Assaulted by the Alpine

(The Alpine Assault is a 100k marathon mountain bike race starting in Falls Creek, traversing the high plains of the Victorian High country and finishing in Mt. Beauty.)


The Alpine Assaultcould be seen as quite an ambiguous title for a mountain bike race but most would conclude it assumes the rider will launch an assault on the Victorian High Country.

I went for the other option.

This morning the assault came in the opposite direction.I was seriously assaulted by steep climbs, relentless rocky descents, deep river crossings and unrideable river beds.To the point where, for the first time ever, I was a DNF (did not finish) for a mountain bike event.

It wasn’t so much the fierce terrain of the race that got me but the frailty of my tiring body… sob, sob.The significant pain in my upper abdomen (no idea what it is) of the last few days killed me on the first climb after the start at Falls Creek.

My lungs refused to expand and my legs refused to provide power.I hoped it was justa warm-up thing but within 10 minutes I was considering getting on the phone to my support team (Kel and Amanda) to let them know I’d be coming back down with them in the car.

I persisted for a while but soon found myself as the back-marker.It was all over for me within 15 minutes.I made a few more attempts to power on the climbs but it hurt too much in the chest and there was just no power there.

I had wanted to do this race for one reason though, the magnificent scenery of one of the most beautiful places on earth.



So I decided to role across the high plains and soak up the wonders of the beautiful Alpine morning.After all, it’s all down hill to Mt. Beauty… isn’t it?

Well, no… there’s 3800 metres of climbing in this race but that’s not the least of it.The downhill sections are long, fast, very rocky and relentless.They have you screaming for a break, another climb.

I made it into Mt. Beauty at the 67km mark and as much as my mind was telling me to continue with the other loops, I knew my body was saying otherwise.

I sensibly pulled the pin, refueled at the Mt. Beauty Bakery and now live to fight another day.

My condition today has me wondering about my ability to back it up for the Alpine Classic next week.

At least the title is not ambiguous.

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4 thoughts on “Assaulted by the Alpine

  1. Buddy, significant pain in your abdomen for several days for an otherwise superfit dude doesn't sound right. Why not just drop past emergency where they can poke and xray you for a bit?

    But thanks for risking your better health to bring us those pics, utterly breathtaking.

  2. I personally am happy to trade wisdom for youth and a body that doesn't pack it in at the first little exercise. Well done for having a go, and maybe Gus is right

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