What an event. How AWESOME is Slickers in the dry? My first SS event, and longest event on hardtail. Decided to do a practice lap to test gearing about 5:30. My choice of riding partners could have been better and and I found myself flying around the track somewhat faster than the 50% pace planned. I liked most of the track, but was concerned by long climb in the early part of the lap. Back at camp a mate pointed out I had a broken rear spoke. Thankfully I carry spare spokes because, I break them reasonably regularly, and had it replaced in about 30mins.
As for the race itself, I started about mid pack, and passed a few people up the first climb. Then in the madness of the fist turn after the dam wall I spot fellow SS rider mate stopping to repair a puncture(through the tyre!). Tough break. Taking it easy I could see the lead pack tearing away. Got to the top of first climb feeling great I thought, that climb wasn't as bad as I remembered. Then I got to the actually tough climb and thought,"I'll be walking this in 3 laps". I found the rest of the lap to be quite easy, depending on what other riders I came across on the climbs. The flattish stuff in the middle of the lap was a bit of a leg spinning slog, but a good place to take some water. I saw a small brown snake in the creek section about 3am.
In the end I was stoked by 12 SS laps and made my goal of actually finishing the race after 8am and doing that "extra lap". I rode for 8:11 of 8:26 race. My eyes are sore from the dust. I thought the rearrangement of the single track in what was Blair Witch was fantastic, and the creek section(Bliss?) was great on SS.