Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Avoca Nemesis Marathon

Just about enough pain has subsided to give the Marathon a bit of thought, although I'm fully expecting to mee my mate DOMS in this next few days... Its was a long hard day out there, felt by both the front and the rear of the field I'm sure, and in no small part by our bodies!

We headed up to Avoca in the blogger-mobile, with Mr T, Big Mak and the Epix bus. A weary morning after a bucks turn wasn't ideal, but we all got out there and met up with Rohin, who was going at 10/10ths to bring the race to the people. We grabbed some signs and rode out on course to do a bit of work and string up a little bit of bunting, but more to get an idea of what was in store.Rocking a Felt Six hardtail, Jason was absolutly confident in the right choice being made, whilst I was absolutly loving the Virtue as I hopped, railed and jumped my way up and down everything! We both were on some new equipment for the day, and I hope to run through that a bit more in some coming posts, but this is about the race so lets head back there...

A very amusing night was had Saturday night at the local golf club, with MC Tim doing some sort of double act with the local publican for the most honest chook raffle ever (paraphrased - you city folk look rich, I'm going to take a lot of all your money and give you only a little bit back, and it'll problably be something useless anyway - GOLD!) Rohin laid out the day for us, and everyone basically bailed to go and sleep at the first opportunity as they had become acutly aware they were going to need it!

Race morning saw a 3am phone call to Rohin from the toilet truck people, stating they had dropped two wheels and it was too dark to actually find them, so there was a bit of a flap about that. The situation was bandaged, and away we went, albeit with a few toilets to a lot of people, but hell nobody is putting their hand up as a magician - its Sunday morning people!!! 600 odd riders descended on the place, and a race was about to take place...

SS - are you kidding me!?!?

The gun went, and we all followed suit up the road. 5km of 'flat' fireroad led to the 8km climb, and somewhere near the middle of that, every rider had a vision of how their day would go...

Up...I saw Jason for a while, hell I saw Elvis for a while, but in the wash up it was just survival out there so the pace was dictated by the distance. I settled in for a long day out there, and just waited to enjoy every downhill. Grover was doing a roaring trade at CP1 ("What do you want?" *yelled from the distance* - *replied very close, and quietly* "to go home...") and still seemed to have the love 5 hours later.

If I'm honest, it all became a bit of a blur for the next few hours, but I do have some stand out memories. Any of the singletrack descents were awesome, and just got better as my day went on, and whilst the Heritage trail was very fresh and not particularly rideable later in my day, the descents sure were great fun! All the fireroad climbs were taken at default pace, and most of the singletrack climbs were either walked or granny-ed, such was the toughness of this race. The departure from the Peerick Winery stands out as a tough climb, and I said a few cusswords out there, but no excuses - I knew what was out there!!

By somewhere near the halfway point, the groups of people that I saw became reasonably regular, and I think we all kinda helped each other along. One poor bloke I cajoled into continuing proceeded to try and go past me like a train on one of the climbs, but was so frazzled that the downhill's eluded him, so that amused some poor corner of my soul. I spent most of the day see-sawing with Troy who did a great job up the climbs whilst I rested my chin on my stem, and then I managed to flick the switch on the Virtue and rail any descent! AWESOME, as Randall would say

The haze kinda just blurred the edges and kept me focussed on getting home, but starting at one end of every feed station table and eating everything to the other end certainly helped get me through! A lovely feature for sure! Full leg cramps hit as I rolled though 4 km to go, and it was all over for me there. At least 10 bottles on course kept me going, and with a lovely warm day, it was definatly needed.At any rate, I knew what was coming, I didn't 'enjoy' the race, but I certainly felt it was a great run event, and used the area exceptionally well for what was available. A few years of work, racing and trail building would make an awesome race course one day, but for now it was a truely Epic day!

Some photos don't need an explanation.


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