Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SCUM's Andrew Fellows 3hr Day Enduro

Words by: Belinda Althaus

SCUM held its first event for the 2014 year on 22 March with a 3 + 3 hr Enduro at Butterfly track.  This even was a memorial event for the late Andrew Fellows who was an active member of SCUM in the early days. 
The event was a combination of a 3hr day Enduro, and a 3hr evening Enduro, with an hour split in between. For the first event there was a decent turnout. It’s hoped with a new event committee, rejuvenation of the trails from dedicated trail builders; they anticipate a XC race every 1-2 months. 

The field consisted of 27 soloists- male and females, 6 pairs consisting of male, females and mixed as well as 2 trio teams and a bunch of kids getting out there and having a go.  The Fat bikes were also well represented with a local team “3 Fat Ladies” made up of Greg Lewis, Adrian Whitehead and Simon Finlay flattening out the trail. It was going to be tight racing amongst all teams.
The other fat bike representing was ridden by soloist Marty Strozik from Newcastle, who placed second overall completing 9 laps in 3.17hrs.  Douglas Pollock completed a neat 9 laps in 3.06hrs ahead of Marty and local Scott Barrett wrapping up the solos men.  With his first lap time of 19.04, Douglas also clinched the quickest lap of the day but it was only just with Mark Astley (Team Smoff) riding a lap time of 19.19.  Solo ladies also rode well, with the clear winner out of the 4 contenders being Liz Smith who completing 7 laps in 2.45hrs. This was ahead of Danielle Cardile and Lyn Pavlich competing 4 and 3 laps each respectively. 

The race, which was supposed to commence at 1pm started about 20mins late and this, would prove a surprise to one particular rider, as you will read later.  I rode as part of Team Smoff (representing ADCC) with Mark Astley.  We started the race of well with Mark taking the first laps.  We had decided it was wise to ride two laps and then swap over, to avoid any warming up/down issues.  Towards the end of the first lap, Mark came through in 3rd place behind Douglas and Marty. The second lap rolled around and it was my turn to roll. Ahead of me was Fat Bike rider Marty Strozik who provided a good pacing option around the track, and proved to me that tyre width has no barriers!  I managed to hold consistent lap times, and by the end of lap 4 we had moved into second place overall.  Racing was tense amongst the field, but our team’s consistent laps kept us in a good position.  As I was coming into the finishing straight of lap 8, I knew we were still within the time frame to head out for a 9th lap to hold our position.  Coming into the transition, I noticed that Mark wasn’t there to handover to!  In the midst of the day’s events, he was unawares to the fact that the race had started late. It was only after lead rider Douglas Pollock had headed out for his 9th lap with a handful of minutes to spare before the 3 hr time lapsed did he realise that we still had time for another lap. The rush was on then for Mark to get his bike back out of the car and get back into kit before my return.  Credit to Mark for achieving what was likely the quickest kit-up time ever. With minimal delay he was on his bike, minus a few details and managed to nearly make up a 2min gap between him and Douglas.  All round it was a great ride by Team Smoff, we only missing out 1st place overall by 11 seconds.  We rode the race to finish 1st in mixed pairs, and 1st in pairs overall, and 2nd overall on the 3hr Day Enduro.  Next time we will just make sure our timings are confirmed. 

Thanks to SCUM for holding a great event.  I hope the evening Enduro was as much fun for the riders that participated.  I certainly look forward to racing around some of the other local tracks around this great South Coast region.

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