Monday 27 September 2010

I done a race

Or more correctly, I competed in a race last Sunday.

On a bit of a whim, Darren and I entered the XTM Enduro, a four hour mountain bike race organised as part of an off-road tri/du/mono-athlon weekend. Clearly as I'm not tri or du, I was only interested in the mono side of things - the mountain biking bit.

The main attractions of this race were twofold - it was pretty close (about 40 minutes drive away) and there was a free gold water bottle for all finishers. I'll do a lot for a free gold water bottle. The course was slightly odd, only being 5.5km. Almost like an off-road velodrome. I was concerned about getting dizzy.

The race itself was not unpleasant. The course was moderately interesting with a couple of fun descents and sharp climbs each lap, plus a mix of noodley singletrack and fireroad. It was mildly confusing though as the shortness of the lap kept surprising me - "What, that bit agin? Already?" - was my mantra. I started fairly fast, but not so fast that I'd suffer later. Darren started very fast and I made it my goal not to be lapped by him. I was lapping at about 17-18 minutes, so he'd have to make that up over four hours to catch me.

Round and round... I was overtaking far more than I was being overtaken, and I felt as well as could be expected. Towards the end my legs were teetering on the edge of cramp but they stayed on the edge without leaping over. About 8 minutes before the four hours were up I had a little chat with the guy behind me.

Me: "If we get in before the four hour mark, can we do another lap?" (this is fairly standard for most races)
Him: "No, only laps completed before the four hours count"
Me: (and I quote) "Thank fuck for that"

I crossed the line, had a slightly more interested chat with the other rider, then hunted out Darren, who somehow hadn't managed to lap me.

Darren was broken. Threatening to vomit. Shivering. Not making much sense, even less than usual. Not completely broken, he could still walk to the car to put on more clothes before having a little lie down across the back seats. Apparently he'd slowed down at the two hour mark, and then really slowed down for the last couple of laps. If he ever learns to pace himself properly he'll good at this bike racing business.

We collected our free water bottles.

They weren't real gold.


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