There is a certain satisfaction in finishing what you start. Race 4 of the Enduro Super Series came and went this weekend with an 8 hour format on the cards. As an observation it has been really interesting to have to prepare and consider the 4 different durations of the events and to start to get a feel for just how hard I can go out in each one. It seems a consistent theme that I say I feel I could have gone harder. I might just need to get on with it and put the hurt on a lot more.
Anyway, a race report. I had a full dance card on Saturday with some kid commitments and that meant I wasn't able to get out to OHV to set up a pit area on Saturday as I had done previously. It also meant a 5am start to get out there on Sunday. I hate 5am starts. I arrived at 7am and already the pit lane was full. I wasn't surprised or even upset as with a solo rider all I needed was a spot to put my cooler to hold bottles and some food. Luckily though I ran into Meg and Pete and they very kindly allowed me to hand out in their shelter. All good. I did still have to rush to get ready to race and didn't really get to stretch properly and wasn't ever really sure if I had everything. I guess I'll know in 8 hours or so!
For the first time this year I pushed towards the front a little at the start. I wanted to get a good start as there was a small chance if I raced well I could get up into 3rd place overall on the series points. Well that was the plan. The start went around a hairpin corner and across a muddy land bridge in a dam which when all was said and done successfully killed my flow on the run out. I got around a few riders from there on the first lap and happily tapped out the lap. It was still under 50 minutes for the 14km lap and the second lap was even better. lap 3 was my best for the race as I caught up with Matt Killin and had a great chat and really pushed along nicely swapping pace setting duties along the way. Matt ended the day with a very respectable 4th place in elite after punching out consistent laps for the 8 hours. I stopped for food and water and Matt kept going through.
I had a little bit of bad luck. Lap 4 and going across the muddy land bridge a rider in front lost his front wheel and fell. My front wheel smacked into his rear wheel and I slipped forward and smashed my hip on my stem. It was no problem at the time, just a bummer for both of us really. As the lap progressed though my hip, or more precisely my ITB, started to tighten and make my knee quite sore. By the end of the lap though during the climb up Escalator my whole leg was killing me. After crawling back to the transition area i was feeling really bummed. We had fortunately set up next to the masseuse and as I was pretty well screwed anyway I thought I might as well give the ten minute massage a try. It did the trick. Trevor, the masseuse, knew his stuff and my leg felt almost good for a while. He instructed me to hydrate really well, do a few stretches and keep an eye on it.
I had been off the bike for 40 minutes and everyone had put at least a lap into me. Any chance of getting a podium were well gone so I just went out to ride some more laps and salvage some personal pride. I'd like to point out that when I say my chances of a podium had gone, I should qualify that the guys who finished in front of me and that I had gone into the race with the intention of matching it with were riding very strongly. I felt great until my hip went pop but the guys were just super consistent and may have left me weeping like a 3 year old who'd dropped his ice cream. Well done to Jay and John for finishing the series well and fighting out the minor places while Clint smashed everyone.
Anyway, 4 more laps after the massage for a total of 8 laps. That's 112km for the day and not a bad days work. Even with a disappointing 7th place in this race I still managed to finish 4th on points for the series. Happy enough. I want to mention some great performances by a couple of mates too. Well done to Matt Powell and Anthony Zahra for a series of great racing, well done Nick Westwood for putting in a gutsy effort on Sunday and being pipped for 3rd by seconds. Of course a big thanks and congratulations must go to Tailwind Promotions for running a really fantastic series of races.
So now what?