So as far as race reports go it is really pretty straight forward. I showed up, I started riding, I rode for 6 hours and then I stopped riding. There was no real drama or close finishes to write about and my bike ran well with only a couple of small issues that were more than to be expected given the mud. Oh, did I mention the mud?
While there hadn't been too much rain, the soil was soaked and as 200 sets of wheels went over it, well it turned to more of a liquid than a solid. There was about a 300 meter section that became unrideable by my forth lap and seriously no fun for most of the day. After lap 9 I was stopping each time I passed the lake to give my bike a wash and clear the mud off the tyres. At least that dropped a couple of kilos after the mud section!
The bit that is writing about, at least from my point of view, is that I didn't pull the pin at 4 hours like I thought I wanted to. My day wasn't going well with my head in a particularly ordinary state and the mud and crappy conditions only added to that feeling. I struggled with a slow start as I got caught behind a lot of traffic due to a mass start and a very tiny start area. Imagine trying to fit a whole football match on a field the size of your living room. That about sums it up. anyway I got through to 4 hours and having thought I had done only about 6 laps I was fried in the head. A cold beer and a burger were all I wanted to think about by then and as I pulled into the start finish line I asked how many laps I had done just to be sure. To my surprise I was told I had done 8 laps! That was a surprise. Spencer had come out with me and had decided he had more than had his fill of mud and was sitting in the tent chatting to some people. As I came around he just said "Don't stop, just keep going." So I grabbed a gel or two, changed bottles and took off again. Once I had realised that I wasn't going to quit today, things got heaps better. Someone once said to me it is only as hard as you want to make it. I started the day telling myself how hard and crappy it was. I finished the day saying I was glad I hadn't quit and that I had a good day. Attitude people, attitude.
The upshot, 12 laps and a 6th place finish. I was still 3 whole laps behind the winner but there was a matter of minutes between me and 4th place. I am really stoked with the result and it has provided me with some more motivation to train a bit harder. My next race is a 24 hour race in 5 weeks and while the training hasn't been spectacular or even very consistent it is working slowly. My mental toughness is holding firm and I reckon if the race is dry I am a chance of a good result. Top five would be ace. Lets see what happens shall we.