RACE REPORT >> SEASONS OF PAIN >> A mountain bike specialist has usurped her contemporaries including a young gun trail runner in the second edition of the Montane Seasons of Pain multisport series held seasonally on Mount Baw Baw, in Victoria. Team iRide Rocky Mountain rider, Jade Forsyth (pictured above), took out the female category win, apparently surprising even herself.
In second place was rising star of the trail running scene, Lucy Bartholomew (profiled in Ed#7 of Trail Run Mag, pictured below), who, only nearing her 17th birthday, will be a star of the singletrack in years to come. “But maybe not in multisport,” she says. “I’m not great on the bike and had to walk some of the ride sections. I think I’ll enter as a team next time with a mountain biking partner!”
In the men’s it was second time lucky for Stephen Rennick (pictured right), a notable runner in the Salomon Trail Run Series. He came 11th in the inaugural Summer Montane Seasons of Pain in January, but turned up the speed a notch for the Autumn edition to outclass notable triathlete and adventure racer, Aaron Dodd, in second place. In third place was regular on the trail ultra circuit, Tegyn Angel, showing he’s no slouch on the shorter courses, even when two wheels comes into play.
While Angel held on to third comfortably for the entire race, the tussle was tight between the top two from the starter’s bell.
“I knew I was in for a challenging race when Aaron took off from the bell at a cracking pace,” said Rennick. “For the first (trail run) lap I was on par with Aaron, but he was first out of transition for the first bike leg. My plan was to try to catch him on the hill climb and enter the singletrack section first to try to get a bit of a lead, which I managed to do.
“I then focused on settling into a rhythm on the second run leg, and by the last mountain bike leg I was focusing on getting through as efficiently as possible as the legs were getting rather heavy.
Rennick singled out the Seasons course – slightly shortened for this edition – for high praise.
“The location, the snow gums and alpine terrain is something different and quite special,” said Rennick. “The format of the event of a trail run and mountain bike is perfect for someone like me just getting into multi discipline racing. I’ve been interested in adventure racing for a while, and this event was a perfect starting point as the distances are achievable, but still challenging. It’s also more accessible for people who don’t swim or own kayaks and being a grassroots event, the atmosphere was relaxed and competitors friendly. Oh, and the prize money is a good lure too!”
For all competitors is was the now infamous ‘Sting’ – a final 1.5km/400m vertical ascent – that will stick in the memory as much as crossing the line first.
“The toughest part of the race with out a doubt,” said Rennick. “It was a bit like a dream, trying to run it, but you just can’t. You know you have given everything by the top because the legs are burning. With the thinner air and heart racing at near max, it was just about getting to the top and over the line.”
Said Forsyth: “The Sting…well, what can I say…my legs stung! I think it was the most challenging part for me but rewarding at the same time.”
Both winners spoke highly of the course they’d just conquered, which took in 30km or singletrack trail running and mountain biking split into four loops.
“The run was along undulating double track with a bit of bush bashing thrown in to keep you on your toes. The mountain bike leg was a mixture of double and single track with some little rock rollovers and technical sections to keep the seasoned mountain biker amused,” said Forsyth.
“I will definitely be back for more Seasons with its great atmosphere and amazing terrain to ride and run through.”
Special mention, too, goes to Bright trail runner, Neil Kinder (pictured below), who at 63 years of age, knocked off the course solo apparently loving every minute of the Sting.
Organisers have confirmed that the Winter edition of Seasons will go ahead on a revised date and an all-new format to accommodate for the changed conditions, which includes guaranteed snow.
“Montane Seasons of Pain Winter edition will be a mix of cross country skiing and trail running/snow shoeing in the main, with a short dash of mountain biking thrown in as the edition’s unique ‘Sting’,” says Race Director, Grant Seamer. “The course won’t necessarily be as long, but it’ll be all on snow, so it will still be tough but fun.”
“As far as we know there are no other XC ski combined with snow shoe, trail run and mountain bike events in Australia,” said Seamer. “And the event will take place on the Saturday prior to the annual Tullicoutty Cup, a Nordic ski style event taking in 8.5km and 5 km courses. So the Seasons event will make a great warm up for XC skiers in that event.”
The Spring edition of Montane Seasons of Pain will return to the trail run and mountain bike format.
MONTANE SEASONS OF PAIN WINTER EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE SATURDAY 10th AUGUST 2013.
MONTANE SEASONS OF PAIN SPRING EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE SATURDAY 23rd NOVEMBER 2013.
More information and entries at www.mtbawbaw.com.au
- Steve Rennick 02:24:22
- Aaron Dodd 02:31:15
- Tegyn Angel 02:44:26
- Jade Forsyth 3:04:35
- Lucy Bartholomew 03:16:25
- Aislinn Prendergast 03:19:59
TEAM WINNER: Team Brady 02:47:22