After months of training and a degree of apprehension I have just this past weekend finished the Motatapu mountain bike event. The neat thing is while I felt pushed I didn't completely exhaust myself and still had some energy. I entered this event after puchasing a bike in October 2009. The driving force for this somewhat crazy undertaking was just wanting to be a bit fitter. Which wouldn't be hard at the time considering I was completely unfit. So I entered the Motatapu, it was the only mountain bike race I knew of. It turns out there many, many, many events like this, perhaps not as large but they do exist dotted around the country and in particular the lower south.
The Motatap, as it commonly referred to is well organised both before, during and after the event. The much talked about compulsory bike and gear checks turned out to be a non event, and no I had not spent huge amounts on Icebreaker type gear. On the day everything went smoothly, the organisers who have over 150 volunteers making it happen have all the bases covered, mobile mechanics, medics, friendly and helpful and encouraging aid station people. The only thing that needs addressing is the start. This is a difficult thing with some many bike entries. However there must be a better way of organizing the various categories. With the traffic thing being the biggest factor when you are out on the course, it really needs to be right, right from the start to be fair on one and all.
Over a very enjoyable day, I plan to be back in 2011.