Whoop? hoot? Whatever.
Whitford + rain = best course.
So close to being a no-show due to sense of European excess (muchos wine, beer, pasta and sausage combined with strict austerity measures on training). Convinced to front by the powers of MEC, ‘just to play in mud’, or play the ‘pace to what you’ve got game’.
Glad I showed, in a sense I think that might have been my best run ever. Not the fastest, nor the best placed, but tactically the best for sure. With only limited rounds available there is a need to deploy your troops with the best bang bang. If past performance was anything to go by, only a handful of runners would be able to maintain the rate of fire over the sketchy slopes of Whitford, unfortunately Mike has been added to the list here with his Talons acquisition.
Tactics for the day were simple, run the solid stuff easily and make whatever break I could on the precarious (and have fun in the process – no pressure required). The rhythm of comfortably paced climbs and road sections and furious descents would have seen me passed by many more if it weren’t for the storm that had passed through the night before. As it turned out it was super sketchy, and I hurdled at least three guys who went down just in front of me in the latter section when we met the mid course entrants.
In the 40+ division my marked competitor, Simon Phillips (who even cleans Mike out on the climbs) was having a few technical difficulties in the mud. Saw Troy Harold, danger man #2 (or 1, not sure), standing at the start line as we took off, injured as it later turned out. I fully expected Simon to sling by on the nasty finishing climbs but may have inadvertently fired the winning salvo by making a big push on what I thought was the final climb and flat. Turned out to be the penultimate section. Sure I was cooked for the actual final climb but probably enabled me to stay out of the sights of the speedy Mr Phillips for the actual final climb. And if they can’t see you you’re much harder to catch.
Now what kind of catch-up training is required to find 16 minutes on Mike at Hunua?