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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Race Report: Mansfield Enduro

I arrived to the parking lot about an hour before my start and was blown away to see how many cars were there. The preregistration list showed maybe 20 riders... there was definitely more than that at the start line.

I had expected that my category would have maybe 5-6 starters. Turns out there were close to 20. Several guys from my senior expert category were there, as well as 7 or 8 elite racers, including names like Glassford, Mcclelland, Carleton, Massicotte, Noble... This was gonna be a proper throwdown.

The race consisted of 2, 25k laps which were 85% singletrack. I planned on drinking 3 bottles and 3 gels. This was a little more than I consumed during my 35-40k expert races.

The start consisted of a 2-3k start loop which was mostly road and a doubletrack climb before re-entering the start area and heading up the main hill. Somehow in the shuffle I found myself at the back of the 30 person pack at the start line. Not ideal, but whatever, I would have 50k to sort that problem out.

The whistle blew and we were off! As soon as we got on to the road, I managed to get myself up to where I wanted to be. Very quickly the group began to settle into its separate ability groups. I was riding with the all star list I mentioned going into the first climb. That was short lived... my heart and legs said no more and i backed off the pace. I picked off a few riders who had also made the mistake of riding with the all star crew and continued on. On the first main stretch of doubletrack, Mike an accomplished pro-elite rider and Andrew another super quick rider caught up to me. Andrew quickly sped off staying about 20s ahead of myself and Mike for the bulk of the first lap. My goal was to keep pace with Mike.

It went very well I managed to keep pace with him for the entire lap which was 1h10mins. The second lap is where things got iffy. The course was not very friendly for drinking. A 45 minute stretch of singletrack ensured that getting in any amount of nutrition would be exceptionally difficult. Between keeping pace with Mike and trying not to crash I neglected two of the gels I brought as well as roughly one bottle worth of gatorade.

I kept pace with Mike up until 1/3 into the second lap before my pace plummetted. I could sense the oncoming bonk, so I slowed down and threw back most of the one bottle I had left as well as one gel. Within 5 minutes I could feel the strength coming back.. so I brought the pace back up. By this point, I had lost Mike and the rider behind was within striking distance of me. I kept the pace going as best I could before cramps set in. Once again I throttled my pace so as not to seize up.

The rider from Brant Cycle managed to nip me at the end and I finished with a slower (no start loop) 1 hr 10 lap.

I finished 12 minutes off of winner Peter Glassford's time of 1:08. I guess that isnt half bad. But who knows maybe this is what those guys consider a 'training race' and I was racing a 'slow' Glassford.

So overall how did this race go?

- Bike handling is good. (No crashes, made up time on the singletrack.)
- Endurance doesnt seem to be a problem. (Cramping may be a function of dehydration)
- Bike worked flawlessly (Did you expect anything less ;D )
- Sitting close to my peak ability from last year.

- Need to hone my nutrition strategy.
- Anaerobic Endurance still needs work. (hills are still a weak spot)
- VO2 max intervals need work (Taking a little too long to recover from hard efforts)

My next race is Paris to Ancaster. Ill be borrowing a friends cross bike for the race and based on past results, I would like to crack the top 20.


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12 Street West Victoria 1234 Australia

Phone number

+(12) 3456 789