I wasn't there to win though - not if you consider coming first in the race winning (which admittedly most people do). I was competing against myself, seeing if I could beat the fatigue, the cramp and the mental challenge. So in my own personal category, of people with my name and age I came a blinding first. Although in the real category (Solo Men) I was a blinding 31st (from 135).
I completed eleven laps, with good, even times. I was on the edge of cramp from about halfway without going over that edge. My bike stayed more or less in one piece. My mind definitely stayed in one piece.
So, why did it all go so well?
- The weather really helped. Dry and dusty is much better than not dry and dusty.
- Bike prep was good, I'm very glad I was running tubeless with latex, seeing all the other people with punctures.
- The course length was short enough so that I didn't ever think that "one more lap" would be a challenge. Also, ten minutes into a lap I was able to think in terms of "only 20 mins to go"
- There were lots of other people slower than me. Overtaking makes me happy.
- My taper, carbo loading and feeding went to plan. Only slight issue was the 4.5 litres of drink consumed in six hours didn't keep me as hydrated as I would have liked (treacle piss afterwards!), but for six hours it wasn't an issue. Probably need to be doing a litre an hour for longer races.
So, I'm happy. Not as happy as Darren, who came third, bastard. He only won a £10 voucher though - how tight is that? The entry fee was £35!
Thinking it through, I'm kind of glad I didn't come third.