Kowalski Classic

Sunday the 30th September 2012

It was nice to see some 3fidi representation at the inaugural Kowalski Classic, with Ashly, Rusty, James, Libby, Bleeksie, Steve and 3fidi “honorable-members” Martin Worthy (bunch regular) and Anne Napier (3fidi Mont24 team) all riding the Full distance event and 3fidi “family-member” Milly Brent (Ron’s daughter) riding the Half distance.
The Kowalski team, including James, has created some amazing single-tracks and it is well worth heading out to Sparrow/Kowen more often, the race had approximately 80% single-track and this does not happen very often in endurance races.

The Full distance riders headed out at 7:30am when the temperature was still close to zero, especially with the wind chill, always difficult to work out what to wear… vest, arms, legs?? The forecast for the day was a maximum temp of around 15 degrees, which is very cool for a sunny looking day, it was all due to the wind that the mercury level was kept down. The Half distance rider started an hour later.

I headed out in Wave-2 and started strongly up the 2km fire road, trying to beat the riders to the first single-track, after about 200 meters it felt like I had hit the molasses and in no time the whole of wave-2 had passed me and I was at the end of the conga-line heading into the single-track…. doh!
Ashly, Steve and Martin were well placed up the tracks, with Martin on his single-speed pretty well at the front the splintering conga-line head. It took me about half an hour to get warmed up and then it was time to slowly pick away at the ever spreading line of riders. Never seeing the 3fidis that were in front of me until coming across Steve with his bike upside down along the track.
“Are you ok?” I asked, passing too fast to hear the response, I think it was something like “@%$#%@^! @&^%@, and @#^&@$% you!”.

About two and half hours into loop 1 I made the classic navigation error of blindly following the guys in front of me and not taking note of the arrows on the track, “oops, guys, I think we went the wrong way” it looked all wrong and I started to head back and bumped into Steve who also rode up the wrong track, that made me think maybe it was right after all, especially when another rider came our way after Steve.
Ok, time to decide and I go down the track that looked wrong but had arrows to follow.

As the tracks I followed still ended up at the transition area I just reloaded drink and food and headed out onto loop 2, feeling a little weird as much of the the loop 2 start was along Sparrow tracks we had ridden on loop 1. Not long into loop two I start picking up more riders, this time very much slower riders. I find out I hit the back markers of the Half distance riders, but asking around there are also some Full distance riders from wave-3 start. I aks one “how far have you ridden?” to which I get a distance about 13km less to what my Garmin is showing….WTF!? I did go the wrong way.

The tracks I followed at the end of my loop 1 was really the end of loop 2.

Now it was time to just keep picking at the slow riders and trying to make up some ground on my category leaders… not much chance when I have ridden 45 minutes longer. At some stage I pass Rusty and he was going “What the hell are you doing back here?”, I couldn’t look back after passing him on some track that was heading down fast but I’m sure he would have held up with thumb and index finger spread out in the shape of a big L 🙂

Finishing with the big sprint to the line, making up at least another 2 seconds… woohoo! “He should have done more sprinting during the event!” is what all the finished riders thought, for sure.
Aah well, a nice day out, petty I did 97km where must other Full distance riders did 84km. There was quite a contingent and riders either going short or long by missing arrows… at least it wasn’t just me, although I may have been the only one that continued to complete the event. Not sure how Rusty had a flat and got back in front of me at the finish??

If we claim the success of the peripheral 3fidi members then our results are still respectable 🙂

Libby – 1st Masters Female Full 5:14
Anne – 3rd Masters Female Full 5:42
Martin – 1st Single-speed Full 4:36
Milly – 2nd Single-speed Half 3:22

The rest of us:
James – 29th Masters Male Full 5:21
Ashley – 33rd Masters Male Full 5:23
Rusty – 37th Masters Male Full 5:28
Bleeksie – 5th Super Masters Full 5:34

3 thoughts on “Kowalski Classic”

  1. What a comedy of errors. Bleeksie considering you did an extra 16km you rode a good time! I think it was James’ cunning plan to tell them to tone down the signage so we would all get lost and he could beat us. Well done to the podiummers. Martin in particular must have ridden an awesome race to do that time.

  2. Ha! I didn’t really get in front of you, Bleeksie. I DNFed at 71kms and pushed my bike cross country, following the sounds of the PA at the start/finish. I totally shortcut the last 15kms or so in about 20mins of walking.

  3. Slow and steady wins the race – he he he he – Jeez my arse and back is sore!

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