Resurrection Mogo, was the inaugural event of what could be the long awaited replacement of the loved and despised Angry Doctor. After some large investment by the locals, and support from the local council, the single track in the Mogo area was revitalised to serve up a course that would test the legs and provide the satisfying smiles from the exhilarating descents. One thing is for sure, looking at the profile of this course - there was no easy miles in this one.
Being the events first year, things were a little low key, with a little over 100 competitors across the 25 / 50 / 100km races. This is a good base to build upon, but a little more promotion leading up to the event wouldn't go astray. With hard cash up for grabs - $1000 for first place, some solid elite talent turned up. Jack Lavis, and Ant Shippard fresh from their recent wins / podium at the 3 ring circus. Some other Canberra hitters, Brendan Johnston, Ben Hendersen, Jarrod Hughes, Ed McDonald all vying for some of that hard earned.
Registration - check, all hassle free, and a sociable race start of 8am for the 100kers. Race briefing was short and sweet, and we were on our way - not many of us, but enough at the front end of the field to keep things interesting.
Immediately turning right into some double track we were faced with the first climb of the day, and within 500m up the climb the field ordered itself. For me, around 8th position that was the position i would hold for the rest of the day. The first climb is always a tough one. Fast, steep and around 150m of climbing, had the legs burning. I always struggle on these types of starts, and consequently i had let a gap of 100m form by the time i reached the top.
We then entered the first of miles and miles of single track, a loose but fast descent to the underpass that took us to the western side of the highway. By here i had quickly caught the group and proceeded in a procession of riders into to some fantastic singletrack.
The singletrack, was a combination of steep ups and downs, some reclaimed motocross singletrack (obvious from some of the deep ruts) all very dry and dusty. This kept everybody honest, as it was technical, hard to go fast, and traction on the hills was uncompromising. The Epic was perfect in these types of trails, light enough to go up, and the traction of the dually had me on the bike when others on hard tails around me were walking.I moved my way to the front of this pack and lead out to the start of the Maulbrooks Mtb trails.
Once here at the Maulbrooks trails, i could relax on autopilot for the 12km loop. After the recent Single Track mind event here, I had ridden this loop eight or nine times - i knew the climbs and descents well. The track here was buffed - purpose built single track, and the awesome descents of AST and the Snake Track, made a nice change to the agony in the legs.
Next to come was the sting in the tail. some mean double track climbs, old overgrown farm trail, and for those who remember the last cancelled Angry Doctor, a couple of those power lines service trail hills. These had the legs screaming, and we had just finished the first 50km loop ! Yep that's right just 50km - with at least 40km being single track. The good news (or bad news) was the second 50km was a repeat of the middle 44km of what we had just ridden. At least you knew what to expect second time around.
At this stage our group was down to two. One rider had got away on one of the technical descents, and the others had dropped off on some of the larger hills. I was beginning to suffer and took down 2 gels in quick succession. I noticed my partner was struggling on the climbs, so i made sure not to slow down to his pace and keep my own tempo. By the time i had got back to the Maulbrooks loop, i had left the other rider behind and was on my own. This was around the 70km mark and i was low on water and food. So i just put the head down and drilled it the best I could all the way back to the end. Somehow the nasty sting in the tail, is always a bit easier when there is only 10km to go.
I crossed the finish line in 5hrs 12mins, 9th overall and 3rd in the Masters category. It was a hard day on the bike, with my target being sub 5hrs, but with that much climbing and singletrack it was hard to maintain a high constant speed. Overall i was pretty pleased with my efforts, as this was the first time back on the MTB after a recent tumble.
With regards to organisation, the event was pretty low key for its inaugural year. The organisers seemed pretty relaxed and were finding their feet given they don't usually manage MTB races. I found the course well marked, and the selection of single track and the course loop was fantastic - i do like hills and hard courses though. This is definitely not a course for the first timer, with even the 50km race being a challenge.
Elite Energy, Shimano, Bellwether all put up a raft of prizes, with almost everybody taking something away from the day. This is always good when you have kids and supporters spending there day at the event to support you. Thanks to all the local services out there volunteering, this made sure we were all going in the right direction. Overall a great race, and one to put on the calendar.
Thanks especially to. Northside Cycles Chatswood and Specialized for getting my Sworks Epic WC tuned and ready for race day. Essential Sports Nutrition, this is a race that was mandatory for your recovery mix, and EVOC for the luggage to get me, my bike and family to and from the race.