The week leading up to the race I managed to get a few training days in but still had a runny nose & bad cough & further more the weather for the week leading up to the event was looking like rain every day on the coast.
Armidale where the race was to be held managed to escape all the coastal rain except for the Friday, the day before the event.
It was decided that Jason & I would share the driving & travel the three hours up to the event on the morning of the race & head back home straight after presentations saving the hassles of finding a place to stay or camping in the possible rain. So up at the normal training time of 4:30am with the car packed I drove around to pick up Jase before leaving over the mountain range toward Armidale loading on food & fluid while getting excited that the rain had stopped & the sky's were clear.
Arriving at the race venue we set up with some friends that were happy to help out "Di & Paul Perry" Di was to be doing the race solo as well with Paul in the pit area helping out.
10 AM seen the race start with over 300 riders competing in the race including teams over a 15km race loop through a granite outcropped pine forest with many options of A, B & C lines. The start was fast paced as riders raced to be first into the single track. After just a short few kilometers my gears were starting to jump when I put pressure on the pedals & my chain managed to jump off for the first time of many in the 12 hours to come. I also managed to loose a lot of time during the lap now being behind slow riders in the tight single track, but remembering that it is a 12 hour race I was not to concerned about the solo riders well in front of me because a 12 hour race is all about conserving energy & the last half of the race is what matters to me.
As time went on in the race I was feeling a bit under the weather from the virus I was getting over & had to keep reminding myself to keep eating & drinking. But all in all I was doing OK with the category leader "Peter Selkrig" always in view. The Piney is always fun to ride & you never get bored trying to find the fastest way around the track without using to much energy or making mistakes on the rocky outcrops.
As more time went by my gears were not letting me choose the gear I wanted to & making me push a larger gear than I wanted to, sending me in the red zone with my muscles on the climbs & it did not matter how much I adjusted them I just could not get them to stop skipping over the sprockets on the rear cluster.
My plan was to pick up the pace in the last three hours & catch the leader but my muscles were not going to let me. I was now starting to cramp & had to slow down the pace or stand up trying to stop the spasms of pain. I know that I have mentioned in my past blogs that I have found a way of eliminating cramps with the use of Magnesium, but how it works is the Magnesium & Zinc are two supplements that retain salts in your muscles eliminating cramps. When your body is fighting off a virus it also uses Magnesium & Zinc.
Magnesium really is everywhere in the body – it’s the 4th most abundant mineral. It’s involved in hundreds of different biochemical reactions and enzyme systems, supporting processes like protein synthesis, cell growth, and energy production. It has roles in nerve function, muscle control, and blood pressure. Even blood sugar regulation depends on magnesium. The body has several mechanisms to stabilize levels. We’re carrying about 25 grams in total, much of which of which is locked in the skeleton. Some magnesium sits on the surface of bone and helps (slowly) regulate levels in the rest of the body: Only a tiny fraction of the total body’s magnesium (1%) is actually in the blood.
Taking focus off first place now I looked back at third & just had to stay on the bike for a bit longer to hold my position in second. A lap in front of third & only 15 min to go I was able to stop racing at 9:45pm where I finished Second & was eager to hit the showers & hopefully take some of the cramping away before driving back home where we would arrive at 3am after leaving presentations at midnight.
I would also like to thank Enriched Health Care as well as Paul Perry for helping out in the pit area & all the riders & timekeepers that encouraged me lap after lap with all there support.