Well I got the 100.
Having done the 50 last year I knew what to expect in the second half (and certainly wasn't looking forward to that 70-74km hill, it was bad enough after 20!), but the first half was all new to me. As such, the game plan was simple: Don't go nuts, just hang back & save the legs for later.
Some precipitation during the night didn't seem to leave much evidence on the ground in the stupid-o'clock, fog-laden gloom, so I stuck with the Crossmarks. Good choice, because the only water on the tracks was in the ruts in the 4WD tracks. I reckon the trail crews might have been wise to trawl them with a big net after the race to see if any riders got lost in them....
Decided to roll off in the second of the non-elite waves as there didn't seem to be all that much of a crowd, and that turned out to be an alright move; I wasn't breaking away, nor towing the bunch along, but I wasn't struggling to hang on either, so I had some good sets of wheels to use as a guide through the unfamiliar stuff. Around the 40-45 km mark, we began to catch some stragglers from the earlier wave, who clearly had an inflated opinion of their ability, because by the time we dropped into the start/feed/finish zone at the halfway (or maybe slighly shorter) point there was quite a string of riders anxious to be able to get back into their own zone.
By contrast, the second half was largely a solo affair; virtually all the riders who had formed a long train into the feed zone stopped (I kept rolling, but stopped soon after to fish the sunnies out of the pack 'cos the fog had lifted, and one or two passed me back), so I had a much clearer trail to play with. At times when the route markings were few & far between, I wondered if I was on the right track, because there was not another rider in sight a lot of the time. I passed a few riders here & there, and a few more at the final feed zone. I chose not to stop at any feed points, as I just don't like stopping once I'm in my groove, even for a short time, unless absolutely necessary. I had a 2L camelbag, plus a bottle (emergency fuel tank
) on the bike, and pockets full of bars & gels so I was pretty sure I'd have enough to get through to final feed point at the very least. As it turned out, I hadn't even drained the bag at the 75km feed zone, so there was no need to stop.
By the time I'd finished with that
hill, the legs were getting a little bit short of climbing power, but still OK on the flats & descending, so I had to conserve a little bit. From about the 85km mark I began to pass the very back of the 50km riders (I could just tell from their build & the way they were riding that there was no way in hell they were ahead of me for 85km!), so gave some words of encouragement as I passed. I looked at my running time, and noticed I was actually getting ahead of the anticipated time I'd been working out from 20km intervals, and remembering the last 15 or so km were relatively flat & fast, I decided to give it some stick. Up to 80km, it was looking like I'd finish in around 6:15, but as I hit the faster stuff it was looking like I could actually give six hours a bloody good nudge, so I knuckled down & got stuck into it.
Didn't quite work out though. I just didn't quite have the legs, and crossed the line in an official time of 6:03:29. Not that I'm disappointed in the slightest, seeing as before the race I was thinking I'd do it in roughly 6:30-ish!