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2016 Convict 100

Fatboy's picture

By Fatboy - Posted on 01 May 2016

Re: This ride meeting: 
Convict 100 2016
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
100km Male Masters
Position (Category): 

Last year was the first Convict I missed in its 11yr history due to injury so this year was my first attempt in the reverse direction – we did climb Jacks Track in the first year of the event but it was a different course then (harder!). I estimated this direction would be 20-25mins slower so my aim was sub 5:30.

The weather forecast was for 10-20mm rain so I added some weatherproofing to the bike and decided to carry more weight in the Camelbak rather than on the bike but when I arrived it was light rain and warm so I didn’t wear any of the wet gear I brought along.

In the start chute I was aiming to be in the group behind the elite’s as I find they start at a reasonable pace being more experienced (not too fast) but I missed getting into the group. When we started in the next group it was like a sprint to the first climb so I quickly found myself dropped and alone all the way to Jacks Track with a large group smashing it ahead and the group behind not making any ground on me. Doh!

The climb wasn’t too bad but except I had to push hard on the steep bits which sent my lower back into spasm and prevented me going hard for the rest of the race. I was able to control the pain but when I’d push it hit me again so I just raced at high cadence with minimal effort to manage the pain.

All the way along Woomerah I felt weak like I’d burned all my matches climbing Jacks and watched my average speed at just over 16km/h which messed with my head as my last race here I averaged 20km/h. I eventually descended to the road back to the canoe bridge. Alone again so just dug in and grinded away.

I was on a one-stop strategy so straight past the drink stop, across the canoe bridge then on to Shepherds Gully all alone. With my back playing up I just spun it up the hill and was passed by at least 10 riders. While I was hurting a text message came through on my Magellan from my 9yo son wishing me luck and telling me he’d scored 3 goals at soccer. That picked me up.

I had an ok ride along the Convict trail but found the techy bits really hurt my back and when I stopped at the half way drink station I was at 2hr48. Crap I thought, that means I’m looking at a 6hr race. What the heck is going wrong? This caused me to do something I knew was stupid – I normally remove my bladder from the Camelbak to ensure it fills properly but I just unscrewed the cap, filled it quickly then took off pleased I had only stopped for about 1min total and that would get me home.

Just after Clare’s Bridge at the 50km I was in a group of 4 but they dropped me on the climb about 1km later and I found myself totally alone for the next 35mins. Had I not known the course I would have been concerned I’d taken a wrong turn as there was no sign of other riders in front or behind.

The closer I got to the final drink stop the more gutted I felt as my average speed just wasn’t climbing and I knew I was having a crap race. I was slow over the baby head rocks and through the overgrown sections and didn’t feel like I was in a race being all alone. When I arrived at the drink station I stopped long enough to throw a small cup of Coke down my throat and took off as quickly as possible.

I climbed for the next couple of km and just before I reached the top I received a text from my 7yo daughter telling me she was thinking of me, which really picked me up. How coincidental that both kids sent a message just near the top of climbs? I then realized my wife was probably following me on my iPhone app and I had most likely been out of range and she was sending the messages as I popped up on screen.

When I finally reached the top of the climb I grabbed my Camelbak mouthpiece for a big swig and sucked air. Doh! 25km to go and I had run out. I started being shitty at myself for that rush at the halfway stop and obviously not filling it properly. So what do I do now? Fluids are a big issue for me when I ride as I am a major sweater so need to drink a lot more than most. I thought through the situation – once I hit the top of Blue Hill I have an easy 13km to the finish and the free beer so all I have to do is smash it out for 12 more km and then the adrenalin etc will help me through so I kept going.

I actually rode very strong for that 12km and yelled out with excitement when I hit the top of Blue Hill. I smashed it out to the finish riding past the 68km & 44km stragglers like they were standing still with my parched mouth driving to the finish. I was about 15 mins slower than expected but was still happy with the achievement, as it is a decent ride.

Great event. Can’t wait to punish myself all over again!

Dicko's picture

Well done mate - glad to hear you are back on the bike and enjoying yourself again !


ps's picture

Mate, well done on the ride. It's always interesting to read about the decisions or little things that happen that have an impact on people's day. Doesn't sound like you did that much wrong, some days that's just the way it works out. Anyway good job doing the 100k, you showed more commitment than I did.

Brian's picture

Well done Craig and it great you're already looking forward to the next one.

doc's picture

Nice one Craig ! Can't miss our local race and great to see you riding well.

the pedaling donkey's picture

Huge congrats on a huge day, to do a 100 kays is a monster kickass achievement and very well earned many free beers ... well done, cheers josh

Tristania's picture

I was thinking the same at the top of Blue Hill. After suffering that 15km of undulations it is what you're looking for. I'm sure the texts would have been a great morale booster too.

That's still a pretty solid time. Hope to see you again soon to suffer out another event!

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