Mountain Mayhem

Undeterred by the weather I arrived at Catcombe Park to team up with a group of women I had met through the Notts and Derby cyclcross league.

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Despite dealing with gale force winds and rain we finished a creditable third. Over the 24 hrs we saw every consistency of mud possible which made interesting riding, particularly during the night. It’s been years since I have done this event. Standing waiting for the change over at 2:30 in the morning, the memories all came flooding back. I think I can honestly say the hardest part for me is the sleep deprivation and eating in the early hours of the morning. Despite this, each time I climbed on the bike I hammered the best I could.

Well was it fun? Looking back it was a great experience not just about riding a bike. It takes organisation, a good group of supporters to help when you can’t get your act together, and a lot of determination.

Memories? I have this lasting vision of Rory Hitchens plying me with chocolates at 4 a.m because I just couldn’t face anything else and of another rider eating chips staring into space. As the light came up I almost felt normal and the arena came to life, as we all knew the end was fast approaching. Roll on next year when I will pay my money to jump on the roller coaster of emotion, that is 24 hour racing. Must be mad …

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Big thanks to Singletrack for the photo.

Catton Park 6 hr Enduro

20130512-181121.jpgA 6 hr enduro on my door step is always a temptation, despite a decision to focus on shorter racing. Weighing up all the pros and cons I did think, it will be good 3 Peaks preparation and I might just get a suntan as well! Well I shocked myself. Not sure whether you can ever say a solo enduro is an enjoyable experience, but at the finish I felt I had given it my best shot and was pleased with second . Sure the top spot on the podium would have been great but as the eldest woman in the race who kicked ass right to the bitter end I was a happy lady. Both the winner and I managed to do an extra lap, having passed the clock just before the 6 hr cut off. Think it was a nightmare for both of us at that point but its amazing what you can do when you have to, and that day I dug far deeper both physically and mentally than I have for a long time. When you have the strength to do that, you really are moving forward. Well it looks like an entry to the National Marathon Championships might be on the cards, now I am enjoying myself!