March 04, 2012

My 'Re-Vu' of the 2012 Kona Odyssey

As I lined up for the start of the Open Women’s 2012 KONA Odyssey (formerly the Otway Oddesy) I had a strong sense of Déjà vu or perhaps it was a Reja vu or maybe a Jamais vu.   One thing is for sure, the prior encounter I was vu’ing was defiantly not imagined, in fact I’m pretty sure it had genuinely happened in the past….. 
An experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced the current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined
I was, of course vu’ing the 2011 Otway Odyssey ‘aka’ Otway Mud Fest, and here I was, lining up for more punishment at my second 2012 Kona Odyssey. The Odyssey is a 100km MTB marathon race and is renowned as one of the toughest mountain bike marathons in the nation, attracting some of the top enduro riders in the country and across the globe.  The relentless climbing, unpredictable riding conditions and the mental toughness and resilience  required to get thought the event is what  really defines this as an Odyssey.

Definition of Odyssey ………..

1. An extended adventurous voyage or trip.

2. An intellectual or spiritual quest: an odyssey of discovery.

 Some of the women vying for a podium position included Peta Mullens (Team Merida Flight Centre),Jess Douglas (Liv/Giant), Myriam Guillot (World Champion Adventure Racer), Naomi Hanson (Subaru Marathon.mtb), and Rebecca Locke. I guess I was a bit of dark horse going into this race, still finding my confidence to competitively ride with some of the big names. So, I quietly crossed the line without much fanfare in 6hrs and 7 minutes finishing 4th place in the Elite/ Open Women’s category and earning a place on the podium.

But for me there was more to the Odyssey than earning a place on the podium. My 6 hrs and 7minutes of riding was actually my odyssey of MTB self discovery. During the race I was happy. Happy with how I was racing, happy the my nutrition plan, happy my new bike was working well and just happy that I was actually staying with, and racing with, some of the top women.  I crossed the line smiling with big thumbs up.  

A great group of girls i raced with!!!!
But, it wasn’t until I did my post race dissection and analysis with Coach Mark Fenner (FTP Training) that I discovered the reason why I finished so happy. I realized I had the confidence to race amongst the best female Enduro riders and that I can do it! With more racing and smart but hard training on the agenda I will capitalise on this new found level of confidence to become a more competitive and hungry rider.  Off the bike, I will be working just as hard to mentally train to further improve my confidence and racing skills.

So, where to from here? My energy is now
focused on the competing in the National Solo 24 Hours Champs at Easter. Then its 12 months of solid work to compete in the 2013 World Solo 24 Champs.  I now have a sponsor Bicycle Superstore in Albury who are providing me with a sensational Merida O’Nine Pro 3000D to race with along much other needed support. 
I won this cray in a raffle @ the Apollo Bay Pub!!!!!

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