Sunday, 23 June 2013

Peak Epic Sportive, 4,000m / 12,800ft, 3rd

Starting / Finishing Bakewell (bottom right) anticlockwise encompassing most peak district climbs!
I entered this one as I enjoy climbing on my bike. At 4,000m of climb, Peak Epic is up there with the hilliest 100 milers in the country. No specific training and probably 6 years since I did my only other sportive so I was unsure of how fast people would be riding. At the start I was mindful that getting in with a group would be good both for motivation and pace.

Gloomy skies, rain for the first 5 hours and almost dangerous gusts of wind up on the Cat n Fiddle road, this ride could have been a complete nightmare. Thankfully, my legs were going very well all day, thanks mainly due to the very well stocked food points - stocking Torq gels and bars which I love. Rode most of the rise solo really and felt strong at the finish finishing in 7h35.

Having done both the Fred Whitton and this, I think Fred Whitton has got the harder climbs (well, Hard Knott really!) but this is just constant climbing - virtually all on small unclassified roads so the road surfaces here are poorer and slower.

A great event that I'd recommend - well signed and great food stops!

Results here
Strava link here

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Mountain Mayhem 2013, Gatcombe Park

This was my first Mountain Mayhem and the first at this new venue. Overall, it was a great weekend - the weather wasn't bad, the company was good and the course was ok.

Putting on a course for 1000's of people to ride continually over 24hours is hard - unless it's a trail centre type surface, it's never gonna hold up under poor weather.

There's been lots of debate over on the STW Forum in the days since with people saying that there was ;

* Not enough Singletrack
* Not enough techy stuff
* Too many hard climbs

but for me, it was a course you could race hard, there was lots of chances to overtake, some bits which required thought and the climbs were great! The red bull timed section was the icing on the cake. Night laps too were an absolute pleasure as they were a few years back at Newcastleton 24. The course takes on a tranquil air that I really enjoy. Perhaps next year, they could make a few of the longer sections more all weather somehow ?

Results here for Sports Mixed with my times between 44 mins and 53 mins.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

BDL Summer League Race, Denby 6:05/mile 234ft

For the first time ever, I (almost) enjoyed a road race!  Set off slower again, then picked it up slowly in the second half. Well, I didn't really pick it up, just didn't slow down. 25th out of 275. 6:05/mile

Full results here
Strava link here

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Tansley Fell Race 2013

Perfect weather this year - stark contrast to last year's torrential downpours.  Really enjoyed this one again.

I'd ran Dave Denton's Shining Cliffs race on Sunday and I felt dreadful whilst running - legs empty, just wanting the ground to swallow me up. Sure we've all been there?? No blog post on that one as I didn't even count it as a race in the end in my head. I almost ended up walking on lap 2 of it !

Anyway, it was important that after Sunday's dismal race, I'd have a more positive race tonight. There were times on Sunday that I was thinking in my head that I'd give up racing as I clearly wasn't enjoying it any more! 

Thankfully - tonight, I corrected what went wrong on Sunday. I set off slow and got faster. Sunday I set off way too fast and just regretted every minute of the race from 10 mins in. I was clinging on but more than normal - too much.

Setting off steady worked. I was very comfortable up the first big climb until it flattened out and then steepened again - I carried on steady there too. Completely out of character as I can only normally do flatout uphills - but good. After hammering it last year after the stream crossing (as I wrongly thought we were near the top !) I just went steady and as it happened took the guy in front, concentrating on making up time / ground on the flat road section ahead. Yes, the road section was a little bit disappointing as I made up perhaps 5m on the guy in front after perhaps 1 mile so nothing spectacular really but going into the final descent I still felt comfortable. Holding off the guy behind I didn't lose or gain any places on the descent so was kinda pleased. 

The really surprising this is though that last year I thought I was in reasonable shape, running in 30m12. This year turns out I ran 29m12 - 1 minute faster. Yes, conditions were faster but I really can't believe conditions were 1 minute faster ? 9th out of 83. Results here