Posts Tagged ‘24hr

Barrelling past the Forrest Football Club oval, soon-to-be race HQ for the 2009 Kona 24, car filled and straining against a hasty cataclysm of mountain bike paraphernalia, race “nutrition”, Herself, and the various miscellanea and mood-contingent items required to successfully take a two year old kid into the field, it occurred to me that maybe I should be spending the night right there. I’d wake up from an unbroken sleep with nothing to organise and nowhere to be. Ready for action!

In the following instant a sheet of lightning, the kind so bright it reduces the world to a jagged film noire linocut impression – sharp, gleaming raindrops rushing at you in some long but imperceptible moment before they blat across the windscreen – erased that thought completely and I relaxed. I backed off of the accelerator as the road twisted back on itself and into the rainforest again, quietly pleased at the idea of sleeping under steel and wood, in a real bed, under a doona, wife at my side, hot shower and breakfast facilities at the ready on waking.

The storm lasted most of the night, keeping those hardy and organised fools who’d made it to camp the night before from sleeping, and seeping into trails already soaked by a week of unseasonal rain. While Fee and her family headed into Apollo Bay for the morning I finished up breakfast, had a long shower and headed up to get started on burning the fuse.

Neil pulled the first turn. His enthusiasm, turn of speed and ability made any other way seem like madness. Ash, our able last minute ring-in ponied up next and pushed us up the order with David following, leaving me to push hard against the erosion of an impossible standard.

Kona 24 2009

It showered on and off through the opening laps. I did my first in relative sunshine and managed to pick clean lines in spite of a good case of Grandpa-back. Without anything to base them on, I’d shed all expectations of myself for the race, instead making my aims to ride into the race and to experience it openly and fully, taking Moody’s approach that whatever it will be, it will be fun. ‘No path to happiness‘ and all that jazz.

I sent Neil off for his second with a solid bro-fist and the heavens opened, and more or less stayed open as daylight closed. While I got down into the rhythm of good team endurance racing – get out of kit (if wet), stretch, eat, clean bike, get seated or horizontal and either rest up or talk shit – the weather settled into a slow tempo swing between drizzle and rain.

FGP organisers re-routed the first loop to save rapidly disintegrating trails from destruction, a decision worthy of praise as much for it’s efficacious implementation as its responsibility, but nothing was going to save our drivetrains. Jim’s CBD Cycles team pulled the pin and turned to vino around ten o’clock and had company. A good number of people simply packed up and left, the sound of expensive parts and frames grinding away under the Forrest slurry a tangible parallel to the very real abrasion that racing in the muck had on the psyche.

Kona 24 2009

My hardest friends found shockingly unfamiliar reasons to justify calling it a night. Jim’s bike was too new and too good to be subjected to the abuse. Neil’s too, and there was the continuity of training to think about. My head swam, and I struggled to decide whether I was being stupid or they were, but experience was on their side. I tried to throw Neil a few mental lifelines, but when they failed I let him retire without much goading, knowing that being pressed into suffering doesn’t produce much other than loathing and that my own attitude was just as unpredictable beyond the current moment. Ash, Dave and I pledged only to ride ‘one more lap’, and that’s how the next rotation went. When my light failed (again!) I rode in the wash of a soloist and had a great chat. (Nathan, thanks if you’re reading!) It’s easy to pick the soloists as you come up on them – they’re ride far too well to be going so slow, absolute paragons of smooth.

When midnight passed without any commitment to press through, Ash and Dave hatched a plan to ride doubles till dawn so that we could all catch a few winks. It sounded good to me and I headed out for another lap on Jim’s spare lamp. The night lap was a perfect dose of tempo inducing fire-road and eerily beautiful single-track. You could just ride yourself into it, without arm warmers the shivers disappeared after five minutes and it was easy to slowly lift the pace over delightfully solid ground. Technicality was at a minimum save for a single greasy climb. I never saw it in the light, and never saw another person clean it but it never presented a problem for me. All I knew was that if I dabbed I was gone, and that so long as I was upright and could connect the dots of traction picked from the beam I was passing people, strangers shouting encouragement.

I rolled into transition at the end of a roaring, open 60 km/h downhill warmly pleased with the race. Tagged Ash, wished him a good lap and tumbled into my tent to shovel in more fruit, nuts and home-made banana bread. Already beginning to doze, I diligently set my alarm on my iPhone: 3:40, hit the home key and rolled myself up in sleeping bag to drift away in the kind of dumb, opiate-pleased state only a doofus who just cancelled his wake-up alarm can drift away in.

Kona 24 2009

I floated in and out of semi-sleep – a good thing if you’re racing – for what seemed like ages, very well pleased that the race, and my enjoyment of it, was going so well. So well that this rest was seeming luxuriously long. Almost achingly long, but I resisted the urge to actually break the surface of consciousness by lighting up the clock until I couldn’t stand it. And when I did I felt suddenly cold: 4:13.

I didn’t know how long Dave had waited for me at transition after his double lap, but I knew that he couldn’t have woken me because he didn’t know which tent I was in anyway. I also knew in my stomach that there was no way we in sight of the podium any more. I’d fucked the race. Dave wasn’t so dramatic. He gave me an almost cheerful ‘Where’ve you been?’, sent me off and told me Neil would be up for the post-dawn lap so I may only need to do a single. I didn’t deserve the dawn lap but did watch white ghost-gum columns descend from a cathedral ceiling of mist toward pale lichen iridescence, an ethereal carpet, parted only by a tyre-wide trail under a concert of waking winged life.

Neil was waiting in transition looking decidedly unhappy. I wanted to tell him that I still owed the team a double lap but I didn’t even get to open my mouth. He saddled up, said “I feel so fucking guilty” and powered away.

I went and checked the results screen. We weren’t on the first page any more.

Kona 24 2009

Neil pulled a strong double lap off the back of what seemed to be an internal need for redemption, demons clearly on his back. Ash went out next and came back looking wrecked, vision failing. Neil and I agreed to pull a final double each, figuring our failings for the night needed atonement. Tightening muscles and neglected eating after the onset of sugar-induced flavour fatigue had me expecting cramps. They never came, but midway through the lap I hit the wall hard. What should have been a fun and flowing trail unfurled as a painfully infinite death-march. I moved forward, even passed people, but I only had one speed. Max speed was min speed. I only wanted it to end.

On the fire-road roll back to home base opened up again I contemplated pushing bodily signals out of mind just long enough to swing through transition and commit to another round, but a series of spew-burps made up my mind. I walked bluntly out of transition across the oval, saw Neil and told him ‘I’m done.’ He lit up, grabbed a handful of vanilla Gu’s and his bike and started running. Someone saw him and asked about the excessive rocket fuel. He just held up three fingers and ran out to clock a triple redemption.

Kona 24 2009

I began to pack, gave up and went to find some water. Finding a queue at the Soul Kitchen truck I sat down in the  sun and let my head kink backward, unsupported, until the line dissipated but by then I couldn’t stand up. I just sat there, feeling gravity tug on my skeleton of lead. Chris Q came and asked, was I was ok, dude? Not really, but I’d like some water. He came back with water, and that was enough to get me to the close of business.

Neil rocked a triple set of negative split laps to drag us from 11th to 6th place. David’s ridiculously light and obscenely expensive cranks resisted the worst conditions with ease. His ExtraLight jockey wheels had not, having ground completely down to the axles. Jason didn’t say much, but his face spoke volumes and I think he’ll carry the experience into a better performance next time. Ryan, as always a smiling machine of a guy, qualified for the Worlds in his first solo effort. On a single speed. Without suspension. Harden the fuck up indeed.

Kona 24 2009

My food plan, fun as it was in the beginning with it’s extra sugar, would have been better based on the reliable trifecta of starchy carbs, fat and protein so it’ll be rice and mixed potato salad next time. I’m happy that — stomach virus aside — each lap felt better than the last. I’m happy to have felt good off the back of so few hours in the saddle and fucking stoked to be one of very few (as far as I can tell) to have cleaned the greasy climb every time I encountered it. I’m less pleased to be 8-10 minutes a lap slower than everyone else on the team and will be looking at a remedy to that … somehow. But mostly I’m happy with my current ability to pilot the mental vehicle, so to speak. I’m quizzing Neil on his experience in the hope that I’ll lean enough about the difference to repeat mine, and prevent a repeat of his.

Huge thanks are owed to my teammates, especially Ash, Baum (as always), Full Gas and the Forrest trail community.

Kona 24 2009

Kona 24 2009Kona 24 2009Kona 24 2009

Thanks to David for most of these shots.

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Bike: mtb race

Here’s the summary in point form:

  • It didn’t hurt anywher near as much as expected, and although at a third of the way through each lap my quads were screaming, I didn’t seem to run out of strength.
  • I ran out of legs (lactic burn, not strength) long before I ran out of lungs.
  • Over the 18km lap I was able to place within 6-7 minutes of Neil in the first two laps, fading to 10 min later in the race.
  • We placed 9th out of 142 teams in the 4-man category.
  • I ate stewed apple with cinnamon and dried prunes, sweet potato and tumeric, canned sardines and tuna, lots and lots of nuts, some fresh fruit and at night when I really wanted something warm – two cups of coffee, two slices of pizza and at 3am, a plate of dutch pancakes with mapel syrup and strawberries (seriously, you don’t know how tempting those things are until you’ve been racing all day and half a Canberra night).
  • I drank Endura magnesium hydration formula on the bike and water off it.
  • I felt really good all day until the last lap, when I had some symptoms of an old intestinal parasitic ‘friend’, Giardia come back to haunt me, but never felt even a twinge of cramp. It’s a better performance than I had any right to hope for.
  • Jim and Neil did their best to send me back out for a final lap. I’d mentally resigned in the hour before hand, showered and de-kitted. I was saved from an enternity of shit giving by barely 10 seconds. Phew.

On one hand, five minutes isn’t much for an untrained person to trail an in form racer. On the other, a CrossFitter isn’t exactly ‘untrained’. So it will be interesting to see what propper application of the mainsite + CFE protocol will produce, and whether I can close that gap. I expect Nell will try to make it as hard as possible. ;)






108 km

Some pics:

The Mont 24 Hour Race, 2009

The Mont 24 Hour Race, 2009


The Mont 24 Hour Race, 2009

More from Chris, and more from me.

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Bike / mtb / 24 hr race


Many awesome photos at On Track Images.



Notes and stuff


  • Muesli w/yoghurt
  • Coffee


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Bike / MTB Race / 24hr

We nailed 4th in the Open Male 4s, missing out on 3rd by just under two minutes. Would’ve pinned down 8th (of 10) in the Pro-Elite Male 4s.

The new bikes are awesome.

Majura singletrack

Ryan cranks it into transition

God Sun

The full story (and more photos) is up over at the Baum MTB team blog

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February 2020
« Dec    

On the bike

CrossFit benchmarks

100 Burpees: 11:07 10:32
50 Burpees: 4:24
Angie: 30:47 (60 pull-ups only)
Annie: ---
Cindy: 13 rounds
Dianne: 39:07 (scaled)
Elizabeth: 24:47 (scaled)
Fight Gone Bad (3 rounds): 311
Filthy Fifty: 31:16
Fran: 10:31
Grace (35 kg): 4:25
Hangover Cure: 8 rounds
Helen: 11:10
Jeremy: 13:33
Kelly: 36:09
Linda (scaled): 1:17:04
Michael: 32:30
Murph: 54:17
Nancy: 17:30 (scaled to 35 kg)
Nate: 7 rounds (scaled)
Nicole: 3 rounds, 19 pullups

Row 1k: 3:26.3
Row 2k: 7:15.4
Row 500m: 1:35.7
Run 5k: 24:05 (Feb 17)

Weightlifting PBs

Bench Press: ---
Clean: 70kg
Jerk: 70kg
Press: 52.5kg
Snatch: 47.5kg+
Squat (back): 102.5kg
Squat (front): 85kg (x2)
Deadlift: 130kg
CrossFit Total: 623


3RM OHS: 55kg
3RM Front squat: 82.5kg (x5)
3RM Back squat: 90kg
3RM Deadlift: 130kg
5RM Press: 45kg
5RM Front squat: 82.5kg
5RM Back squat: 90kg
5RM Deadlift: 120
20RM Back squat: 65kg