With less than a month to go to the toughest physical test of Wagga enduro rider Dan Beresford’s life, the nerves are beginning to set in.
“It’s nerve-wracking and exciting at same time,” he said.
“I’m getting the body ready to do eight days of absolute pain.
“I’m managing the days, you don’t want to burn yourself out, you can’t go 100 per cent every day.”
Beresford will join a predominately international field of 120 mountain-bike riders for the Croc Trophy in far north QLD on October 22.
“I hope to be competitive in my 40-45 masters category,” he said.
“I’ll still ride with all the elites, but there’s no point racing against the seasoned professionals from Europe.”
All going to plan, this will be the first of two Croc Trophy rides for Beresford.
I’m getting the body ready to do eight days of absolute pain
“This year will be a feeler,” he said.
“I want to finish healthy and safe without being silly.”
There were positive signs from Wagga six-hour enduro in early September.
Beresford finished third, in front of several elite, seasoned mountain-bike riders.
“I’m in the best form I’ve been since I’ve been riding," he said.
He has trained through hell and high water, literally; a broken thumb in late July, a series of trail closures in September, pouring rain and drenched roads.
“The last four months have been terrible,” he said.
“The coach sets me a program for the month, then 10 to 20mm starts pouring down, and I’m left with no choice.
“I did 100km in that on Sunday, and coming back from Junee to Wagga, I got pelted with rain.
“My wife had to pull my gloves off me, I was that cold and stiff.”
The tough preparation phase will put him in good stead.
“Mentally you have to be tough,” he said.
Due to weather conditions, indoor training has taken precedence.
“You do get a good workout on an indoor trainer,” he said.
“There’s no rest.”
Weather-permitting, he will set aside seven hours to hit the 130km Centennial Trail with friends in Canberra on Saturday.
So far, in his Croc Trophy fundraising efforts, he he has raised more than $4,000 for Wagga Ronald McDonald House.
It’s a cause close to his heart; his daughter lived through a health scare more than a decade ago, and he was blown away by the assistance the charity provided for families in his position.