The plan of ‘not racing’ soon fell apart as I found myself in the lead on the first big uphill on the bike. As we came to the following downhill 6 competitors came whizzing past… well I wasn’t having that. We were soon at the first running section so I made sure to run past them before we made it to the top to turn and come back down the same path.
The next biking section produced the same circumstances but this time just with one other rider. It seems my downhill skills on a mountain bike are non existent, so I would have to make up plenty of time everywhere else. After the following running section I had the lead again and wasn’t going to loose it.
From here the experience turned into one of me doggedly trying to get to the finish. Luckily I had built up a buffer of 7 minutes or so over second place but as it turned out I would need a lot of this before the end in order to win: With the final top done I started hammering home for the finish when my chain hopped off into the gap between the cog and forks, it wrapped around twice halting the wheel bringing me to a skidding stop. It didn’t take too long for me to yank the thing around getting it unstuck but found that two spokes had snapped. Lucky the damage wasn’t worse and the bike was still rideable, I managed to limp the last 5km in, crossing the line some 6hours 7mins after starting. I then proceeded to sit at the finish and eat something like 10 sandwiches in a row washed down with a lot of water.
For my next race I now have a big decision to make, I can either go to the Glen Coe Skyrace in Scotland or the Matterhorn Ultraks in Switzerland…either way I can’t wait for the experience and will let you know how I get on!