What a day….The week leading up to Sunday I lost count of the amount of times I checked the met service forecast. Got our ride in on Saturday morning before the heavens opened and had fingers crossed the weather improved for Sunday.
Running events from May to September is more luck than anything else to see if we get away with it weather wise. Cycling is a year round hobby and sport with Schools road cycling effectively run April through to September, so for us on the board that have kids competing at schools level we are used to packing the umbrella when we go racing. The 6 hour has always been in May and most people plan their calendar around it. We have run on Mothers day before but we now try and avoid it to give the Mums a sleep in at least.
Busy start to the day with Gavin from Trident timing here to set up first thing, registrations on the day which increased our numbers another 10%, and then just as we were about to start…it hosed down. Well it is a challenge after all… I commented about the great opportunities the 6 hour delivers in last weeks article and this year again saw another swing in variants. From the seasoned athletes to the absolute first timers, from school groups to retirees…this event caters for them all. Some of the kids were so small I was left gob-smacked with their resilience on the day. The team aspect had a new twist with the majority of the faster teams only having two riders. Some had it split 2 x 3 hour stints, Most did 2hours 2 hours, 1 and 1 to finish… so strategy as it always does played a huge part.
Lets talk numbers…6 hours, 3.03km track. 323 riders, 133 female, 190 Male.79 teams,42 of those teams from schools. 60 solo (51 male, 9 female) included in those were 2 E bikes which did the 90 minute challenge.
The winners were a Workplace team of two (D&A), David and Adam Martin from Bike Manawatu , who completed 82 laps in the allocated time, 248kms, average of 41 kph. To make that even more impressive is that David competed and won a Triathlon in the morning, changed kit and took over from Adam who had done the first 3 hours. First solo Male was Madi Hartley-Brown, who held the lead overall for the first 2 hours or so, only 1 lap behind. First Female solo was Libby Arbuckle just edging Emily Sherman. First in Armed Forces and service clubs was Trentham Alpha with our local BBC team bringing home the first mixed team.. Really competitive schools teams…Fair to say Palmerston North Boys High dominated but just as gratifying was Palmy Girls mixing the teams up with senior and junior riding together as a team building day . There was PNINS uniforms everywhere and a huge amount of parents from the school entering as teams as well. It appears I’m not the only one whose life has changed because my child decided to pick up cycling as a sport..So many winners on the day ..Full results listed below..
Bike Manawatu cannot thank our sponsors enough. We are truly grateful for all their support. Our Gold Sponsors of Ashhurst Engineering and Construction and also Bayleys Real Estate contribute to the running of all of our events. Manfeild specific sponsors for the weekend were Cash Converters, Palmfeilds Mazda and Subaru, Hughes Joinery, The Tank Guy, Rosebowl Bakery, Bike Barn and Ebony Coffee. Special thanks to Melodys New World and Rosebowl bakery for the race pack refreshments..
We also acknowledge and thank the support of Manawatu District council and The Mainland Foundation in making this event possible.
This is the first time in many years that Mike and Christine Christie haven’t been the main organizers. They left us with an impressive template to continue the event with and we cannot thank them enough for their service to Bike Manawatu. The new team learnt a lot, there is debrief document that has been filled out so we can continue to improve the event..2019 will be even bigger.
In the meantime the board are working with WCNI and other entities further afield to form a racing and events calendar for Bike Manawatu. In the next few months there will be selected Road races run by Bike Manawatu Schools Cycling that will be graded A-D and Bike Manawatu members will be invited to compete against our ever growing pool of talented juniors. It will impress you, inspire you , challenge you and you’ll love it…This starts this Sunday morning. Details below.
I asked David Martin to tell us about how the day was won and what Adam and himself are targeting this year.