Quite an event this Otway Odyssey, boy does it bite hard.
Having sampled the original 50km last year and did quite well for a first time effort, I thought this time around I'd fare better in the new 50km format around Yaugher trails. Quietly confident after two solid month of training, with a ride with BtotheC a month earlier around Forrest, and that massive 20+ rider stint at Wombat last month, I thought I'd be ok.
Started at the end of Big Ring Riders and hanging out with the fast guys, I forcefully rode up the first three major climbs, instead of walking at least one them. Dumb move - I blew up after 30min. Took another 30min or so to recover before I gathered myself up to reach the summit.
Had a big think at the top of the hill and realised my ambition of finishing well inside top 100 was gone, I decided to go into 'safe mode' to save some energy, and headed down the hill as fast as I dared without crashing. Pretty happy with my progress down the technical decend, catching and passing slower riders and glad that I made the decision to take a dually with proper tyres this time around, instead of a stripped out hill-climb special running semi slicks as I have done last year - the downhill run back to Forrest football gound deserved real espect as I saw quite a few big offs in there. Returned to camping ground in decent time, but didn't pay much attention to what was around me and forgetting to stop and top up near-empty bottle and Camelbak, I proceeded into the rest of the event thinking I'd be ok because I've tackled them before in numerous Kona 24 hour races.
Being on the familar turf was helpful, as I got away riding through lots of twist and turns without having much to do with the brakes which helped in keeping things flowing. But running out of water was becoming an issue and sure enough with 20kms to go, cramp set in. And marshalls were out of water too, so I had no choice but just push through the pain and hold on, swearing and cursing loudly whenever there was no one about. So if anyone came across a rider in the Ay Up Super Loop shooting out all sorts of foul words during the ride - I'm sorry!
Crossed the line around 3hr 50 min, 15min before midday, absolutly sore and crippled, but happy in the knowledge that I I've now got the whole afternoon to relax and enjoy the event. Went straight into shower, had a 20min massage, and spent the rest of the afternoon at the finish line cheering others taking happy snaps and trying to steal free beer tokens from the girl in the red cap when she's not watching!
Will I do this event again? Right now my legs & butt are both saying in unison NOOOOO
but I'm sure I'll be suckered into doing it next year.
Finishing just outside my goal of being inside top 100 at 101 position was a happy ending to a hard day of pedalling.
More people bragging about cycling more often.