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Old 2004-06-28, 08:43 PM   #6
mostly harmless
joemc's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Worcs. UK
Age: 45
Posts: 87
What fun that was!!

Starting the first lap was a mixture of fear, excitement (and buzzing on too much redbull and go-gel). The run passed in a blur, and I was so pleased not to UPD in the first few hundred metres with all the spectators. The rain meant most of the course had degenerated into 3" deep sludge by the time I got to it, making the steep climbs out of my league, the flats hard work, and the downs treacherous but so much fun. I had no idea where I was in terms of distance, and was thinking I had another couple of miles to go when a marshall told me to get off and walk for the last 10 yards. I phoned in a panic, causing Debbie to have to rush over to start her lap.

Waking up for lap 2 when Chris rang at 2:15 am, my first thought was that I'd have to put my soggy mudball trainers back on. I was feeling quite down walking to the changeover, but once riding it was magical. Yes the mud was even deeper and more slippy, it was dark and raining and foggy, and I had to carry for at least half the way, but i was still smiling. Riding out of a misty, sticky woodland onto an open flat hilltop, just as the dawn became brighter than my lights, was such a special moment. The lap just improved from there on in, and I finished on a high, ranting about how great it had been.

Having done the 2 laps I set out to do, I had a shower, washed down my muni and relaxed. After visiting the sports massage tent, and getting my legs mended, I started having ideas about a third lap

Despite thinking I'd bitten off more than I could manage, I set off on lap 3 in actual sunshine! Even better it stayed sunny all the way round, enough to get slightly burned (I'd refused to put on suncream or take my shades, for fear of taunting the rain gods).

This was the icing on the cake. The course had all but dried out, and I rode nearly all of the sections that had treated me so cruelly on the previous laps. The descents were more predictable, and I could take them faster and enjoy them.

I met Nathan and Phil near the home straight, whilst lurking to avoid another lap, and we all rode in to cross the line together, exhausted but elated.

It was moment that will stay with me for life.

The spectators and other riders were so supportive and appreciative, they really added to the feeling.

Thanks to everyone who came to ride and support us, its the best fun I've had in ages.

Special thanks to the rest of my team, there are now 26 bike teams that know better than to mess with the likes of us!
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