Kona Dirty Weekend SA

kona_dirty_weekend_2013

The Kona Dirty Weekend is always a great weekend spent at Fox Creek in the Adelaide Hills. With a few race options I was keen to give something a little different (and harder) a go! Last year TORQ raced the 24 hour in a mixed team of 4 and it was a blast, we won the mixed category and overall. Unfortunately this year we weren't able to get the team together, and I had decided to race the 12 hour SOLO to get some decent training hours into the legs. A stressful week in the lead up with an unhappy gear shifter, Jason Morrison came to the rescue (While Monza are waiting for a new shipment of parts). Allowing me to be able to race on the MTB, and not completely destroy the body on the cyclocross bike! The forecast all week was looking good.. until Saturday morning I realised we had all been looking at the Adelaide forecast - forgetting that Fox Creek has its own weather system, and when sunny in the city you can almost guarantee its freezing, windy and wet. And so it was. Arriving mid morning it was sunny but fresh. Quite fresh. According to my Garmin it was 11 degrees for race start at 2pm. The BikeSA crew had done a great job setting up the event village and it was good to see the ridgeline camping area packed, and lots of keen riders preparing for a big weekend on (and off) the bike. Race start came around pretty quickly and I had set up my feed table, as I was self supported for the event, with Dean unable to come over for the event with the luxurious caravan, and all my mates also racing. The 12 hour solo race was definitely going to be my toughest yet, with the 12 hour broken into 2x 6hour stints on the bike. Race start was 2pm Saturday and I knew I would be on the bike for another 6.5 hours if all went to plan to get the maximum number of laps completed in the dedicated time. The second 6 hour stint started at 8am Sunday until after 2pm depending on the lap times. The lap was 10.5kms long and average lap time (for me) was between 40 and 50 minutes. The first couple of hours were easy, as I am pretty solid for 2 hours! Coming into the late arvo I had a few gear cable issues, and once again Jason Morrison helped my bike out with regular time in the workstand! Obviously not ideal, but thats racing. Coming into the night laps I knew Jackie had a decent gap on me, and I was comfortable with that, as I know her endurance form is far superior to mine at the moment, and whilst wanting to win, I also went into sustainability mode! Finishing the day around 8:30pm with 8 laps in the bank I was shattered. Having completed 83kms of single track, with roughly 280m climbing per lap - That last lap was tough! Jackie was sitting on 9 laps, so the gap was big. Jane was sitting in 3rd place, also on 8 laps but 30+ minutes behind me. It was cold, I was hungry, And I could barely talk. Flopped myself into the bean bag with my TORQ mandarin recovery and a big bowl of delicious dinner. At 11:30pm a full body massage was calling my name. Crawling into the tent after midnight I was ready to get some much deserved sleep! Rugged up with 3 hoodies, beanies, and trackies I was snug as a bug.
Morning came and so did the wind. It was bitterly cold, and must have been around zero overnight. Getting out of the tent to the crisp air ensured a fairly quick wake up. A bit of a stretch and some brekkie and it was time to head to the startline for round 2. Feeling for the 24 solo riders riding all night, I was glad to have had at least 6 hours solid sleep! Feeling a bit battered I was off to a solid start. Stoked with my efforts the day before I was feeling strong and motivated to tap out at least the same amount of laps, and hopefully close the gap to first, and open a bigger gap back to 3rd place. The course was a bit different to last years, and the climbing definitely felt a bit tougher, but it was hard to tell. It was a rough course to race on for over 12 hours on a hard tail. I love my hard tail, and wouldn't have it any other way, but I can see the merit in a duallie for comfort in this style of racing.  I finished the day with another 8 laps, bringing my total to 16 laps. Jackie finished up with 17 laps, putting me into 2nd place. I was not surprised, and I think I was too exhausted to be too worried about it! Jackie has been putting the hours in on the bike, and is definitely rocking some great form at the moment. I was super impressed with her efforts! Kudos.  This was definitely the hardest race I have done, I think back to the Alice Springs & 12 Apostles stage races, and realise how little climbing there was in those events. A total of 167km of single track with over 4300m climbing I was stoked to have survived and finished (fairly) strong. When I say strong; I mean i didn't cramp. I didnt bonk. But I was well and truly cooked to 'well-done' standards.  Fellow TORQ rep Jamie Moore had a super solid race in the 6 hour solo category finishing in 8th place with a total of 8 laps. Sunday night came and I was stranded on the couch, unable to move. Walking like a starfish and dreading what Monday morning would bring! Thankfully... monday I woke feeling 10 times better, but very tired and hungry!

 

I do not know how the 24 hour solo riders do it. I don't think I ever want to find out. Serious kudos to all the solo riders out there... You are amazing.  The Thankyou list... - BikeSA for a great event - SAMBA for the track design - All the volunteers that make this event possible - As always to TORQ Nutrition - without this product I would not have survived! - Jason Morrison for lending his shifter and providing mechanical support! - Dad for the photography and delivery of the delicious muffins we left in the fridge! - Over the Edge for the encouragement and use of their tent! - The little kids on course for their constant cheering - always bringing a smile to my face! - The Cat Empite, Alt-J, Fun and Triple J for the survival beats!

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