The Dwellingup 100 is a race just out of Perth that I have been keen to do for a while now. Last year I was about to lock it in before the National Marathon Champions were announced for the same day. This year the organiser Dave from Trievents was able to find a government grant to assist Jodie Willet and I in getting to the event. In exchange, we promoted mountain biking and the event to some local primary schools. This was a pretty good experience and it was amazing to hear some of the questions primary aged students would ask in regards to 24 hour mountain bike racing.
We arrived in Dwellingup a couple of days out from the event which gave us a chance to ride some of the best single track I have ever ridden. There were two areas of single track that I would compare to our local single track in Port Macquarie but with more hill. Really flowy, no brakes required just hold on and have fun. Marrinup was the closest section to town and consisted of a gentle 5-6km climb followed by a gentle flowing single track. This was a really well designed section that I must have ridden 6-7 in the couple of days I was there. The second section of single track called Turners Hill was used as a timed component of the race that had $100 on the fastest male and female lap. This track had a few more technical sections but had some really fast sections where I was just hoping the pea gravel wouldn't take me down!
The race day conditions were perfect and I was feeling pretty fit going into this race. That is, until we hit the first hill and some of the Perth local guns started to ride off on me. We had three of us heading into the 40km drink station and then there were just two of us. Riding with Chris Fisher we were trying to put some time into Jon Gregg who was a little off the back. I felt like I was on the front smashing it as hard as I could as Jon rode back up to us. At this point I knew it was going to be a hard race. When we got to the timed section I made sure I was on the front and I was happy just to sprint out this section to see if I could at least get ahead on this section. Coming out of timed section I couldn't see the riders behind me so I kept the power down to see if I could stay out of their sight. The next 45kms to home were a little hillier than I had first thought. I kept the pace on and was looking forward to the Marrinup section where I could have a rest through the single track and knew there would be less than 20km to go. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to be caught at any time. It was a pretty cool touch to have a motor bike lead us into town and I was stoked to finish ahead in this race!
I need to put a big thanks out to Darryl at Shotz Nutrition for helping me and Jen get to the race and for our time in WA. Also Dave Budge from Trievents for driving us around everywhere and organising the whole trip!
I enjoyed riding the Pivot Mach 4 through the single track and the Continental tyres are proving themselves to be quite reliable!