Monday, August 31, 2009

Blockhouse MTN Marathon #5

Blockhouse MTN Marathon #5

The fifth race in the MTN series took place in Meyerton in the south of Johannesburg. It comprised of some of the Walkerville route of old, but consists of mostly just very dry and dusty, rocky jeep and singletrack. It flows nicely however and makes for a very fast course. The last time I raced here was five years ago in the first South African Marathon Championships.
The route was completely flat, in the 110km race, we only had 800m of climbing. So the front group was fairly big, at least until about 25km. I thought at this stage, heading into the rough climb, that I would test the legs and competition, and threw my cards on the table. No one followed my hard tempo which I kept up till after the King of the Mountain hotspot. I now had a nice gap of about a minute, and decided to gamble on the fact that being a single rider through this type of course, might just be faster than riding in a group, especially with riders looking at each other to do the chasing.
My gap grew steadily and at the 80km feed zone, I had extended it to around 4minutes.
Without being able to get time gaps, I continued on with my hard but steady tempo. My only mishap on the second loop was a minor crash around one of the loose corners, and I jumped back up, wiped the dust off and carried on.
I crossed the line in just over 3hrs45min, with an average speed of 30.5km/hr, not bad for a mountain bike race in which I had an 80km time trial. Ben Melt came in second place, ever consistent with good form at the moment. Third place went to Andrew Mclean, I think probably his best result in a national marathon to date.
Now I look forward to my first break since last season, will be off the bike for 8days, and hope to come back fresh for the last 6weeks of racing.
Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
2nd Ben-Melt Swanepoel (Specialized)
3rd Andrew Mclean (Cyclelab)


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