Its Dark when you Solo

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Its been a week now since the 2014 Australian Solo 24hr Nationals were run and won in partnership with Rocky Trail Entertainments JetBlack 24 at Mt Annan trails in Sydney. Winners Jason English and Tory Thomas winning both the national titles and the right to wear the Yellow and Gold for a a year as the national champions in the discipline. One of the staggering numbers from this event is the number of laps achieved by Jason with 36laps of a 9.8km loop and female winner Tory not far behind with 33 a feat which would have put her about 5th overall against all the men.

What also impressed us, besides the new trail work at Mt Annan, was the number of people wanting to come out and test themselves mate against mate and on the course. Numbers for the event were 400 strong with over 100 of those riders riding solo. For the photographers of Outer Image this is one of the ideal events for a variety of shooting conditions. Not only do we get to see the riders over and over again on the looping track but we get to see them throughout a variety of light conditions from full bright sun, evening sunset to complete darkness only to reverse this order again the next day. A photographers dream.

During the event we see many stages of riders energy levels. Now after talking to quite a few post race and via emails its nice to know our presence of music, words of encouragement and “wow I didn’t see you” wake-up calls were helpful.  But on a more serious note, we are always impressed with how happy the riders remain even when exhausted, covered in a thick layer of sunscreen and dust pushing through the pain barriers. It puts our job at hand in perspective as we tire and sometimes struggle with the gear we carry to find new and interesting photo perspectives.  It drives us to continue to find and capture images that will inspire others and allow riders to have a memento of their efforts.

As we settle down for the year we have pretty much finished this year’s events and will be just working on personal projects and preparing ideas for next year. We would love to hear from the #rockytrailracers on anything.  We are always looking for new ways to improve our skills and bring you some of the best mtb photography out there in Australia. What better way to do that then hear directly from those that matter, you.  So if you every want to chat we are always eager to here what you have to say maybe over a cold drink or out on the trails while riding (hopefully there is more time for a bit of that now the year is done) or even just send us a message through here or facebook.

Have a great break and if we don’t see you until next year when the Rocky Trail event series kicks off again with the AMB 100 in Stromlo, Canberra then enjoy that summer sunshine, you have experienced enough darkness during the JetBlack 24hr.

Rider images can be viewed here by searching your race number.

Cheers Gil and Richard.

Thule B24 in Bright

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Once again Gil and I hit the road, this time making our way down to the Victorian Alps. It was time  for the Thule B24 enduro at Bright. It’s the second year it has been running and word is getting around about the 24hr race and it’s trails, numbers were up on last year and this year almost 300 competitors registered for the race.

Gil and I arrived on the Thursday evening and scouted the course on the Friday. Although mainly the same course as last year there was a couple of changes to add in more single-track. The track runs out along the river before heading up into the pine forests on the mountainside above Bright. It dips into the pines of Treehugger before the return downhill through a flowing section called Gorilla Warfare and back out to run along the river again.

Race day saw temperatures up into the 30’s and a few people dropping out for a few hours until things cooled again heading into the evening. Many soldiered on though and continued knocking out the laps. As night fell so too did the temperature though not to the same biting chill like the previous year. Lights came on but Gil and I continued to shoot into the night. Eventually Gil and I called it a night.

As Sunday dawned we got back into the shooting in some beautiful mountain light. As the sun rose and the temperature climbed again I made my way deeper into cooling shade of the trees around the river. As the temperature rose even further I actually made my way into the river and cooled down a bit whilst standing knee deep and shooting from there. I wasn’t alone as the race neared completion more and more competitors who had made their final run came down to cool off.

A huge congratulations to all those who competed and a big thank you from Gil and I to all those who helped organise such a wonderful event. Already looking forward to the next one.

Be sure and check out all the images on our website here