I entered the BallBuster to keep a friend company. The only problem was that he forgot to enter (you know who you are). So I found myself on the start line with a few 5km runs and one 10km XC under my belt over the last 2 months. Well it’s only 16miles of running should be no problem!!! Oh yes and the 24miles of bike and the fact that there is about 900ft of climbing on each of the 5 laps. It’s not steep but the main climb goes on for 2km.
Betty and I set of for Box Hill at 6.45ish a bit latter than I wanted but we still made the prerace brief with plenty of time. The weather was taking a turn for worst and it was starting to rain as we set off with a strong wind blowing across the hill. This was bad enough for me but Betty had 4 hours of standing about in the clod and rain. Once again she did a great job and was there to cheer me every lap and got some footage of the pre and post race discussion.
I was very grateful for the support of a group of Tri Talk they seemed to be at the place where I needed support the most. It was a great effort and to be out in that weather for over 4 hour is above and beyond the call of duty.
I started out slow and after about 6 mile saw my sister Nancy at the bottom of the hill she had come to give me a cheer along which was great. I finished the first 8 mile run in 1:08 still feeling strong.
The bike was exciting; saw one guy try to overtake on a downhill bend he ended up on the wrong side of the road and just about missed a car trying to pull out (a very near miss). He would have been in real trouble if a car had been coming the other way (it’s not just the drivers who are mad). Last of the 3 bike climbs up the hill was steady but I still felt OK (1:31). That was until I got off the bike and couldn’t straighten my back.
I spent the first km of the second run at an angle of 45 degrees from the waist. I slowly managed to loosen my back but the legs were not going to play and I spent the next 7 miles at a very slow jog still I managed to run/jog all the way (1:26). A great cheer from the TT’s for the last time just about got me to the finish line in 4:06. Where Betty was waiting, freezing cold, soaking wet and with a big wet sloppy kiss. I’m not sure who is the silliest; me for racing or her for supporting in that weather.
Needless to say I finished well down the field and after finishing swore that I would never do this race again. But this morning the sun is out my legs are still sore but I’m thinking that come spring with a bit of running over the winter I could get under the 4 hour mark. Is it just me or are we all mad?
Thanks all again for the great support.
John – (race number 322)