Time: 3:58:59 13th M30-39, 16th overall
Swim: 00:20:59 8
T1: 01:58:05 19
Bike (+T2): 01:39:54 31
Run: 03:58:59 16
Richard Hunt Male M30-39 00:21:15 10 01:46:46 1 01:21:54 4 03:29:56 1
Marc Laithwaite Male M30-39 00:22:33 20 01:52:01 6 01:18:53 1 03:33:28 2
Mark Livesey Male M30-39 00:19:37 3 01:48:22 2 01:27:10 7 03:35:09 3
This year they’d doubled the size of the field and on Friday I knew the quality of the field had increased when we got chatting to Morgan Donnelly whilst walking the run course. This guy wins the Elite class at Mountain Marathons – certainly would have a push on the run knowing people like this are probably chasing me down.
The weather was alot better than last year. They’d also changed the swim course slightly – which meant it has to be the widest swim start I’ve been in and with a massive leg to the first turn it made for a great swim. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to move and get on the lead swimmers legs and ended up leading the second group of swimmers in about a minute down on the lead group. I exited T1 in 8th place.
I headed out on the bike and noticed that my front tyre was very soft indeed (damn crappy valve extenders – luckily after the race I found some decent valve extensions which have totally solved the problem !). This made me much more cautious than normall descents and many of the sweeping corners. I think it also contributed to my losing focus a little. I found myself thinking “I’m really enjoying this, the countryside is beautiful” and then realising I was not pushing hard enough. Also had my first experience of blatant drafting – 3 guys go past me but don’t pull away, I drop back and keep them about 5m or so ahead. Eventually I’m so sick of them doing this I scream “You guys are drafting”. Eventually we get to the struggle (the 25% final hill) and as I pass them I say “You guys were blatantly drafting” – one of them says something about not being able to pass on that road *bullshit* so I point out I just dropped back 5m as I was going the same pace. Finish the bike about 8 minutes slower than last year.
Onto the run – I push hard up the climb. I pass two and am passed by two … there are clearly some strong fell runners doing the race this year. Morgan Donnelly passed me towards the top of the climb – very pleased to see he wasn’t going much faster than me uphill… he did however take about 18 minutes out of me on the descent! Coming down I really am careful, I’m not in the running and don’t want to go turning my ankle. I have about 4 guys belt past me on the descent and I come in in 16th place.
I still must say this is a great race, well organised and a very interesting and challenging route. Will almost certainly do it again next year.
Morag unfortunately punctured twice and had to retire. Morag saw Matt coming in carrying is bike with a couple of inner tubes over his shoulder. He went on to the run and completed the course – great effort. Whats the story Matt ? We weren’t able to hang around to see you at the end.
Recommend it for next year. Morag and I made a great weekend of it – got a great fell walk in on Friday, great food and beer on Sat night and a monster ride on Sunday including some great tea shop stops (!!) and a snapped chain on Wrynose pass which helped to add to my recent cycling war wounds.