So before any of the other MEC entrants (Brent, Mike, Sean) post their Waihi Xterra Long Course report lets get some things straight. Three of us (Brent, Mike, and Ron) carpooled down in an exquisite demonstration of ‘just in time’ production practices while Sean took a more resilient ‘time to spare’ approach.
From what I know, the essentials for an enjoyable and successful Waihi race:
- Insect repellant – the sandflies at Dickies Flat are notorious
- Extra travel time – it’s a wee bit further the Hunua and parking is at a premium
- Lights – the first tunnel is long and dark
- A fast start – with enforced walk swing bridges and tunnel in the first 2km you don’t want to be at the back of the queue if you are racing
- A warm up – see points 2 and 4 especially if you are getting on in age a bit.
Mike first called my timing into question on Friday with a suggested departure time not being sufficient for travel, parking, registrations, and ablutions. He was right, and we were both wrong, our rescheduled departure still wasn’t early enough.
The scene in Paeroa, 30 minutes and 15km before race start: One blocked toilet, one functional toilet, 3 runners and two unfortunate members of the public. The Ron style MEC race briefing took place soon after in the car race to the event center, recommending as I recall, lights, and a fast start (having forgotten the insect repellant and never done the long course this was all I had to offer).
A dire carparking situation less than 10min before race start and not yet actually having even entered the event I suggested I bail and enter us all given I was ready to go while Brent had just finished disrobing behind the wheel. Mike followed leaving Brent to negotiate parking.
With the family’s (soon to arrive for the short course event) and Brent’s entry in hand I blanked, Brontosaurus Kelly and King King would have to do. Fortunately for Mike he managed to shove his own entry under the official’s nose with my Visa number on it. Hurdle number 3, entry, surmounted (ablutions and parking being first two).
Race bags, numbers, and timing chips allotted I had just enough time to pin my number, pocket my timing chip and dump Brents race gels in my race bag (and go for a pee). By the time Brent and I returned from the bushes slash warm-up run there was no time for Mike’s second chance torch option, Brent’s gels, or fixing the chip to my shoe. Mike led the charge to bustle as close to the start line as we could just as the countdown started. Sean was there somewhere (I think).
From here I’ll let the MEC entrants report the actual race for themselves…