My 1st 24hr Solo – WEMBO 2013 – World 24hr Solo MTB Champs

A guest post today from the team’s reformed triathlete and now multi sport fast man Ben Pattie – aka ‘Little Legs’ or ‘Benny Boy’ :

Although the title is Solo, it is far from that. Yes I am the one peddling for 24 hours but without my support crew I wouldn’t have made it. A big thankyou to Megs, (my wife) she had my nutrition sorted – with little help from me as I was unsure on what I would feel like, so it was, here is all the food I think I will want let’s see how it goes. She did an amazing job and didn’t sleep a wink! Riley and JP for attending to my bike. Rob, Kara, Mum, Mark and Stacey for the help around the pits and all for the encouragement and pushing me through in the last few hours when it all started getting too hard.

Leading up to the race I was surprisingly calm, had a little stack on our sighting lap on Friday and just brushed it off as getting the crash out of the way early.

Race morning – woke up and instantly became very nervous. It took all morning to eat my breakfast; I felt sick and didn’t want to eat. Packing the car and Megs had to remind me to breathe and calm down as I had long day ahead. Off to the kennel to drop Edmund (the dog) off for the night. Arrived at the race and started to calm down and get things laid out.

Everything ready, the sun is heating up and you can feel the energy of everyone rolling around just waiting for the race to start. Went for a wee roll and noticed that my rear wheel had sealant leaking from around the valve. Great! It has been tubeless for the last 6 weeks and now it decides to leak. I pumped it up a bit harder than normal and hoped the sealant would do its job. Off to the start line. As I had entered Elite they called us up to the line by name, pretty cool. Best I ride well to deserve to be there. The plan was to see how fast it started and try not to get too carried away chasing but not give up more than 2 minutes a lap.


Away we go – the start wasn’t too bad, a bit of bustle around the crit track and then up the fire road missing the first section of single track to help break up the bunch. All the big names were there watching each other. My heart rate was high but manageable. We entered the single track and the pace stayed pretty high. There was congestion at the switch backs and then a few groups started to form and a bunch went off ahead. I thought about going around the guy leading our group but my heart rate was already high so I decided to settle in for the first lap and see how it panned out. We came through in 51 mins, that’s fast considering on our sighting lap – yes we didn’t rush but still went around in 1.08. I moved by on the climb and rode the next lap at my pace, still 51 mins. The next couple of laps were fast too. The sealant didn’t work and I pumped the rear tyre again after 3 laps to give it one more shot. No good, we fit a tube in the rear and I was off. I got half way up the first climb and the rear tyre was going flat. Fit another tube and away again. The lap times slowed a bit and I could start to settle into a pace. I caught JeeBus and had a quick chat; he was suffering in the heat and looking forward to night fall. We had to fit lights at 5.30, it was decided before the race that it didn’t get dark until 7.30 so a bar and rear light is all that was needed, save lugging the helmet light and battery pack for 2 more laps.



Night closed in and the lights were on. Even after 7 laps it all looked a bit different and took a lap to get the flow going. During lap 8 my feet really started to hurt, the constant hammering was taking its toll. I had my first slice of pizza before lap 9 and let the guys know my feet were giving me grief. During lap 9 I wasn’t in a happy place, things were hurting, there was still a long way to go, and then I got another flat. Fixed that in the dark and set off again. Got back to the tent and Megs had chicken soup….not sure if it was the salt, the warmth or the encouragement but when I set off I felt like a new man! Yes my feet still hurt but I was happy and tapping away. Soup again next lap was the call and from then on through the night I stayed in a good place eating every lap. Arm warmers went on, and then the vest and that was all until the sun was popping up. I swapped the vest for a jacket to protect myself from the chilly hour as the sun rose. During the night laps I had imagined riding with others keeping company and sanity by safety in numbers. There was none of that, I rode the entire race on my own. A quick ‘how you feeling’, ‘good work’ or ‘keep it up’ thrown here and there but that was it.

sportograf-44343830 sportograf-44338413

I knew I had passed a few people during the night laps but when Megs let me know I was in 8th it gave me another boost. Bakery treats for breakfast always make you smile and the sun was up.


Coming up to the 20 hour mark it really started to get hard, I started trying to work out how many laps I had to do. In my 20 hours of riding straight state, I thought I could fit 2 laps at 1.04 each into 4 hours. Not going happen buddy unless you are stopping early! I suffered through the next lap and then the team let me know I was in 6th. How many laps do I need to do was my only question. 2 would be nice but it looks like 3. Off I go again. Another lap done. Yup, you need to do 2 more laps – but you have 40 mins lead on 7th. Ok I thought just roll around easy up the climbs. I caught ‘the lil master’ (Marcus Speed) during this lap and he was stoked to be on his last lap, 2 more for me I grunted and carried on. Half way through the lap 7th place comes up behind me…what? Here we go. He gets a little gap then I see him pull over, a puncture I thought. Head down and start pushing. Into the tent and let them know he is on my tail, some timing miss-hap? It didn’t matter. I was really struggling for confidence and everyone was great at getting my head in the right place to bury myself for the final lap. 57 minute final lap! My times weren’t there until way back at lap 8. I remember thinking as I rolled onto the crit track and knew I had just finished 6th in Elite at the World Solo 24Hr Champs – after 24 hours of racing I had to fight for a position. That’s crazy.


There were a few emotions as I rolled over the line and hugged Megs, then Mum and saw the rest of the crew. Now let’s get this gear off and sit in the shade!

Benny is Broken

Thanks again to everyone that supported me both at the track and from afar.