At the 2016 Forrest Festival, we were lucky to play host to a large group of athletes, young and old, from Alice Springs. Great people - of course. They in turn loved their trip to Forrest, riding the trails with trees and ferns, smooth dirt and barely a rock in sight, so much so that a bunch are returning for the 2017 Forrest 10hr event. (You don't drive this far for a 3 or a 6hr do you?)
Meet Andrew Ballestrin, Theo van Luenen & Craig Pankhurst. (...and there could be more to come!)
Theo, "I’m not one for the spotlight with this sort of thing but there are 3 of us confirmed coming to the 10 hr event in May. Craig Pankhurst, Andrew Ballistrin and me , there may be 2 others but they haven’t confirmed yet
Andrew and I were both there for the Forest festival and had a great time both on the trails and with the atmosphere of the event
We were all talking of going somewhere for an event and decided if we were going somewhere it should be for a long ride so the 10hr is it
As far as motivation for a 10hr? We just like riding our bikes and a weekend away riding a 10hr with a few mates it doesn’t get much better
We are all riding in our local club 12hr night enduro on the 25th of feb so that will be a good training run for us. Riding in Forrest will be a lot different for us not only with terrain but temperature as well, our night endure will have a starting temp of around 35`C and a min temp of around 28`C and May in Forrest will be a lot cooler than that so that will be a challenge for us
What do we hope to gain from riding a 10hr? , I think it’s the challenge of finishing endurance events.
Just the knowledge that you’ve done that .It doesn’t matter if you win or come last after any sort of endurance event,6,12 or 24hr there is respect for all finishers from other riders because they have all ridden for that time and they all know the effort that has gone into the ride"
Andrew,"I was part of the crew that came in December I was the Clydesdale in the group and Raby helped me drive my van down.
Basically a couple of friends (Theo Van Luenen and Craig Pankhurst) asked if would like to make the pilgrimage back to Forrest I just couldn’t say no.
Six weeks prior to Forrest Festival I had a good fall and damage the cartilage on three of my ribs so I hoping to get in some quality training this time and do much better at the 10 hour. Hopefully by the time I get there I will be out of the Clydesdale category!
Why a 10 hour? I like a challenge and last year I did the 12 hour here in Alice and again had another good fall and spent at least 2 hours of the race in medical so maybe a 10 hour is better for me.
I have also completed 2 ironman events over the years both taking over 12 hours for me to complete.
This year I trying to set several goals to keep me motivated and trainings continually throughout the year as I will turning 50 and will be in a new age category when I go to WA and compete in the Cape to Cape third time at this event.
We will all be doing it for ourselves I don’t plan to break any records so I don’t mind stopping for a drink and eat, I will be on my Yeti hard tail getting an extra easy gear put on it this time hope fully that will stop the thoughts of my legs are getting tried other thoughts are don’t think about work, that part track needs fixing, nice scenery and I am looking forward to a beer at the end of the race. I sing to myself when riding when I see a hill “ it’s a long way to Top if you want rock n roll (ACDC), The Pushbike Song – (The Mixtures) , bicycle (Queen) and when things are getting really hard “highway to hell’ ACDC
We can't wait to give the boys from Alice Springs a huge bit of support at this event - it is so cool to have them back in Forrest again, would be even more awesome if Raby was joining them too!
Where will you be travelling from to race the Forrest 3, 6 or 10hr?