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Race Ripped Me A Newie! (Motegi 4 Hour Enduro)


Maximum Pace
Dec 13, 2014
Went in the Motegi 4 Hour Enduro yesterday. There were 670 finishers on the day in that division.

There were well over 2,500 competitors entered for various races throughout the day. That in itself is quite incredible.

It was pretty damn warm and the course was very fast, smooth, and grippy. It does have a nemesis though, in the form of a climb that is 800 meters in length at 4%.

Leading up to the event I'd been off the bike enough to realize that my legs would most likely fail me at 4 hours of race-pace, and they did. It was like I'd been hit by the cycling gremlins 2-3 weeks prior to the race. Every time I had a chance to ride, it either pissed down or I had crazy mechanical problems.

So, I knew that I didn't have the leg strength, but I was thinking that if I saved myself and, 'sat in' that I may have a slim chance.

Headed off from home by car at 4:00 a.m. to allow myself plenty of time to get there for a 9:00 a.m. start, and it was sufficient. When I got there I opened my backpack to discover that I'd left all my breakfast and race food at home! Went searching for a shop at the venue (which they do have) and discovered that they opened one hour after my race start time. Spewin! I ate three ice creams from a vending machine and purchased four iced coffees in the hope that it would be enough to get me through the event.

One hour prior to the start, I noticed a guy setting up his hot dog van, so I hung around there like a seagull waiting for him to get his shit together. Here was my chance 30 minutes prior to start time to snavel some nourishment. I ordered two American Dogs, got them, took one bite and almost threw up as the fat that they'd been fried in was very, very rancid indeed. Threw those in the nearest bin, went for a slash and came back to find everyone lined up ready to go.

Sleazily, rode up the grass on the opposite side to get into what I thought was the top 50, which I later discovered was about 200th position.

Off we went under control for the first half a lap, and then, "BOOM!" off they went. The pace was very high, but I could handle it no problems. I was way back and knew that I had to move up to miss any splits in the peloton. Tried to move up a few times but was thwarted by riders getting in my way.

The Stravr lap record was destroyed during the first five laps. They were flying at 45+ km/hr average. When I climbed the hill on lap six, I knew that my legs were going to fail me on this very hill eventually.

After about an hour of racing, I looked up and a 200 meter split had formed. I knew that I had to shut it down. I blasted off the front of the group I was in solo and managed to catch the front group after a couple of kilometers at break-neck speed. This had me at the base of the climb approaching oxygen debt. I recovered just in time and ripped my guts out to hang on to the top of the climb.

They seemed to back the pace off over the next few laps as they'd dropped 500 or so stragglers and were settling into things. Around three laps later, the pack was strung out again. I couldn't see the front guys and I'd been well and truly left behind, somehow. We were flying again, but this time, the hill had me. My legs caved in.

I spent the next two hours or so slogging it out mostly solo, grinding up the hill in what seemed like a lower gear each time and either time trialing solo, or latching onto fast trains on the rest of the circuit for the remainder of the race. I never gave up though, as always that is not an option in my book, until I finally crossed the line in 39th position.

My Stavr ride is here....https://www.strava.com/activities/565953366 It pretty much tells the story in itself.

Getting a flogging is a good thing, because it always levels you up to get out there and train hard with a vengeance, and that is where I am at now. I'll be back there for the next Motegi later in the year and then some before that.
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Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
Well done mate! I guess you learnt a few logistical things for next time! Going solo to events like this can be tough when even the little things go wrong.

I had another mate in that race, and he was telling me all the guys that do the early group training on saiko were also there.
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