MTN Hilton National Ultra Marathon

Apologies for the delayed race report folks, I typed this up on the weekend but accounting has ruled my life this week so havent had a chance to post it.

Once again poor Witblitz had to be left at home this weekend, but this time i swapped him for a Jet plane. On Wednesday afternoon I boarded my flight Durban bound. I was going to be racing the MTN National Ultra marathon in Hilton and spending a long weekend at home catching up with the ballies.

Photo shoot with the bike, nice and clean.

Thursday and Friday was spent chilling out, getting in some rides and trying to study for an accounting test and then finally race day dawned on Saturday. Hilton hasn’t seen rain for a few weeks so I was expecting a dry dusty and very powdery course however Mother Nature took matters into her own hands though and brought us some rain and very thick mist on race day.

As it says “The Lube of Legends” athletes from Conrad Stoltz to Ned Overend use Squirt.

 A small but very competitive field lined up at Grace College with teams from MTN Energade, DCM Chrome, Garmin Addidas, Jeep and Specialized. We set off at a brisk pace with things staying together at first. I sat fairly comfortably until about 10km in when the DCM duo of Knox and Stewart put some pressure on the front. I felt I could have hung on but didn’t want to spend too many pennies too quickly so I settled into my own rhythm. It was to be a long day on my own.

 We were to tackle the half marathon route first (40km) and then the marathon(70km). It was a hard loop with the course continuously either pointing up or down and offering no place to recover, but the singletrack was fun if not a bit broken up in the corners. I ended the first loop in 12th position going past Grace College and then onto the marathon loop.

Nearing the King of the Mountain.

We now made our way onto the Garlick Timbers plantation and the going didn’t get any easier. A lot of short steep climbs sapped the legs. We eventually descended down into the … valley and then started the 10km King of the Mountains climb. This would be going past my parent’s farm so I know this section of the course better than others. My Aunt was waiting on top with a fresh bottle and food which went down so well and my Dad the budding photographer snapped a few pics.

Refueled and ready to go, hurting at this point.

The last part took us back onto the half marathon route. Mentally this was quite tough for me as I knew what was to come and it wasn’t going to be easy. Eventually I finished, some 5hours and 40minutes after I had started, in 12th position for the day. I was happy with this as I had achieved my goal of a top 15.

At the finish.

The course had lead us across 110km and 2400m of ascent with some mud thrown in and a touch of rain, it was brutal! Well done to Max for taking the win, Brandon in 4th and Craig in 8th. One more day of chilling at home tomorrow, and then back to Varsity on Monday.

Don’t think I’ll be riding much this week, got a big accounting test on Thursday!

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