Nothing very exciting has happened since Moonride 2 months ago. There has been a lot of kilometers ridden, a lot of rain and a lot of wind. Sometimes, as much as I like training, I get sick of it, and this is when I know it is time to find a race to do. It is fair to say that in the last two weeks I have been well and truely over getting wet, getting sand blasted by the wind, and of course the mud, so on Sunday I decided to head to Bulls to the Santoft Sizzler 5 hour event.
Santoft was on Sunday, so what better way to enjoy a particularly vicious southerly storm than to go and ride in it for 5 hours on Saturday. For some reason I decided riding to the top of the Akatarawas would be a good idea, I am particularly good at poor route choices! The road was closed for an unknown reason, and I made it to the top enjoying the lack of traffic. The ride home was a slog straight into the southerly. It was so windy I nearly didn't make it around the corner into Point Howard. All character building stuff. Did I mention how windy and cold it was?
The poor weather continued all day and all night and Sunday did not dawn bright. During the drive up to Santoft the weather didn't seem to improve. It was ;ucky the trails were in a very sheltered area. The canpoy of tree cover protected us somewhat from the from the wind and rain. Thanks to Shane I got a great park and elected not to do a warm up lap, instead I idilly chatted and watched the dirty riders come back from their practise laps.
The race started bang on time and I couldn't see Jude. It turned out she kind of missed the start and got stuck behind some people who proved very difficult to get past. I had to ride faster in the first lap than I really wanted to as I was constantly being held up. Once I got some clear track ahead of me I found my rhythm and rode a consistent pace.
The course was awesome and considering how wet it was it held up very well. There were losts of pinch climbs and no long climbs and so playing to my strengths. The course was swoopy and lots of fun. As the day wore on the laps got longer and longer as the track got chewed up and porridgy. The last couple of laps were really hard work with the track being a super mudfest. It seems that the Santoft mud is special and is super glued to my bike! I need to have a 2nd attempt at cleaning it.
I was so impressed with everyone who participated. It was very relaxed with people pulling over to let me past before I even got close, kids keeping out of your way and faster people calling early and being cheery. The event had a great spirit and is maybe reflective of the attitude of the Manawatu Mountain Bike Club - they certainly seem to attract a neat bunch of enthusiastic people.
In the end I completed 10 laps in 4hours 45 minutes and achieved all my goals for the day. My I really wanted ride consistently and not hold anything back and I did this well. I was first female, Thomas Lindup and first male (I am pretty sure I was the next rider after Thomas), Jude was 2nd female and Shane and Ken came third in their category, so all in all Wellington riders did very well and took home a selection of nicley sprayed painted pine cones.
As I had hoped a hard race has blown on my cobwebs and I am ready to get my head down and focus on some quality training days. In fact, I'm fizzing :)