You don't get tough by giving up

Raglan Rocx

maddix park mx

The Raglan Rocz event was held in near perfect conditions last weekend. This is an annual 4 hour race over 20km of fast flowing terrain and this year it was good to see a number of MX riders mixing it with the regular cross country addicts.

Ben Townley, in total top form, joined up with his brother-in-law, Jaden Gray, and together they took out the team and the overall honours.

Adrian Smith won the Ironman.  Adrian was riding particularly well and his recent USA experience was clearly on show. To ride fast for a couple of hours, you need to be fit.  To ride fast for 4 hours, you must be a machine.

However, the “You don’t get tough by giving up” attitude was the predominant factor in the results of several Tauranga riders who competed and a great attitude it is to have.

Reece Burgess (pictured above) had the attitude in packets.  After last week’s ground hugging incident at the Bel Ray, he was still a bit tender but decided the 4 Hours would “make or break the fitness barrier” so he’d go to Raglan regardless. “My start wasn’t too good”, he reports. “The track was fun but not a good place to take any risk and passing in the dust was a waiting game. I made my way up conservatively knowing it was 4 to 4 ½ hours. The iron man class is about being smart. I could not burn energy like the teams and settled to a high pace. But after jumping a creek slightly wrong and jarring my body, I felt a bit sick. After food and water to offset dehydration, I kept going but 10 minutes later, I vomited until there was nothing left. I don’t know why I got so sick as I felt ok afterwards but you don’t get tough by giving up.”  Reece finished 2nd in the Ironman and 9th overall.

Reuben Steens has recently been plagued by minor issues eg flat tyre, that have proved major hassles to success.  At the Raglan Rocx he had to overcome the disappointment of a very bad start. His goal was the hole shot, but his foot missed the kick start, then folded back the kick start end as it came up for a second go. End result, last off the line. Ruben was too far behind the leaders to catch them but grabbed some attitude, set up to chase and passed a large number of riders in the first lap.  He finished 4th in the Junior 15-16 Overs class and was 5th Junior overall. 

Rhys Carter had to come to grips with the bigger size, large tank, alien set up and general “uncomfortableness” of riding someone else’s bike. He and team mate Mark Penny shared Mark’s RMX450. A defeatist attitude can ruin your day but Rhys was having none of it.

“Mark had a few hiccups at the beginning so there was some catch up to do” says Rhys “but from 14th, we got back to 4th”. “And It was great fun”, he adds, “definitely better than sitting at home on the couch!”

Rhys and Mark were the top Suzuki team gaining 3rd place in the team section and 4th overall.

Joel Byrne did not do the 4 hours but he achieved his aim of 3. “I hadn’t ridden for 5 or 6 months”, he laughs, “but Rhys rang up and I had a day off so I just chucked the bike in the back and went. It was a really cool event, I’m happy with what I did but at the 3 hour mark I was absolutely, totally stuffed. Attitude got me that far but no amount could have got me further.”

Joel was impressed by second place-getters  Jason Dickey and Matthew Quirke from Raglan. “They are young, were really fast and did extremely well,” he reports, “they look like ones to watch.”

Rob Aitken from the organizers of the event, the Raglan Motorcycle Club, says it was a very successful day all round. "We had virtually no injuries and all the riders seemed to enjoy it. They appreciated the well marked track and the technical bits that were included  this year as opposed to it all being a flat out ride".

Full results from the Raglan Rocx are on Silver Bullet.

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