Every cloud has a silver lining so they say... and for me, while a dirty big volcano in Iceland curtailed my plans to support Nic in europe, it did mean I was able to partake in the innagural running of the t42. Both running and MTB events racing through the iconic 42 traverse.
Glad I did. It was a fantastic event. 250 fellow MTB'ers, and about the same number of runners agreed. Well run. Beautiful setting. The owhango community really got behind it. And a great after match meal and party at the Park travellers lodge in National Park. Awesome.
As you might expect, while I like running, an off-road marathon doesn't really appeal, so MTB it was. It proved to be a great decision as I enjoyed a fantastic weekend at National Park, met some cool people, had a great ride, and even managed to take a win. I eventually stopped the clock at 1hr47 for the 45km (ish) ride, after having to double back after riding down the runners finishing chute. Thats alright, it'll make beating the record easier in future. I think 1hr40 is the magic target for future.
Somewhat embarrisingly I have never ridden the 42 traverse. I am pleased to report it is awesome to race. No its not technical.... but you try dealing with slippery rutted papa at 40km/hr plus downhill an a hardtail XC bike. It's only as hard as you make it. Seemed I tried to make it pretty tough on myself. A couple of off track excursions into the shrubbery ensued but nothing major and just added to the entertainment factor.
Early in the race I'd pushed pretty hard to get clear. Thomas Reynolds semmed pretty determined and was pushing hard. I'd been told he hadn't been riding much just running a lot. Which scared me as I know how well I ride when I'm in running form. So not keen to hang around I pinned it on the first descent and just TT'd the rest of the way in fear.
After Henner's on the sweep moto (an sweet ag 125) got stuck on a climb and left me on my own I backed off a little. While I reckon the Lefty fork is pretty stiff I wasn't keen to test its frontal impact strength on anything coming the other way, so a got a little cautious on the descents. I climbed strong though and the steady gradienst of the 42 meant I never got out of bigring (which is a 40 tooth on my bike).... this is probably why I won.
Thomas kept pushing himself along and crossed the line 2nd about 4min back. Shame for him he was part of team Vitasport. I'm sure if he was using Balance caffienated drink like myself he would've been closer. 3rd and 4th were Board Sailor extraodinaire JP Tobin, followed by yachting guru Carl Evans. I'm really liking the cross-over into MTB by all sorts of top performing sportspeople. Shows how cool our sport us. Maybe also shows us we should open our eyes to some alternative cross training?
So I went home via Wanganui and picked up Nic's Multisport Kayak. Went to Blue Lake this morning to give it a nudge. Only fell out twice. Damn that lake is cold without a wetsuit.....