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First time 100k

By Pete B - Posted on 16 March 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Capital Punishment 2014
Slow n Reckless
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

This was my first full marathon and I was excited but nervous. After getting to Canberra late Friday night (bloody M5 traffic!), registering, checking in at the hotel and catching up with Andy it was 11pm by the time I got to bed.

This definitely didn't help the nerves but I needn't have worried, by the time we got to the start line Saturday morning I was feeling great. I placed my self in the middle of the 5th wave and set off, waving to wife and child as I crosed the line.
The pace for me was good and I settled into the middle of the pack as we hit the first singletrack. Back to firetrail and then into single track again, there were a few roadies ahead of me, you could tell by the constant chatter "slowing" "stick" and various other warnings. This may have been annoying for some but I didn't mind the break in silence and when one started singing "lets all do the conga, cha cha cha cha cha cha" it was all I could muster to not join in!

Not long after this I must have not put my bottle back in the cage properly and someone behind shouted that I'd dropped it. AS I only have water in my camelback, I had to stop and pick up the bottle as it has Endura in it. This meant I lost the pack and was on my own this is were the mental games start, do I try and catch them or keep at my pace as I don't want to risk burning out and not completing the distance. I decided to slightly raise my pace but nothing too drastic.
By now I was about 13km in and really enjoying the single track to the point I was flying through and overtaking a few people. Fast forward a few minutes and it happened, the front wheel disappeared from under me. I don't know how and can only think my weight was over the back instead of the front or I'd grabbed a bit too much front brake, either way, I was going down, fast. I knew I'd injured my face but didn't know how bad, a couple of guys came past and confirmed it "shit mate, you've busted your nose pretty bad, do you want me to call anyone? " Instinctively, I said no I'll be right and they were gone. I got my pump out, put some air back in the tyre as it had burped in the crash and set off slowly. Now the mind games really began, do I pull out, what do I tell the wife, how did this happen?
I decided to push on and see how I go. After a couple of kms I was back on pace my confidence was back but there was still a layer of doubt in my mind. I can't explain it but I just didn't seem to have the drive on the climbs and didn't mind if someone came past me, normally I'd pick up my game and at least give them a challenge.

The next 20 odd km rolled on without incident and I came to the 40km feed station. I thought there may be some sort of first aid here, but there was nothing. The woman giving out the gels, bananas etc even avoided catching my eye in case I asked for help. This to me was disapointing, I didn't expect a field hospital but basic first aid would have been nice. On the plus side, this did save me time and I carried on.

Again, nothing of note till I came to the neutral zone. This was great for a first timer like myself, a chance to stretch the legs, eat something solid, oil the chain and of course, explain to my wife why my nose had a big chunk out of it and I had gravel rash down the right side of my face. "No, I wasn't going too fast" "it just stings a bit" "no, I'm not pulling out" "no, it won't scar" "chess is a safer sportbut it's just not me" anyway, you get the idea. I did think I ought to get cleaned up a bit though and asked one of the Endura guys if there was a St Johns Ambulance tent I could go to. Again, there wasn't one! He said there was one at the finish line but he had a first aid kit and could have a go. I don't remember the guys name but thanks for cleaning out most of the dirt and if anything it reassured the wife. By now I knew I had to be leaving the zone, I was told it was about 6km to the timing mat from the station so left myself about 10 mins - big mistake! It took a lot longer and I lost about 10mins, definitely one to remember for next year.

The kms passed by and finally I could hear the loud speaker at stromlo, this gave me a second wind. I was cutting nicely through the singletrack and felt good all the way up the switchback climb to the top, I was overtaking people again. The mind games were back for the better this time, just knowing I was only 10km from the finish gave me loads of extra energy. If only I could have tapped into it a couple of hours ago!
After a brief but exhilarating thrash down the mountain I was crossing the line. Beer has never tasted so good, 4 pines is a great sponsorship partner! I got my face cleaned up at a first aid tent - finally, ate a sweet tasting pizza and headed to hospital to get a few stitches in my nose.
I'm very happy with my time, all things considered and it gives me a good benchmark for next year.

This race has been a steep learning curve for me and one I'll learn from for my next 100.
Nutrition, I went ok but need to eat more solids. Gels alone don't cure the stomach's need for proper food.
Research the course more, losing time at the neutral zone was just bad planning.
Encouragement between riders works wonders, when someone's struggling up a climb, a simple "go on mate, you're doing well" helps no end.
Crashing, try to avoid it!

Shit, did I just write all that! I'm currently lying in the bath soaking my wounds and got carried away!

Congratulations Pete, you did yourself and Slow N' Reckless proud... Welcome to your new nickname, stitch Eye-wink

Well done Pete, nice write up .

Well done completing your first 100, extra credit for hardening up and pushing through after a decent stack!

Apparently they are a lot more fun when you don't wipe out and land on your nose.

But definitely the most memorable. Well done keeping going with the nose incident, always takes some adversity to pick out the real soldiers.

Thanks for the encouraging replies. I'll be back next year to see if I can manage a clear run.

Question is, what race next? Rocky Trail 4hr solo at Awaba in a couple of weeks is looking good.

I was thinking the same race too... Will have to sweet talk the minister though Eye-wink

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