New South Welsh State Masters Track Championships
I picked the last scab off my body last week in preparation for the State of NSW Masters Track Championships.
I decided to enter everything as the events were not very well supported by women and I kinda liked the idea of being able to make off with some Australian hardware as compensation for my recent introduction in to bitumen-eating.
Thurs 2nd Feb : 2km pursuit. It’s a bugger when the pursuit is the first event, especially if you try to win it: once your lungs have turned inside out a couple of times you are not always on top form for subsequent competition. I swapped my Montecristo for a Ventolin and put on my pointy hat and aero bars. In the qualifier I went off too hard and did a disappointing time of 2min 42.2s but it was good enough (by about 7s!) for the gold/silver ride off. Because the margin was comfortable I decided to take it a bit more easy in the final against Donna Meehan ( 50-54 years) from Bicisport. About halfway through one of my friends started shouting and waving at me to quicken the pace. I thought it was funny that I hadn’t seen Donna as I’d glanced across the track and had blamed it on my poor eyesight. Donna had shot out of the gate like a greyhound downhill and was fast approaching my rear end. I heaved out a couple of 18s laps and managed to hang on for the win, which was exactly the same time as my qualifying time.
Friday 3rd Feb : Sprint day The whole thing here is how fast you can crack out a flying 200m. It seems to me that sprinters do it slightly differently to people like me, whose acceleration is more of a slow easing to a higher speed. There are 3 laps to slowly wind up your speed and gain height to the top of the banking, then there is the huge acceleration as you scream down the banking. You should hit the 50m mark, where timing begins, at full pelt and keep that going for the 200m to the finish line. I think that is pretty well how the sprinters do it. I do it like this: I stick on the highest gear I have, I start my acceleration from the moment I am pushed off, I heave myself as quickly as I can to the top of the banking and continue going at full pelt round the top, like “wall of death” until the moment comes to whip down the banking to do the 200m. I didn’t do the greatest time, but it was good enough to qualify for the one on one match sprints, which was a bit of a nuisance really because I don’t really know what to do and am without those nifty sprinterly skills, like twitching about on one spot, not looking where you are going, staring at your opponent through narrowed eyes, riding with your elbows out, having an arse with its own gravitational force and thighs that chafe at the top. I’m not going to go in to detail except to say that I came 4th out of 4 and didn’t win one single sprint, although did have a huge amount of fun pulling out maverick manoeuvres.
Saturday 4th Feb : 500m TT and 10km Points Race with 4 sprint laps. 500m TT- It wasn’t a PB, but it wasn’t a bad time for me – 40.1s and a gold medal.
The Points Race A lack of women meant that we did a combined age (30+) race with one set of medals. There was quite a mix of abilities, as you would expect – the oldest one could just about be the youngest one’s grandmother. In that scenario, I would have been the mother. Michelle Crawford (Goulburn) was the hot favourite, having both endurance, sprint and an aerodynamic front. There was an opportunity to attack for the first sprint with 2 laps to go with Michelle trapped somewhere behind me. I took the first sprint, but before I could stop dribbling and pull up, MIchelle shouted for me to carry on. From then on, it was just Michelle, Joanne ‘Trouty’ Troutman (Dulwich Hill) and me doing half lap turns in a break that was to lap the field. Michelle and I kept the pace high until Trouty, the sprinter, was forced off for a breather. I tried repeatedly to beat Michelle to the line for the sprints, but just couldn’t quite do it, and I won what I felt was a very well deserved silver medal.
Sunday 5th : 5km (20 lap) Scratch Race This was again a combined race – ages 45+ ,so me and Joanne ‘Trouty’ Troutman were the youngest in this race. Fortunately Michelle Crawford didn’t make our age category and went on to humiliate the youngsters. I knew I would have to go early and keep attacking in order to shake Trouty off my wheel. I didn’t want her anywhere near me with less than 4 laps to go or I’d be done for. On more than one occasion in the past she has shot past me for the line when I thought victory was mine. Anyway, I wasn’t taking any chances: having let her tyres down, I went after 5 laps, just as she came off the front. They don’t use the saying here, ‘like s**t to a blanket’ and I had to teach it to Trouty afterwards. A couple more hard attacks and I was away. Unfortunately I still had about 12 laps to go, so it was an arduous slog but I lapped the field and came first. As individual medals were awarded for age categories, we all ended up on the podium. If we had been allowed to keep our medals it would have been like a children’s race where everybody gets a prize.
I came home with a rosy glow and the desire to wash my one remaining, intact Willesden skinsuit.
Jayne ‘I’ve got the Sash!’ Paine
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