It's fair to say I was looking forward to this race ever since the last 6 hour race in Kawerau. Racing as Black Dirt Adventure we had a strong team with myself, Sam Clark, Cabin and Sonia teaming up.
The night before the race we discovered just how tough this race would be. It would be a two stage race, starting with a one hour fifteen ride, and then the rest all on foot through the Rotoma Forest. The longest I have ever run was the marathon, and that was a few years ago, so having to run for around four and a half hours scared me.
We had a decent ride, coming in a few minutes down on a few teams who had gone out hard. We knew the run would be the decider though so we took it a bit easier. Into the run and we made a good decision early on to bush bash a steep section of forest, and cut a lot of running out! This saved us a huge amount of time and set us up well for the rest of the run. The biggest section of the run was an out and back that had some seriously steep and technical track. It hurt going out to the furtherest part but it was awesome coming back! We nailed every check point on the way out and hadn't seen any team come back past, so we knew we would have been one of the first teams, but you never know in the type of racing!
Coming back and I got a bit of a wake up call. I was running, looking down at the map, on a wide open track and unfortunately didn't see a solid over hanging branch. I ran straight into it with my face, and ended up on the ground pretty quickly. Luckily I hadn't damaged my teeth, broken any bones, or knocked myself out, but I had a bit of blood coming from some pretty gashed lips. Not the nicest thing to do...
We nailed the rest of the check points on the way back, and after four and a half hours of running, crossed the finish line, and taking the win. Stoked.
It had been an epic, epic day and another great opportunity to race together before heading to China in a few weeks time!