Otway Odyssey 2009

Since my mental anguish of giving up my Win at the Kona 24 hour on home turf, here in Forrest, on November 30th 2008, I made a deal with myself to train and improve everything I could for the upcoming 2009 Otway Odyssey.

I started a 12 week base program to up my V02 max and increase my power output and generally get fitter and stronger all round!

Well only 8 weeks later and I am pretty proud of my efforts. 
With a result of 7th in the Elite Women and taking off 2 hrs from my finish time in 2008, I could ask myself of nothing more on the day.




The day started out at 4:30am, waking up with only a few things left to prepare I was feeling in control and a sense of contentment that I would get through the day.  It was so relaxing knowing that I had done the homework, now all I had to do was turn up and start and the rest would just happen.

Leaving home at 5:30am, and about 3 toilet stops later, we arrived in Apollo Bay at 6:15am. Half an hour to warm up and be ready on the start line. Strict orders from Norm to not talk to anyone and put on my race face.  So I complied and it was very relaxing not having to socialise too much.

Lining up at 6:40am, there was not a nervous moment, just anticipation and longing for the pain to arrive so I could just race and enjoy my time on the bike. 

Once the siren started the pace was on pretty quickly with Rebecca Locke taking the front straight away.  More than happy to sit on, I was happy to sit amongst it, knowing the firstl climb would come all too soon, and I would need to save my energy for this.  Surprisingly I managed quite ok until some more attacks were made and for a total of 17 minutes I had been holding a HR of around 180, being that my max is 185, this was eating away into my reserves a little to fast. 

Eventually and unfortunately I lost touch with the front group, only by a minute, but it extended to 5 after the private property section and the bitumen road past Tanybryn.  Happy to be riding on my own now, soaking in the joy of it all.  Yes, I was happy to be racing and riding this beautiful course.  Especially happy once we entered the West Barwon Tk, where the first elite men started to pass me.  It was not until Noonday Tk that about 10 elite men had passed me so I was happy to have held them off this long.

Staring to fatigue a little and cramp a lot, I had to ride uphills a bit more conservatively but revelled in the downhills happy to know what lines to take and have a free run in front of me.  Arriving at the top of Red Carpet, I knew I was going to have a good day, as I was already ahead of time.  Cramping stopped me from going my best but still did 13:40, 4th fastest female time down Red carpet.  Met Norm at the top of the West Barwon Dam road and he gave me a quick heads up on how I was going. 

Once into the Yaugher Trails I was once again renewed with energy to finish the race well, and kept consistant without risking too much more cramping or blowing up at this late stage.  Arriving back at the transition for one last coke and a change of drink bottles, I was off for the final section.  Wow, I love this bit and the climbs were my fave, as well as the fast descent down the ridgeline.  Also determined to nail the Sledgehammer, it took me around 2 minutes of granny ring effort but I was there...only a little bit of single track to go, and home and hosed.  Managed to sprint home for a finish of 52 minutes!!! woo hoo....this was my glory, I was the fastest female of this particular race leg!

My final race time was 6 hrs 12 minutes, in 7th place.  Last year I did it in 8 hrs 10 minutes in 14th place.  So very very happy with self.

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  thanks to Brendan Rowbotham, Norm Douglas, Lorenzo and Leah Moro of Torquay Cycling Factory, Giant Bicycles, SRAM(mainly Mr Rob Eva!), all my lovely friends and mtb aquaintences including all our great MTB Skills clients, Torq Australia for their great products...oh and again, Normie douglas, I cant thank you enough for a trouble free bike and your support along the way and the 2 cans of coke at the footy ground!

As a footnote to the story, on Friday Norm fitted my brand new Q-Rings from Rotor .  We had heard about these from Norm's brother, and we were looking forward to testing them out. In summary... WOW!  I won't go into the technology too much, but suffice to say, they gave me more power when I needed it, and fresher legs on the climbs.  I am a complete convert from now on.

Check out more about Q-Rings at http://www.rotorbike.com