Well that was crap.
Nah it wasn’t that bad, but it certainly wasn’t what I was hoping for. 56th was well outside my top 20 goal but I did get a $50 cash prize for coming in 3rd in the Junior category so that was nice.
From the start the pace was ridiculously high with Anton Cooper and the Oliver’s leading the pack. I was dropping backwards down to about 40th and I simply couldn’t get back into it after that. Part of the problem was my bike, while everyone (and I mean everyone) else was cruising along the rutted grass paths on their full suspension 29ers I was bumping along on my 27.5 hardtail simply unable to do the same speed as them.
Aside from that it went pretty well, I settled into a group at the 20km mark and we worked together to catch some other racers before the end. With about 5km to go on my Garmin I realised that we were right next to the finish and went for it. Sadly we still had another 3km loop to go before we actually finished. I managed to overtake about 5 people through the loop including another junior that had been in 3rd for the whole race. That was enough to get me on the podium and claim my $50 reward.
Probably wont be back next year unless I can get a full suspension bike, or I need the money. Trail running is definitely my favourite non orienteering race discipline. Now it’s time for a relaxed week before camp starts.