My lead up to this race wasn't perfect. In fact, I could barely pedal all week following the Marathon Championships. I was a little concerned on Thursday afternoon when I aimed to go for a 2 hour ride and came home after 60mins busted. After a quick pre-ride of the track on Friday I was starting to feel better as there was no significant climbing. A serious carbo loading festival at the McAvoys helped restore my glycogen levels and I started to feel good Saturday morning before the race.
As the race started I remember the pace being quite high. I had the plan to head out slowly and then see how the race unfolded. In the end I was first back across the line after the lap one. For the next 8 hours I was happy for other people to control the pace. It ended up being David Ludenia who set most of it. I let him go off at his own pace a few times as he was charging and at times I was feeling I would be racing for second place.
I stayed on my hardtail until after 4:30pm when it was compulsory to put lights on and I was amazed at how much more efficient the dually suspension bikes were on this track.
At around 8pm I noticed that David seemed to ease up a little on the hills so I thought I would try and maintain a similar pace to what we had started with. As I came through transition a couple of laps later Jen was letting me know that David had slowed up a couple of minutes per lap and I was building a buffer. By 8pm I was also starting to feel good as Jen was bringing out the pizza and other comfort foods!
By Midnight I was still lapping around 2 mins a lap faster than the other boys. By 3am David had slowed even more and dropped back a few positions. By around 7am I had caught up to Stuart Brown and rode around with him for a few laps. I then dropped back a few minutes to ride with Ed McDonald who was placed 3rd for a couple of laps.
On my last lap we caught Jason McAvoy and Andrew Hall I stayed with them as their pace looked more fun. We tried to take our time but we still had 10 minutes to kill before the clock ticked over 24hrs and we could finish.
I didn't feel too busted coming across the line. The only issue I had was with my wrist that didn't enjoy the harshness of the track.
Another big thanks to Jen for staying up all night and for Paul and whoever else Jen dragged in to assist at certain times.
It was great once again to be looked after so well (and fed so well) by Kylie and Jason McAvoy!
Mal at Maladjusted looked after my bike while JetBlack sent lights and pedals, SRAM sent derailleurs, DirtWorks returned my wheels there and Conti sent new tyres!