24 laps / 12 hrs : 15 mins : 09 secs
This weekend was the Jet Black 12 hr at Dargle Farm (lower Hawkesbury area).
Although this race was originally not on my race calendar, it quickly signed up a few weeks back once I heard that the Kona Mawson Marathon was cancelled.
Dargle is a really fun course. It is on farm land and basically follows a big Y shape up into two valleys. Along the way, there is a great mixture of flowing single track, pinch climbs, and fast paddocks crossings. It is all topped off with a fast descent and jump into the event central.
My goal for this race was to stick with Jason English (Merida) for the start, and to then keep with Brett Bellchambers (Niner/Maladjusted).
The start was fast. Brett set the pace early on. The first 2.5 hours Brett pushed hard, seeing the three of us churn out sub 28 minute laps - and have us in the top 5 overall! You can see my heart rate was averaging around 160+ for this time.
Around the 2.5 - 3 hr mark Brett started to slow. At the same time English went off the front and I could settle into a more comfortable pace. The heart rate came down into the 150s and lap times were sub 30s.
I kept this same pace pretty consistently and around the 6 hr point English lapped me. By this stage I had a comfortable lead on Brett, and could see that I was gaining time on him each lap. With Jase looking to conserve energy, we ended up riding together for pretty much the rest of the afternoon / evening.
It was great to have the company and with neither of us having to push it, it was really cool to be able to just cruise around and have a good chat along the way!
A memorable moment was when we were coming up to a split in the single track around a little pond. I punched it to the left to over take a slow mover on the right hand side. My wheel hit a wet tree root and flicked the rear out, with Jase on my wheel he hit the same root with his front wheel and got flung off the track into the pond!
Luckily he grabbed hold of a tree and his bike got perched on a ledge over the water! Without the tree, he would have been swimming in the middle of the pond!
As the night progressed, we took it progressively easier. I had planned to race the GP 8 with Garry James (Torq/Anytime Fitness) on the sunday, but by the end of the night I had seen enough of Dargle for one weekend!
The last few laps were super cruisey and it was great to be finishing a long day out feeling good.
Food for this race was the following;
- Torq gel every 30 minutes (caffeine from 9am-midday, and 5pm - 8pm)
- Torq bar every 30 minutes for the first 5 hours
- 2 x Nutella sandwiches
- 4 x Clif Shot Bloks
- 10 x bottles of Torq Energy (2 scoops)
- 2 x bottles of Coke
Interestingly I found the Torq Bars hard to eat, so I replaced them with the sandwiches and the Clif Shots.
I took both of my Scott Sparks set up for the race.
One bike was setup with 2.0 Continental Race Kings on ZTR Crest / DT-Swiss ultra lites, and another with 2.2 Continental Race Kings on my old Rovals.
I ended up riding the 2.0 Race Kings for around 9 hrs of the race. They were definitely the better choice.
The Race Kings gripped well in the thick farm soil, and the smaller width tire were easier to navigate through the rocks on the punchy climbs.
This was the first race where I did not use the Twin-Lock at all! I left the Spark's in the middle lock out mode for the whole race.
A big thanks to;
- Robyn - for being an excellent pit crew boss and looking after all my food, bike swaps and lights etc
- ACT Bike Superstore - for getting my bikes ready to go for this race and keeping them running. A big thanks to Brett and Mick for getting my forks ready to race
- FOX - for a super quick turn around on my fork service which ensured I could run both bikes
- Rockytrail Entertainment / Jet Black - for running another great race. Well organized and great fun
Next weekend it is off to another Singletrack Mind 7 hr race at Wingello!
|I need a warm sponsors jersey!|