Everything you didn’t know you needed to know about Contact Epic.
On Saturday 22 April 2017, this band of merry athletes joined 700 other riders at the Lake Hawea Contact Epic in tackling NZ’s ultimate mountain biking challenge.
Race day dawned crisp and clear – perfect conditions for a wheel to wheel battle around the lake. The Epic has it all – hard and fast road riding, narrow and rocky 4WD tracks, toe numbingly cold river crossings, with a sneaky 2000+ metres of climbing included.
We had an absolute blast! We all (bar one, due to a mechanical) improved on our times from the previous year. But as we were relaxing and sharing battle stories at the finish line, burger in one hand and beverage in the other, we began to wonder if maybe everyone had raced faster this year. So in the days following the race our team statistician Alex Nisbet (and winner of the Vet Male category no less!) got to work.
Presented below are the fascinating results of his data analysis - guaranteed to answer all of your burning questions.
Had we really improved since last year, or did the ideal conditions mean that everyone went faster?
Comparing the results of the Epic field of riders from 2016 to 2017 – the fastest was faster, the slowest was faster … but the average was 5 minutes slower!
How do the ladies rank against the blokes?
Males take the fastest spot. Males also take the slowest spot. But overall the average male is only 5 minutes faster than the average female. Nice work ladies!
What name should you enter as?
*Based on most popular first names of entrants.
Tim appears to be a good name to run with if you’re a male. Or even if you were to enter as Richard you would be in with a good chance of being in the top half of the field. It’s a pretty tight race between the Craigs and Michaels, with the Craigs being just a smidge faster over the 125km.
You definitely want to enter as Sarah if you’re a female – especially if you’ve got a rival called Rachel, you’ll beat her by almost an hour. The numbers don’t lie.
Does it matter where I’m from?
Yes, it turns out it does. If you make the journey down from Nelson you’ll likely make it worth your while by posting a pretty slick time. The Wanaka locals have just the slightest of margins to take it out over their mates over the hill in Queenstown. And if you’re from Auckland you might want to change the hometown on your entry to say Timaru or Cromwell for next year to improve your race time – the stats say so.
And that’s a wrap.
We hope that’s helped to answer some of your questions – some you probably didn’t know you had. Now, you all know what to do in order to go faster next year – move to Nelson and change your name to Tim (for the blokes) or Sarah (for the ladies).