You are hereBlogs / Valoboy's blog / My First MTB Race Half Fling

My First MTB Race Half Fling

Valoboy's picture

By Valoboy - Posted on 09 November 2015

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Highland Fling 2015
Race Category: 
Half - Men

So i had been training for quite a while in the lead up to this event and thought i may not have done enough technical stuff, well i was correct. I arrived on Sat arvo to stay at the pub in Bundanoon, it was foggy and drizzly and cool, the place was buzzing though so i checked in to my digs and headed of to rego.
I'm entered in the Super Masters category and being my first cycling event for many years not sure how hard it will be, i knew it would be hilly but wow some of them were clangers. So i started out well enough and just tried to cruise into a rhythm and get the blood circulating before the hills started. I was just cruising the hills and trying not to go too silly and conserve myself a bit on the ground effect stage because most people i had spoken to had told me the second stage was the hardest, so i'm drinking and cruising as much as i can and i take the opportunity to hit the downhills as fast as i can also. The ground was fairly damp in the bushy areas of some of the early single track and some is downright boggy so i was glad to clear this section and roll into transition at Wingello in just over 1:25, about 5 minutes over my goal. Cruising out of transition and up the dirt road trying hit that rhythm again and set myself for the next stage and the singles that i was not so good at. Across the vineyard (i wonder how many people went up the dirt road here) and down the hill and into the singles is where i get swamped by about 15 faster (younger) guys and try to let them go as best i can and then a couple of kms in is where i'm starting to get a cramp twinge in my left hammy and in the heavier sections of track is where i'm starting to suffer, then bang full on cramp and i have to dismount and stretch it out. Back on the bike and when i try to push hard i feel the twinge again and back off a little and it goes away so im like this for next couple of kms and then my right hammy fully cramps and i stop again to ease it.
I don't really understand why my hammy's were cramping but i do tend to pull up pretty hard on the pedals in the slower sections of track so this was probably the reason, this really slowed me down and it started to mess with my head so i just battled on as best i could knowing harder sections were to come.
The rocky techy slow sections were the hardest for me and i really struggled through these bits of single, and to make matters worse i fell off in one section and fell straight down on a rock and smashed my elbow and knee then had intense pain in my elbow, the pain was so bad i thought i may have had my first broken limb, i got up and was dizzy from the pain, i move my arm around and it seems ok so i saddle up.
One thing that impressed me was the amount of people who offered encouragement and asked if i was ok, so thanks to those people.
I still have plenty of single track to go and i'm sore and stiff from my fall and now my head is really playing games with me and i get even slower now because i don't want to end up on the deck again. I battle through and see 8km to go i think, not sure because it's all a bit of a blur from here.
So now i'm just holding on to the end and i cheer up when i see the 4km to go sign and just cruise in to the finish just able to hold on to the handlebars because my forearm has stiffened up from my fall.
I finish in 4:00:3 way slower than what i thought but that's ok now i know where i need to train a lot more, what a great event with a spectacular single track that i know i will enjoy a lot more next year with some more training under my belt.
Ok so it looks like i will be hitting Glenrock, Awaba and Killingworth a lot more now to get the skills up a bit and that was the hardest event i have ever done so far, even more so than the 40 odd triathlons i have done and club road racing put together.
At least today the golf ball that had formed on my elbow has subsided to just a bruised lump.

adski's picture

Well done

Lach's picture

... it's the sort of race where you know you've got to come back and give it a better go next year.

Tristania's picture

It is not an easy 58km. Bog, hills, water crossings, technical singletrack, you name it, it's all there. Glad you came out of the crash okay, well done on seeing it out and all the best for next year! Not bad for a first race!

Fatboy's picture

Bummer about the crash but well done on getting through to the end.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Best Mountain Bike