National Solo 24hr MTB champs

10 April 2010

Australian SOLO 24hr MTB Championships - Majura Pines, Easter.

the_jersey.jpgLet me tell you the result and I will work back from there!
Over the Easter long weekend, I raced for 24hrs and WON the overall Female category.

What a relief.

After the Otway odyssey this year in February, I realised that I was missing a couple of spark plugs and suffered badly before during and after the 100km race.
Instantly I recognised that it was time to get back on the bandwagon of purposeful training if I wanted to have a crack at the World Solo 24hr MTB Champs here in Canberra in October 2010.

Four weeks later, I was "based up" as much as you can in a four week block, tapered and ready to race in Canberra and defend the national title.
There was much speculation from well wishers of other riders great form, and watch out for this person, and watch out for that person. 
Experience told me to nod, acknowledge and move on, dont let it bother me. 
I did my own research and from race experience I knew my true competitors were Clare Graydon and Bec Parkes.  I had raced them both before and I knew they had great speed as well as fire in the belly to "have a crack".

the_sub.jpgWe travelled to Canberra in convoy with a bunch of MTB Skills RDS squad and local Forrest MTB club members.


Stopping of course at the submarine in Holbrook, as always!

Arriving Thursday night allowed us to get ready for some practice on Friday and not be rushed.
We even brought our 16 year old daughter, Saskia, whom we promised to take sight seeing later on in the day.

parliament_house.jpgAfter 2 laps of the course, we were all happy with our plans and now the trip in Canberra.


Saskia was keen to see Parliament house as she loves all the history and stories of Australian Politics.

Race day is always scarey, I just want it to start, the lead up is so long.  Lets just race!

Norm and I had a quick chat, but I must say we neglected really setting any goals, have learnt the lesson from that.

the_start_2.jpgEventually it was time to head to the start line and in a very "non" Jessica manner, I stayed to myself and kept a bit quiet.

I had no idea if I had what it took today, I believed in the long run over 24hrs I could win, but unsure of what the start would bring.

We did our first lap in honour of James Williamson , a previous national champ and world champ in the solo 24hr racing world.
Clare and I politely picked our way through the slower riders, not sure what Bec was doing as I could only hear Clare.
On the 2nd lap Clare and I rode a lot of the lap together until I finally got a small break on her as I passed riders in front of me.
It wasnt much, maybe 30-40 seconds.  But it grew from there.
I did not mean to get the gap on, but once I did, I knew I had to just keep pushing lap by lap.
One lap I put more than a minute - I think it was like 5 mins.
The laps dissappeared far too quickly, and the same root, corner, uphill, jumps etc...were coming around very quickly.
Eventually Norm was giving me splits as to when I would pass Bec and Clare.

So the NO Race Plan was taking shape.  I now had a goal to pass them before midnight and I think it actually happended on the same lap around 10pm.
Bec had a chat to me and said such nice things as I passed her, I told her to make a battle of it and that she neednt conceed yet.  I hoped she would make a race of it.
Next I passed Clare a few minutes down the track, told her that Bec was not far back and that a "race" is on the cards.
single_track.jpgWithin the next hour, I did not put any time into them as my goal had been met. Infact they started to put time into me.
Eventually I got my butt into gear and found the motivation to get some time back, but it was not consistant. One lap I would get back 5 minutes, the next lap I would lose it again.

The next 6 months I am working on my mental strength, goal setting and staying 100% motivated for 24hrs and pushing myself to new levels of hurt and mental toughness.
After all there is just one chance in 6 months time, to win the Worlds, here in Australia.  Its worth the sacrifice.

early_morning.jpgCome morning I was back into some speedier laps and found the motivation to continue, I remember saying to Norm that I was sick of racing, just wishing it was over.
I knew the other 2 were fighting it out, so it kept me honest.

Thank goodness 11am finally came, and I could finish soon.  All I had to do now was to keep pedalling and finish and then I had won.
Not the most hard fought of wins, but recognising my weaknesses was a big bonus in this race.

Thank you to everyone on the course, I really did not encounter any tossers, that I can remember anyway.  Everyone was super friendly and most were up for a chat anytime of day or night.  Oh and especially Clare and Bec, you guys are my fave competitors, bring on the worlds!
The volunteers on check points were totally awesome and I did look foward to saying hello each lap.
Thanks to the people on the fairy lights section too, you have no idea how good it is to see someone awake wishing you well as you zoom past. 
Thank you Norm for being through that section most times, when you were there, I was happy to see you, I knew I was nearly done and could tell you "I want a coke!"

I could not have done this race with such awesome equipment without the support of the following:
Giant Bikes , my Anthem was once again awesome, I have used this particular bike on 3 x 24hr races now and Norm had tricked it up just perfectly for the race, not a thing went wrong and I had full faith in my ride.
Jet Black Products for the most awesome NITE RIDER lights, for those that I sat behind, or if you sat behind me, you would have wondered about my truck lights. I used the Pro 1200 LED and the Pro 600 LED lights.  The 1200 on the handlebars and the 600 on the helmet.
Norm asked me how the lights were, I said oh, yeh, the lights, I did noteven notice, my vision was so awesome I often forgot it was night and Ihad lights on, it was such a "non issue".
Jet Black also sent down some of the new lock on foam grips.  I love foam grips, and Norm hates putting them on or off, but with lock on's, what's the issue?  There is no issue, other than how many can one personhave?  Get yourself a pair of these puppies!
De grandi's in Geelong have set me up on some damn hot and fast rolling Fulcrum Carbon wheels .  There are lighter wheel sets out there, but are they as strong?  I am in love with these wheels and I can really feel the speed I get from them, especially freewheeling down a piece of fast singletrack.
Unlimited Bicycles helped us out on a good deal for a set of Rotor ringsfor the bike too, I find these really help with constant pedalling for 24hrs.
Brendan Rowbotham from Cycling inform remote coaching program, thanks for your passion and belief in me and getting me back on track.
Danny Russell from Champion fitness in Colac for your time and passion every Friday morning with those fun sessions you dish out, these have really helped me and it was noticeable on the bike, bring on October 2010!
Bengt Carlson, the man at Sports Medicine Massage.   Every week you give me your time to tweak those sore and tired muscles. Thank you!
And a final thanks to CORC, Sarah in particular for running this event and keeping the sport moving onwards and upwards.
Russ, thanks to you as well for being a big part of bring the World SOLO24hr MTB champs to Australia.  

Normie Boy Douglas, I am pretty lucky to have someone who is willing to support me race after race.
I promise to support you again very soon, which race and when, you name it boyo!

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