Saturday, November 28, 2009

Huka XL Taupo

A little overcast and a smattering of rain to keep us cool... Perfect weather for a mountain bike race!

The Huka mountain bike race is run in conjunction with the Round Taupo Cycle Challenge. This is the second year they have run the mountain biking component of the festival and I gotta hand it to the organisers, they know how to pick out an amazing mountain bike course just as well as they run a huge, well-organised road event.

I raced in the XL category (elite). The track was as good as I remember it from last year... A great deal of fun, flowy singletrack with a few road and fire trail linkages. For me, an 80km race is a bit shorter and faster than my usual cup of tea, and I was dropped from the top bunch fairly early in the race. I rode by myself for some time until some of the Huka challenge men started coming through, and some of the fast bunch from the start dropped back (or I started catching them... One of the two!). There were quite a few sections of the trail we went over more than once, and one of them I remember vividly from last year (and with good reason)... A nice, solid single track climb weaving it's way up to the top of craters of the moon... I think the trail is called "Grinder" (very appropriate!)

Thanks to nutritionist, Christel from Nikki Hart Nutrition, i had a nutrition plan for the race, which I followed as best I could. Unfortunately the timing of my eating didn't necessarily coincide with the time of the fire trails, so I found myself starting to lag around the 3 hour mark. Something must have gone right between 3 and 4 hours (possibly the Go Fast Gum!) because when I hit the 60km mark at about 4 hours, I had this sudden surge of energy and finished the last 20km in an hour and 5 mins.

I came 7th in the elite women with a time of 5 hours 5 mins. I definately intend to return next year but have plans of potentially doing the maxi enduro (4 times around the lake on the road bike)... Hmmm. Tough call... The Huka is so much fun!

New bike ran superbly after some final touches the evening before the race and the SRAM XX groupset shifts like a knife through butter... Drool worthy. All in all, made for an incredibly enjoyable day out on the bike for my first race back for the season.

Big things ahead for this year!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Auckland 1 Hour Champs Round 1 Wrap-Up

Well, we had a modest, yet determined turnout for our first race.

The course was chosen Saturday after a week of lovely weather, and then the rain came down Sunday afternoon, and Sunday night… And Monday morning… And it made for a rather fun and slippery evening of riding and racing! I am pleased to say that at the end of the hour, we still had some big grins poking out from behind mud covered faces.

Tony blitzed the field with 7 laps in an hour, followed closely by one of our promising looking juniors for the series, Thomas Hinge. The Gals category was closely contested with Hattie finishing a mere 4 seconds ahead of Natalie Retief (phew!). Big ups for the week go to Callum, who took on the course as his fourth ever MTB ride (nice work dude!). I’ve never seen someone love the mud so much… I’m sure he got off his bike and rolled around in a nice big puddle.

We’re going to switch it up a bit and next week’s course will be a little different to this week, so if you weren’t so keen on this week’s mud (and even if you were), next week should be a treat! Junior riders outnumbered the oldies this week, so will be interesting to see what the mix is like next week, but Young Rider of the Series is going to be in hot contention.

Big ups to our series sponsors, without whom we would not have the pleasure of racing!

Bike 75
Spoke Magazine
N-Duro Events

See you all next week!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Auckland 1 Hour Champs! BE THERE!!!

Hey All!

Well, it’s been a quiet couple of months for me, plotting and scheming my next year’s worth of racing, and it’s shaping up to be a big one! There’s some awesome local races. Of course, the NDuro Summer series, 24 Hours of NDuro and a few others along the way, then some overseas racing again… 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships, 100km Night Marathon in Singapore and a couple of stage races in Australia and the UK. Phew!!! A lot of work to go into training before then!

So, here we have my first fundraiser for the season. It’s going to be awesome!.. The “Auckland 1 Hour Champs”… A little bit like a mini 24 hour race. The race format is a small 2-3km loop which you ride as many times as you can in 1 hour. The great thing about it is that you are never far from home and every rider (no matter how cruisy or fast) is a finisher as long as you have at least one complete lap. What a fantastic way to start the week!

Our first night is Monday 16th November at Riverhead Forest and the series will run for 5 weeks. There will be spot prizes every Monday night, as well as series placegetter prizes for both Male and Female riders. We will also have a special prize for the rider with the best costume at our final race (but more details on that to come closer to then!)

We also have the brand new “Young Rider of the Series”. This prestigious title will be earned by a young rider 18 years or under. It isn’t necessarily the fastest rider or the person who wins each week… The Young Rider of the Series will be awarded based on criteria such as completing the most races, turns up with a good attitude and improving the most over the course of the series. Exciting huh???

Massive thanks goes out to series sponsors who are supplying some great prizes...
Bike 75
Go Fast Sports
Spoke Magazine

I’m very appreciative of the support of these sponsors. It’s the same sponsors that chip in time and time again, and they add such great value to any race for you guys as riders, so please show them your support.

Details as follows:
* Entry fee $10 per race ($45 to enter all 5 races at the start of the series). Please be aware that being the rugged, grass roots event that I love to run, we won’t have any EFTPOS facilities on site, so please bring cash for your entry fee and also to purchase your can of Go Fast at a great rate!
* Registration from 6pm. Race start 6.30pm at the picnic area, Barlow road entrance to Riverhead forest.

As you know, I really enjoy seeing you guys have a great time at my races, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me. I also need a li’l bit of help for course marshalls each week and also with putting tape out for the course before the race (it’s not a big job). If you are able to help out or know someone who can, please also email me. Volunteers get a free can of Go Fast.

See you there! I can’t wait!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Season Underway

Ah, the good ol' power testing that marks the beginning of a new training season... And it never seems to get any less painful after you've been training all season... You just get faster :)

Back into it and excited to go! Big thanks to Giant for sorting out a way cool race bike for me. Can't wait to jump on my new Anthem X Ltd kitted out with the new SRAM XX... I'll be sure to tell you all how awesome it is!

Keep loving the ride!