Well, after a week of the nicest weather I've seen yet in the UK, normal conditions returned on race day, so we woke up to drizzle and clouds. The race started in Staveley just on the edge of the Lakes district. I could have sworn I had never been there before, until we got the maps at registration and I overheard mention of the night biking section of the Open24 back in July. Suddenly memories of a horrible rough trail ridden at 3 in the morning came rushing back to me, and I pointed out that particular trail to Sarah so we could make sure and not ride it! But the location immediately made much more sense to me and a few checkpoints were even similar to what we had found on the Open 24, so that helped us decide our route choices for the mountain bike section.
|No, we're not lost. I just look lost.|
With three hours left on the bike, right out of the gate it was a steep uphill to a control wirth a lot of points. Sarah was threatening to throw up after eating a gel and pushing hard up the hill, but luckily she didn't and we carried on. I must say that there were a lot of hills involved in the route we had picked, but we managed to avoid any really rough, unridable sections by working the roads as much as we could. Even so, the minutes passed quickly and we wondered if we would have to sacrifice a few controls to get back in time.
Fortunately, the next off-road section was very rideable, and I even caught
|Sarah collapses at the finish....|
Tied for first sounds so much better, though, doesn't it? :)
|And then is smiling again a few minutes later!|
|2nd in Women's Pairs|