Wednesday, August 14, 2013

2013 Mackay Mountain Marathon

The Mackay Mountain Marathon had been on my calender all year since Evan Corry decided he would throw together a marathon for the Mackay region. I'm always looking for an excuse to head north over winter so I jumped at the opportunity. With some serious prize money on the overall win, this event attracted all the gun riders from the local area.

My weekend started with a kids activity afternoon assisting in the running of several different bike related games and challenges for primary school aged riders. After building my bike up, it was time to support the local community group who ran the dinner bbq. I'll be heading back next year if the apple crumble is on the menu.

Race morning was a little cooler than I had hoped for however, the forecast was for a hot day. I spent time considering my hydration options and went with a camelbak as there were no bottle drops on course. I saw other riders stuffing extra bottle in back pockets but with a predicted time of 4hrs and 20mins I thought I would play safe and take more than I would need.

The marathon started in a little town called Eungella which has some amazing views down the valley. The course began with a climb that assisted in sorting out the field as a couple of riders created a small gap off the front. I possibly should ride my bike before a race and check the seat. I couldn't work out why I felt I no power early on. As my seat slipped down over the 65km race distance I starter feel I whole lot stronger.

Due to wet weather the single track had been taken out of the longer race distances and was reserved for the 15km event. This meant the majority of the race was firetrail or 4wd tracks which kept a small group of riders together. At the halfway point, Mike Blewit dropped off the pace and left me to finish the event with Jeff Rubach. I had raced Jeff only 2 weeks earlier at Paluma so I knew it was going to be a tough finish. At around 8km out from the finish I managed to get a small gap on one of the longer climbs and from here on it was a time trial to the finish line. Coming across the timing mat I was only 2 minutes ahead of Jeff who quite likely will finish in front of me next year!

I need to send a thanks to Evan from Corry Cycles for being the catalyst to make this event happen. Thanks to Steve Downes for the airport pickup and Peter Lister and family for getting me back to the airport. Without these guys I wouldn't have experienced what Mackay has to offer.

Thanks Mike Blewit / mtbmarathon.com for the pics.
     

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