I entered this years AYUP Dusk 2 Dawn with a couple of goals....
1) test out the legs to gauge how I am progressing
2) come back and do it after last years early exit due to injury
3) practice my race fuelling and night riding.
I was excited about racing something other than solo for the first time in forever. I made the decision not to push any really long solo efforts until July as last years racing, with over 6 x 24 hour or longer events, definitely left a mark. Since this was a 'B' race I didn't have that fresh jumping out of my skin taper feeling, but nevertheless I arrived ready to go.
TR agreed to ride the first lap - I hate the combination of frantic attacks, crush and delays that are inevitable in lap one. He set a solid pace which I surprisingly matched (yay!) and we set about it. We had good competition and early on we found ourselves in 4th place. Nothing to panic about, but I knew then we were going to need to earn any podium spot.
He was in transition waiting for me when I got back and went for another. It must have h u r t. Again he went AWOL on the lap, and when he got back in he looked seriously bad. Wobbly and glassy eyed. I rode past our camp and called out to Bec 'find him and SORT HIM OUT'. I already had it in my mind that I might need to pull a double so he could try and recover but it was not to be. Rolling into transition I got the news TR was in a bad way and would not be riding again. I had to respect where he was willing to go, one look made it clear he had left it all on the track. I figured if Race Elements hard woman Bec couldn't put him on a bike no-one could.
Damn. 4am. We were in 2nd and the other teams were not far away. I was tired and briefly considered pulling the pin, as the idea of holding against teams of two riders seemed tough. It was only a 'B' race afterall. And how can you race pairs with one person?? Nope, I put the devil back in his box. If I was here for race practice - race practice I was going to get. I decided maybe I could hold 2nd for us and you know, just for fun, maybe I would see if I could catch first.... I stopped and grabbed food Bec had organised for me from the tent which we had trackside and rode. It was 3 laps down, before I saw TR regain some kind of consciousness. I rolled around as slowly on my 4th back 2 back knowing I had held 2nd for us and thinking I would come in after 7am. I need to buy a watch. Wasn't to be and I was sent out by everyone at transition chanting 'do another' and my team telling me the other team was only 1 minute behind us (it wasn't true). I'd held them and we'd ended up less than half a lap behind first.
Managed to crash twice in the last 500mtrs of the race after keeping it on 2 wheels all night including one in the chute. Munter. A quick check of the race goals:
1) test legs - TICK. Legs are strong!
2) ride the whole race - TICK . Rode my whole race, and a chunk of TR's!
3) practice fuelling - TICK. Felt good - expect for the 2nd last lap when I assumed it was my last and I let it slip. And then crashed my brains out. Lesson = last lap or not you GOTTA eat.
Enduro racing is hard. Before, during and after. Physically and mentally. This bit is fun though!
We'll get busy too planning for TR to give him some written race plans to fuel his racing to practice at inferno race 1. When he gets that together he is going to be unstoppable. Oh yeah, and to those who might be mumbling about TR training with someone to slow and weak. IN YOUR FACE. That is all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!