I decided to drive down the morning of the race since I was going on my own & return home after the race since I had come accustom to driving 3 hours to races I had been doing at late.
Up at the normal training alarm time of 4:20am with the car already packed bar the ice in the esky & the bike on the roof, I had some breakfast & set off down the HWY on a star filled sky with Metallica blasting through the car stereo. Upon arriving at the race venue I was surprised to see so many event tents & a forrest car-park full of cars considering there had been a lot of rain around & there was still a possibility of rain some time throughout the race day. I managed to find a park around 500m from the track & carried my esky & some repairs to the side of the track near a hill that I did not know if I would be riding up or down not know what direction we would be riding.
Race start seen a scuttle of riders jostling for positions straight away & I managed to stay dry for a whole 5 seconds before a rider flew past me straight through a large puddle on the fire road spraying me with water from head to toe before slowing up to let me past him again into the first single track were riders slowed to a near stop as they hit the first of many slippery corners. As usual I was stuck behind a few slow riders negotiating to single trails before exiting to the fire road climbs where I struggle to get around them before heading into the next single track section.
The trails were a lot dryer than I had expected except for a few boggy spots in the lower gully's & some of the steeper climbs. The track had some great switch back climbs followed by some of the best single track descents I had ridden. My favorite single track would have been a section named the Salad Bowl where it weaved its way down through a gully over bridges & slippery small drops off logs where you could scream down not having to touch the breaks till you came up behind a slower rider.
In the last few hours I was starting to get weary legs from the constant pedaling through the boggy mud but started to see many other riders starting to cramp on the side of the track. Counting down the time I went through the timing tent with around 15 minutes to finish time & felt like I had had enough but with no idea on my position decided to go around for another lap hoping maybe I would catch a rider in front of me that was now travelling slower than me. On the last lap I passed a few riders but still had no idea on what category they were racing in.
I was called up in 4th place behind Phil in 3rd & soon worked out he must have passed me while I was lubing my chain ( a mistake I am determined not to make again in future races ;-).
All in all I loved the track at Awaba & will be returning there for more riding in the near future & thank Rocky Trail for putting on a great event. Good event organisers make racing fun.
Thanks once again for Enriched Health Care for being there for me with all this racing I am doing.