Monday, August 8, 2011

Merida Pursuit - Race Report

Stepped up to Elite for my third attempt at marathon style event on the weekend.  After the cancellation of mawson, I put in a last minute entry and I guess I had high hopes.  The new epic course really lived up to it's name.  It has always been known for it's brutal climbs, but this year you could add in huge amounts of rough terrain, and some pretty technical single.  I loved the out and back format - much easier logisitically.  The half has become the two thirds, and is going under then name of Merida Pursuit! 

I opted to run a camelbak since I didn't have any support - I was happy to pay the weight penatly so I didn't have to stop.  This is the end was a good move as it was damn hot on some of those climbs in the stillness of the bush and I drank every drop.  I got off to a great start thanks to Jaman who pulled out his trade mark move, leading the race out hard.  I realised that I was sitting on the front of ALL the elites, men and women with him before deciding to settle, it was still a long way to go and his pace was not my pace.  

*Photo by Alan Uthmann

I knew I was first girl out, so I concentrated on keeping myself working and find that pace that was pushing but not exploding. Found Jason from FTR and rode with him for a while.  Great pace, and he was keen to do well (ended up 4th in his cat, well done!).   Managed to come together with a few guys out on the bitumen and encouraged them to work together into the headwind through mulgowie.  Once we were up the main climb and got into the pinchy grassy, loose fireroad stuff that wound it's way back into the property the hurt began.  Like most, my arms were taking a beating from the roughness.  It made the 24hour OHV course look like a bike path!  I stuffed up with traction or ran out of legs and walked/ran a couple of pinches.  Was sketchy as hell on the super loose downhills, mainly due to impatience and trying to overtake in stupid places and probably due to a lack of skill!  In truth I was feeling the pressure of leading and not wanting to be caught.  My nephew said some funny words to my brother once "ride to finish, before you ride to win"... I thought about that, and settled down.  Things went smoother!

I was very glad to turn onto Rock Bottom, and well known track... then before I knew it, it was onto the fireroad and heading for home.  Pushed to get on a wheel I could see up the road, and looked around - no-one at all behind me.  Knew I had it, that was a good feeling.  Cut Mr.Wheels lunch on the last rise up to the chute (sorry!) and crossed in 2.52.  Considering the trail traffic the whole way, and my dodgy tech riding in a couple of spots, I was happy with that!

Congrats to all who finished - special mentions for these guys!

My big bro Sean, and Ms Kirstie - smiling after 75km!

These two go alright for a couple of roadies - welcome to the Epic Club ladies!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are a rockstar....;-)
Good stuff Rach.
And that is one of the BEST MTB photos evah!