If I had to pick one event on the calendar that has all the ingredients of the best clost-to-home race around, the Rock Wallaby would be it. It’s a techy, mountain biker’s course, it’s longer than an XC race but not as long as a marathon, I can sleep in my own bed the night before, and the Chocolate Foot event crew have race atmospheres dialed. There was only one problem. Having had too much fun in Alice Springs the week before the 2012 Rock Wallaby, I was still a little hammered. Racing tired turns even the nicest of people into whingers, so I stuck my hand up to volunteer instead.
Volunteering’s rad. You get to see a whole different side of events, take in the thousand different attitudes people bring with them to different parts of the field and it’s nice to feel like you’re giving something back. The Chocolate Foot crew kept giving me stuff though – breakfast, drinks, snacks, lunch, a t-shirt, a drill (I didn’t get to keep that, but it was useful for taking down signage), a ticket to go ride the trail searching for any stragglers, some extra bits I lost count of and one of the event organiser’s cars.* I didn’t tell them I’m about to sell my own car because I don’t drive it enough. It’s strange what people will do for a little help out on the course.
I returned home, happy from a day spent outside, and felt the familiar post-race tiredness kick on in. But it was different to the post-race-racing feeling. My body felt rested the next day, not cooked, fried and overdone. Ready for another great week of fun on the bike.
* This helped solve a logistical issue and wasn’t for keeps.