It has been three weeks since I took part in the Nemesis Marathon Challenge and to be honest I think that I still haven’t recovered.
The race ticked all the boxes to make the winners work hard for their jerseys. The pre-race dinner forced me to change my race plan after Rohin Adams delivered the course to 100 riders without holding back, “go hard here... you will pay for it here!”, he said.
One thing I do like is entering in a race that no one has raced before. The high quality pedigree on the start line indicated just how important this race is on the calendar and the uncertainty of the course reflected the vibe.
30 sec 15 sec 5. 4. 3. 2 .1 GO... Brrrrup
The big hitters moved to the front early driving the lead group to the base of the first climb at warp speed. Once we hit the climb I had to initiate my race plan which was to race the course and not get caught up trying to race above my current fitness level.
With my Garmin letting me know how far I still had to go, I settled into a steady pace. It was amazing to see riders ride off into the distance only to be caught on the next climb, trying to recover from their last effort. The climbs certainly made you work hard for your smile on the descents.
The race organisers had five feed zones throughout the course. Reflecting on the day I believe this is a necessity when you hold a race in remote areas. For all five feed zones on course I never saw one rider not stop.
Each new section of track sent you into a bottomless mountain and forced you to dig deep into your reserves and make a decision, ride or walk back out? I was with six other riders and we took turns riding one then walking the next one to recover. Ride then walk, ride then walk...
At times I wanted to surrender to the course and say you beat me, but a race is a race and I never want a course to get the upper hand.
I finished the day off in just over 6hrs. I had nothing left in reserve which was transparent as I stood on the finish line standing like I was sitting in a chair *cramps*. I was really happy with my result with limited training before the event.
Was it as hard as everyone made it out to be? Harder!
Did I get my money’s worth out of the event? Without a doubt.
What would I change? My pre-race training.
Have I recovered three weeks on? The fact my bedtime has started two hours early every night might suggest not.
Would I go back next year...? Yennoyeesno, YES.
With over supplied endurance events on the calendar this race is a breath of fresh air. If you enter next year remember one thing. It is a marathon race, not XC and not 6, 12 or a 24hr team event that we all have got used to and you will be fine. Sort of...?