Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wurldz in WAINUI

When I moved to Wellington I spent a good chunk of time commuting over the hill and far away to the little town of Wainuiomata. Most Wellingtonians haven’t been there for years, if at all. But hiding away behind that monster of a hill are some of the most wicked mountain bike tracks in Wellington…with more to come, along with a new BMX track and a cool network of walking/running trails. The turnout at today’s Wainui Wurldz feels like just the beginning for the park.

Thanks to some legend track builders the network of trails is slowly increasing, what was marked out today to hurt the legs was pretty cool and with more trails on the cards Wainui will soon become one of the great places to ride in Wellington.

I’ve never done a 6 hour solo, or raced a single speed in an event where beer wasn’t provided at every lap… SISS to check out the wurld famous 5 second skull effort!. But given my current bike selection it was a no brainer to use my old repainted steel KHS single speed. A no brainer as right now that is my only bike!

As we were getting ready this morning Bex was giving me the talk about how I needed to ride a bit differently to the normal go out and smash it hard from the gun, that I needed to ‘pace’ myself. Easier said than done, I’ve always struggled to hold myself back in longer races and tend to want to go all out from the gun. After 2 laps of playing with the kids at the front I had to force myself to drop down a peg or two to make sure I could go the full 6hrs (yep, I listen to my wife!). After Diesel Turbo (or Dirty Bearded) Dave Sharpe rode away from me I was happy to hold on to my 2nd place spot and see how long I could hold off the cramp which did eventually nail me with 2 laps to go. I spent a fair few minutes holding my leg in agony and only being able to move an inch. Of all the pains I’ve experienced over the years cramp has to be on top of my list of hates.

If you hear of me being called ‘nearly Sharratt’ or the ‘under 10 second man’ it will be in reference to my super poor timing on the very last lap. I’d hit through the cut off time with well enough for a lap, but after my jumping around holding my cramped up leg and swearing episode I found myself coming through into the finishing loop with under a minute to go. Despite giving it all to push through the tent sites for the last time I was shut down with only about 2-3 more seconds needed to get over the line….damn that man on the microphone who was creating a lot of interest from everyone as to whether I would make it or not…could’ve slipped in and no one would have noticed if he wasn’t there! So the under 10 second man I am…..but only when it comes to the end of a 6 hour solo…..

As with any great 6 hour event I was reliant on my tent crew. I shifted in for the day with the Bushlove boys, but it wasn’t the lads I was really interested in, I had a heads up that Keryn had made lolly cake which proved to be my saviour at about 3 and a half hours. Bex showed up too and had a great day of yarning on the side of the track (and enjoying Beth’s massage….the best apparently!). She had been out at the third of the Xterra runs a bit further down the valley from wurld famous Wainui in the Orongarongos…sounds like a great place too, she loved the ‘root running’ along the ridgeline and rated it as the best one of the series yet.

Wainui….a great destination for a very sunny autumn day in Wellington!
(their tourism office isn’t paying me,….honest!)

Thanks to everyone who put together the event today and well done to all who got out there and did a few (or more than a few) laps.

Back to it for another week, quite happy that my commute now takes me round the bays to Miramar, the mornings are starting to show signs that winter isn’t too far away, although despite being told that growing a beard takes the chill off in the morning I don’t think it’s something I can get into! Keep warm and keep the legs spinning even when the cold hits.