Battle Of The Beasts – Update #2

It seems my updates are now a tri-weekly occurrence.   So three weeks after the inaugural Battle Of The Beasts Update.  I present to you Update #2.

The fundraising for Soldier On and raising awareness for veterans support services has been going quite well after a few hiccups.  I’ll be the first to admit I was a bit naive with my requests for industry and business support.  I had approached several Defence related companies and numerous local Canberra businesses for support and sponsorship. Because I believe in this cause so much and understand the good it does for so many I was incredibly dejected at the amount of rejections I was receiving.

Out of the sixteen requests I submitted I have received eleven rejections and five no replies.  I find it incredibly difficult to understand how a business which makes hundreds of millions of dollars from Defence contracts cannot donate money to charity.  I understand that I am one fundraiser, a very small cog in a very large machine, however some of these companies DO NOT DONATE ANY MONEY TO THE DEFENCE COMMUNITY.  OK rant over and I’ll move on!

I’m still hopeful of hearing back from some of the local Canberra businesses and have been given some advice from friends that have done this sort of thing before.  Social media is really helping especially friends sharing on Facebook and retweets on Twitter.  There are a lot of people out there that support our wounded veterans.

To date $1’665 has been raised thanks to some very generous friends.  I need to thank Craig Passante for his massive $500 donation.  Craig has been very supportive of my fundraising this year and last year and continues to be a very strong role model for young veterans like ourselves.

So with a little over three months to go before The Battle Of The Beasts, I’ve got a fair bit of work to do to reach my goal of $6’000.  I’ve got a few media stories and interviews in the works for newspapers, MTB magazines and hopefully TV & radio if things go to plan.

Some keen eyed readers would have noticed I’ve started a training regime working up to the BOTB in October.  Last year I rode the event not knowing what was ahead of me and to be honest I was overwhelmed physically and mentally by the enormity of the ride.  Since last years race I’ve been able to complete a couple of big endurance races with relative ease.

Through trial and error I have worked out with the right nutrition and hydration plan I am quite capable over long distances on the bike.  This year I aim to be fitter and better prepared for the challenges I will face during the climb-heavy race.  While I will never win a race of this magnitude I want to race against myself.  I have a few on course goals I want to achieve and a few people I really want to leave in my wake.

So I am juggling not only my home life, upcoming Wedding, work, fundraising and veteran’s advocacy; I am slowly working my body into what I need it to be to tackle the Namadgi ranges for a second time.  I will need to be better at endurance climbing and able to focus my mind on the ride and not on the pain and kilometres remaining in front of me.

So before the Battle Of The Beasts I have a few CORC XC races, countless commutes and training rides; and a couple of 3hr XC races to keep me honest.  And as always I will be proudly wearing not only my Soldier On jersey but also my team kit displaying my beloved The Berm name and logo.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for me on and off the bike.  I’ve had a few big set backs with the fundraising and would like to acknowledge a couple of people that have been a huge help: Carly, Scotty, Nat P, Dylan H, Mel C, Argo, Ben H, Nigel J, Roger H and Pete A.  These are the people that have given me invaluable advice and kept me focused on the big picture.  Thank you!

CORC XC Rd 3 #01

Rocking my Soldier On jersey at Round 3 of the CORC XC Series

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Training Week In Review – Week 3

Week 3 started off well.  I commuted to and from work on Monday; the short way and shortish way respectively.  Tuesday saw an early start at work and the need for me to drive in.  I put the XTC in the back of the car in the hope I’d be able to hit the trails after work.  Thanks to be oh-dark-hundred start I made my way out to Sparrow Hill for some quick fun on the immaculate trails.

I cheated on Wednesday and put the roadie in the back of the girly’s car for a quick commute home.  The ride itself was fairly standard except for the now infamous bike pump versus car bumper incident.

Thursday I strapped on the Shimano MTB shoes and took Kate in with the intention of taking her for a spin around Bruce Ridge on the way home.  The weather was a bit ordinary with 80km/hr wind-gusts that tried their best to knock me off the bike and into Lake Burley Griffin.  So I rode home via Belconnen and around Lake Ginninderra.

Friday was meant to be a medium length ride around Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill on my Giant Anthem Zooey.  But alas it was not meant to be thanks to a single phone call.

Saturday was a rest day/bike maintenance day spent preparing my XTC for Sunday’s CORC XC Race.  I replaced the standard Shimano rear derailleur in favour of a Shimano XT Shadow to reduce the annoying chain slap.  This didn’t quite go to plan and I was left with about four non-slipping gears for the race the next day.

I wasn’t feeling the best before this race.  My heart wasn’t in it and my head definitely wasn’t.  I woke up early and decided I’d give it a go.  I’m glad I did.  I managed to pull in fifth place and pushed myself further than I had before on a short course race.  I went out fairly easy at the start and picked up the pace quite considerably for the second lap finishing almost 3 minutes faster than my first.

At the end of the race I was 149.9km for the week… 100m short of my 150km target.  So after my shower I took out my single speed flat bar and rode a quick 500m to reach my 150km goal.  At the end of Week 3, I had some ups, plenty of downs and one hell of a good time at Kowen Forest racing.

CORC XC Rd 3 #02 CORC XC Rd 3 #01