Mountain Biking 4:48:41  45.39 km (9.4 kph) +1954m
Loved the tracks, but it was a lot more demanding that anticipated. It was quite mentally taxing in that you had to maintain concentration the entire time as it was quite technical. It was also physically taxing as it was so technical and so you had to throw the bike around a lot more.
I ended up starting in the last wave of the 50kmer's, meaning that before i'd even reached the end of the first firetrail section (approx. 700m), the first of the 25kmer's caught up to us. And these were the high school kids in a MTB club.
Once we got into the bush it wasn't so bad. There were quite a few people initially and so it made switchbacks a bit more difficult. The crowd sooned thinned though and it was easier to get around and let people overtake.
Took the underpass under the road from Kowen State Forest into Sparrow Hill.
Going up one hill, i had 1 guy sitting in behind me. We hit a firetrail and, before the next singletrack, i asked him if he wanted to go in front and he's like "you were such a good pace!'. Obviously not mate, you pulled away from me on the next hill and i didn't see you again.
On another hill i let a guy overtake and he's like "i was having a good rest!".
Before long, the 50km & 100km riders turned right but the 25km went straight ahead. About 30min into this section i came across 2x 25km riders (a kid and his dad) and they were asking me how far i had to go. I said i was 18km into my 50km. The guy thought that meant that he was almost done but i told him that he should have turned off already and that he was on the wrong track. Didn't see either of them again, so not sure how they went.
There were quite a few bog holes out there that hadn't quite dried up from all the rain. Seeing as how i started in the last start wave for the 50kmer's and the 100km's had already been through, by the time i got to the bog holes i had to get off and walk a lot of them as there was no way around. I would end up getting stuck in the middle and have to walk through the mud rather than finding a way around.
At one point i came across a tree down across the track. There was no way around it so i had to get off. 2 guys had seen me coming and waited to help me lift my bike over the tree. That was nice of them, especially seeing as when i lifted it to give to the guy, i couldn't even lift it high enough to clear the tree!
There was this one big guy that I kept playing jump frog with. I'd catch him on most if not all of the hills, but then given his size and obvious confidence, he took off on the downs. Every uphill he ask if i wanted to overtake and each time i said no.
Knew i was coming up to the 32km feed station as i could hear the music pumping. The downside of this was that we were climbing the hill which meant lots of twists and turns. So i was riding, listening to the music, for about 10min.
When i got to the 32km feed station, i jumped off and stretched my back. It and my neck were starting to get sore from the camelbak. The feed station had many yummy foods to choose from, so i had a banana, some pineapple, 2x sour worms and a fun-size milky way. As soon as i saw the big guy get back on his bike, i jumped on too, determined to not let him get too far in front. The downhill from the feed station was quite dry and loose.
Once we got back into the bush and singletrack, i just plodded away, comfortable in the fact that i was giving it my all.
Started my climb up a firetrail before it turned too steep and i started to walk. Got to the mouth of the next singletrack with 2 guys. They stopped for a breather, i glanced down the track and saw a dozen guys coming so thought i'd get going. Metres into the track i heard a rustling, glanced down and saw the tail end of what i think was a brownie! That scared me, went pretty fast down that section.
Saw the main road and knew that we were on our way back over to Kowen. Did a bit more singletrack past the few dams before taking the underpass to Kowen. On my way down the road, i came across a girl whose chain had come off. I stopped to see if i could help but she got the chain on as i stopped. I then realised that i'd stopped on a hill! Ended up pushing hard in this last section as i didn't know if the girl was in my category or not (19-29yr).
Caught another guy and he and i ended up doing the same dance as me and the bigger guy. I'd catch him on the ups and he'd get away on the downs.
Got onto one firetrail and thought it was the end so pumped it. This only resulted in my knee becoming extremely angry at me. I stated talking to it, trying to convince it to be good for just the next half an hour.
Made it through the last section of singletrtack, popped out on the firetrail and made my way back to the finish.
Turns out the girl that i had stopped for with the chain, is Glen.C's girlfriend!