got the the road. Even going downhill was painful now! the last few hundred meters were done and I crossed the line unsure if I had achieved my goal. Turned out I had missed it but I'm not disappointed. I gave it a pretty good go and achieved a decent placing. I was pretty much spent after the race, had to have a sleep in the back of my car before driving back to Sydney.

Thanks to all the volunteers and race marshals and the organisers for putting on a superbly run race.

jp's picture

Well done Gareth, great ride. I am in awe of anyone who can do 117kms in that time.

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