The boys and girls at MBR had assisted in planning out a pretty cool loop. Unfortunately the weather didn't want to play ball, and what had been a great track was shortened to a less gruelling loop. A good move for safety, but thedownside being increased wheel traffic on the trails that were used, and consequently a huge amount of track deterioration throughout the day. As shown pictorially
Late in my first lap (around 2hrs or so into the event), already trying to seek out the drier less muddied lines. Ever the optimist?!
One lap (14min or so) later and the strain is already starting to show on the face. Out on course we were witnessing amazing crashes and mishaps. People falling down banks I never even realised existed, as they couldn't even maintain footing on small pinches that in the dry you almost roll up with no pedalling... yet now you could barely stand on.
Hands up if you've ridden Rotorua? So you'll know Tahi trail... the really easy flowing grade 2 trail getting everyone into the forest. 6hrs or so into the race and it was way faster to run
Some parts of the trails were still rideable. Sometimes. With care. Anyone who survived even one lap later in the day (and especially at night) intact and still smiling deserves a medal. It was pretty epic
The easy open stuff through the tent village on the grass (?) was holding up really well too. There were some interesting and entertaining crashes throughout the day
Despite the challenges the boys kept up their spirits, ate plenty of lollies, and maintained some pretty solid form all day. So much so that the small lead edged out, to a final winning margin of 1 lap + another 9 or 10mins. Pretty solid display, and earned us all one of these medals.
Even better... with an earlier start time, and the race cut an hour short..... I was home, showered, and warm in bed by 10pm. Bonus!
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Original Published: 10:41am Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 - NZST