In the same mold of the Tathra Enduro, the Wagga MTB club put on a fantastic 6hr event in which you can race solo, in pairs or if built like Alwyn, threesomes. At only $40 and 2 1/2 hrs down the HWY it’s a great little race over a very interesting mix of terrain.
My aim with this race was to ride solid enough to finish having completed at least 8 laps (13kms/lap) in the time limit. You have to finish your lap within the 6 hrs – so the course is closed after 5 1/2hrs and unfortunately one dude just finished 10 seconds outside the time limit. (The last km snakes down the hillside whereby if ridden straight it would be 100m long :))
So after an early start I picked up two other single speeders I ride with on Thursday nights, Dan Marges and Brett Bellchambers and we got there just after 7.30am, unpacked, socialised and decided to do a little warmup. We were told about a bit of a “dropoff” to check out so we found their little downhill section and blindly went over it and found it quite easy though many still chose the B line during the race. The course layout basically went up and down the same hill about 5 times but there seemed to be around 4 different types of terrain which made for a really fun course. A mix between Bruce, Jerrabomberra, Stromlo and Majura.
I’d moved our last CORC XC race forward a week so that I could race this event and there were quite a few other Canberran’s down for the weekend as this race was part of the Evo Cities series. Dan and I self seeded ourselves about 40 back from the start line as we were trying to pace ourselves to finish under the time limit and grab a little trophy for being part of the centurions club. Of course we got swamped in the first 500 metres but slowly reeled them in up the climb before reaching the first bit of single track. Then the usual congo lines occurred but we had plenty of time to ride and we didn’t want to push the heart rate up too much.
We continued to pass into the second lap when things settled down a little and we backed off the pace to ensure we’d last the distance. At this point Ed McDonald was way out the front as usual with Brett holding a steady pace leading out the Single Speeders. Eliza Kwan and Milly Brent were also racing but both were coming back after layoffs so weren’t on their usual pace. Dan and I continued to race together until halfway through lap 4 I started to pull away on the hills a little.
I was really enjoying the race and my nutrition plan was on track for once. The hill had a lot of water seeping out in places but when you ride a single speed you don’t seem to care as much with your running gear. After lap 6 (78km) I asked a friend what place was I in the SS category to which she replied 4th so that sort of deflated me so I switched off a bit and went into survival mode. After lap 7 I stopped for a bit, took my time with some food, lube the chain and then was told that if fact I was in 3rd still.
So with a spring back in my step I managed to put in a comfortable lap and finished with a good time of 5.36, averaging around 18.5 km/h and climbing just under 1700 m – (strangely I rode the Kowalski 100 on Tuesday which had the same distance – 104 kms, same climbing, 1700 m but was 30 minutes slower?)
Brett of course took out the SS category with 9 laps (didn’t catch me though) and Ed finished with 10 laps – freak – beat Jason English by 4 minutes. The guy (Jamie) who came 2nd in SS is from Albury and has been training madly for the solo 24 hr, so I was happy to be only 10 minutes behind him.
So if any of you oldies get that urge in your heart again to race this would be another one to maybe put in the calendar for Fathers Day next year.