I kinda already knew how Capital Punishment was going to go, the odds certainly weren’t in my favour to have a good race – 2 weeks of doing not much but trying to recover from GSB at the end of Jan, followed by 2 weeks of doing not much due to a back injury, followed by 2 weeks of even more not riding due to the flu. Now, I don’t want to make excuses, and I definitely don’t think I could have moved up a placing in the final results even if I had of felt good, but I think I would have just felt better and less frustrated at my body out there!
So here’s how my first ever Capital Punishment went down:
Rolled into Canberra at 9.30pm after a 4 1/2 hr drive, got my bike ready to roll, talked tactics with the lovely Ash Lofton who was ready to tackle her first hundy!! Into bed by 11pm with the alarm set for 4.45am.Yikes! Bikes in the car and a 35min drive to the race start at East Kowen. I had my bottles filled ready to be dropped off at the 3 feed stations, having never done this race I didn’t realise this wasn’t an option and everyone else had a camelbak or 2 bottles. My small frame only allows one, what do I do?!?!Panic stations!! Oh well, I’ll just see what happens, I’ll have to stop and fill it up, hope that doesn’t cost me too much time!
Warm up session ready to go, oh wait first I need to do a late rego, attach no.plate, cut cable ties, check tyre pressure, go to the toilet and put my clothes in a bag for the finish, left with about a 30 second warm up before the gun went off.
The pace was on the from the start and I felt myself filtering back through the pack trying to hold a wheel on the fire road. The next 40 or so k’s we ducked in and out of a glorious pine forest and I tried to find some flow. At times I had it, loving my cornering and feeling stoked, but mostly I was frustrated at the amount of braking I was doing and not being able to keep up with others. Out of the pineys and onto fire road with some climbs, goodo I’ll be able to make up time here I thought. Incorrect. My legs had nothing, nudda, flat, empty, hollow, that’s all they felt. COME ON WAKE UP, GET MOVING!You can pedal faster than this HOLD THE WHEEL, GO WITH THEM! I just wanted to hold onto a bunch and get dragged past everyone but each bunch I jump on I blew out the back of. This led to my demise both physically and mentally at around the 1hr20 mark.
Usually in a 100k I try to go heard for 20mins, then settle into a tempo, then try to smash home the last 20k. Instead I did not follow my race plan, instead, I surged then blew up, then surged, blew up, in a bid to stay in a bunch. This surging cost me and I struggled to recover, feeling dizzy and dehydrated I tried to sit up and drink and have some gels, hoping I would miraculously spring back to life. That didn’t happen and I went into survival mode. In the last 15 or so k’s Eliza flew past and a brief moment of fight came back as I tried to hold her wheel, but instead I felt like I was going backwards as she motored past!! A lap of my favourite track at Stromlo was a great way to finish and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I descended down Skyline and Luge and all my frustration about my legs went away!!!
A big thanks to AROC Sports for organising such a unique event-awesome single track from one side of Canberra to the other, with an untimed section in between that was a new experience! A very big thanks to Liv/giant for all the support and my XTC 29er worked a treat!! I recommend you do this event, the single track was wicked and the company along the way and at the end was super!! One thing I did notice was how polite and friendly all other competitors were, with all the single track we had they were all very patient and friendly, so thanks fellow mountain bikers!!!