A great race, in the end.
A little hiccup in arriving (we went to Forrest, not 5km out of Forrest nearer to Barwon Downs and couldn't find the course, lack of signage coming from Apollo Bay direction meant we got to the course but didn't know it, thought we were too far out of Forrest and doubled back...) resulted in me going out for a partial sighting lap knowing I didn't have time for a full lap but hating to go onto a course wholly sight unseen.
Stupidly, I didn't set my speedo before starting, and after enjoying a bit of trail I had know idea if it would be quicker to double back or continue on for the full 8km. Really stupidly I decided on a fire road short cut back to the race start and of course went the wrong way. Race start time came and went with me lost and riding the fire roads in a furious state, bawling my eyes out cause I never get to race and now I've missed my only chance, woe is me, it's not fair, blah blah blah.
Made it back to the start line with only the Sport and age category women (me) still on the start line, grabbed a bottle, stifled the sobs and lined up with 8 seconds to go. Not the best prep!
Only two laps and about an hour of racing which suited my level of fitness but it was fun and a third lap would have been alright by me. The course was relatively simple but very sweet. Lots, almost 99% singletrack with some really tidy berms and lovely looping trails. Not many places to pass or be passed, or to get a hand off the bars for a drink. But that also meant nothing boring and nothing to let the mind wander to thinking about how the legs were feeling.
2nd place in Vet women (don't ask how many starters
) and a nice bottle from Otway Estate on the podium. Although first place got away from me cleanly I had a good battle with the lead rider in the sport category who was doing a better job of some of the singletrack but didn't quite have the power for the climbs.
Cheers to all at Forrest MBC on a race well run.