With only a couple of days now until the Rocky Trail JetBlack/WSMTB Sydney 12 hour race, anticipation is building. We caught up with Subaru-MarathonMTB.com team ring-in, Gary Harwood, to hear his pre-race thoughts and so he could tell us, once again, how pumped he is to be on the team. Naturally, we’re pretty stoked to have him along for the party as well.
So Gazza, tell us why you’re excited about the race.
Rocky Trail always put on great events. Throughout the year they provide riders with choice of the top venues around the country, a friendly, relaxed and fun approach to racing and they even give away beer as prizes! I’m especially looking forward to the venue at Dargle Farm as I’ve never ridden there and have heard so much about it. I’ve heard there’s been a lot of track work done and there’s a good mix up of fire trail and singletrack. The pumping event centre also has a great reputation which I’m sure we will all take full advantage of.
And the team?
I’m stoked to be part of a four-person mixed line-up with Subaru-MarathonMTB.com riders Kath Bicknell and Tate Dogan and fellow ring-in Wazza Burgess – or at least, he was in but has had to bug out. I’m sure his replacement will be fun to race with as well. I’m expecting a good bit of banter throughout the day but I know they’re all a competitive bunch and, much like myself, will give it 110% to try and be one of the top mixed teams of the day…Fingers crossed!
How are the pre-race nerves?
The pressure’s on to perform with so many good riders ready to hit the trails. I always get nervous before any event. I’ve raced nearly every weekend this year, but that feeling leading up to a race and the nerves on the start line never go away. I suppose that’s what keeps me coming back to do it again and again and keeps me training hard to get better results.
Have you been doing any specific training in the lead up to this event?
I’m a few years older than the rest of the riders in our team so my top end speed isn’t what it should be. I’ve been concentrating on short course racing and doing plenty of cyclocross this year so I’m sharper than in previous years. Being the oldest and racing bikes on and off since 1983 I should have the skills to compensate for what I lose on top end fitness. We’ll see on the day how the laps go. I’m sure there’ll be a bit of in-team rivalry to who gets the fastest lap of the day. Bring on the fun and games!
Bring it! Look forward to seeing you there.