Bushrangers 3HR Endurance Race Summary 2017
So after a couple of months of stressing and guessing, planning and cramming we successfully held an XC-style race event with our new race equipment and from all reports everyone was happy!
Excuse the lengthy write-up but a lot happened on the day.
Day before Race Day
‘Bumping in’ began the day before the race with the cleaning and creation of trails, setting up the timing marquee and track bunting. By around 4:30pm everything was ready to go with only a few things left to do on the day.
Race Day 7:00 – 8:30
Early Saturday some last minute finishing touches to the course were made and the BBQ and eskys were set up. Michael went off to do parking duty while Ben briefed the marshals and Sonja checked over the first aid supplies. Julie started registering the riders and issuing the number plates and their free Clif bars.
Soon riders where doing practice laps of the course and readying their bikes and kit. At 8:30 it was the race briefing time so everyone was called up to the starting area and we went through the race rules, overtaking tips and emergency procedures. Then the marshals were sent to their points – Martin at “Hell’s gate”, Sonja at the “Rock garden”.
Everyone was called up to the line at 8:55am – A grade in front, B grade in the middle and C grade at the back of the bus with the cool kids. While the seconds slowly passed the timing system was readied and checked one last time, the marshals checked-in over the radio and the go-ahead was given to start on Michael’s signal. Then at exactly 9am, the go was given and 28 riders were tearing up the long driveway in a cloud of dust, grunts and clanks. The race had started successfully and on-time, awesome!
The next stressful part was seeing if the timing system would detect and update the finishers as they pass the timing line. No amount of testing will give us complete confidence that the first ‘actual’ run would work but when the A-graders came zipping up the hill and over the line the timing box made its beeps, flashed it’s little light and the software updated it’s list with juicy data. We were good to go for our first 3hr Endurance race.
We needed some music happening and apparently our President’s music is like “whale sounds” so a search for ’90’s alternative rock hits’ gave us 30min of music from Spice Girls, Aqua and even some country music. Michael couldn’t handle it and started up his special race play-list of eclectic motivational songs that he probably has playing in his head 24/7 (like “The Man” by The Killers). The newly purchased PA system belted out the big beat tunes at an amazing volume.
Race Day 10:30 (half way)
90 minutes marked the half way point and a special moment on this course. The course consisted of two loops with the first loop running the first half of the race (1.5hrs) and then the second loop coming online for the last half. Martin swung the ‘Devils Gate’ and opened the new loop (and closed the old loop) at 10:30am. Soon enough Loop 1 had drained away its riders and the transition went off without a hitch. The new loop had a fun, flow section but also had a challenging newly cut track which dropped in right before a small pinch – tricky to negotiate and added some challenge to some already tired riders.
Race Day 11:30
Our Social Coordinator Greg got the BBQ fired up and start cooking up the snags ready to feed some hungry racers and spectators. Michael had the microphone and kept giving the riders updates and “motivation” this included dancing and pelvis thrusts in the direction the riders should be travelling – kind of like a lewd disco signpost?
Race Finish 12:00
Soon it was almost noon so we had to keep an eye on the timing box to ensure no one went off for another lap after the race finish time. However you were allowed one more lap if you crossed before noon. Soon all riders had finished their last laps and crossed the line and the race was over. In the 3 hours there were mechanicals, cramps, minor crashes, a lot of sweat and a lot of fun.
While everyone had a cold drink and chowed down on some beautifully cooked snags by Greg and Sonja and delicious slices made by Trish Vandeluer, Michael and Ben got the final times and prizes prepared. The results were practically delivered automagically by our new timing system so we could quickly announce the winners and allocate the prizes and certificates (race results here). Category winners received a big goodie bag with items from Clif bar, Nuun and Amazing Oils Magnesium and a nice bottle of wine (according to Michael anyway) and a Certificate of Win (to grant their well-earned bragging permissions). There was also a special prize handed to the best crash of the day which was a rather appropriate bike repair voucher from Hit Bikes. The remaining goodies from EnPlusOne, Hit Bikes and Venture Cycles were given out as part of a lucky draw with everyone included.
With the help of our volunteers everything was packed up by 3:00PM and we marked the end of a great day of racing and weeks of preparation.
- Thanks to Paul and Trish for their help and for having us on their beautiful property to use their great trails.
- Thanks to our volunteers who came to help and stayed back to pack up: Jenny, Julie, Sonja, Martin, Dave, Rob, Greg, Craig, Damo, Royce and Nakita, Will, Andrew and anyone who I’ve forgotten. It really, really helped us out.
- Thanks to our sponsors: David Harbutt Photography, Marty at EnPlusOne, Dean and Geoff at Hit Bikes and Jez at Venture Cycles as well as Bushranger member Gary from Unique Health Products who scored the donations from Clif bar, Nuun and Amazing Oils Magnesium for us.
- Finally a big thanks to our racers from all over who gave us a shot and came to our first XC event in many years. We were nervous right up to the race start but are really happy with how it all turned out and we’ve learnt a few things to make the next one even better.
David Harbutt and Rob Macdonald took great photos of the race and have generously provided them to the club for free HERE. Make sure you scroll through and pick out your favorite shots and show it off on Facebook for us by tagging us at @BMTBSC. We’ve plucked a few out below.
Thanks again everyone,
Bushrangers MTB Club Sunshine Coast Inc
More photos HERE