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Steven Hanley hackergotchi picture Steven
Hanley

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email: sjh@svana.org

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Fri, 02 Dec 2016

Alpine Challenge - 160km Trail run - Victoria - 13:49

A big adventure out in the Victorian Alps (fullsize)
So I was keen to see if, after having fun doing a numebr of 100km trail running events, stepping up to 160km (what the Americans call a 100 due to their use of miles) would be just as fun. So not to take it easy I went and entered the hardest in Australia. The Alpine Challenge in the Victorian Alps, 160km on mountain walking trails and fire roads with 7200 metres of climbing.

I had not realy done enough training for this one, I expected to do around 30 hours, though would have loved to go under 28 hours. In the end I was close to expectations after the last 60km became a slow bushwalk. Still it is a great adventure in some of the most amazing parts of our country. I guess now I have done it I know what is needed to go better and think I could run a much better race on that course too.

My words and photos are online in my Alpine Challenge 2016 gallery. What a big mountain adventure that was!.

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Mon, 29 Aug 2016

Oxfam Trailwalker - Sydney 2016 - ARNuts - 11:42

A great day out on the trail with friends (fullsize)
Though it did not really hit me in the lead up or during the event until half way that it was yet another 100km and these are indeed somewhat tough to get through. The day out in the bush with my friends Alex, David and Julie was awesome.

As I say in the short report with the photos linked below, Oxfam is a great charity and that they have these trailwalker events in many places around the world to fundraise and get people to enjoy some quality outdoor time is pretty awesome. This is a hard course, that it took us 14h30m to get through it shows that but it sure is pretty, amazing native flowers, views (water ways and bush) and that it can get in to Manly with hardly realising you are in the middle of the biggest city in Australia is awesome.

My words and photos are online in my Oxfam Trailalker - Sydney 2016 - ARnuts gallery. What a fun day out!.

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Mon, 27 Jun 2016

Geoquest 2016 - Port Mac again with Resultz - 20:40

My Mirage 730 - Matilda, having a rest while we ran around (fullsize)
I have fun at Goequest and love doing the event however have been a bit iffy about trying to organise a team for a few years. As many say one of the hardest things in the event is getting 4 people to the start line ready to go.

This year my attitude was similar to last, if I was asked to join a team I would probably say yes. I was asked and thus ended up racing with a bunch of fun guys under the banner of Michael's company Resultz Racing. Another great weekend on the mid north NSW coast with some amazing scenery (the two rogaines were highlights, especially the punchbowl waterfall on the second one).

My words and photos are online in my Geoquest 2016 gallery. Always good fun and a nice escape from winter.

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Razorback Ultra - Spectacular run in the Victorian Alps - 20:31

Alex and another Canberran on the Razorback (fullsize)
Alex and I signed up for the Razorback Ultra because it is in an amazing part of the country and sounded like a fun event to go do. I was heading into it a week after Six Foot, however this is all just training for UTA100 so why not. All I can say is every trail runner should do this event, it is amazing.

The atmosphere at the race is laid back and it is all about heading up into the mountains and enjoying yourself. I will be back for sure.

My words and photos are online in my Razorback Ultra 2016 gallery. This is truly one of the best runs in Australia.

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Fri, 20 May 2016

UTA100 - The big dance through the blue mountains again - 16:48
Back at Ultra Trail Australia running through the Blue Mountains wilderness

I am still fascinated by seeing how I can improve in this event, after running in pairs twice and now solo twice I signed up to come back this year still seeing how much time I can lop off my lap of the course. Though I continually claim I am not a runner with my mountain biking and adventure racing background I have been getting out on foot a lot since I got into doing this event. With an arbitrary number I apply to the time around this course before I may admit I am a runner of 12 hours I was coming back to see how close to this goal I would get.

My first year solo in 2014 I was positive I would finish just now sure how fast, thinking on the day I may take around 15 hours I managed 13:44 which at the time had me happy and a little surprised. In 2015 I had a few things interrupt my lead up and not everything felt great so though I hoped to go under 13 hours I was not sure, managing 13:15 was not what I wanted but I got around the loop again anyway.

In 2016 I continued to not have a training program and simply work toward goals by judging effort in my head and race schedule leading up to the event. However most running science seems to suggest the more you can run without getting injured the better. So on January 1st 2016 I kicked off a running streak to see how long it would last. I managed to run every day in 2016 until Wednesday before UTA100, so 132 days in a row with a minimum distance of 5km. This included the days before and after efforts such as the razorback ultra in Victoria and the Six Foot Track marathon in the Blue Mountains.

I never really managed to get much speed work into my prep again this year however had definitely upped my volume doing between 70 and 125km every week of the year with most of it on trails with some good altitude gain at times. I also remained un injured and able to run every day which was great, even with the odd fall or problem I could work around and keep moving through I was feeling good before the event. Due to my tendency to waste time at the check points on course I also had my sister here to support me this year so I would be able to run into CP 3, 4 and 5. Grab new bottles, have food shoved at me and head on out.

All was looking fairly good and I was sure I could go under 13 hours this year the question remained how far under I could get. Then Wednesday night before the race I got home feeling awful and shivering and needed to crawl into bed early and get sleep, waking up Thursday I felt worse if possible and was worried it was all over I had gotten sick and nothing would help. I left work at 2pm that day and headed home to sleep the rest of the day. Fortunately by the time I woke on Friday morning I no longer felt so awful, and actually felt I may be able to run the next day. I had stopped my running streak on Wednesday, no real need to continue it and feeling so bad for two days definitely had to stop.

I arrived Friday afternoon, spent money with Graham and Hanny in their store for some stuff I needed from Find Your Feet and headed to the briefing. The welcome to country form David King was once again a highlight of the runners briefing it is a fantastic part of the race every year and really heart felt, genuine and funny. Met my sister Jane at our accommodation and discussed the race day and estimated times while eating dinner. Fortunately I finally felt ready to run again by the time I went to sleep Friday night. I had a few runs the week before with what I call Happy Legs where you feel awesome running and light and happy on your feet. Though I hoped for that on Saturday I knew I just had to get out on the track and keep moving well.

I was in wave 1 and starting at 6:20am, had a chat with my mate Tom Reeve on the start line and then we got moving, taking it easy on the 5km bitumen loop I had a chat with Phil Whitten who was worried after stomach issues in six foot caused him problems he may have issues today too (in the end he did alas), still it was nice to be moving and cruising along the out and back before the steps. In wave 1 it was nice and open and even the descent down Furber steps was pretty open. Ran through toward the golden stairs feeling OK, never awesome but not like it was going to be a horrible day out.

I got onto the fire road out Narrow Neck and realised I was probably a few beats higher than I probably should be HR wise however decided to stay with it and ensure I not push too hard on the hills climbs along here. With the start out and back slightly extended this year it was good to pass through CP1 in the same time as last year so on course for slightly faster, however I would not have a proper idea of time ad how I was going until Dunphys camp. On the climb from Cedar gap I noticed some people around me seemed to be pushing harder than I thought they should however that had nothing to do with me so I kept moving and hoping I survived. On the descent down to the camp I had my left adductor cramp a bit which seems to happen here every year so I have to manage it and keep going.

At Dunphys CP I had a chat to Myf happy to actually see her or Matt this year (I missed seeing them here last year) and got moving aware I would need to take it easy on iron pot to keep the cramps at bay. I got onto Iron Pot and loved being able to say thanks to David King and his colleagues welcoming us to country with Didgeridoo and clap sticks up there, the short out and back made it easier this year and then I took it really easy on the loose ski slope sort of descent down due to cramps being close to the surface. Continued taking it easy chatting with other runners as we went back past the outgoing track on our right and then we dropped down to the bottom of the valley to start heading up Megalong Rd.

Looking at my watch I was probably behind time to do sub 12 hours already at this point but would have a much better idea once I got to Six Foot CP in a little while. I took it easy climbing the rd at strong power walk and then managed a comfortable 4 to 5 minute pace along the road into the CP. I got out of CP3 just before the 5 hour mark, this was confirming I was unlikely to go under 12 hours, I expected I needed to be gone from here in 4h40m to manage sub 12 knowing how I was feeling. I grabbed some risotto and baked potatoes with salt from Jane to see if I could eat these for some variety rather than sweet crap while climbing to Katoomba. On the way into the CP I passed Etienne who had an injury so asked her to see if he needed help when he got in (though that made it harder for her to get to e in time at Katoomba, fortunately Etienne had his parents there to help him out when he had to withdraw there)

Trying to eat the solid food was difficult and slowing me down so I gave up by the time I hit the single track just before the stairs. I had a chat with a blonde woman (it may have been Daniela Burton) and it was her first 100 so I told her not to get discouraged how long the next leg (CP4 to CP5) takes and to keep focusing on moving forward. I also had a chat with Ben Grimshaw a few times on the way up Nellies as I was passed by him while trying to eat solid food and then caught him again on the stairs once I started pushing up there reasonably fast once more. We cruised through the single track at the top passing a few runners and got into CP4 pretty much together.

I had to refill my water bladder here as well as get two new bottles, still with Jane's help I got out of here fast and left by 6 hours 30 minutes on the race clock. Though behind Ben now as he was quicker in the CP. Now I was happy to hit my race goal of feeling pretty good at Katoomba and still being keen to run which is always the way I think you need to feel at this point as the next leg is the the crux of the race, the half marathon of stairs is really a tough mental and physical barrier to get through.

I headed along to echo point through some crowds on the walk way near the cliff edge and it was nice to have some of the tourists cheering us on, a few other runners were near by and we got through nicely. On the descent down the giant stair case I seemed to pass a few people pretty comfortably and then on to Dardanelle's pass and it was nice running through there for a while. Of course getting down to Leura forest we got to see some 50km runners coming the other way (a few asked me where I was going worried they had made a wrong turn, when I said I was a 100km runner they realised all was cool told me well done and kept going).

I caught Ben again on the way up the stairs from Leura forest and we were near each other a bit for a while then however I seemed to pull ahead on stairs a bit so over the next while I got away from him (he caught me later in the race anyway though). Last year I had a diabetic low blood sugar incident in this leg, somewhere just before the wentworth falls lookout carpark I think. So I was paying more attention through the day on constant calorie intake with lots of clif shot blocks and gu gels. I kept moving well enough through this whole leg so that turned out well. I Said hi to Graham (Hammond) who was cheering runners on at the Fairmont resort water station and ran on for a few more stairs.

Running in to CP 5 on king tableland road I still felt alright and managed to eat another three cubes of shot block there. I had run out of plain water (bladder) again so had not had a salt tablet for a little while. This year I had decided to run with more salt consumption and had bought hammer enduralyte salt tablets, I was downing 1 or 2 of them every time I ate all day which I think may have helped, though I still had cramps around Dunphys that happens every year and I knew I had run a bit hard early anyway (hoping to hit splits needed for sub 12). However even though it was a hot day and many people struggled more in the heat than other years I seemed to deal with it well. However I had discovered I struggled to down the tablets with electrolyte drink from my bottles (high 5 tablets, usually berry flavour) so I needed plain water from the camelback for them.

I got more food from Jane at CP5, re lubed myself a bit refilled the bladder and got moving. I also grabbed a second head torch, though I was carrying one already I liked the beam pattern more on the one I grabbed here, though with full water, bottles and the extra torch I felt pretty heavy running out of CP 5. Still just 3 hours to go now I expected. I got out of there at 9h25m on the race clock which was good, thus if I could have a good run through here I may be able to get in under 12h20m (2h50m run would be nice for this leg at this point). I got moving on the approach to the kedumba descent joking with a few others around me it was time to smash the quads and say good bye to them as they were no longer needed after this really. (only one short sort of descent to Leura creek) I was asked if we needed quads on the stairs, my response was they were a glute fest and allowed use of arms due to the railing so who needs quads after Kedumba.

However as I got on to the descent and passed under the overhang I noticed my legs were a bit off and I could not open up well, I thought about it and realised I was probably low on sugar and needed to eat, eating at this sort of downhill pace was a bit hard (especially as some food was making me feel like throwing up (gels)). I thought I would try to hang on until the bottom as I could walk up out of Jamisons creek eating. However I needed to slow to a walk just after passing the Mt Solitary turn off and down a gel. Then a few minutes later trying to run still did not work so I had to stop and walk and eat for a while again rather than descending at full speed. Doing all of that I was passed by a few people (I think the woman who came 5th, the guy I joked about not needing Quads with and a few others).

Oh well I should have eaten more while stopped at the CP or on the flat at the top, oops, lost time (in the results comparing with people I ran similar splits all day to I may have lost as much as 15 minutes here with this issue). Once I got onto the climb out of Jamisons creek I ate some more and focused on holding a reasonably strong hike, the people who passed me were long gone and I could not motivate myself to push hard to see if I would catch them or not. I was passing a number of 50km runners by this point (I think the sweep must have been at CP5 when I went through). They were fun to cheer on and chat with as I caught and passed them, getting down to Leura creek was good as it was still day light and I could get moving up there to the last aid and onto the finish before I thought about lights.

Ben caught me a gain here saying he had really pushed hard on the kedumba descent and he was looking good so sat a little ahead of me up to the aid station. I refilled my bottles and kept going chatting with 50 km runners as I passed them. I got to the poo farm a bit quicker than I expected (going on feeling as I was not looking at my watch much) however it was good to finally be up on Federal pass not long after that and this is where I decided to focus on moving fast. The last two years I crawled along here and I think I lost a lot of time, I know last year I had mentally given up so was crawling, the year before I think I was just a bit stuffed by then. This time I focused on running whenever it was not a steep up and on getting over to the stairs as quickly as possible.

It was still fun cheering on the 50km runners and chatting with them as I passed, I even saw some women in awesome pink outfits I had seen here a few weeks earlier while training so it was good to cheer them on, when I asked them about it they said it was them and they recognised me (it's pinky they exclaimed) as I passed. I got to the base of the stairs at 12:14 so knew I had to work hard to finish in under 12:30 but it was time to get that done if possible. On the climb up the stairs it felt like I was getting stuck behind 50km runners on many of the narrow sections of stairs however it probably was not much time slowing up the pace (one occasion a race doctor was walking up the stairs with a runner just to help them get to the finish). I managed to get across the finish line in 12:29:51 (57th overall) which was a good result all things considered.

Thanks go to Jane for coming up from Sydney and supporting me all day, Tom, Al and AROC for keeping the fun happening for all the runners, Dave and co for some excellent course markings, all the other AROC people and volunteers. David, Julie, Alex and others for company on lots of the training the last few months. I have a few ideas for what I need to work on next to faster on this course, however am thinking I may have a year off UTA100 to go do something else. The Hubert race in South Australia at the start of may looks like it could be awesome (running in the wilpena pound area through the Flinders ranges) and it will probably be good to develop my base and speed a bit more over time before my next attempt to see if I can become a runner (crack 12 hours on this course).

UTA100 really is the pinnacle of trail running in Australia with the level of competition, course fun quality, vibe on ocurse and the welcome to country, the event history and everything else so I hightly recommend it to anyone keen to challenge themselves. Even if so far this year the event that has really grabbed my attention the most is probably the Razorback Ultra, it is a very different day out to UTA100 so it is all good fun to get outdoors and enjoy the Australian wilderness.

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Thu, 19 Nov 2015

Triple Triathlon 2015 - Where's Our Swimmer - Mixed Pairs - 21:17

Tagging Milly for the Mt Taylor run (fullsize)
As I mention in the words I ended up in pairs this year again, racing with Milly after our swimmer for the event injured himself. Our goal was to have a fun day out in Canberra looking forward to the finish line and beers there. I think we managed that and enjoyed hanging out with all the others transcending the hills and lakes of Canberra.

Great to see Rowan have so much fun on course again, also Cam had an amazing day out with 12h15m solo and finishing third. Ben Crabb got to race again with his normal team before disappearing to the UK for three years. So many others were having fun and so were Milly and I (though the early shot of her before the swim start she does not appear so sure), looking through the event gallery on the Sri Chinmoy events site there are some good photos of everyone around too.

My words and photos are online in my Triple Triathlon 2015 - Wheres Our Swimmer - Mixed Pairs gallery. Good day out bring on 2016.

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Wed, 18 Nov 2015

Geoquest 2012 - Out Of Range - 22:31

Heading into the water with our tubes (fullsize)
When I looked at this album I realised I still have not published or added comments to my 2011 geoquest album. I guess that will be next. For now this was 2012 with Seb, Lee and Eliza up at Forster again. Before Eliza was quite so hooked on MTB near the end of her doing Triathlon we were trying to convince her long silly AR stuff is the best thing ever, I hope we did not scar her too much with the longest event she had ever done.

KV, Ben and Matt were our rather awesome support crew engaging in a bit of speed camping around the region and seeing us come past once in a while, thanks to them for the effort. It was a remarkably hard (well long at least) course this year and though there was no ocean paddling there was a bit of time in the kayaks. The event was a lot of fun as always, though I still need to sort out some of my insulin type and timing issues (as I was reminded this year when I had some lows).

My 2012 Geoquest - Out of Range gallery is online for anyone to have a look, I almost was worried I managed to get a photo of Eliza not smiling, however it appears not to have happened so all is right with the world.

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Mon, 16 Nov 2015

Australian Single Speed Nationals 2012 - Beechworth, Bushranger themed (sort of) - 20:33

Posing with Jeebus (fullsize)
Wow right now I am finding it surprising I have not been to the single speed nationals since 2012, (un) organised every year by a group of locals somewhere, sort of overseen by Australian Recreational Singlespeed Enthusiasts (ARSE). The 2010 Canberra SSNATS event in Majura Pines was heaps of fun, organised by Canberra One Gear Society (COGS).

In 2013 the event was in Cairns and though it sounded fun I decided it was just a bit too far to head up there for the event, in 2014 I tried and tried to talk friends into heading up for the weekend in Dungog NSW, however few of my Canberra friends were keen and I did something else that weekend (softie that I am).

I am still hoping the road trip to Wombat State Forest in Victoria will go ahead for the 2015 event. There was a ANZAC event in Rotortua over easter however I skipped that. This however is all getting off the topic of 2012.

I made it down to 2012, camping with McCook and having a fantastic weekend of mtb riding with the crew in Beechworth. The rather important aspect of beer was sorted that weekend and Bridge Road Brewerers in that town and they are possibly my favourite brewer in Australia.

The Beechworth mtb park is a great mix of interesting technical stuff and fun all in native bush, there were other ride options as can be seen in my gallery also. Photos and words from the 2012 Australian Single Speed Nationals are online in the link.

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Tue, 10 Nov 2015

Sri Chinmoy Trail Ultra 2013 - 100 KM (first year) - 15:36

At the start line (fullsize)
This was the first year Sri Chinmoy had run this Ultra, an event now in the third year (and I again ran it this year in a team and once more doing 2 legs). In 2013 they had not yet decided on the increase by 1km every year plan, however the course already showed off Canberra really well.

Alex and I decided to Alternate legs, in retrospect probably harder than doing 2 in a row each, however we had a good day out, and this year I got to do 2 in a row to compare. Of course I had my camera out there and took a bunch of photos which are online in my Sri Chinmoy 100 2013 gallery.

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Sun, 08 Nov 2015

Six Foot Track Marathon 2014 - 11:49

At the start line (fullsize)
I lined up for my first run at the Six Foot track Marathon in 2014. Many ACTRun friends have been doing it for years, this year I managed to get in and was lining up with them and other friends new to the race to have a run along the track to Jenolan Caves.

Jane and I had spent a weekend in the Blue Mountains ini the lead up to the race to get an idea about the run down to Coxs river and also for me to scope out the finishing stairs in the new TNF100 course. It was useful to scope out the first 15km of Six Foot, however come race day things were different (a lot more runners out for one).

As is so often the case I went out too fast and paid the price on the climb from the river and along the range. However it was still a great day out and I will be back for more (I did it in 2015, knocking half an hour off my time and plan to line up again in 2016). My gallery and a few words from the day are here in my Six Foot Track Marathon 2014 gallery.

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Fri, 06 Nov 2015

Kepler Challenge 2014 - Running in Fiordland NZ - 21:54

A ridgeline during the race, amazing views (fullsize)
As I mention in the write up a few friends and I had decided to head to Kepler Challenge in 2014. Marty heading back to defend his title, David, Julie, Bec and I heading over for our first attempts, Chris rocking up for the Luxmore Grunt.

Fiordland is an amazing part of New Zealand, this in a country chock full of amazing outdoor places really was something special. I understand why this event is so popular also why the walk itself it so popular. We all had a great time there and though the trip was short it is definitely one to go back for some time.

Of course I had my camera with me and took photos so have some words with them in my 2014 Kepler Challenge write up. Thanks to Dave, Julie, Marty, Bec, Pete and Chris for the company. I hope to head back and do it faster in the future, fun indeed.

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Wed, 04 Nov 2015

Buffalo Stampede 2015 - 78km in the Victorian Alpine region - 10:19

Julie running back toward me at the top of Buffalo (fullsize)
This event was not in my original plan for 2015, though nursing a bit of a problem with my right aductor and glute I was feeling alright after six foot to do some big stuff. This turned out to be a tough day out, the incredible steep gradients on the first two climbs (and also on the way back the last two climbs and thus the descents on the other side) were something to behold.

That we did over 1000m of climbing in the first 10km of running, including 4km of flat at the start and a descent to the bottom of a 500m valley in the middle says something. This event lived up to the SkyRace tag really well. Also the victorian alpine region is amazingly pretty and Bright is a great town to hang around in.

Photos and a few words from my day out are here on my Buffalo Stampede 2015 page. Thanks to Paul for his entry and to Dave, Julie and Alex for the company. It was fun to catch up with Hanny and Graham down there too.

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Tue, 03 Nov 2015

Geoquest 2015 - Thats Cray - 14:38

Dane crossing a log in the dark for fun (fullsize)
I had a break from doing Geo for 2 years, I guess I got a bit hooked on running and was not keen to try to get a team happening for the event. It almost happened again, however some of the team members in Thats Cray were injured so Cam and I both got an invite to join in the fun.

Geo s always a good event and this year I really enjoyed just joining in for the fun and letting the others worry about Nav and a bunch of other stuff. I have to admit the lack of paddling in the last 2 years made that bit hard, however the event was a lot of fun as always and surprisingly felt pretty good all the way through. Maybe my running fitness helped me get through comfortably.

Photos and some words from the race are online on my Geoquest 2015 album. Thanks to Dane, Lee and Cam for the company, thanks to the awesome support crew and it was good to be back.

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Mon, 02 Nov 2015

The Sri Chinmoy Canberra Ultra 2015 - 102 KM with Wild Bill Bo Jangles and Crew - 20:22

The Wild Bill crew at the finish, KV, Gangles and Bender (fullsize)
I really enjoy Sri Chinmoy events, their attitude and encouragement for people to be healthy and active to have a better life and world through peace and those goals. Given a choice I try to do most of the long or multi sport Sri Chinmoy events. I had run in this event in pairs with Alex in the first year, alternating legs that year.

As I was planning to do another 100 not long after I was not overly keen on a solo entry, however at Gangles's birthday KV and I managed to convince him to compete in the event with us in a team of 3. This would be his first long run (over 20 km, doing the last leg) and KV was stepping up for the first leg (I had the middle two to get done). I got some celebratory t-shirts made up as Gangles' (Adam) middle name is William KV and I decided to call the team Wild Bill Bo Jangles and crew. (I promise it made sense to us)

So we got to join in the fun and run with many of our friends and other people on the day. I took some photos and they are online in my Sri Chinmoy Trail Ultra 2015 album.

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Sun, 01 Nov 2015

The Heysen 105 in 2015 - 10:25

A cool rock feature in the Myponga Conservation Area (fullsize)
I really have been taking a huge break from putting stuff online here. I have still been taking many photos while out doing fun stuff so even if I am not writing much else (I have been sucked into social media I guess) I can still upload the links to the various adventures I have photos and reports from.

The main advantage I find is I at least can easily find the links to refer to without needing to see a directory listing on the website. In this case I headed down to Adelaide to hang out with friends there and also run in the Heysen 105 run. Feeling the need to do another 100km ultra this year and the short holiday in Adelaide helped attract me to this one. Report and photos for my Heysen 105 2015 run are online.

Nice part of the world and I had fun both in the event and hanging out with friends in Adelaide. The coopers brewery tour is also rather excellent.

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Fri, 19 Sep 2014

The Surf Coast Century 2014 - Anglesea, Victoria - Surf Coast track and Otway ranges - 16:58

Near Bells beach around 18km into the 100km run (fullsize)
Earlier this year I competed in The North Face 100 km run in the Blue Mountains, it has a fairly large amount of climbing (over 4000 metres) and though it is remarkably pretty it is a tough day out. When a friend suggested doing the Surf Coast Century I thought why the heck not, less than half the climbing and I have never spent much time in this part of Victoria.

Report and photos are online. I was happy with my time, had a good day out and definately have to hand it to the locals, they live in a beautiful place. I also got a PB time for the distance by a fairly large amount (almost 3 hours faster than my TNF100 time)

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The Coastal Classic 2014 - Otford to Bundeena in the Royal National Park - 16:46

Running along a beach 10km in to the event (fullsize)
I had the opportunity to run in the Coastal Classic two weeks ago, Max Adventure do a great event here by getting access to the coastal walking track for this run and I recommend a visit to this track by anyone looking for a great coastal walk or run.

Report and photos are online. It was a really pretty run and I had never been along the track so it was a great day out.

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Thu, 29 May 2014

The North Face 100 2014 - 14:55

Running up the six foot track (fullsize)
May again, almost a year since I posted anything here pretty much. Oops. I have been doing stuff and taking photos so really they should be easy posts that do not require me to think much. This one for example, I ran in The North Face 100 recently.

Report and photos are online. Strangely I will probably be back next year.

[/mtb/events] link

Fri, 09 Dec 2011

Out of Range at the 2007 Geoquest Adventure Race - 10:23
As mentioned a few times the report from Geoquest 2007 has been a while in coming, pretty much all involved in the team have now seen it and have no problems with it. In it are 99 photos, 5 videos and a fair chunk of text. We had fun and I am hoping to be back next year for more of it. Thanks to Bruce, Danealle, Craig and Brendan for racing and big thanks to Jane, Zoe and Jaymz for supporting. Also Gran and Jude were fun to have around the race.

Anyway for anyone who wants to have a look here is our report from the team Out of Range at the 2007 Geoquest Adventure Race. Enjoy.

[/mtb/events] link

Polaris for Dummies 2006 - 10:23
Marea and I once again teamed up for Polaris over the weekend just past. We had a good time, and proving that practice helps after three Polaris' as a team we won the mixed division this year and came 8th over all out of the 200 or so teams.

Anyway I put photos and a report of the 2006 Polaris event online.

[/mtb/events] link

We have a team, a support crew, some boats, some bikes, cool lets go hurt ourselves. - 10:23
Last year I competed in the Geoquest Half adventure race with Lina, Michelle and Ian. This year I wanted to go back and compete in the full length race. The half is a 24 hour race (effectively), the full has a 48 hour time limit to complete the course. (well the half also has a 48 hour time limit, however it is approximately half the distance).

This race is a fairly large commitment of time, training and money to compete in, simply getting through 48 hours without sleep while navigating and racing in different disciplines is not trivial. Unfortunately none of my team mates from last year were able to compete this year (Knee Injury for one, another in South Africa, and the last not wanting to try the full length race this year).

Fortunately I have been able to convince 3 other friends to come along and race. Bruce, who I compete in Triple Tri with and other events over the past few years. Craig who has been doing some rides with Bilbys recently and has done a 24 hour mtb solo and is a damn tough bugger. Danealle who raced the full Geo last year with the Pink Ladies and thus has experience and proven toughness. Rock on, one hell keen team out there to have fun on the full course.

For support crew I have Jane (sister) returning, Zoe a Bilbys friend who wants to find out what Geo is about with the aim of possibly competing next year, Tom (Zoe's partner, who is likely to be roped in as support next year), James a mountain biking friend with bike mechanic experience to wrench and stuff and Louise (Jane's flatmate) who sounded enchanted with the support thing after Jane described it last year (I hope Louise fails to realise last year Jane had a remarkably easy support job due to the course structure, but hey if you wont tell her I wont...)

Next we had to get a pair of double sea kayaks, preferably fibreglass (lighter and generally thinner and faster) and ensure we had the rest of the gear needed (lights and batteries sufficient to last two nights in a row when we may be separated from our support crew for a long time), and generally commit to doing the race.

I have a new toy I bought which will take care of one of the above requirements, I will probably mention it next week when I get it, other than that we have been out doing some training and sussing out some of the gear and talking in the team about what conditions have been like previously and will be like this year.

Our main goal is to have fun and complete the course, we think we stand a good chance of meeting both goals. Bruce is overseas for work this week, however last night Craig, Danealle and I went out for a hill hike on Mt Ainslie which was fun, this was after a paddle yesterday morning with Danealle. This morning Craig and I both rode with the Bilbys road bunch and then headed to the lake for another paddle. I guess if nothing else this gives me something to get off my lazy arse an do some exercise for <g>.

The team motto for the event is "Because its there and fun will be had" and the bio I put in with the race entry was

4 Canberrans who constantly find there is more fun to be had outdoors than in our loungerooms.

We know each other from the Canberra AR community and the Bilbys Tri club, though none of us are triathletes.

Steve and Danealle have raced at Geo before and both have an affectation for the colour pink, Craig and Bruce will probably attempt to counter the pink gear (boat, mountain bike, some clothing, etc) of half the team.

Bruce and Steve have been doing events in teams together for a number of years, including some AR. Danealle has done a lot of AR, Craig is a tough nut and likes to try new stuff.

Our aim is to have fun and complete the course.

[/mtb/events] link

Sun, 02 Oct 2011

Googong multisport challenge 2011 - 21:15
Sri Chinmoy moved the event a few weeks earlier in the hopes that being further away from the Scott 24 hour mtb race and to no longer clash with the Upper Murray Challenge. I have also been making an effort to remind people how awesome this event is in the hopes of convincing more to come and compete.

Fortunately something worked as this year the largest field ever rocked up to the race on the shores of the 100% full Googong Dam at 10am on September 18. Compared with last year I was severely lacking in fitness, with no fast paddling whole year (and not much at all since Geoquest), not much running for a while and my bike strength feeling weak I was in it for the fun of the event and not expecting to do too well.

Results from the day are available, plus photos and an event report but once again I would like to say anyone who was not there missed out on a great event. The paddle was actually 10km for the first time ever which would have pushed out the event times, however not to the extent that I was 30 minutes slower this year than last year.

However the top three places put in an awesome race, Dave S was always likely to come away as the winner barring mishaps of the people there that day. Sean had a fantastic race I thought to make 2nd, and though I was in in 3rd until Seb caught me near the end of the bike (he was paddling something akin to a bathtub). I had obviously pushed too hard for my current fitness levels and began cramping on the second run on the first downhill (after needing to stop and puke a bit twice in the first run due to pushing my pace too hard). Still I loved the event and having a strong field there made it so much better. Thanks to all of those who were there to make it great.

Fortunately the Sri Chinmoy team have said they will be running it again so I hope to see this event continues to get more interest now, it is a great event in an area not many people go to visit and I am glad to see it will remain on the calendar. Oh and impressive effort from Aaron and Alex who both did the remarkably tough, steep bike leg on their single speed mtbs.

Libby seems to think the race should be held in Feb as a lead up to the Jindabyne multi sport, I personally disagree as I like having a reasonable spacing through the year of these events. Yerrabi in May, Jindabyne in March and this event in September is a pretty good gap and I am not convinced people would use it as a Jindabyne Multi training event (too short and intense for soloists to get great traing) and many of the teams are not really out there at Jindabyne for the speed/win so much as the experience.

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 24 May 2011

24 Hour Solo MTB Championships 2011 - 12:19

Andrew Hall finishing a lap (fullsize)
If you have a look at the link to my 24 Hour Solo MTB Nationals photos page you can see the photos I took at the 24 Hour MTB Nationals CORC ran in April.

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 17 May 2011

TNF100 in pairs, what was I thinking? - 16:32

Running along Narrow Neck (fullsize)
Aaron and I headed up to the Blue Mountains on the weekend to compete in The North Face 100 Ultra Marathon in pairs this year. Julie won womens, awesome race against an international field (and beat her own race record by 36 minutes). David knocked 20 minutes off his PB too. The Blue Mountains were rather pretty so I took some photos and wrote about it here.

[/mtb/events] link

Mon, 04 Apr 2011

ACTRA Multisport Rogaine 2011 - 16:24
Aaron and I did the ACTRA Multisport Rogaine yesterday and here are some photos.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 23 Mar 2011

Jindabyne Multisport Classic 2011 - 16:15
The event site is here with results a race report and photos.

I rocked up to compete in the Jindabyne Multisport Classic as a solo athlete for the fourth year in a row. This is probably my favourite race on the calendar, a gorgeous area to race through, really fun legs and a good attitude out on the course from everyone there.

In the lead up this year I have been unable to do much training from January 10 until the race day, with an injury and illness keeping me away from exercising much for 3 months I was definitely a bit underdone for the race.

All along I had ben hoping there would be a really strong solo field again, with the likes of Alex, David, Julie, Randall, Gary Rolfe, Aaron, Lee, Gary Rake, Ben Rattray all competing as solos. However for various reasons the only solos I knew who were competing ended up being Aaron, Lee and myself.

At the start line I was not looking forward to the swims, most years I have had a few months of doing at least 2 or 3 swims a week, this time I had swum twice since January 3rd and maybe 8 times since this race in March the previous year. I defintiely have to stay in the pool and put some serious time in to my swimming if I ever want to do this event really well.

1 Solo Female and 5 solo Men were at the start line, all of us obviously hoping to complete the day and have fun. Race start was 6:45am so we got going and I gave everyone entertainment or a cringe when I immediately went off in the wrong direction sighting on the wrong saddle in the distance while everyone else swam toward the first bouy. This was definitely a theme for me, going all over the place in the swims, in the end I lost 10 minutes or more to Aaron each time we did a swim through the day.

The first kayak following the swim is always a good leg to get settled in to the day and get used to the continuous moverment all day. This year my friend Kerrie (ENM as Gramps calls her, I think Awesome Nurse Muir is more accurate) had once again sepped up to the role of support crew for me, thanks to her for being an absolutely awesome support crew again this year, organised and keeping me moving well all day. She had me through al the transitions smoothly and encouraged me to keep going well.

Lee was unlucky enough to fall out of his kayak in this leg and I passed him there, the SES boats were both in the final 800 metres of the kayak so had not seen him fall out, I yelled at one of them to go have a look, in the end Lee said a fisherman helped him get to shore to empty the boat before continuing on. On to the run, which has less climbing and stays closer to the lake than the old first run I was soon passed by Sal and a few other fast runners on teams (I was already well behind the really fast teams due to my pathetic swimming)

The first run leg is still quite technical and a lot of fun, and it leads in to what in my opinion is the best leg of the day, the first mtb leg is rearkably technical and suits me down to a tee, if only it were 30 km long rather than 8km. There had been a lot of track work done on the trails here and the return leg of this ride toward transition had been improved a lot, easier and shorter but a heck of a lot of fun. I saw Aaron at the shared section of track so he already had a 15 minute lead on me here, due to my complete lack of preparation I expected this theme to continue for the rest of the day, he was racing well for a first time soloist here.

On into the second swim, the worst leg of the day (2.5km of swimming) I labored through that getting passed by a whole lot more teams and caught again by Sharon the solo female, however into the paddle I was able to move fairly fast again. Through the paddle I headed out on the second mtb leg, hoping to get some food down, a problem with my water meant I could not get much down for the leg however still felt pretty good on the whole. I saw Aaron again now with around a 23 minute lead on me.

Through the day I was fairly close to the teams Desciples of Ming the Merciless and Followers of Ming the Merciless, some of the children of the team members are those I coach mtb skills every week and they were cheering me through every transition all day which was awesome support from them and lifted my spirits. I got on to the long run feeling alright, stopped for my normal toilet visit at the thredbo river picnic ground to ligten my load for the climb and headed on up the hill.

During the climb two women from teams caught me up and Lee also managed to catch up, I picked my pace up a bit to stay near them, Lee however had not bought any water or food on this leg and suffered mightily for it, so ended up dropping off the pace ocne we hit the waterfall at the top. I thanked the women for their company as I had to stop to stretch out cramps near the end of the leg and then ran in toward the transition for the long bike leg.

Most years this leg is one of the most spectacular parts of the race, up into alpine grass lands near the Gungarlin river, however due to the river being too full and boggy terrain near it they had to change the leg to a ride up the road from Sawpit to Charlotte Pass before a car shuttle down to the lake again at Creel bay. This changed the dynamic of the race a lot, I appreciated the rest in the car and sitting at the swim start for an hour, however I missed the lovely long mtb leg. I was able to eat some solid food again and watched Aaron do his swim leg before I started. Some friends lined up someone to kayak next to me for this swim to keep me going straight, thanks to Tara and Michael for all of that.

The last few years the final kayak has been very windy, almost a case of surfing or crossing large waves for much of the 9.5km paddle. I borrowed Mark's surf ski for this leg rather than my Time Bandit, it was still windy up near Charlotte Pass so I assumed it would be windy ont he lake. As it turns out this is the calmest I have seen the water in years at this time of day, however better safe than sorry, I completed this leg in around an hour and only had the 5.5km run to finish off the day. I got moving and immediately felt my core muscles in pain with the jarring of running. Amazingly my legs felt fine but I could not pick up the pace due to the pain from the final paddle and swim in my core muscles.

Still I had at least 30 minutes on Lee in third and knew Aaron would already be finished so I settled in and tried to finish as fast as I could without too much jarring. Just as I neared the finish, Zoe, Declan and all the other kids that had been cheering me on saw me and rode and ran in next to me to the finish which was another awesome show of support from them. Finished in just under 12 hours, or just under 11 if you take off the hour enforced stop before the final swim.

Thanks to Kerrie for being awesome and supporting me, thanks to everyone who helped Kerrie out through the day. Thanks to Aaron and Lee for the race and thanks to Prachar and the rest of the Sri Chinmoy race team for this event, such a lovely course and such a fun day out. Easier and prettier than triple tri and less swimming, all good things.

Good to see a strong performance from Sharon the solo woman coming in around 15 minutes behind Lee too.

You should all put this race on your calendar nex year, it will be the weekend before the 6 foot track marathon and probably not clash with Huskisson or the Willo MTB race either. Fun to be had up in Jindabyne in early march 2012.

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 22 Feb 2011

Egos Like Hairdos at another AROC sprint - 15:50
Thanks to Ian and Aaron I was able to have another fun reasonably fast race in the recent AROC Sprint at Stromlo and the Cotter. I of course had a camera with me and took a bunch of photos. They can be found in the normal place.

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 14 Dec 2010

Baldylocks at the Coast 2 Kosci - 11:37

Chris, Julie, Dave and I at the Summit of Kosci (fullsize)
So this is not an event I competed in, however I was there as support crew to ensure Dave finished. The Coast 2 Kosci is an Ultra Marathon now in its seventh year. Starting on a beach near Eden it heads up to the summit of Mt Mosciusko and back down to the finish line at Charlotte Pass. So that is 240 km (actually 246) of running, mostly on bitumen/hard surfaces and the current race record is 26h01m.

Dave finished in 33h10m which for a first attempt and someone who has never run more than 125km in one go before is fairly impressive. Most of the people who compete are regular ulltra runners and it sounds like a few were wondering who this Baldwin guy was for much of the race. I took a lot of photos and have put them up on my Baldylocks at the 2010 Coast 2 Kosci Ultra Marathon page.

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 30 Nov 2010

Another AROC Sprint, or more fun on the water slides. - 10:01

Ian and Aaron running to the slides (fullsize)
Or maybe we should just combine the two. Tom and Al did on the weekend. The AROC Sprint race once more visited the water slides (the last time was around 2006 in the Friday night BC sprint race). The course was a lot of fun, and as always I had my camera with me so here are a bunch of photos.

[/mtb/events] link

Sun, 14 Nov 2010

Another CX race in Canberra - 15:33
In July last year the vikings ran a cyclo cross race out at Stromlo. I was there racing and enjoyed it a lot. There was talk at the time of trying to run a series of them this year which would have been fun. Due to a whole host of reasons the series did not happen, however Simon and Simon managed to get another race happening this weekend.

I went along again and I think this was an even better set up for CX racing than last time. I no longer have a CX bike at the moment as mine was stolen earlier in the year. However they were allowing other bikes to enter. Though I could have ridden a mountain bike I decided I should have drop bars so rocked up to race on my commuter, the 1984 steel Apollo single speed road bike with mud guards. There was a smaller turnout this year, partly due to clashing events and things on, a less CX friendly time of year, less promotion the week before the event (Canberrans have a bad habit of deciding what to do the day before it happens) and a few other reasons.

I feel sorry for everyone who missed out as this was one of the most fun races I have done in ages. The course was set up around the Narrabundah Velodrome (Simon N got the idea when he saw a velodrome used in a similar manner at a CX event in Illawarra earlier in the year) and it worked really well. Jump boards to do your running dismounts over littered around the course, using the oval in the middle of the velodrome, the track itself and the hilly surface around the back of it to make an interesting but not too technical (ie beginners would have no problems) course.

Racing started at 12pm and they had 4 races over the following hours, a novice event (to get the feel for the track or to try out CX for some), a single speed event (there were 6 of us competing in that one), a masters race (I could not do that obviously) and then the open race. So for the $10 entry fee (MTBA license covered my insurance) I was able to do 3 short hard fun races (the longest, open race at 6 laps was around 40 minutes). It was a completely different feel to mountain bike events and different skills helped even. Also the course could be seen almost entirely by spectators from almost everywhere. They had a bbq and beer for sale which was great, I was able to refresh myself with a Boags after each race.

A crew from Melbourne rocked up, they race dwell and shared their experiences from running their own CX race series. Sounds like they have a good local scene with 120 or so people at each round. They have a format where there is a pure cross race and a separate event for all other bikes. Thus mtb owners can race but not in the CX only event. All sorts of things could work, however I think this was a great event and hope like heck something can be done to get a series of 3 races or so (May, June, July maybe) next year at the velodrome. They are planning at least one event in June and I would strongly recommend attending, whether it be to watch with beer in hand and cheer or rattle cowbells at people racing, or to compete. Fun is almost guaranteed, Simon was even talking about trying to get some earth moving equipment to make the course more interesting (soft sand/mud pits, some rolling lumps like found on parts of a 4X track (though not jump sized) and other features.

Anyway I had a great time and would like to thank Simon, Simon and vikings for another excellent event.

[/mtb/events] link

Sun, 31 Oct 2010

Photos from the SS worlds week - 15:58

Climbing a hill on the course in my baby outfit
As mentioned the other week, I was in Rotorua for a while to have fun on bikes with friends. Coinciding with the 2010 SS World Champs and the 2010 Whaka 100 race. I am now back home and with the additional bandwidth available I have uploaded all the photos I took during the week. I also took a lot of shweeb photos I will upload separately, and have got a lot of helmet cam or chest cam footage of the single track fun to be had over there. I will get it in a nicer format/more manageable size before uploading that anywhere too. (4.5 GB from a Contour HD 1080p camera set at 720p Brent was using and 7.5 GB from a GoPro chest cam that Col borrowed from Liam at Swell).

My photos from the 2010 World Single Speed Championships are on the link.

[/mtb/events] link

Thu, 21 Oct 2010

SS Worlds, Whaka 100 and the Rotorua Bike Festival - 15:56

Shane half way through setting a fast 52.4 second three laps on the shweeb
So I am in Rotorua in NZ for 11 days for a holiday, this holiday takes in the Whaka 100 mtb race which I did on Sunday. Then a week long cycling festival and the 2010 World Single Speed Championships. One of the festival activities is a Shweeb championship for all the single speeders to enter. The photo to the left is from Shane's laps today, we are planning to head back for another go tomorrow.

I have not been updating much this week, and am definitely not providing as much entertainment on the blog as Burky and Coops from Swell on their Swell Design Group SS World Tour but thought it worth putting up a photo after riding the shweeb today. (Mikal insisted I get footage of it anyway).

I arrived on Saturday afternoon, the direct flight from Sydney to Rotorua made the trip here easy and I was able to be here in time for the 100 km race on Sunday. That was a hard race, I made my normal mistake of going out far too hard, average HR for the entire 100 km was 150bpm over 6h46m, however most of that is from having my HR above 170 for the first 50 km. I then of course began to realise I had gone out too hard once more and was suffering on the climbs (most of the hard climbs came in the last 40km of this event). Still it was cool to do a race taking in almost every good trail in the Whakarewarewa forest in one event. I had been hoping to come in under 6 hours however with the amount of walking I did late in the race up hills I was well over that.

Monday I had off the bike, wandering around town, settling in, recovering. Tuesday morning I headed out for a 42 km ride with Heather, Shane, Rob, Gaye, Juzzy and a few others. Each night so far here we have all been soaking up the atmosphere (and beers) in the Pig and Whistle and a few other locations. Morning coffee at Zippys every morning has also been a good start to the day.

Wednesday morning we headed out for a lap of the SS Worlds Course (it is a tough one, more climbing then expected, but I guess they have to break up the over 1000 rider field somehow). I grabbed some lunch and ran in to Col and Adam (mentioned above) some other Canberra riding buddies so headed out for another ride with them after lunch, getting 70 km on the single speed on Wednesday which was all good fun.

Today I had a chat to Jeff at KiwiBikes for a while in the morning about a new Cyclocross frame I am getting him to custom build for me (I miss having a CX bike). Had some lunch and was sort of thinking about going for a ride when Shane, Heather and I made plans to go do the Shweeb thing instead. Agroventures (run shweeb) recently were given a Google grant to develop the shweeb technology to implement it as public transport somewhere. After riding in it I can see that it could work out pretty well for that sort of thing. As well as being fast, dry, safe, away from traffic, it is a lot of fun to get around on. We are planning to go back tomorrow and I will get some better video footage then. Fun will be had (especially with some of the costumes (myself included) that I hear may be worn on Saturday for the SS race)

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 14 Sep 2010

Photos from the SS Nats - 17:06
Though I wrote about this event on Sunday I had not uploaded photos yet. They are now online, not many but another rider asked to see them so here they are.

[/mtb/events] link

Sun, 12 Sep 2010

2010 SS Nationals - Majura Pines, Hosted by COGS - 21:47

A possible new pink bike?
After a few years of being keen to get to them, I finally made it along to the SS national championships this weekend, helped by the fact they were held in Majura Pines in Canberra. Canberra One Gear Society (COGS) hosted the event and 120 or so riders rocked up for a fun weekend.

My SS is not pink (though my race bike is) I wonder if I should get an upgrade, maybe to something similar to the bike pictured? The Hill climb and Time Trial were fun yesterday, then the novelty events were held, the photo was taken by Rob during the 16 inch crit races, which were in fact a race down a hill trying to stay upright on small bikes, possibly the most fun on a bike all weekend trying to balance on them had us all giggling a lot.

The traditional (well traditional for an SS race) XC race was on today. The beer shortcut cut around three and a half minutes off my lap time, so after doing the long lap the first time round to work that out I took the beer shortcut every lap after that. Five laps, 4 beers, around 21m per lap I think, though I may be a bit off with that as my gps stopped when drinking, still it was a fun race. I am looking forward even more to the world SS championships in Rotorua in October now, it should be a lot of fun.

I guess I will not be upgrading to the specific bike pictured as it was later used in the huffy/barbie bike toss event on Saturday afternoon.

[/mtb/events] link

Sat, 28 Aug 2010

A Port Mac Mosey - 2010 Geoquest, photos and report - 21:13

Three of us in wetsuits heading for the gorge swim/trek (fullsize)
The photo on the left is no the most common AR image, three of us in wetsuits (though it could happen in a canyoning leg also) but it captures a good race image I think. The photo is of course from my Geoquest race report, not as long as some it has 7800 words or so, 110 images and can be found on the 2010 Geoquest - Team iAdventure.com.au/iRule - A Port Mac Mosey page I put up.

We had an awesome support crew with Amanda and Prue, some support from a sponsor and a laid back attitude to the event. We were heading up there expecting to finish mid field, so it was a pleasant surprise to be higher up in the ranking. Fun was definitely had which is what matters most. Have a read if you are interested, it is a good event.

[/mtb/events] link

Tue, 15 Jun 2010

Finished the Kona Mawson MTB Marathon - 11:16
Andrew and I finished the 367 km mtb ride in 19h52m, there are photos and a report online. We were a little disappointed not to finish faster, however it was a great event and the scenery was incredible. Good to see Claire and Joel win mixed (and 5th overall), Brett Bellchambers riding a geared bike and giving it a good stab with Jason McAvoy (4th overall), Mark Tupalski coming 3rd with Mark Fenner and Bec and Phil finished too to make up the Canberra contingent there.

It would be nice to be able to run/walk up some of the mountains and really see more of the area, however this event at least got me down to the area which tends to be how my tourism is focused now days (around events and racing). Thanks to Andrew for a good race.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 09 Jun 2010

A ride in the desert - 10:36
I am heading to South Australia this evening, and hopping on a bus tomorrow morning to get up to Blinman for the start of the 2010 Kona Mawson MTB Marathon. People competing in the 4 day stage race have already started this morning, however those of us doing the non stop option start on Friday morning.

I am looking forward to this event for a number of reasons. I have never been to parts of Australia that look like classic Australian Desert (or the Red Centre as it is known). I have been told that the Flinders Ranges definitely live up to this look. Lots of big Australian desert to look at. I have not competed in a 24 hour race solo since 2004 so I am looking forward to this as it will take me out of my comfort zone in my best discipline again. (AR is different as you change discipline fairly often).

Andrew and I are both fairly bike fit and should be able to get along at a good pace for the whole event, I plan to take photos while riding but will be working hard to avoid wasting time and stopping much. Hoping to get in under 20 hours to the finish at Melrose, and who knows once we finish and rest a bit I can even hope I feel up to walking/running up Mount Remarkable in Melrose. However that is on Saturday and we still have 367km of mountain biking starting at 7:30am on Friday morning to get through. Bring it on.

[/mtb/events] link

Mon, 17 May 2010

Chocolate Foot 8 Hour round 2, Nowra - 14:57

Singlespeed podium, Sean, Me, Kent with Joe on the mic (fullsize)
As part of our lead up to the Mawson mtb Marathon, Andrew and I headed down to Nowra to compete in round 2 of Joe and Fi's Chocolate Foot Single Track Mind endurance mtb series. This time it was an 8 hour race on the SCUM course at Nowra.

Many of the mtb-oz crew were there (Dave and Helen, Matt and Sim, Liam, Tyno, Rob, sMarti, Spoonie, Ray, Dreggsy, etc) though none of them were racing solo, oh well Andrew and I were. After my night ride of the course on Saturday I thought it was a little bit boring, however my mind was soon changed once the race began on Sunday morning, the course is a lot of fun once you up the pace and have others around you.

As always I started off a bit harder than I probably should have, with a few laps around 30 minutes (one sub 30 minute lap even), then after my first stop for new drink bottles I slowed down to 33 minute laps for a while, by the end of the day I was stopping most laps for a bottle or similar and was doing 35 to 36 minutes a lap. Andrew caught me around lap 5 and by the end of the race had almost lapped me, he got 15 laps in, I got in 14 lap. On the 10.5km course that was 145KM on the single speed in almost exactly 8 hours (I timed my finish and effort fairly carefully as I was not keen on heading out on a 15th lap (yes I am aware they did not have CORC style rules in place, I did not have to be on track after 8 hours, however I would have felt I should head out if I came in before 8 hours)).

Even though it was the single speed enduro champ round of the series there were not many people there on SS bikes, early on I thought Liam was winning as he passed me, however he was in a team so it turns out I won the category (though only by 13 minutes) which was cool. Fun was had.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 12 May 2010

Yerrabi, taking the Cyclocross bike out for a race - 16:30

Riding through Mulligans
The Sri Chinmoy Yerrabi Multisport race was held on Sunday, another gorgeous day, and for me a great excuse to use the cyclocross bike in a race. (the bike course is fast fire roads and is well suited to a CX bike)

The Yerrabi race is a great multi race, it is short and fast (just over 2 hours for the mens winners most years), no where near as tough as Googong and no swimming (and not as tough as Jindabyne solo obviously). Also being able to do a race in Gungahlin is an interesting change as generally that is not a location we normally think of for any outdoor events (running, road cycling, mountain biking, paddling, etc).

I won the race last year, however I was expecting it to be tougher to win this year, for two main reasons. I have been unable to run since the Aus Rogaine championships due to various knee injuries and with my knee still injured I expected it may not hold up well in the two runs. The second reason was Mark was rocking up to race and I knew he would be pushing me to try and get ahead of him and hold him off if I managed to get there at all.

I did finally manage to pass Mark in the bike leg (he had a faster first run and I did not catch up in the paddle), however did not get much of a gap and he passed me in transition and then held me off in the run easily. We have both been talking about how awesome it would be if we had more of our friends compete in the race next year. The competition and field would be incredible if all the Arnuts rocked up to do the event. Randall, Chris T, Dave B, Alex, Gary R, Gary L, Mark, Nathan, Kim, Ian, Tom, Myself, etc. The womens race could be awesome if more of our friends rocked up too, just imagine the competition if Selina, Susie, Libby, Danielle, Danealle, Heather, Julie and Alina all raced.

I am sure no one who knows me will be surprised to hear I had slow transitions too, Mark commented to me that my transitions that he saw were really slow, maybe Fatty is on to something with suggesting transition training (highly amusing). More photos from the race are on the sri chinmoy site.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 05 May 2010

ACTRA Paddy Pallin 6 Hour Rogaine - 12:16

Mark and Selina near a Dam (fullsize)
I finally was able to compete at the ACTRA Paddy Pallin 6 Hour Rogaine this year, Lizzie, Haylee and I had a fun day out despite my injured knee forcing us to slow down after the first 1.5 hours or so.

Photos are online at my 2010 ACTRA Paddy Pallin 6 Hour Rogaine page.

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