Writing retrospectively about the race at Mt. Buller is a bit surreal, considering the devastation from the bushfires in Victoria since then. I passed through the town of Wittlesea during my trip (due to a 140km detour – I have no sense of direction) and can attest to how dry and hot it was the weekend I was there. This expanse of brown with temps around 46 degrees a week before the ‘black Saturday’. Needless to say I spent most of my time there in my hotel room in 24 degree comfort, also making use of the spa and pool facilities – there are some perks to the travel!
My accommodation was at the bottom of the mountain so I drove daily to Mt. Buller village for practice, which was around 7pm when it was still 30 degrees. On the day of the race the bitumen had melted and I could feel it sticking to the tyres of the rental car.
They say you don’t get what you deserve, but what you expect. Well I expected to be tired and have an average race and guess what…? It was 36 degrees for our race and the course was twisty with plenty of climbing. The dust was black and at the end of the race you looked like you’d been rolling around in a campfire. At 1500m the altitude had an effect on those of us living at sea level, which we also get when racing in Thredbo.
Finishing 7th it was my worst result of the year but I narrowly extended my series lead and planned to have a week off training – my first in two years. The initial couple of days were the hardest then I settled into it, enjoying the sleep-ins, extra energy at work and lack of grumpiness. My daughter wondered who I was and what I had done with her mother J
The next and final round is in Glen Orchy, Tasmania which I am chuffed about. Tassie one place I have been dying to visit for about ten years, so to race there will be fantastic.