I have gained a new respect for the top Marathon racers. If all the races are like this, this is hard..... But I have to say completely mind numbing.
This particular track boasted no word of a lie about 200 metres of single track before exiting a creek crossing and hitting the fire roads again....
I have never seen so many water bars.
I did learn a major lesson though.
HYDRATION - if you are trying to rehydrate before or during an event with fliuds or electrolytes your dreaming. Along with nutrition the results of up to the last 7 days is what will determine how well you perform on race day, no exceptions. This is learnt the hard way. I suffered cramps in pretty much every leg muscle in both legs at some stage during this race. Its was the most pain I have ever been through during an event. With in the first 20ks I had my first cramp in my left caft, this is pretty unusual for me as I never usually have a problem with cramps that much. I have definately upped my sodium intake as I think for me this seems to be the major component for anti-cramping.
From the start of the race the pace was pretty sustainable especially after only racing XC races. After climbing for about the first 2 klms I backed of a little as I wasnt completely sure how long the first climb was. I am kind of glad I did as it must have climbed for about 20 minutes. This may not sound like a long and it isn't... on a road bike, but a mountain bike is much different, resistance from the dirt and heavier, grippier tyres add up pretty quickly when you are talking energy comsuption over extented periods.
The rest of the race just continued up hill for a long time and downhill for a short time. That was pretty much it. By the time a arrived at the 20 drink stop to marshall informed me that I was only about 6 minutes down from the leader, I was pretty stoked about that considering I the way I was feeling.
Apart from chain suck in about the last 5 klms causing me to have to dismount during one of the final climbs all went pretty well I guess.
By the end of the race I was about 35 minutes done for the leader and about 25minutes down from the time I had set for myself, but this happens. From now on I will be taking steps the ensure I NEVER cramp like that again.
Here is the file on motionbased for anyone who is interested.http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/7030156