We once again fronted up to beautiful Forrest for the as always testing race that is the, Rapid Ascent, Odyssey, this year the Giant Odyssey. The race known as one of the most gruelling Marathons on the Australian calendar. Having both almost not lined up it turned out to be a fruitful day for us ……… as well as the awesome Liv team ……..
RR From Bec –
The Giant Odyssey for me almost didn’t happen. I had resigned myself to the fact that I couldn’t get time off work, which meant no racing. I started to think this was probably a blessing in disguise as I’d been in a massive hole for the last few weeks and have only just started to feel a little better. But at the last minute I got time off so I decided to front up for my 6th odyssey in which I’ve been on the podium every time bar 1, but have never stood on the top step.
It was an early & very cool morning for the start of the elite women with the gun setting us off at 6.40am. We rolled out with about 15 women. Ren (Naomi Williams) went straight to the front to set tempo which pretty much started to thin the field right away. Ren really did set the race up for me. She knows how I ride and in a lot of cases has more faith in me than myself. By setting a pace that allowed me to warm up and not catch to much wind, it also stopped me going out to hard from the start which I have a habit of doing. I was also able to see how my legs were feeling & it gave me the chance to gauge the others.
Around the 15k mark we hit the first major climb, I managed to get 50 or so meters over the top and knowing Ren wouldn’t chase forcing the others to, I decided to keep going. Two things were going to happen, either I’d blow myself a part & grovel home or I wouldn’t. Lucky for me there was no explosion! I had good legs made sure I ate & drank heaps & for the first time I’ve raced the Odyssey really enjoyed riding the amazing Forrest trail, which was really indicative of how I was feeling, as there is over 2500m climbing. Although the last 20k did have me thinking that these rapid ascent guys were being a little nasty.
I am Super happy to come away with the win that ended up being around 17mins in the end. I’m not sure whether to thank Norm Douglas or not, he kept me riding hard the whole time by telling me every time he saw me that I had only 2min lead. I also picked up fastest ascent & somehow fastest descent J.
The LIV/giant girls smashed it out there and we picked up the top 5 places. It was awesome to share the podium with these great women. 2nd was Jo Bennett, Ren held onto 3rd after burning a bit at the start for me. 4th was Terri Rhodes & in 5th Jess Douglas.
RR from Ren –
I have had a love hate relationship with the Odyssey, having really never gone into the race all that prepared, and again this year I would have a battle with it, being under prepared. It is never easy though no matter how you go into it, how prepared you may feel you are, how fast or how slow you are, this is just the nature of these types of events. The person who wins overall go’s as hard as they can so does the person who comes in at the very tail of the field, some many hours on top of the winners time. I always look at the riders coming home after 8+hours in awe knowing that they have been out the hurting for way longer than I just did!
After a little bit of indecision about starting or not this year, I ended up on the start line. This was to be Bec’s 6th Odyssey, although she had been feeling a bit off over the last couple of weeks, I knew she had the training under her belt and was riding strong enough to have a great day at the office…….. and well she did …….. Stomping home for a great win.
I am pleased to report I had a good day relatively to what I was expecting, I was expecting to see some sort of explosion at 50km mark, this due to the fact I just haven’t ridden much over 50km since last year, I did have the one race which took me up over the 5hour mark, the Aussie marathon champs, this I think helped out a lot, not just physically but mentally. I held onto second till 70km or so, it was then I really stated to feel the distance and went into Lala land. Jo Bennett (also Liv) caught me like I was standing still riding away from me and going on to claim 2nd. I grovelled my way in for 3rd, tank totally and utterly empty and seeing little black dots, ……. I call this the other side, and I go there a lot in races……maybe to much of late, I seriously need to take a hard look a my training.
As you’ve read already coming home in 4th and 5th were 2 more liv ladies Terri Rhodes and Jessica Douglas, a clean sweep of the podium for the Liv ladies.
All in all happy days, happy to actually get through the race that continues to torment me, happy to pick up 3rd, happy to stand on the podium with a great gang of women, and most of all happy to see Bec take the win which she very much deserves.
Oh and I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear Norm Douglas yell at me “only 10more minutes of pain Ren” Thanks Norm! :)
Also thanks heaps to Corinna & Tracey who kept us fed and watered all day, you girl’s rock.
Nice work to the team at Rapid Ascent on another great event, check out the event at the website http://www.rapidascent.com.au/giantodyssey/