The last 100k enduro, the highland Fling, was run last weekend at Bundanoon. MWCC always has a number of members who attend these events in the pursuit of category glory, bragging rights or just the sheer relief on completion. Like most cycling activities the motivation is deep and complex with the routine mix of agony and ecstasy almost regardless of final placings. As the Fling is fresh we can put together a list of times, the others are lost to the haze of endorphins and defective or reconstructed memory.
This year produced some great times and results from some MWCC riders with Miha Remec winning veterans in a blistering time (and not too far of the outright winner) and John Miller, Duncan Markham and Gary Harwood taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in the cyclocross category. Though John did say a day later “You can shove the Fling on a Cyclocross bike. My body is still shaking. Never ever again”.
What do the MWCC members who don’t do road races actually do?
100km mountain bike enduros, that’s what. Over the years MWCC has been extremely well represented with wins, podium placings and top 10 finishes, and this year was no exception.
The first news of the season actually came at the end of last season with the news that round four “The Angry Doctor” was cancelled as it would take over a year to restore the course after the previous years storms. This left 4 rounds to be part of the Real Insurance MTB Marathon Champs.
Round one was “Capital Punishment” held in Canberra in March. All were hoping not to repeat the mud fest of the previous year, and for a while it looked like the weather gods weren’t going to be kind, but someone must have greased the right palms and race day dawned dry. A great course taking in the 24hour courses of Kowan and Majura Forests and finishing with a lap round Stromlo where the World Champs were held a few years back.
Round 2 was the Dirtworks in May. Held in the National Parks around St Albans, a tough course with 2 major climbs and a long sections of rocky broken trail. Too easy to catch a wheel between some rocks and … Well lets say it’s a long helicopter ride out for the unwary.
Round 3. The Husky. Held in August in the State Forests between Jervis Bay and Nowra this round has no real climbs to speak of, but miles and miles of singletrack and with all the rain it was slippery. In the dry this would be a epic course. Unfortunately we’ve never raced a dry course here.
Round 4. The Highland Fling in November. Along with the Dirtworks these are the longest running enduro races, and the Fling lays claim to the longest 100km race at 113km and 2300m of climbing. Its also the only one to have a cyclocross category. MWCC have never failed to come any less than 2nd in this category and for the last 3 years have won it out right. This year we filled 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Some of us also rode the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro in Alice Springs in May, this was a 5 day 7 stage race across some rugged outback terrain, but with the advantage of staying in the same place each time. Hard, competitive racing, with an extremely friendly, social atmosphere.
The quality of the racing is high and for a bunch of old fellas we punch way above our weights (for some of us that’s not insubstantial), but the main reason for it is the social aspect. The camping, pizza eating, beer drinking (it’s a rigorous regime) and friendly rivalry make these races a cut above the usual turn up, race, go home events.
However its not for everyone. Many a road ‘gun’ has given it a go, only to find reality has beaten their expectation to death and is happily burying it in the bush, whilst their willpower is slowly seeping away with every pedal stroke.
This was meant to be a race report, but after a whole year I can’t remember who came where in what category, and really cause anyone who finishes one of these is a winner. Sounds clichéd, but as I sit here the day after the Fling, I’m bone tired, every muscle aches, it’s hard to hold a glass, to walk, to even sit and by my own standards I had a shocking race, there’s a great sense of satisfaction that I didn’t pike.
Roll on next year.
1 Miha Remec 4:27:54 10th place overall
10 (950) 628 Roelof Burger 5:03:49.1
15 (973) 683 Mark Hardy 5:08:10.2
1 (1015) 1029 John Miller 5:18:01.2
5 (1018) 952 Mike Sumner 5:18:19.5
29 (1034) 356 Jarrod Crosby 5:21:24.8
28 (1056) 657 Ben Edols 5:26:25.1
34 (1065) 326 Michael Bolt 5:29:22.2
2 (1074) 1028 Duncan Markham 5:31:40.0
3 (1140) 1026 Gary Harwood 5:43:10.5
3 (148) 1749 Christelle V Niekerk 2:58:20.9