The 3+3hr race held at Spicers Hidden Vale – Hidden Vale Adventure Park was scorcher of an event. The event was held over the weekend. On Saturday the race started at 2pm and you had 3hrs to get as many laps in before finishing at 5. Then race the next day (Sunday) at 9am finishing at midday with the same rules the previous day. So hence 3+3hr. This event was organised as a bit of a mountain bike christmas race. It also had a banquet at night, fun jumps competition and kids races both days. There was delicious food to be eaten with a couple hundred other happy mountain bikers that were enjoying the weekend.
There was a different course for each day of racing. Both courses being super fun, fast and technical. Even with the sun beating down on your back in 35+ degree heat it was awesome, but a little dusty. Since it was so hot they set up a small crew to spray you with water half way around which I think everyone chose to get soaked every time they road past.
In the lead up to the event I read in the paper that the temperatures were going to be 8 degrees higher then the usual temperatures for this time of the year. So I decided to test how my body goes in the heat having previous struggles with heat and fluid in take and eating enough for the slightly longer races. On both days I decided to start off slow and not race with the fast guys to prevent my self from getting into a pace that my body might not be able to hold for the 3hrs in the heat and accidentally run my body into the ground.
I stuck to my race plan and it worked well. After two laps I felt good so I kept grabbing more water bottles and going a little faster and finished strong both days. I only had one mechanical on the first day with my front tyre. It seem to get a pin hole puncture on the side of the tyre and slowly leaked air, yet my Stans sealant did not seal the hole, so I was climbing fast around a corner and my front almost washed out and it ‘burpied’ the rest of the air out of the tyre. I got off and started to pump air back in because it didn’t fully break the seal and there was sealant still inside. So I managed to ride it back to the finish, pump it up and the hole sealed so I was off again. I didn’t have any more bike dramas for the weekend after that.
The mechanical lost me enough time that I only managed to fit 7 laps on the first day and there was 4 or 5 guys on 8 laps which I was close to and the leader on 9 who was light years ahead. I was in 9th position on the first day.
On the second day my body seemed to pull up well since I focused on stretching well and eating heaps to recover for the next day and it worked. I jumped on the bike went steady for the first couple of laps then tried to increase my speed. I think both days I started to get negative splits each lap which was odd because I felt slower towards the end of each day, but I won’t complain. The course was a little shorter but had a little bit more of a punchy climb and fairly fast technical descents.
I managed to pull out another 7 laps finishing me off with a total of 14 laps. There was only 4 of us that got 7 and the leader who managed to squeeze 8 out of the 3 hrs which was impressive. Being one lap down from the previous day I wasn’t able to stay on contention with the other guys and finished up 5th which was pretty good considering the flat which forced a 57min lap.
I would have taken heaps of pictures but I was trying to cool down after the races. I did how ever stumble upon a great drink mix called Infinit Nutrition which is the great energy drink powder that has heaps of carbs in one of their mixes and you can sort of build your own mix to get the right amount of electrolytes and protein etc. plus it tastes pretty good.
Heres a link to their site: http://www.infinitnutrition.com.au
Heres a link to the race site: http://www.3plus3.com.au
Heres a link to the Spicers Hidden Vale resort: http://spicersgroup.com.au/property/spicers-hidden-vale-grandchester-qld