A shot of Scott (Representing in the red corner... Nelson, BC) Legere and I clowning around in the Stromlo parking lot. Scott and Lisa had rented the exact same Britz camper as we did so we looked like the Britz invasion force.

We had a great time hanging out with Scott and Lisa for the week prior to the race. Scott was looking super solid on the bike and I'm pretty sure he would have pounded out an awesome result but unfortunately just a few hours into the race a female racer came to a dead stop just in front of him (for no apparent reason), Scott took evasive maneuvers which had him flying off his bike. He smashed his thumb up and had to pull out after trying to ride one handed for a couple of laps, eventually he would end up going for X-Rays.

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Pre-riding Stromlo in the days leading up to the race was fun, and I could have done in for another month or so, but eventually the routine of 'the race is now officially on' would begin with the rider briefing on Friday at the Canberra Stadium. Check out the excitement. ;-)

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Huh, what's this?

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Yup, it's a cleat plate that busted on Saturday morning, a couple of hours before the race as I was checking the tightness of my cleats. Luckily Dennis Smaggus scored me a new plate (thx Dennis). Here's a shot of the new cleat surgery.

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With the cleat in place we could now switch into 'Official pre-race photo' mode. So clean and refreshed.

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With an official call up to the start line and a countdown the gun went off at noon and it was awn!

Ahhhhh, the joys of the Le Mans running start. This one was quite easy compared to some of the half-marathon distance starts I've had in the past.

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Now put on your imagination hat and pretend I am running towards my bike, which was squeezed in tight up in the far distance on the left.

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I was setting a pretty good running pace... then I ran right past the person who was holding my bike (uhmmmm, that was silly), waaaay, waaaay, waaaaay past my bike (stoopid), then I had to run back towards the horde of racers looking for their bikes (I can't believe I did that), giving up about 40 spots which forced me to light it up a little bit at the start in order to get around them and back to where I wanted to be before the conga line started in the tight singletrack.

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It didn't take too long to settle into a smart pace and enjoy the terrain, here's a nice shot in the early part of the race, bombing down some hard packed singletrack.

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Mt Stromlo is an interesting course, it had a bunch of cool features, like this one.

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And loads of fast switchback climbing and descending.

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Some great views.

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And cool Aussie vegetation.

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Eventually day turned to night.

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Don't laugh at the Devo glasses, they were racer giveaways from BCBR. They fit nice and make great night riding glasses.

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Racing at night is fun. Getting back to the pit and seeing two boys sleeping under a table is even more fun.

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Stuart Dorland dropped by just as I came in from my worst night lap, it was a zombie lap which had me almost asleep on the bike. I was wobbling up the singletrack and actually rolling off course a handful of times. Zombie lap. Stuart took the time to tease me and generally mock my feebleness. It was good for a laugh.

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Eventually night turns to day.

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And then a seat post breaks just after 300kms of racing, that's right I found another image of me heading down 'Luge' with my seat post and saddle in my back pockets. I know I've already said it in a previous post shortly after the racing weekend... but... 45mins of no seat post racing after already completing 20hrs of racing is HARD.

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With a replacement seat post and saddle on the bike I pounded it as hard as I could to get some time into my competitors. This is a shot of me coming across the line at the 23.5hr mark and wanting to slam out another fast lap to cement a podium position.

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On the last lap it was time to race like the wolves were nipping at my heels. I pretty much put out what felt like a XC race pace on those last two laps.

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With a podium spot in the bag I soft pedaled the last couple of hundred feet into the finish line, enjoying the moment.

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24.5hrs of racing, sweet!

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So what happens at the end of a race? You lean your bike up against your pit.

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Then you drink beer.

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Later that evening we headed over to the Presentation Ceremony.

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Up on the podium for the 3rd year in a row. A 3rd place finish this year, 1st place last year and 2nd place the year before that. I would have liked to wear that white jersey again but the two guys who beat me were solid. Photo courtesy of Russ Baker.

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I don't think Keegan fully understands how hard I had to race to get up on the podium but he liked the idea of wearing the medal.

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Back at the campervan, with the family snoring, I put my feet up and relived some of the race moments as I enjoyed a Fat Yak and a Vegemite sandwich.

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The next morning I was in constant calorie-hunt mode, any food within arms distance wasn't safe. Just over 350kms and 32,000' vert gain will create an appetite, approx a 20,000 calorie burn taking into account the wattage output and the upper body demands. How do you impress a 5yr old, chug back cold baked beans right out of the can. ;-)

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Posting these photos up had me thinking a lot about the race. I'm sort of sad it's done now, I trained so hard to show up in Australia with a solid game and now that it's over I have a bit of a void. I'm already thinking about the next big race, I'm not sure what it will be, I know another 24hr in Canmore is lined up for next summer, BCBR would be fun for a 3rd year in a row but... maybe... Breck Epic???? Time to start thinking about the plans for next year, over a cold Australian pint.

3 comments:

John F said...

Breck Epic.

"Do it, do it"

;)

Sarah said...

Transylvania Epic to witness your most pain-in-the-ass athlete complete her first stage race. It's a Forward Momentum Reunion! At least You, Me, and Frank.

Shaun Taylor said...

Ohhhhh, you went and got me thinking about it again!