I had never planned to do Karapoti; I went along to the Karapoti Training Camp that Lisa Morgan, Kim Hurst and Ricky Pincott held, I went just for the tips that I could apply to my own racing and meeting all the awesome people in the Mountain Biking community. I ended up doing a pre-ride of the course with Kim and Jonny (my brother), just for a hard training session. Obviously I enjoyed the Pre-ride even though I went Hub deep in one of the bogs, took nearly ten minutes to figure out how to get up the first bit of Devils Staircase without falling over and Kim calling me short stuff even though we’re more or less the same height. The highlight of the pre-ride was at the end when I out-sprinted Kim at the bridge (she might have been towing me the whole way down the road, but hey who needs facts). Kim convinced me to race Karapoti with the amazing offer of a sponsored entry and use of Lisa’s lightweight carbon tubeless bike.
I was aiming for a sub 4hr and I had my whole family, Ricky and the crew at Mud, Kim and Lisa believing in me, which was really great. On race day I was a bunch of nerves as Kim had registered me in the expert women category which meant I was on the start line with the pro-elite and Expert Women. I ended up next to Kim on the start line; I decided to just follow her through the river thinking I’d be fine. Unfortunately that didn’t quite work as I slipped on a rock and fully submerged myself, taking the title of ‘first swimmer’. Somehow I still managed to be third out of the water, only Kim and Peg in front of me.
Sprinting into the finish after 3:51 hours was an amazing feeling, I knew that I had my sub 4hrs and seeing Lisa and mum standing in the finish was awesome. I would have given them a hug if I wasn’t still damp from my dip at the start.