Only the Chosen Few are Able to Seize the Day
I have completed seven solo 24 hour events, won two and podiumed five times in age group and finished in the top 15 overall five times. However, as my experience has grown, my expectations have changed dramatically, thereby altering my preparation and training for subsequent events.
In 2010, barely 4 months after my first ever mountain bike race, I took part in the Australian National Solo 24 hour. I came 5th in age and 25th overall. I was riding a heavy all-mountain bike, had enough lights to last a mere 5 hours of darkness and I was clueless about nutrition and race strategy.
Benji Morris, Jason McAvoy, Damian Gillard, Dave Langley and Andrew Wells are just a few of the riders I will need to overcome to achieve my race goal. More are sure to emerge as the event draws closer.
The Necessary Attributes
In life, no one can accurately predict the future. Destiny holds her cards close to her chest and twists and turns lurk in the shadows shrouded in mystery. It is therefore important to make the most of what might be a once in a lifetime opportunity provided by a World Championship held in Australia. One event can define you as a person - not for anyone else but for yourself.
1. Passion: To succeed in such a tough discipline as 24 hour racing you need to love what you do. I love to ride my bike and enjoy the variety of opportunities available to a bike rider - racing mountain bikes, training on the road solo or with mates, indoor sessions on rollers or Virtual Reality trainers, time-trials or intervals, hills or flat roads.
4. Preparation: Since returning from England in February I have increased my training to an average of 500 km and over 20 hours a week which should hold me in good stead come October's test of endurance. I have invested in two new, carbon fibre cross-country 29er race bikes (a Turner Czar and a Giant Anthem Advanced 0), consulted a nutritionist and naturpath to hone my nutrition and recovery, have a
regular massage at least once a week, and bought brighter and better Exposure night
lights to help me through the critical hours ridden in the dark.
Only time will tell, but I hope that I have harnassed the necessary skills which will will detemine my success this year. In the lyrics to the 2002 hit record 'Lose Yourself' Eminem rapped:
Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted…one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
Eminem may have been referring to the personal journey of a rapper but his words are pertinent to all those athletes, no matter their level, undertaking a once in a lifetime opportunity to achieve a dream of success that would live with them for the rest of their life.