And the news from Belanglo is ...
Monday, 7 June 2010
After a stormy week, we were all keenly watching the weather forecasts hoping for a change from the ‘big soak’... and yes, we finally got the reprieve!Saturday was glorious and Sunday was dry but just a bit windier and cooler.
Cool enough to have some riders trembling with excitement at the start ...
A young and unhappy Jamie in my arms, I managed to get all away except for Graeme and Keith.
Graeme had an excuse – he had helped set up and conducted most of the briefing - but Keith, where was Keith?
Ok, Keith had a tough MTBO the previous day and then offered to be my chauffeur to place controls that night, two tasks that made the man deserving of a drink.
But perhaps he found himself too deserving, as it took a good stir from Rowan to wake him and remind Keith that he was there to race, not to relax!
The first riders back didn't look too muddy or unhappy and it seemed courses 4 and 5 had hit the mark. Smiles all round.
Then some course 3 riders and the first course 2 riders came back in.
Mary Fien set a benchmark time on course 2 which wasn't beaten all day, although the ever young and wily Robert Prentice came close.
Alex Randall completed course 1 in a cracker time with David Simpfendorfer not far behind, but David had taken the "long way round" route choice, which today was definitely not the best pick.
Alex challenged his body by purposely riding without food, but not as much of a challenge as the competitor, who will remain unnamed, riding course 1 without food or fluids! Impressive but not recommended ... especially not when the big gully at Belanglo has to be crossed!!!
Fortunately the winning times for all courses were close to target and the hardship caused by course 1 and 2 were appropriate, as both courses were designed to push Mary Fien, Alex Randall and Luke Poland in advance of them heading off to represent Australia at the 2010 World MTBO Championships in Portugal between 9-18 July.
I had hoped that this 2010 SS4 could be my penitence for the unnecessarily hard relay course I set at Belanglo in the past and, apart from course 2, it might have been that.
The smiles and enthusiasm from familiar and new finishers were a highlight along with Margaret’s perfect cup of tea!
We even had a celebrity visit by Huw Kingston, who had flown in from the UK en route to the Kona Mawson MTB Marathon race in SA to check out our activities and say hello.
Well done to the juniors who braved the cold and successfully completed their chosen courses, and to the trio of young ladies who rode most of the challenging course 2 together, enjoying themselves regardless of the outcome.
Thanks David, Jill, Keith, Graeme, Kate, Jim and Nick for behind the scenes work, setting up, programming and recording and collecting controls.
Without you all, we would never have gotten back home in time to feed our hungry and grumpy young boys!
Looking forward to Andy and Jim’s Nowra event - that coffee van better be at the start again!
Marcel van Schie