T42 was the first DOC-supported event of 2013 for mtbers. On the afternoon of Friday 3 May, 15 DOC members + friends started making their way down (or in Piki’s case “up”) to the central plateau. We were staying in a small lodge called Adventure Lodge Tongariro, which despite the owners being slightly neurotic, was a great place to stay. We took up about 70% of the rooms so we basically commandeered the lounge as our own – nice!
Friday night flew by in a frenzy, there was race registration, bike prep, eating + the consumption of chocolate to fit in, all prior to trying to get a good night’s sleep. Which I think we all got, well as good as you can sleep prior to a race.
Some of us were a little anxious about what the weather may hold for race day as the forecast was showing a sun, cloud, and rain, which generally means they don’t know what will happen and are covering their butts. Metvuw.com wasn’t being too helpful either.
It turned out there was no need to worry as we woke up to a lovely day and couldn’t have asked for any more. The temperature was also mild for the area, at possible around 8-10 degrees, with a calmness about it. We were all out of the door at about 7:30am and on our way to the start line.
Race briefing was at 8:40am but we were all on the start line early so we could get a good spot at the start of the bunch. Despite it being a mtb race, the first few kms are on sealed road and very fast. There were about 300 riders doing the 48km mtb race so try and picture all these people racing hard to get a good placing going into the singletrack section (where it can be hard to pass), on top of the fact many of them have never road-ridden so the etiquette of “holding your line” is non-existent. This year however there were no casualties at the start with all the DOC crew powering ahead in their green and blacks.
This race is fast, with a good majority of the course being downhill, and fast downhill too. Nothing too technical except for a few rocky sections and some steep pinches out of stream crossings that are probably faster to run out of. For 48kms, it’s over in a flash relative to other races out there. We were all talking about quickly the distance signs of “20km to go”, “5km to go” and “2km to go!!!” suddenly popped out of nowhere. Check out the website for more info on the race, it really is a must do (at least once anyway!) on the mtb calender.
The finish line was buzzing as usual and in true Total Sport fashion, the base was in a lovely grass field meaning you could just lie down, chillax and reminisce with fellow club members on the race. There was no rush to leave and the sun was shining down on us as we soaked up the atmosphere.
The DOC girls all took out places in the top 10 (woohoo!), with Brendan McGrath (roadie at heart – in his words) taking out 5th overall in mens and Robin Page not far behind. The styliest crossing of the finish line was taken out by Jason Heffernan, check out his fantastic photo in the gallery below which should have a label something a long the lines of “I’m here – I made it!”.
The afternoon of the race was bliss with everyone doing their own thing to unwind; napping, taking a spa, eating etc… except for Megan and Robin Page who decided to ride Old Coach Rd – good on ya! We then all ended up the lounge together about 4pm having a pot luck afternoon tea, nom nom, before heading off to prize-giving at 6pm at The Park Traveller’s Lodge where Sasha was on the podium for coming 2nd female. Congratulations Sasha.
The T42 Afterparty – have you heard about it? Well it has become quite infamous. Let’s just say mtbers love to party and there was no way some of us were going to miss a night on the dance floor. In fact, it is quite possible more calories were burnt on the dance floor that night that during the race! The star of the dance floor was Robin Page who did an absolutely out of this world performance of Gangham style which left onlookers stunned at the talent and got so many people up on the dance floor.
The next day a number of us had planned to ride The Timber Trail as a loop but due to the ominous looking weather forecast we all decided to do our own little riders/walks or head straight back to Auckland.
Well, what a great weekend. Hope to see a lot more of you down there with us next year. There are a few photos below or check out the Facebook album for more. Thank you to everyone for their input into making the weekend one to remember.