2015 ORGANISERS RACE WRAP UP
ORGANISERS RACE WRAP-UP
Hidden Vale Adventure Park became a hive of activity over the weekend of the 18-19th April, as the 2015 KONA Hidden Vale 24HR and WEMBO Oceanic/Asia Region 24hr Solo Championships took place at the Spicers Hidden Vale ‘Retired Gun Range’.
Within the first few days of the week leading into the event, the grassy kangaroo filled paddock, began transforming into a pit-laned, bunted, arrowed and sectioned off Race HQ. By Friday morning, the once quiet and empty grassy knoll, was lined with tents, marquees, cars and bikes as event attendees bumped in and settled themselves for a weekend of riding, racing, cheering, tears, celebrations, game planning, game changing, eating, drinking, camaraderie and outdoor entertainment!
With the upbeat and well-versed registration volunteer crew, competitor check-in and new entry registrations flew through smoothly, with many support crews also stopping by to registration to confirm their team plans lined up with the enlarged displayed event courses, event time tables and to familiarise themselves with the setup Race HQ layout.
Competitors, Support Crews, Sponsors and Spectators were all set up, checked in and ready to go by Saturday morning leading us into our first event of weekend – the Kids 24min event.
With well over 80 entrants between the ages of 3 and 13, children raced around the specially designed kids 24minute track trying to complete as many laps as they could before the track closed at the 24minute mark. Spectators cheered and clapped as the kids weaved in and out of the pit lane, along the tracks, under a bridge, between the trees, then back towards race HQ and over the timing line.
Leading the U14s home to first place was Henry White for the boys and Bridie White for the girls. In the U11 category, Harrison Turner took out 1st for the boys and Elise Brooks for the girls. The U9s winners were Oliver Heck in the boys category and Tayden Tomich for the girls. Asher Isaacs made his racing debut on his Balance Bike taking 1st for the boys, and Chloe Evans lead the Balance Bike girls taking 1st.
With a short break before the start of the 24hr and 4hr, there was enough time for a quick bite to eat of sausages, burgers and pizza prepared by the Grandchester Social Club , who did an amazing job feeding the 500+ on site for the full two day event.
As nerves started to mount, the race briefing got under way and by 12:00pm the flurry of riders were weaving their way through pit lane and out on to the course that they would become ‘oh-so familiar with’ over the next 4-24hrs+.
The first lap sorted out riders into speed hierarchy, with riders plans and strategies coming into play moving many 4hr riders into the front of the pack, with the 24hr solo riders settling into their pace game plan.
The 4hr Duo teams were all in high spirits, sharing the track and ride with their team mate, creating a very different ‘race’ experience to many of the other riders – riders who were on track doing their part for their team or for our solo riders, knocking off another lap towards their end goal.
At 4pm, the 4hr solo and duo team riders all began pouring in through to the finish to cheers and applause. With kids taking a quick break from the jumping castle and gladiator duel, presentations quickly got underway awarding 1st Overall 4hr Solo Male to Ben May and 1st Overall 4hr Solo Female to Belle Caruso. The duo team categories were won by Team M&M (Duo Female), Team Kona Keefs (Duo Male), Team Sandmark (Duo Mixed) and Team Mark II (Duo Snr/Jnr).
Redbull “Roll With It” cranked up after the 4hr presentations with friends and foes taking on each other to see who could pedal the fastest on the two fixed gear bikes set up on the specially made ‘roller’ Red Bull set. Set to the tunes of the accompanying DJ Truck “Banjo”, the fastest sprint of the day won the major prize of a nights accommodation at Spicers Hidden Vale.
As the evening progressed, the Grandchester Social Club were busy providing meals of Pasta, Stroganoffs, Curry and Pizza to the hungry hordes. Dusk settled in and riders hit their next lap with lights ablaze.
A few more hours in, and the camp sites started to quieten, with kids falling asleep, pit crews catching a few moments rest before their riders came back through – and finally, the 4hr riders who were well recovered from their afternoon race, also soon started leaving the warmth of the camp fire.
Night went by quickly for some, and a little more slowly for others – teams continued their tap-and-go routine with their partners, and solo riders ramped up into their next stages of race plans, with nutrition, re-fuelling, quick massages, and some encouraging words before heading out on yet-another lap of the 24hr circuit.
Daylight came, and with it, a newly sectioned off area near the Race HQ filled with hidden Easter Eggs that became a flurry of little feet in the ‘KONA HV24HR Easter Egg Hunt – Take 2’.
Once the kids were all fuelled up on chocolate (you are welcome parents!!), the more ‘sensible’ and ‘mature’ folk headed over to the Social Club once again where we found bacon and egg burgers made with ‘fresh off the farm’ eggs.
As some freshly awoken riders headed back onto the track for a few more laps, from the Race HQ and Timing Tent, it quickly became apparent which riders were part of a team – even before their numberplates reached a visibility point. Those that were powering up the last incline from the bridge were 90% of the time a correct guess of teammates getting ready to tag their next rider – and those with the big grins and looks of relief were most often our solo riders, thrilled to be back to a point of refuel and cheers!
With piles of prizes, medals and trophies, the last few presentation preparations were put in place, set and ready for the final ‘welcome home’ to our 24hr riders. As the time drew close, support crews and cheer squads drew around the finish line as riders crossing ran through some quick calculations to decide whether a last lap as needed, or whether they could ‘farewell’ their bike seat for the rest of the day.
When the sun hit its highest point, and the kids had worn off most of their morning chocolate, a countdown could be heard and finally, 24hrs after the timer began, the 24hr Race clock hit a new favourite number for many riders – 00:00:00.00.
Riders streamed over the lines to cheers and applause, knowing they had just completed one of the hardest terrain 24hr courses South East Queensland could throw at you – a true achievement for mind, body, bike and spirit.
Looming storms clouds, increased winds and reports of heavy rain from nearby townships called for the presentations to be drawn forward sooner than planned, and just as the last riders came across the line, the rain came down and presentations began (with the quick thinking help of our exhausted, but elated teams who quickly shifted presentation table to the safety and cover of the Red Bull tent).
Then just as quickly as it came, the storm dropped off and took a course around HVAP.
Team winners for the 6 person (SANTA FLASHED his PIVOT on a GIANT ROCKY CRUZ), 4 person (The Harris’s+Efan), Male team of 2 (Mat & Derek) and Mixed team of 2 (I-Ride Bike 4) took top step for their categories.
Solo winners were – U23 Male: Alex Beedie, U23 Female: Caitlin Dore, 23-29 Male: Andrew Wilson, 23-29 Female: Kirsty Bigaila, 30-39 Male: Elvio Fernandes, 30-39 Female: Leah Childs, 40-49 Male: Jaysen Searle, 40-49 Female: Rach Edwards, 50+ Male: Peter Selkrig, 50+ Female: Susie Hume and Single Speed Male: David Speering.
The KONA HV24HR event also had the pleasure of being the host of the 2015 WEMBO Oceanic/Asia Region 24hr Solo Championship, and was honoured to have WEMBO president Russ Baker, on site to present the overall winners with their trophies and winnings.
Jaysen Searle took out our overall Male 1st place with 24 laps in a total time of 24:45:02, and Rachel Edwards took home 1st place overall female with 16 laps in a total time of 23:10:08.
A huge thanks goes out to each and every participant, sponsor, staff, volunteer, family member, support crew and trainer for coming along to make this event one of our favourites!
With beautiful weather all weekend – including a pleasantly warm night! – we were happy that the KONA HV24HR 2015 “Take 2” provided near perfect conditions.
Many thanks also to KONA for being the event naming rights sponsor, to Spicers Hidden Vale for sharing this beautiful piece of land with us, to WEMBO for allowing us to provide competitors an opportunity to take home a hard earned Oceanic title, to Grandchester Social Club for your scrumptious cooking and chirpy smiles, to Tarryn for those amazing salted caramel cookies and coffees, to Red Bull for your shelter, arches, Saturday night entertainment and midday-to-midday energy drinks,to ESi Sports Photography for your incredible captured moments, to Sheryl for your constant work on all those tired and worn ‘steads’, to Jason for fuelling our riders with Infinit, to Owen for the ‘on the hour’ prizes of everyones favourite ‘Ride Mechanic’ bike care products, to Em’s Power Cookies for the race bag gifts and tasty morsels of energy, to Emm Films for their event filmography (can’t wait to see the finished product!), to Nitelights for your event specials and Nitelight prizes, to AMB for providing months of reading material for our 4hr winners, and to our volunteers – without whom these events just could not operate to the same level that they do, and to our family for all your behind the scene hours of help and patience!
Thank you to all and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!
Hayden & Fleur Brooks
Epic Events Management