Here is my report on the Scott 24hr event. It will be a bit of a read i think and there will be no pics yet because i left my camera at home.
As you all know we completed out shopping on Thursday and come Friday morning Timmy was sent off to secure a decent camping spot. This was also partly due to the fact that no cars will be allowed to enter camping grounds after 2pm on Friday. Timmy arrived around midday on Friday and secured us a decent camping position and setup the tent for us.
Once 6pm arrived i headed home to meet Clifton and together we drove over to Trieu’s place. Loading up all our gear we then drove down to pheasants nest and met Matt there before slugging it to Canberra. We arrived approx around 10:30ish and thankfully found Timmy who led us to our camp *thank god, there was no way we would have found our camp if he was not there to guide us*. The excitement got the better of us and we started chatting and laughing and a short while later some guys from a camp came out to tell us to be quiet *Timmy selected a solo camping area*. Soon after though we slept as well and although the sleep was broken it was better than what we will get in the coming 24hr.
We all woke up at around 630-7am ish and proceeded to chow down on food. Once we were relatively full we went down to the transition area to figure out how everything worked. The time past quickly though because pretty soon Timmy was grabbing his bike and we were all near the start line watching everyone do the lemans start to the 24hr race. It is always exciting but i felt this time it was a little bit less exciting then the Mont. Maybe because we didn’t have enough team mates there, maybe it is the lack of dust storms since the running start was on tarmac or maybe it was the spectators which did not number anywhere near the amount at Mont. Never-the-less the 24hr race at this point was on its way. We spotted Timmy near the half field towards the end of the run and headed back to camp.
The order of our start was Timmy -> Clifton -> Me -> Trieu. Timmy came back 1 hr 20 minutes later and looked tired. He said he felt fatigued and thinks that the previous nights headache and lack of food are to blame. He told us the course was pretty technical and judging by the fresh coat of dust on his bike pretty damn dusty as well. It was my turn next and i headed down to the transition area to wait for Clifton. I made sure i always arrived 10 minutes prior to Clifton to make sure there is no overlapping of time on my behalf. Clifton came in and i was off.
They used a significantly different layout of trails compared to our normal rides at scott so periodically i would be reminded that i am riding stromlo but otherwise it felt pretty different all the way. I decided to take it pretty easy on the first lap since it was a familiarising lap for me and sat behind quite a few people due to the still pretty congested traffic. I was at this point trying to generally understand and enjoy the trail that i was riding and about half way through i kinda picked up what this course is about. I knew it was a tough course to ride and you had to be pretty technically apt to ride it at a decent pace even towards the later parts of the night. The faster you were the easier it would be. As stupid as this sounds it was especially true for this trail. Every switch back seemed to have some rocks to manoeuvre around and there was quite a bit of ascent situated around switch backs so the faster you were around the switch backs the more speed you carry through and hence making it easier.
On my first lap i felt pretty conservative and felt i would have lapped in the 1 hr 15 minute range so it was to my surprise when i got back and found a 1 hr 5 minute something lap *i forgot to start my garmin unit*. You see at the time i thought, wow, if i was going conservative and still got 1 hr 5 minutes what’s possible if i tried to gun it? So i decided on my next lap i will try to gun it. I thought since i knew the trail now it should make a difference to my time once i decide to physically push myself. Thinking a little bit more though i realised there was a crucial flaw to my plan and that was the impending darkness of night time. Doing a few quick calculations made me realise i would be stuck in that dusk period for almost 1/4 of the lap where lights aren’t bright enough and the environment isn’t dark enough and for the reminder of the 3/4 lap i would be in total darkness.
So my second lap came around and feeling decent i headed off. For the first couple of minutes i experimented with turning the light on and off but realising it made no difference left it on for the reminder of the lap. On this lap i felt “strong”. I would stand up a lot and power over a lot of rocks and basically attacked a lot of the sections but something in the back of my mind told me that i still gave up time due to the darkness. I kinda wished that it was a 100% dark lap as i would have preferred to ride in that condition rather than the almost dark conditions at the start of the lap. For the first time i was also really understanding and enjoying the course. That lap would take me 1 hr and 8 minutes
Once i got back to camp i realised that i wasn’t really hungry so i ate a bit of lollies and tried to grab some rest. I could never sleep though because it was still way to early and my new finding with the wifi results system kept me up. Checking on our results tab i realised our team was gaining spots fast. At this point we were up to position 39 out of 130 or so teams and i found that to be super respectable. Everyone in our team was smashing out decent lap times.
On my third lap i felt slow. My bike handling skills went to the drain and because of that i suffered greatly. It was really weird because i knew i could ride in the dark perfectly because of the previous lap but for some reason just could not be fooked to do so this lap. I believe i made a curicial mistake in not consuming enough food in my hours previous to the lap and that might have played a factor in what i have felt. My third lap would consequently end up with 1 hr 15 minutes, a time which i wasn’t really happy about.
At this point in our team laps we also started falling apart as a team. Trieu had some massive cramps and due to this said he would not be able to complete another lap. Clifton ended up sleeping through his allocated transition time and missed the transition completely. I woke up at my allocated time and realised Clifton was still next to me in the tent and upon checking the time realised that he was actually supposed to be out on the trails. I gave Clifton 30 minutes before i started getting into my wet thermal layers and heading down to transition. I warmed up for a little and awaited at the transition area for Clifton to come in. I waited and waited and waited and after 1hr of no show started to feel worried. I knew Clifton wasn’t that slow so i went back to camp and upon realising that his bike was not there and i did not miss him in transition Matt and I headed down to the course marshal expecting the worst. It turned out the course marshal wasn’t over helpful but luckily Clifton came in just as we finished talking to her. I stood around for a bit talking to him because at this point i couldn’t really give a fook about my time any more and realised that 39 position would be all but gone. Finally i realised that i would have to go off for another lap and started to ride out of the transition area. My motivation for an awesome lap was completely gone. Waiting out in the transition area for 1hr ish in your wet thermals in low 10 degree weather isn’t pleasant.
I headed off and to my surprise found my pace again. I felt more like my second lap and had plenty of energy. Not sure if it was the pasta i ate or the 2hr of sleep but it was good. I felt comfy and my bike handling skills came back and towards the end even hoped for a decent time. I got 1 hr 13 minutes for that lap and if i want to be super anal i can say maybe 1 hr and 11/12 minutes due to talking to Clifton. 1/2 of the lap was in dawn condition so i was stuck in that limbo between dark and bright which certainly made a few sections interesting. Once i got back i saw no one in the transition area waiting for me and i pretty much knew it was over at that moment. When i got back to the transition this is what i figured out.
Clifton had a pretty bad knee pain which does not allow him to ride any more.
Trieu was suffering from bad cramps even after spending $80 for massage.
Timmy was just plain lazy and would not get up from the bed.
I didn’t mind doing another lap but that would still not be enough. The time was 7 or something along those lines and there is no way i could do 4-5 solo laps back to back by myself. I knew that was the end to our scott 24hr event. The worst news was that if no one was doing a lap by 11:45pm your team would get a DNF. That hurt the most. Overall thought everyone had put in a good effort. Sometimes things just don’t go your way and i am 100% understanding of that. When you can’t ride any more you can’t ride any more. Your body produces pain for self preservation purposes and listening to it isn’t an act of weakness but rather something smart.
So in conclusion our team did awesomely for a few hours before turning to shiet but it was so much more as we had many laughs and shared great times. Something that is always present at events like these. I thank the boys for sharing their weekend with me and even though i would not enter another similar event right this second, give me a months once the pain and the sunburn is gone i would be down for another one in a heartbeat. Mont is next and i cant wait!!
PS. I didn’t cramp. Hurray for that!!!
PPS. Interesting story with the gate as well when we tried to exit. Timmy’s car was stuck inside and the gate wasn’t going to open till 4pm but due to someone bitching and whinging we were let out in 20 minutes. I can understand from both sides of the perspective so i will just enjoy the fact that we were at home showering when people were still lining up to get out of that gate 😀
PPPS. Brandon just told me I got fed wrong info. Basically as long as you haven’t completed 1 lap during your whole 24hr you will DNF. Much less harsh 🙂