It'd have to be 2 or 3 years since I was out on the MTB and probably 6 since I raced...and in that period of time my bike (Gary Fisher sugar 2) has become a dinosaur..... I think I was the only person not sporting disc brakes.
Anyhow there I was at the start line for the 25km 1/4 epic, alongside those doing the full epic (105km) and the half epic (50km). Wisely, I started near the back but since the start was one steep and very long climb, soon worked my way further to the front. My roadie fitness stood me in good stead and I was passing people like they were standing still...as indeed some were.
Then of course came the downhill and for the first few downhills I struggled as there were still people in front of me and with dust being stirred up I couldn't see well. Later on when we separated from the longer routes, I got to see better and my confidence rose.
Then I had the first of 2 humungous falls. I was lying 3rd overall and while I can't recall it in detail I have a recollection of a sandy track, my back wheel washing away and me grabbing the front brake (tch..you roadie you) and all of a sudden I was over the bars ...face plant no 1. By the time I'd untangled myself I was 4th overall. The next up and downhill were not too good for me..loss of confidence..but then I was ok again and grooved through a bit of single track up and downhill before I got too cocky and misjudged a left hand bend, hooking my bars around a tree. Ungainly face plant no 2. 5th overall.
The last bit of single track was awesome although I discovered that I STILL cannot manage acute steep uphill u turns..but I maintained 5th overall , 3rd female and got a great courier bag as my prize.
Alex did the 105km but suffered cramps for the last half and struggled big time. Ben was a DNS as he has yet another cold..he went house hunting instead.
Tomorrow I'll be at work in shorts as usual and there will be comments about the bruises..better get a good story going eh?!