Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back on the horse - Winter N-Duro #1

High time we got back into some MTB racing, so having the first round of the winter N-Duro series on our doorstep was as good of an excuse as any. We are both pretty early in our attempts to re-build the training bases, having had a good break since 3D. However we have found over the years that races are a great way to give you a kick in the pants and often re-invigorate the motivation.

Feeling my ribs following a moto crash last week, I was a wee bit soft and took the mid course option. Only 30 something km but with over 1000m climbing it wasn't the easiest ride. I took the win (as I probably should have), but importantly it allowed me to just ride a solid tempo on my own and not smash myself too much.

Nic on the other hand "manned up" and raced the long course. Was riding pretty strongly, but unfortunately was hampered a bit by a recurrance of some vision "challenges". Rolled through the 2nd half of the ride for a strong finish while Olympian bound Karen Hanlen dissapeared to threaten the top 10 boys. Great to see a good turnout, and huge congrats to new event owner Ra who put on all sorts of cool touches. Lollies, Cupcakes, and hot soup provided at the finish. Mean Maori Mean. Can't wait for the next one.

On a sidenote I was really disappointed when I heard of enquiries directed towards the winner of one of the event. Long story short, but some felt the winning rider must have cheated, and the allegations were based on complainants having never heard of them (the winner). To me that was really disappointing news. Purely because it showed a real lack of respect, and even a hint of arrogance to follow that line of thinking. What happened to sportsmanship?

As athletes at any level we don’t have to be friends with everyone we line up against. Hell, we don’t even need to like everyone. But our sport (and any sport) is based on a mutual respect and appreciation of others efforts. The success of our sport depends on this. As a sponsor I would demand no less from my athletes. So no matter whom you are – athlete, friend, parent, sponsor, or random sideline supporter.... think long and hard about anything you may say. Trust the efforts you put in yourself, and above all respect those of others.