What an awesome day it was, I'm still buzzing! But lets go from the start. I have been waiting for this race big time as it was my first race back in the Hungarian field. I also felt a bit nostalgic (parheps a bit "old" also) 'cause I remember well that I raced the very first Mátra Maraton back in the day.
After a quick 45 minutes drive we parked near the start / finish area and got all set in no time. Luckily I have picked up the registration pack and the race number to avoid the queuing this morning. So, got the usual stuff done and I was ready.
Our start was at 10:20am sharp and by the time we got to the start sector the full group was there. So, there was nothing else left to do but to stand right behind the other 500+ riders and wait for the start.
3...2...1...GO!!! Off we went and as we left the race venue I started my journey to fight my way through toward the front end of the filed. It wasn't an easy task as the crowd was absolutely massive. Got warmed up and as the group started to stretch out I managed to gain lots of positions on the long tarmac / single track climbs.
After the first feeding station I pretty much settled and from that point on I pretty much maintained my position. Gained few places then lost a few. Other than that I suffered a lot on the steep climbs and enjoyed the super fast technical descents.
|The last little stinger climb before the finish (photo credit: MilanPhoto.hu)|
After we hit the last short & steep climb I managed to shake off my "rival" who we had a tight race with right until the end. The music got louder and louder, the spectators crowd got bigger...the last left corner and that was it, I finished!
|Crossing the finish line|
|Done & dusted :)|
After racing in the stone splitting sun the first thing I wanted is a cold drink and a nice place in the shadow. Luckily I have parked near the race course, so I had a good view indeed! :)
|All cleaned up & changed, watching the rest of the race|
I finished the 34 km race with 1100 m elevation gain under 1 hour and 52 minutes. This got me the 27th place out of the 135 riders in the Masters1 field.
I've had a great race, I gave everything I had. It was a good day where everything fell into place. I'm also happy with the result considering the amount of training I'm putting in recently. And to finish in the top 20% of the Masters 1 field on a fully rigid single speed bike makes me pretty damn happy! :)
What can I say? It was brilliant to race again and to do it here in Hungary. The race was very well run, hats off to all of the organizers and their helpers. Thank you guys, it was awesome!! :)