SHE had to battle fatigue, younger rivals and a limited preparation so while Hayley Wolfenden missed out on a podium at the BMX NSW State Championships on Sunday, she was still satisfied with placing fourth.
Heading into the Maitland hosted event the Bathurst-based rider had her training impacted by work commitments.
Then, given the lack of numbers in Wolfenden's 25-29 years women's category and the 30-34 division as well, they were placed in a combined field alongside the 17-24 competitors.
That added significantly to challenge facing her given only one championship is awarded to the merged field.
Still, Wolfenden said she enjoyed being pushed and finished as the best rider not initially nominated in the 17-24 class.
"It sucks, but at the same time if there are only one or two in your age group competing, there's not much to brag about saying you get first then," she said.
"It pushes me because they're a lot faster than us, so it makes you have to chase them.
"I'm racing against girls that are anywhere up to 10 years younger than me, so where I finished, that's going to happen especially when I didn't do a lot [of training] before it.
"I went in very unprepared, so I can't complain about fourth, it was the same rank as I was last year."
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Wolfenden tried to conserve energy in her three qualifying motos as she placed fifth, fourth and fifth. In the final she began well to be sitting second behind eventual victor Clare McNamara, but fatigue told.
"In the motos I tried to play it a bit smarter and I didn't go flat out, so that saved me a bit. But I found out halfway through the final I had not much left," she admitted.
"I got a good start in the final and was in second for most of the race. In the last berm one of the girls came in under me, by that point I was tired, not thinking and took a bad line. Then in the last straight I had nothing in the tank and another one rode straight past me."
Fellow Bathurst-based rider Joel Goulding also had limited training in the build up and was unsure how he would fare in a field of 22 riders for the 17-24 years male class.
He was solid in his motos as a sixth, fifth and second was enough for him to qualify for the semi-finals. However, like Wolfenden he was impacted by fatigue and only able to manage fifth to miss out on the decider.