100 kms on a mountain bike is a long way regardless of how fast or slow, hard or easy you go. However, when the trails are in perfect condition like they were for the 2013 Dwellingup 100, you tend to forget about some of the pain.
Well above average rain fall this winter and thick vegetation growth added to the challenges of trail preparation. But with perfect weather for a few days leading into the event riders were blessed with hero dirt and trail conditions mountain bikers dream of. Especially when the area has some of the trickiest and slipperiest WA Pea Gravel you can come across.
The event is three races in one. The big one is the 100 km event, a race for some, a challenge for most. The 100 km consists of a 40 km lap which is done first and a 60 km lap after that. The 60 km lap takes in most of the 40 km lap plus an extra 20 kms, so, essentially it’s a 2 lap course. There is also the 40 km race (1 lap of the 40 km loop) and a 14 km race for the kids and families.
Up until 2012 the event was run with a 40 km lap south of town and a 60 km lap north of town. Unfortunately the southern side of Dwellingup was hit with large storms In the winter of 2012 which bought a lot of trees down over the original southern 40 km loop. On top of that the logging took out the best 6 kms of single track in this loop as well. That was when we decided to make it 2 laps on the north western side of town.
Brendan Johnston from the Target Trek MTB team commented on how awesome the second lap of the course was after 1000 plus bikes have been over it. “Almost to the point where you wouldn’t need any arrows, bunting or wrong way signs” he said. Treky as he is known to his mates crashed hard in the first 30 kms of the race and tore himself up pretty badly. To his credit he sucked it up and plugged on to finish 15th in the most competitive field we have ever had only to pass out in the ambulance after the race. Now that’s tough!
The great thing about marathon races is that there are hundreds of stories like Trekys, well maybe not passing out in an ambulance. But like the guy who’s top tube snapped right off his seat tube, so he did a “MacGyver” and tied it together with an inner tube just so that he could finish the race.
Peta Mullens (Current National XCO Champion) from Target Trek took out the women’s 100 km race in a very close battle with local legend and former age group world Ironman triathlon champion “Jo Bennett” (Liv Giant) and Mel Web taking out third place as a training ride for the Scott 24.
Peter Hatton, former national series champion riding for Satalyst Giant took out the men’s race in fine style. Craig Cooke (Satalyst Giant) went out hard and was holding down second place until he was mowed down by Dave “the dark snake” Nairn in the Marrinup single track at the 90 km mark in the race. He was able to hold on for a well earned third place but put himself in the hurt box in doing so. Dave Nairn (Wembly Cycles Specialized) took out second coming off winning the WA state XCO championship the week before.
The 40 km riders start 10 minutes after the 100 km riders. The fast 40’s have the added challenge of getting through as much traffic as they can and create some unique passing moves in doing so. This race is traditionally a battle of the young guns in the U17’s and U19’s and this year was no different.
Reece Tucknott (Wembly Cycles Specialized) took the race out from the very fast Sam Rubery (Kalamunda Cycles) and all rounder Sean Maggs (Avanti Plus Cannington). Rhianna Farrell (Ellsworth Bikes) took out the women’s 40 while still recovering from a broken finger. Janine Barrow, another state level Triathlete was second and Kristen Gadsdon was third.
While it’s rewarding enough to put on an event the competitors love to ride, the most rewarding part is what the Act Belong Commit Dwellingup 100 does for Muscular Dystrophy. Forty or so riders signed up to “Ride for Someone Who Cant” and in doing so raised over $100 000 for MD in 2013. Over $350 000 has now been raised through our event since this program started. Even better than this is that every single cent that is raised is used to improve the lives of those living with MD or those caring for them.
John Gummer the CEO of MD in WA appreciates what the event does for MD more than words can say, but had this to say about the race. “Mountain bikers are such a fantastic group of people. Almost without fail, I received words of encouragement and expressions of thanks as I let the faster riders pass me during the race. I have never taken part in an event that I have enjoyed so much”.
While Peter Hatton finished in 4 hours and 5 minutes, 74 year old Chris Lim finished in 8 hours 25 minutes. Chris was starting to feel the effect of the distance and said that someone caught him in Marrinup on his last lap. Chris went on to say “It was like this person flicked a switch in the back of my head and I grew a new set of legs, I peddled off and never saw him again”
We are currently in discussions with Cycling Australia about the 2014 Dwellingup 100 being the opening race of the 14/15 XCM series. Keep your calendar open for the 6th of September 2014 as we are already planning the improvements for next year.