I was excited and nervous about this race as it would be my first 100K since Otway Odyssey 2010, and I would be returning to do the race that was my first ever MTB Race back in 2008. Just a quick recap of how that event went down – I had only ever ridden my mtb a handful of times, my longest mtb ride had been 30km, I had spent a week talking myself into racing the 50km and I was ready to rumble!! I asked Al to enter us whilst I was out, when I came back he had a cheeky grin on his face – it was only $10 more to enter the 100k, thought I’d get our moneys worth! Well I did the race, it took me 8 hours and it hurt a lot. But it ignited my passion for mountain biking and I have never returned to the sport of triathlon from which I was taking a short break.
Fast forward 5 years to the 2013 Wombat 100k. Unfortunately Al had taken a tumble the week before and was out of action. He was kind enough to come down and support from the sidelines. Up ready to leave at 4.45 and the car wouldn’t start, ran inside and woke up mum and dad for assistance. As soon as we walked out into the freezing dark the car started, oops sorry mum and dad.
Made it to race start on time and found myself nervously on the start grid amongst a star studded line up, the women’s field was epic – Jenny Fay, Naomi Hansen, Rowena Fry, Melissa Anset, Peta Mullens, Tory Thomas. My goal was to not come last in elite, and to beat my 8 hour PB!!
Race plan- go hard at the start, settle in to a tempo, go hard for the last 20k. There was a strange misty fog settled in the forest making it quite eerie and our glasses very foggy. I got blown out the back very early on after about an hour the next group caught me and I tried to stay on, dropped off, and then the next group, and repeat. I burnt a few matches in my efforts staying in the groups that were going by and started to fade. Decided to ease up, drink and eat and get ready for the 7k climb and the final 20k TT which I guessed would be mainly fire road.
The single track was wicked, the fire road seemed to fly past and there weren’t too many hills. I caught up to a couple of guys who had passed earlier on in the race and one of them came screaming past declaring “WAHHOOO 3K TO GO, LETS DO THIS!!!” to which I replied “YEEEAAHHHH!!!” after an enthusiastic 15 metre burst the guy then slowed abruptly and declared “and now I’m &9(#ed” I then rode with a mate Andy from the Rocky Riders and we put the gas down thinking we were a mere 500m from the end, however we were faced with a climb, one that my legs really did not want to see!!
Finally crossed the line in a time of 5.42, much better than the previous 8 hour PB, to finish in 6th place, both goals achieved!! Jumped straight in the car for the 6 hour stretch home and unfortunately Al got a migraine and we were forced to stop on the side of the road a few times. A big thanks to Maximum Adventure for putting on a great event, to HSR Seeds for your support and to Liv/Giant for your support. Legends.