Monday, May 4, 2015

2014 Australian National 24 Hour Championships - Sydney, Mt Annan

Photo: Outer Image Collective
I had taken this race off my calender as I was planning on flying out for The Munga on the same weekend. I really wanted to defend my National Title but, in order to be fresh for The Munga, I couldn't do both. I was dissapointed that The Munga got cancelled but it wasn't all bad as it meant I could do this race. Jen and my parents were keen to come along to help and, for the first time ever, our two kids would be there for the entire weekend.

I chose a slightly different approach to this event and went for a low fibre and high carb diet in the lead up. This meant that come race day I had all the carbs I needed without the usual gut stretching sensation I have become so used to!
Looking at the high temps (34deg) forecast for the event I also made sure I was smashing the Shotz electrolytes in the days leading up and I went the no.3 hair cut. If I was more organised I may have looked for further hair reduction.

The set up at Mt Annan was great. We could drive in and had a spot reserved next to the McAvoys and other familiar faces allowing for a good pit vibe.

The race started at what seemed to be a casual pace I as held back and got a preview of the course during the first lap. Andrew Lloyd started to make a gap mid way through this lap and Ed McDonald uncharacteristically sat back and watched the gap develop. By the end of the second lap Lloydy had a 2 minute lead and Ed was still being sensible! Midway through this lap Ed seemed to drop the pace back further so I rode across to Lloydy. I let him set the pace for the next lap and then he noticeably slowed down. I moved past and tried to set a pace that I could maintain given the high temperatures and the challenge of consuming enough fluid. I was ensuring I had a Shotz tab in each bottle. I was emptying a bottle each lap and each second lap I was drinking an additional bottle in the pits. With lap times averaging around 33 minutes I was consuming up to 1.7 litres per hour between 2pm and 5pm on the Saturday. I was also focusing my carbohydrate intake on gels with the aim of reducing my normal solid food intake.
Photo: Outer Image Collective

As the afternoon ticked on, the temperature started to take a toll on the other riders. I was confident that Lloydy would be one of the toughest competitors after coming back from the Croc Trophy which is a multi-day stage race in Far North Queensland. As far as I could work out, he was the first to stop and take some time off the bike. Ed, after chasing for quite a few hours, had some gut and other issues which resulted in an early retirement from the race. My 5-6 minute lead that I had developed after 4-5hrs turned into a 15 minute lead as Sam Moffit moved from 4th to 2nd. I reduced my pace slightly as I wanted to get a good lead during the night so I could finished early and avoid the hottest part of the Sunday morning. During the night it seemed to take hours for the temperature to come down and there only seemed to be occasional cooler parts of the track. I aimed to be hyper-hydrated by sunrise as I was scared of going into a hotter day in an already dehydrated state.

As the sun came up on Sunday it was time to start doing the calculations. I spent a few laps riding around with Sam Moffit who was still sitting in 2nd place. I had manged to get 2 laps up him at this stage and after looking at lap times, it looked like I could finish just before 11am. I actually extended this lead slightly approaching 10am however, had completed enough laps by 10.40am. This gave plenty of time so I could have a shower and rehydrate before the sun really started to belt down. It was also great to spectate the end of the single speed event which saw a big change in positions as Brett Bellchambers aimed to win on a fully ridged single speed which ended up banging his arms too much.
While I have a wide range of product sponsorship, it was great to have so much support at this race.

Photo: Outer Image Collective
I had Paul and Di Perry come down to run tools and allow Jen to have some cat naps through the night. My parents helped look after Sylvie and Archie at the event. The guys from Jet Black Products were able to provide technical support for my NiteRider lights and other mechanical issues. It was also great do this race for Jet Black Products and Macarthur Design and Drafting. They sponsor me personally but they have also been behind the Rocky Trail Entertainment Events for years.

A lap based event is also a great way to showcase sponsors and it was another chance to hang the G8 banner across my pit. They have looked after my inner soles for years and this year have come on board as one of my major sponsors. I have found using G8 inserts essential to not only increasing foot contact and the feeling of transferring power effectively but they aid to minimise foot pain and discomfort. I'm all about pain minimisation in a 24hr!
A big thanks to all the riders that came out to make this event a race. The conditions were challenging!
Thanks again to Rocky Trail Entertainment for putting up their hand to run the National Championships for 2014. Maybe a cooler time of the year for 2015?!

No comments:

Post a Comment