Flinty's Warny Race Report
My Warny Experience
Well I did it, finished the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic last Saturday.
After doing a carbo load leading up to the event and being very apprehensive of what might lie ahead, I arrived at the start full of nerves and enthusiasm.
I was a little disappointed that the weather was looking quite ordinary but this is Melbourne in October and it didn’t really matter when you had 300km’s of torture to think about.
I was graded in C-grade & other than the race distance I was fairly confident of doing O.K.
All those weeks of training were sure to pay off I kept telling myself.
Being 1 of 174 riders to start the longest single day road race on Earth.
Having the ideal warm-up as the first 10km's was under the control of a lead car.
Negotiating all the traffic islands and roundabouts (using either side) while having motorbike scouts fly past the bunch just like the “Tour De France”
Getting out of the “burbs” with as little pain as possible.
Not really a highlight but getting caught behind a 15 rider pile-up just before Werribee which I had to do some off-road riding to avoid (old BMX skills came in very handy). This left me over 100mtrs behind the main field. This was not what I wanted so early in the race
The chase to get back onto the bunch and doing so just out of Werribee before the field accelerated again, blowing us chasers of the back of the bunch once again in the crosswind.
Taking the next 10km's to get back onto the remnants of the bunch which was fracturing due to the high cross winds during this section of the race.
Nearly crashing when my front wheel was nearly taken out from under me, during the chase due to other riders not knowing how to ride an echelon in cross-winds
Our bunch (about 60 riders) forming around Little River and staying together for most of the way to Warrnambool.
Climbing the steepest hill on the race (Dog's Rock) with over 200 people cheering us on, felt like a real pro.
The first feed station, being quite stressful (never done them before) and thinking I had ridden past my support man who was just up ahead once I looked harder.
Having too much food then giving some of it to another ABOC’er (Craig Van der Valk) who missed his feed bag. By the way, well done Craig for finishing despite these mishaps, especially the one at Camperdown.
First experience of a nature stop on a race. Everyone stops, waits and re-groups before racing hard again (Gentleman's Agreement).
Taking too long to finish my nature stop and having to chase back for about 2km’s. Won’t do that again.
At times finding the riding very easy (recovery HR), just like a weekend bunch training ride. The big bunch definitely helped.
Between 130-180km's feeling pretty horrible as everything started to ache (feet, back, shoulders, neck and R knee), it didn't get any worse thank god.
Getting through the mental barrier, it is a big factor on such a long ride more so than normal.
Having the coach (Carl) on the side of the road in a couple of spots during the race cheering us ABOC’ers on and taking happy snaps in the process.
Seeing a Police motorcyclist trying to hit the roof of a car that would not stop when directed.
At Camperdown (2nd feed station) seeing a big crash as one rider did a hard left hand turn to get to his bag and taking 4 other riders out.
Once at Camperdown knowing that I would finish as only 60km's to go.
Not needing to stop at the last feed station, never getting hungry. The carbo load did work.
Thinking that something might happen & I should move up in the bunch with 15km’s to go then 30sec’s later having 3 riders crash in front of me, BMX evasive moves used once again.
Feeling stronger as the finish line got closer & having enough energy to sprint for the Finish line.
The feeling of knowing I just completed the longest single day road race in the world even though I was totally exhausted & sun burnt (go figure).
I finished in 50th place overall (all grades) and 9th in C-Grade.
Our bunch was 41:01min behind the overall winner & ~16min behind the C-grade winner. (Not too bad I think).
· Time = 8:34:15 Hr
· Dist = 296.4 km
· Avg Speed = 34.6 km/hr
· Avg HR = 131 bpm
· Max HR = 178 bpm
· Energy Used = 6100 Cal
· Heart Beats = 67500
· Avg Temp = 14'C
To my family for their support and encouragement, especially my wife Belinda.
To my support man Graham “Scottie” Scott (Father-in-Law). Who was more stressed than I.
To Pam “Mum” Scott (Mother-in-Law) for the best fruit cake, I never got hungry.
Richard Grace for his time and riding his motorbike for pacing sessions, your skills are sublime
Finally to coach Carl you are the man. Your entire training plan did pay off. If you ever need a referee give me a call.
I am really happy for just finishing the monster and especially with my final position and time.
Would I do it again, well it is a tough one.
During the race I was saying no, after finishing I was saying maybe, by today I am saying why not? 12 months is a long time to forget about the pain, suffering and hard training, I may also have to get a divorce before I can do it again, but you never say “never”.
If you are thinking about giving it a go, you should (at least once), it is an awesome experience.
But you need to be prepared to put your life on a bit of a holding pattern while you prepare for it.
I won’t be missing getting up at 4:30am for the 5am training sessions that is for sure.