This race had been on calender since the '09 Solo 24hr World Champs where Matt and Amanda were talking up a new 100km event being run down near Nowra. It turns out that they were running it and were going to look after me and Jen if we journeyed south. This race also had Shotz nutrition on board and it was fantastic to see Darryl make it to the race.
Having a look at the starters list I thought I would have a serious battle on my hands to get onto the 3rd step of the podium. In the end, a few of the other elite riders were out of town and I became more optimistic.
The race was always going to be quick due to a lack of significant climbs and I was pretty keen to see how the Mach 4 would go. The race started at a pretty serious pace and I was happy to sit back and let other people do the pace setting. Matt Flemming rode away at about the 10km mark and I chose to sit back and pace myself on the early climbs. After spending far too much of my training on the road it took about another 5km until I was starting to get the hang of the duallie. I was actually enjoying taking a few risks around some of the blind corners and I felt confident on the sandy section from recently racing at Alice Spring and at the Mawson Trail. I was actually quite surprised to catch up to Matt during some flowy single track but almost straight away I had a stick caught in my drivetrian. I listened to Matt's advice to pedal backwards and managed to not only wedge the stick even further but also caused the chain to drop off, classic! Five minutes later and I was back on Matt's wheel. At about the 30km mark Matt dropped off the back during some pinchy climbs. I was riding by myself and the track infront seemed unused. I was pretty keen to be on the right path so I waited for Matt who was pretty sure we were heading the right way and so the race continued. On the next hill Matt dropped away again and I was riding by myself, until I hit the 50km mark. The 50km racers ride the same last part of the course with us. This was an interesting idea and so for the next 50km I was passing riders. I'm not that good at passing riders as I always get excited going past and usually waste alot of effort! Black Heart Events had saved some of the best trails to last and I was starting to have fun almost forgetting that I was still racing. I was amazed that there was still a significant amount of water in the low sections of the track and often I was trying to charge through crossings as some were only a few centimeters deep. I actually got fooled by one crossing and ended up swimming in chest high water!
I did a time check when I got to the 90km mark and I was pretty sure I wouldn't be breaking the 4hr mark so I tried to be as patient as possible when I caught up to other riders. As I approached the line I could see 3:59:59 from a distance and rolled across the line just over 4hrs!
Thanks Amanda and Matt for the fun race, I cant believe it was you first mtb event, fantastic!
Thanks Darryl for your ongoing support, the strawberry recovery drink was fantastic.
Thanks again to JetBlack and GSC for keeping me on my Pivot!