Sunday, November 16, 2008
Croc 2008... wow
I cannot put into words how amazing my 2 weeks in North Qld was. It was a hectic, challenging and rewarding 10 days of racing for Matt, and a stressfully great time of 4WD driving and handing out bidons for me!...
From the first briefing day in Cairns, I was suddenly thrown into becoming the support person, for not one, but TWO riders... my partner Matt, and previous World 24hr Solo champ Craig Gordon!!! (NO pressure!)...
It would honestly take pages and pages to truly capture how awesome each day was.
I learnt a lot about racing; I learnt a lot about people. I learnt a lot of things that I know I can now apply to my own racing.
It was also great to see lots of people triumph against their own induvidual adversities (and there were lots of them).
I was in awe of how hard the riders pushed themselves day after day after day.
As expected, the outback was amazing... and what a contrast!... from the 45 degree dry heat and dust of Chillagoe and Laura, to the beautiful wet rainforests of Cooktown and Cape Trib. One of my favorite stages was most certainly stage 8 = Laura to Cooktown, 142kms. It included an extreme of riding conditions - including dust, sand, headwinds, tar, roadtrains, and smoke from bushfires - and to top it off, the riders finished at the top of a super steep ascent (30 percent gradient - or maybe more) at a lighthouse, with the most spectacular views of the ocean.
I was most proud of my partner Matt on that day... he was still smiling and enjoying himself as he carried his bike up the last of the 30 or so final steps up to the lighthouse.
It was also great to meet lots of new friends on the trip. Funny how in some of the situations that you meet people in, even if you never meet them again, they will always be good friends.
Now I also understand why John Flynn agrees to be the media person for this race every year without fail!... it is just a fantastic experience. I would be part of it again without question.