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Kowalski 50Km

Pyrate's picture

By Pyrate - Posted on 20 September 2015

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This was my second ever 50Km race - the other being last years Fling.

In the lead up to this two things happened.

Firstly, I took Mr Shippards advice and rode as much single track as possible.

Secondly, I got a cold.

Swollen glands and a bastard of a sore throat greeted me every morning for the last week and I seriously considered pulling out or at least dropping back tot he 25km race.

But, I woke up feeling better than most other mornings of late and had dragged the whole family down to Canberra, so I felt good(ish) to go. Nothing a couple of Panadol and a teaspoon of cement wouldn't fix.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first 30kms or so and am indebted to Ant Shippard for sage advice. I was off the brakes and railing corners fairly well (for me at least) and found myself working though a few people ahead of me, having started in the last wave.

I was hoping to get around in under 4 hours, and I was well on track for most of the race, but going up Escalator the body started giving me signals it wasn't happy. Twinges of cramp in my right thigh and a cough that came up from nowhere (well, in fact from my eldest I suspect but I wasn't expecting that mid race) and so when I got to the coffee stop at the 36Km mark I was not feeling all that crash hot.

I gobbled some fruit and guzzled my isotonic bottle and set off to find out what Romper Room and Stairway to Heaven were all about.

Kowalski's Sideshow was great fun, but that was the last of it for me. As I started up Rolling Thunder my right thigh kept on cramping almost every time I tried to pedal through a corner, but I struggled to the top of Romper Room.

With fresher legs I would have really enjoyed that trail, but I was blowing smoke by then and walked a few particularly gnarly sections. As someone said out there, it was a little confidence destroying.

But then, if there was any remnant of joy left, we came upon Stairway to Heaven. In all seriousness if they want to name it after a Led Zep song, it should be called Heartbreaker.

All credit to the Kowalski Brothers - it is very well built. But it broke me.

Any hope for a sub 4 hour time evaporated fast on the bloody hill.

But, hey, the weather was great, everyone was great, on balance I am very happy with my time and beer tastes good.

Bring on the Fling.

PS - Thanks again Ant!

sikllama's picture

Yep that was tougher than last year - well done on finishing when not 100%.

Antsonline's picture

A very good ride.
Anyone that gets around that 50km without a crash or too much drama can definitely say that they are a MTB rider.

Happy to have helped in some small way - even if it was to warn you of the hills that would eventually cause you so much pain!!

Tristania's picture

They really packed you guys in with the big climb to the top (inc. escalator) followed by Rolling Thunder and Stairway to heaven all within 15km of the finish. But glad you made it through and had prepared on Singletrack which undoubtedly would have helped. Hopefully you'll be at the Fling in a few weeks?

Pete B's picture

Good effort, it's a totally different race to the fling. A lot more demanding on the body and mind.

pancakes's picture

This line is perhaps the best I've read to describe what its like when you're suffering,

"...but I was blowing smoke by then..."

Sums it up perfectly. Laughing out loud

Great effort on getting around what sounds like a tough ride.

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