Saturday 9th April – Sunday 10th April 2011
Its 5am on Saturday the weather is looking good albeit chilly we decided to make the dash to Canberra on the Saturday morning so we had one good nights sleep prior to none. Our camp sites had been reserved, we had been registered to race by our team mates all that was left to do was have our helmets approved and we were racing…
Its race briefing at 11:00am – did anyone listen to the race briefing? No…. Ok damn it.
Even with little information on what was happening at the start line and all the rules of passing etc.. the day started well we had our first team member and runner up in the first 30% of the field (you have to run 600m to bike staging area) people had been queuing for 30 mins prior we got there just on time and managed to jimmy our way closer to the front.
The race was on Miha managed to work his way into the top 40 overall and was just shy of the top 10 in category by the time his lap was done, now it was a matter of maintaining that position for another 24 hours…. My turn! I made up some more places and we hit 8th in category, the race was looking good but there was still 22 hours to go and it was daylight – this is the easy part.
Its only a matter of hours until night begins to fall, this is when all spirits start to fade the thought of wearing cold damp kit at night in typical Canberra weather (sub 10 degrees) starts playing on your mind. We switched to double laps early in the night a little tactic employed so we weren’t doing doubles passed 3am when your concentration starts to waiver and tiredness sets in. It always amazes me as to what people consider lights. I have a set of Ayups that turn night into day, I seriously passed (probably because the couldn’t see) people with Arlec torches taped to their handle bars, one guy had a roadie style strobe to light up the track – unbelievable.
Our position through the night had slipped we were back in 13th position, one of our team mates had a front flat for the last few kms of his lap… valuable time was lost. It was time to make this up, we really were pushing for 24 laps in the 24 hours that we had to race. Our position stayed relatively stable for from 3am through to 8am once it became daylight we started climbing back through the placing’s. I had a small mechanical my cable on the rear derailleur sheered off which left me with a 3 speed 10km out from the finish nothing like a mental challenge on 4 hours sleep.
The Mont 24 has everything from single track to fire trails, dust, night, day, mechanicals, and now RAIN oh and is that wind? If only it snowed…The course turned from a dust bowl to a mud bath, the tracks went from sweet flowing dusty single track to mud and slush in a matter of half an hour.
I wasn’t looking forward to these rainy muddy laps, but you know what these were the best laps of the race! It was these last laps that took us from 12th to 9th as the field was crumbling mentally. We finished up in 9th position by just over 40 seconds from our closest rivals in 10th.
To be 9th in the Mens 4 Category was a huge achievement especially when we were up against some of the best at this sport such as Craig Gordon the 2006 Solo 24hr World Champ and the likes of Andy Blair, Josh Carlson and Troy Glennan.
Congrats to all that managed to finish this race you can see more photos captured by some of our MWCC members, Mike Sumner and Stu Harrington
Until next time…