Entering this race is prestigious in itself.
45 mins after they open, the entries are full.
Luckily for me, we sponsor it, so staying up past midnight was not required.
Our usual compliment of men folk were up for it:
Marc Sharman - now residing in Christchurch, working for KRD who are an importer of wonderful MTB goods such as WTB, Raceface, Lezyne and more, I'm sure.
Matt Boulcott - recently married to the lovely Emily and more recently residing in Palmerston North where he deposits over 1/2 his paycheck from flying helicopters, directly into the bike shop called Crank It.
Myself - still in Wanaka - no recent life changing events to report other than given up the devils drink since January, this is actually in question as to whether it is making me faster or slower.
Two new additions to the team for this year.
Simone Maier - superstar of the Ironman and Adventure racing circuit. Recent awesomeness include smashing the Motutapu race record by 8 minutes, but due to a technical bumble you won't see her name on the winners board.
Moving on she won the Goldrush a couple of weeks back by like an hour.
And finished 4th in the Challenge Wanaka Ironman in January.
Melissa Newell - Tall, Blond and with dodgy hips, I can say no more at this stage.
Mr Corbett had entered Solo, withdrawn, faltered, withdrawn his withdrawl, then turned up to ride Solo as if nothing had happened. And he did the most laps with a sneaky beer in between. Confusing I know.
Zero degrees and frozen windscreens greeted us in Ranfurly.
Dropping our gear out of a chopper would have been slower than our dump and run with our 3 cars and 6 people at the pits.
Cam McHardy had the helm at our campsite this year; his dad Jeff who is our regular camp mother had St Johns duty this year. We share with 4 other teams, so there is always plenty of action going on.
The only thing I forgot this year was arm warmers, but Mops (Melissa) had some new kit from one of her long line of sponsors, I borrowed them and they were great - so good, that if I was in a position to do so, I'd be buying a new home from www.mikegreerhomes.co.nz
As you can see from the live timing system that Emily was in charge of, there was no delay in disappointment (in my case), much chest beating (from Marc Sharman), who the hell messed with my suspension ? (Matt Boulcott), well I'm still awesome (Simone), and take that you pussy boys - fastest lap hell yeah (Mops)
Early on we were in 6th place in the Mixed Teams, we liked that spot so much we stayed there right to the end.
It was truely a great day out - a constant stream of riders passing by from the kids, solo's, singlespeeders, fast whippets, not so fast older folk, fancy dress - you name it, there it was.
Having done this event I think 4 years now, you get to recognise many faces and meet a few new ones and a few faraway voices over the phone.
For myself, it's especially a big day out.
Organising a team, the tent, timing, food, 2 bikes and riding laps too.
Then there's the other stuff, like been first into the showers, yelling at unsuspecting souls from the sidelines with the only saving grace being: there is little chance of anyone turning around to discuss matters further.
If I had one request to make it better - top the trees so the sun can reach us all day long in sponsors row.
Sure does look pretty at nigh though:
Next year is the tenth anniversary.
Feel free to submit your application to be on my team, you're welcome.