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Sparrow Rocks Robin

By Rob - Posted on 06 April 2009

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Mont 24 Hour Race 2009
A Pom an Irishman and some NoBs
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

As others have already said this race completely rocked!

Gazza, Martine & I arrived to talcum powder dust on the roads and drove around in circles for a while before locating camp NoBMoB. It was a nice evening at this point and setup camp quickly. Annoyed to have left a cool bag at home (downstairs in the carpark - a bit stinky upon return on Sunday) sat down to other snacks for dinner and placed a shopping order with the incoming Buck & Gary (thanks for obliging guys).

Then it started to rain. Well - when I say, 'rain' I mean, torrential water and howling winds. Luckily we could all huddle under Whisperer's tarp and push water out of the bulges in the roof every now and again (massive pockets seemed to fill up in seconds such was the downpoor). The rain slowed a little before bed but not much. Having been up since 5am sleep was required but I lay in bed trying to sleep, listening to the crowds outside and the band put on by the organisers. It was pretty miserable at this point and things didn't look good.

But then came race day and the sun came out. Hurrah! Some quick calling of who would do what lap was going on and I snapped up #2 behind Tien. Tien made a good run up the hill to his waiting handler and was riding, putting in a just over one hour lap to handover.

And then I was off.

And how good was this course?! The rain had settled whatever dust there would have been but left no puddles. What luck! This was the usual Canberra course - all beautiful single track with a few sections of fire trail between. The event officials had it at 18Km, but most people were measuring 16.5-ish (usual GPS shortening in the twists and turns).

I was trying a bit, but warey of the hours to come didn't push too hard. Only one hill seemed to prove a bit of a push but the rest of the course flew by, especially the downhill to the finish and it was all over in 56 mins. Felt good. Was interviewed on the finish line and scored a Frameskin - nice Smiling

Anyone who reads my ramblings regularly may know I have a few stomach issues and at the moment am on a kind of de-tox to try and fix this. Sadly this means no sugar, hardly any fruit, and lots of protein. This is an issue at races as the usual sports drinks, and high carb. food we eat are a no go. So after the laps had some tuna, chicken, chips (tut, tut), mixed nuts, etc and settled down to wait for round 2.

Began to feel a bit ill later in the day and had a few toilet 'issues' but still - this is nothing new to me and when Tien came in looking absolutely stuffed set off on a double night lap at just gone 8pm. Felt a little flat to be honest but it's a double lap so pushing wasn't on the cards. Knocked of these laps in 1:03 and 1:04, was tired but not overly so, and looking forward to a hot shower (hadn't had one since leaving home).

Here started a little bit of trouble. The organisers hadn't ordered enough water and a shower was off. I was soaking with sweat as although it was cold had worn my jacket as hot is better than cold (having been almost hypothermic at Stromlo last year I figured this). Bugger - ate some more tuna, put on some dry clothes and went to bed. Couldn't sleep. Felt sick. Had visions of the Stromlo experience returning and wrapped up very warm in the sleeping bag.

1h45 later Don returned early to handover to Buck. This was not a very fast double - it was a very slow single. Poor Don had been spewing all the way round after eating something dodgy. He went to bed and wasn't to be seen again 'til morning.

Sometime in the night I decided trying to sleep was pointless and although not nauseous any more needed to visit the bathroom numerous times. Still, this meant I could hang out at transition and chat to a couple of people while the stomach settled. What fun at 3am or whatever it was by now! Went back to try and sleep some more. Buck came in complaining about trees jumping out at him and that he was buggered, and if he didn't ride in the morning he wouldn't care. The way I felt it was a relief as I wasn't game either.

Got back up again and chatted to Tien a little. By now Nick was pacing around ready for his double night stint. Nick hasn't ridden a 24 before and here we were about to send him out for 36Km (organiser's figures) of night riding which Tien and I found some sick amusement in. Sorry Nick - it was the sleep deprivation honest! Eye-wink

Sometime later I went back to bed and actually slept a little - joy!

Upon waking things were better (what a difference an hour or two makes!). Ate some eggs and began to feel like a ride. Was tired, but the sun was trying to shine so dressed up and headed down to transition. Another lap, and this was a corker! Just rode at a fun pace and enjoyed every minute. The course was tacky but hardly worn at all and the Rush handled it awesomely. Early in the lap some pro-looking dude on a hardtail came by me on a firetrail climb, but I caught him about 1Km from the end of the lap and we formed a train down the last descent with another couple of fast riders. Ye-ha! Feeling fantastic I got out of the saddle and smashed it up the incline to transition past the lot of 'em. How good did that feel?! Laughing out loud

Finally got a shower (bliss) and ate some more eggs with bacon which was heaven! Packed up in the sun while the other guys finished their laps and watched Whisperer, Gazza, Steve & Martine pick up second spot in their category. Well done guys!

The drive home was a drag, but thankfully Gazza shared the load (no way I could have driven home alone - always take a spare driver or two to these events).

We placed middle of the pack in sixes. Not bad given Don's food poisoning (he did a 56 minute lap in the morning which included throwing up twice on the way round - heroic!), Buck crashing on his double night lap, Nick being a 24 hour virgin and yours truly still not being 100%. Tien and Gary seemed to be the only ones having an incident free event, lucky buggers! Eye-wink

Sorry to waffle, but a lot can happen in 24 hours, and this isn't even 10th of what I could write! It might sound like madness but you just have to give it a go. Honest! Sticking out tongue

Laps from MB for the record:

Best Mountain Bike