My journey to the Attakwas started soon after entries were opened. This is why I’m guessing my race number was 7, and that this was not an indication of my abilities but rather an indication of my eagerness to participate in a race that I really know very little about.
But one thing was clear, even from the start, it was going to be a tough day out. So as a result I started training almost immediately for this event, averaging about 2 indoor and outdoor rides a week hoping to reach my goal of 200km for the week. But as the December holidays approached this workload was drastically increased to over 300km with a TSS of 800 a week.
Pretty soon the day arrived and I was lined up ready to go.
The terrain is as Mother Nature created it.
There is no manicured single track.
It is rocky with sections of deep sand as well as a section after water point 2 which I can best describe as a wood mulch. This section felt like I was riding with my brakes on! It was tough going and luckily did not last long. The climbs in the first half of the race are steep and technical and most rides will be forced to walk.
This should be seen as a chance to lower your heart rate and conserve energy. The first section also has 2 very dangers descents. The first been down from the King of the Attakwas and the second leading into the Spur Water point.
It is a race of nutrition and you should defiantly not over extend yourself leading up to the 68km (Spur WP) Point as this is where the district roads and real climbing starts, and the climbing is relentless. From a psychological point it is also best to ride from water point to water point instead of concentrating on the 121km. This is also where I must mention that the water points are without a doubt the best I have ever experienced in a race. The Coke and water even had ice in it. So well done as this was really a big motivating factor.
Story and Images by Brian Maynard