Faultline - 100km Mountain Bike Race

Faultline - 100km Mountain Bike Race

The Faultline Ultra- 100kms Mountain Bike Race

Bike Specilaized Epic
Conditions Perfect. Cool, slightly overcast. No wind.
Top Men's Lightspeed Summer Long Sleeve
Bottom Pioneers Men's Bib Shorts
Socks Wrath
Base Layer York Base Layer

When you pick up your race plate and notice your next of kins details are printed on the under side you know 3,000m of climbing, 100kms or riding, and four MTB parks is going to be a big day at the office.

The day started at 3am. Have I set my alarm correctly? is 5am too late to get up, showered, fed and out the door? No was the answer. After some quality broken sleep I was up at 4:45am in what felt like a drunken daze. Ingested enough homemade gluten free muesli to feed a village, stretched the old body, and strapped the bike to the roof of the car. I was off..

Arrrggg. Stressing I'm going to be late for the 6am start. It's 5:35am, I finally arrive in the dark at a random school at the top of the Belmont hills. Another banana eaten, worry about clothing choices (but Silversky Bibs, York Base Layer and Light Speed Summer Weight Long Sleeve and Gillet all really comfy), check out what others are wearing, turn lights on, nervous chat on start line. And off on a fully rebuilt bike, the bike and I finally both feeling good on the same day!

It's dark, did I mention that? The intial pack breaks up quickly and three of us head off on the gravel road and quickly into some of Belmonts infamous flowy single track. After a while the sun starts to rise to reveal a stunning day with jaw dropping vistas over Wellington and Porirua harbours. I'm quickly reminded of how much climbing this race has in it, yet how stunningly beautiful Wellington is in the early morning. As we head across the Belmont hills to drop under the Transmission Gully Viaduct the marshals are pleased to see us which is a great feeling. We pass on thanks to the marshals as we enter the back blocks of Porirua as we're not the only ones doing it tough given the temperature outdoors is barely into double digits. Urban city riding becomes very busy and looking for the course markers big blue arrows and tape becomes a game of peek a boo...thankfully thats where riding with others helps.  

First aid station, and Mrs Silversky is there to greet with a new helmet (sans light), food and water, strip the Gillet and off into Rangituhi/Porirua MTB park. More climbing, followed by more climbing....jeeezzzz.  Then a wicked fun/slippery off camber single track decent. Now I remember why this format of racing is so cool, reminds me of the Cape Epic. Fast section on the road through Ohariu Valley Road, then into the upward slope of Old Coach Road. Another aid station surfaces over the brow of the hill, I'm buggered at around the 45kms mark, maybe I went out too hard? mentally I commit to reducing the pace a little. I restock again with water (2 x bottles), food, and loads of ecourangment as the next aid station at Makara is a good slog away.

We hit Makara Peak...more climbing. I've blown, cramps, lost touch of no.1 place and hopeful to hold onto no.2. Solid words of support at the top of Makara Peak from some Silversky supporters and yet another gel and I feel good again. Aid station three at the Markara carpark and it's time for a complete restock, banana, bars, gels, water and off heading for Aro Valley. Awesome downhill on the Igakai trail and more urban riding through Central Park and into the green belt behind Brooklyn. As they say in the UK...mind the gap...well mind the stairs in this case as there are loads of them. Aid station four at around 80km mark the kids on point seeing Dad just about on his knees, although looks like a few of the aid station wine gums may have boosted their spirits (and mine) which was nice to see. Crossing the golf course and into the back of the Zoo all highlights, how many races can you say you've done that! Although by that stage it was hard to appreciate as tunnel vision had set in and one goal engulfed my thoughts...finish.

Into the Mt Vic trails and all of a sudden the finish felt possible. Once hitting the Mt Vic peak the run down to Oriental Parade felt like a formality, although it was hard to focus as the views over the harbour that emerged around the corners was Welly at it's best. More stairs to keep you on game and then finally dropping onto the flat. The sprint home along Oreintal Parade was barely that, more a pained grovel as the Saturday strollers must have wondered why? why have you done this to yourself. If you're reading this you get it.

Into the finish and home in 2nd overall in 6hrs 24 minutes. Not bad for a 50 year old. Although the recovery time is alot longer than years gone by. 

Loved the Faultline. A massive effort to organise on that scale and so well done. Every element you want in a race...mystery, excitement, views, people, hype, and a stunning mix of trails. This is not type 2 fun...this is type 1. Let's hope the weather behaves for next year.

Tags: Faultline 2024  

Posted: Thursday 2 May 2024


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