Kim and myself got there with plenty of time to get our shit together for the annual GMBC MTB marathon, The Yowie. Race brief was late, long and subsequently chewed into the 5mins between it and the start time. By the end of race brief I had 60 seconds to remove my leg warmers and jacket then find somewhere to stash them. I was now at the back of the field. A long section of dirt road that gradually climbed up to the Stock Yards end of the course saw me leap frogging from bunch to bunch in TT mode burning lots of matches. Towards the top three of us had come together. We exchanged names and proceeded to trade turns in a bid to bridge to the lead group for the 1st of 3 laps.
Lap two, and the three of us are back at the top of the long drag up to Stock Yards again and we get a time check from a marshal. It's 30 secs. This lifts us. Not far into the conglomerate of trails linked together to make up the Stock Yards section of the course, we pass Russell Collette on the side of the single track. He's going at his Yeti ASR's mast with an Alan key. Some time passes and he's back with us going full steam. I'm leading the group of three at the time and try to hold his wheel up 'Stockyards loop' to the start of the descent of 'Boulder track' but I can't and he slowly pulls away. He's still in sight along link track. Then along the top section of 'Stockyards loop' he looks to be slowing. Before passing and hitting the fast flowing single track down to the plantation area I ask to see if he's interested in working to see if we can bridge. He's not, even though there's still a shy less than half the race to go. The three of us press on without him. This second time through the plantation area was the highlight for me. Its flattish trails are fast and flowing. Perfect for blasting railed turns with the odd front or rear wheel slide as you milk each corner for all it's worth.
It's back to the start\finish for the second time, though this time there's two of us. We work turns up to the Stock Yards for the last time and I'm starting to feel the pinch of the last two laps. On the last section of climbing before heading down into the Stock Yards I lose contact and it's good bye to my friend. I find the Stock Yards section a real fight with my fatiguing legs and squirt all but one remaining gel down the hatch to see if I can get my legs going. Through the plantation section of the course it's like a ghost town. There's no one to be seen ahead or behind. I settle in and concentrate on keeping fast and efficient. With 10kms to go it becomes progressively difficult to get comfortable on the bike as legs, shoulders and arms are fatigued.
Finally I'm over the line after an enjoyable day of MTBing.