Saturday, December 5, 2009

2009 KONA 24 HOURS, Forrest, Victoria

KONA 24 HOURS was a mess this year. And for their superhuman efforts, this year's race belonged to Andrew Wade and Brenton McRae. Fittingly, Andrew's Wade's words below of summarise this year's event where everyone got more than what was expected in a 24 hour race. Enjoy.

If not for mega dollar bikes
They could be refugees
Fleeing from their ravaged lives
Or over from the seas.

One by one by one they comeEntering the field
Wheelbarrows are the choice for some
But mostly trolleys wheeled

They gaze around that football ground.
Searching for a base
To build their mini city
From where to make their race

We’d made good time and picked the best
All setup finally done
Marquees tents and all the rest

Now time farewell the sun

Some clouds the sky it does acquire
No star filled views tonight
By 10 o’clock it starts to spit
To bed I now take flight

I hear small drops upon the tent

A pleasant little noise
Sleep comes shortly now
Despite the campground noise

A bang, a flash I’m now awake
Reeling from the sound
Of a billion angry raindrops
Smashing to the ground

The tent it shakes from wind that roars
Across the footy field
Not rain for now it pours
From bed I do not yield

I contemplate checking
Our gear if it’s still there

But my bed so warm & cosy
Hardly do I care

The morning comes I do awake
And far to my surprise
The rain and clouds have gone
Replaced by clear blue skies

Egg and bacon, coffee too

We chat and wander round
Hearing tales of tents, marquees
Blown about the ground

As hours go by our friends arrive
And ready for the race
But so do some new clouds
And blue sky they displace

Paper, rock and scissors

Andrew Liu’s up for the first lap
We line the fence he passes by
We cheer and give a clap.

Timers on and guess an hour
Prologue traffic always slow
Steve readies now
As soon he’s the next to go

The first guys are in,
They sure are guns
Really belting they have been
On these slippery runs

Stephens off as Andrews in
First lap down today
It’s good to see Liu’s muddy grin
As he explains the lap away

My turn comes and I go out
To see the course first hand
Not bad for all the rain
But will 24 it withstand?

I struggle to warm up it seems

My heart and body cold
Not long before my legs do scream
Perhaps you are too old

But then I see that big grey climb
Memories of home
I drop it down a couple of gears
My chain it seems to groan

My heart rates up,
The legs are now live
I question now

If my lungs survive

It levels out I catch my breath
My heart rate doesn’t drop
Then I churn right through
The bog hole at the top

The trails familiar
From rides in past
But mud does add an element
Especially where it’s fast

On the road and down the hill

Not long this lap has to go
As I know the way from year before
No excuses to be slow

Down the hill and through the trees
Left right then dismount
Past the timing people
Now this lap will count

Brenton’s ready
Gloved hands slapped
Now he’s on his way
For 09’s virgin lap

One lap more each
Then night laps come
We double lap
For the late night run

We’re doing well
Too well in fact,
I miss handover
To my pair of laps

Good thing we’re close
I hear the call
I’m ready though
A minute more

We check the time
Well under an hour
An extra lap
If we keep this power

Doubles done
And rest achieved
Its singles now
A bit relieved

Yesterday we banked
On twenty four
But now it looks like
We could do more

At least plus one
Or maybe two
If this pace can
Just see us through

I check the time
If Brenton’s back by six past
Twenty six perhaps
If I can get through fast

………It can’t now be done
The time is past
I then recall
My clock a little fast

Some minutes go
And then he’s here
I say “one more”
“I’ll wait with gear”

I push and push
We want one more
I give it all
I’ll miss for sure

I bet its close
I think it’s lost
But what the hell
I’ll give my most

I make it back
There’s time to spare
Not much though
But I now don’t care

Laps Twenty Six
Of that we’re proud
And twenty second
Within our crowd

Results come out
I see with glee
That overall
We’re 53

The mud the rain
It’s over now
But this year
I’ll remember how

The colour all
The races became
Because the rain.

Andrew Wade - December 2009.

(Photos by Steven Rowe, Brenton McRae and Andrew Wade)