I am happy to report that I have in my hand the fabled Bronze Monocle of Stromlo (and somewhat relieved to discover that there’s no corresponding entry in the Urban Dictionary!) this being for scrambling, grafting and heaving my way into third place in Super Masters (50+) at the MTB Marathon Championships held on Mt Stromlo in Canberra.
The start list revealed some quality names in the field including the defending champion Craig Peacock and local fast man John Henderson. Craig also pointed out to me Garry James as someone to watch. The race started with a long steady climb on a mix of fire trail and easy single track and a very solid pace set by Garry James with John Henderson glued firmly to his wheel and me rather loosely attached by a piece of thin elastic. This speed didn’t relent and, after about ten kilometers, I’d hit the limit and had to let go. Fortunately I couldn’t see anybody behind us so I tried to settle into my own rhythm, stay out of sight of the chasers and pray that the guys ahead of me would back off the pace. Alas, this didn’t happen and for the next four and a half hours I battled to consolidate third place over some nasty climbs and fiendishly placed rocks ever aware that Craig was somewhere just behind me (which turned out not to be the case, he’d crashed out early on the first lap unfortunately but only minor injuries I’m happy to report!) The course itself is a stunner and manages to take in almost every bit of trail there is on offer, even a small part of the downhill trails. Really great fun but I was very happy to get up there a day early for a recon ride, essential to keeping my touchdown count to a mere one in number!
Also a huge shout out to DC and the Fitzroy Revolution crew for allowing me to tag along in their merry caravan and trackside for the support. It would have been a logistical headache otherwise, many thanks!