It didn’t take much convincing, a little encouragement, but Thursday night I made my mind up and entered the Peak to Pub race.
I can ski a bit, I can Mountain Bike a little bit, and I know I can run, but I have never really put more than one skill to the test at once, and not in a long time. I think the last Multisport race I did I was at Primary school! So heading into the race I was a little bit worried and a lot bit excited! I got myself all nervous after watching the videos the night before the race…. Then race morning the weather had other ideas and the race was postponed to Sunday….which turned out to be a much better day with almost perfect conditions!
I had a bit of a practice on the skis beforehand, pretty much shaking out the cobwebs, and turns out I can still ski alright….Confidence was not overly high and I made a few runs practicing getting over the fear of steepness, and technique. Eventually I was somewhat happy and along with some reassurance on the lift ride up I was ready to go from the Peak to the Pub.
It was hard work running in Ski boots, something that I didn’t have time to practice…and pretty much I sucked, except when going uphill…I reached my skis about 3/4 of the way down the rankings. Then calmly I headed over the edge, I nailed the first gate then when about to turn into the second someone cut in on me forcing me wide and over into the ungrommed ice at speed and out of control. I managed to kind of crash/stop and turn around. Then once turned around I started sliding out of control down, somehow I managed to get back into some sort of control and I was back on track. The ski down was heaps of fun with people everywhere, cutting in and out, crashing, falling down, zooming past, like something out of a James Bond ski chase!
Into transition, Dad was there to help get the ski boots off and I was quickly into bike shoes and off down the hill. The downhill actually started with a bit of an uphill, where I was able to make a place or two. Then the long downhill began. A few people came flying past me, a few hung around me, having a see-saw battle around the corners. Coming into the saddle with a little uphill I realise I had some damage to my rear derailer cable and I was stuck in the hardest gear so I had to grind hard up the hill. Again the Mountain Bike was like a James Bond style chase, with bikes going backwards and forwards the whole way. I didn’t take the short cut….I wise decision… and found myself along for a while, I caught Tim just as he managed to pick up a puncture, unluckily for him he didn’t have a spare tube and had to run the rest of the 4km to the run transition. I managed to peg back the lead of a few of the riders in front of me on the road ride into the transition, only just catching them at the transition!
Here is where my race really started. I was fairly confident that I could peg back a few mins on the leaders in the run section. Rough and off road it suited me down to a T….once I found my shoes which I dumped earlier in the morning. Once I was into my shoes I was on my way and on a mission. I began to make my move through the field passing person after person. I could tell I was getting nearer to the front when the water splashed on the stones began to reduce a little bit. Eventually I got to the point where i knew I was at least top 5 with two way out in front, and a river crossing to go. I gave it my best shot and I cut down a 1min lead on the guy in front by the river crossing to 30secs. The best part of the run was of course the swim across the river diversion, like the crest of the hill on the ski leg I didn’t hesitate for a moment and dived straight in. I surprised myself with my swimming ability and shot across the river rapidly. Over the fence and into the forest, and the feeling just started to make its way back into the muscles. I pushed hard and cut down some of the 30 seconds but couldn’t get close enough to make it a real race. Round the corner and into the finish straight was the last obstacle for us to cross, some tyres and a small tunnel, before a water blasting with a fire hose as you crossed the line! I slipped into 4th place, 3rd in the open men.
A really cool race and Im glad I was talked into it and glad I did it. Now I know the course I think, with a bit of ski practice and some Mountain bike practice I could come back and give winning a crack 🙂