Tuesday, 6 March 2012

First race!!!!

Fully sussed Southwest MTB series 2012

Woodbury common

So this was mine and my friend Emmas first ever race and boy did we pick a good one! I believe its what's known as "a character building experience".

When we booked it the weather reports were glorious sunshine but as the week went on it got worse and and worse and unfortunately for once the weather forecast was right! It rained all night and when we arrived it was still raining. We were undeterred though and still excited but nervous. 

We registered and decided what we were going to wear and use before doing a practice lap. Both me and Emma are new to SPDs or "devil pedals" as we call them. So full of hope of being super fast in our new SPDs decided to wear them for the race.  Bad times!

Heading off on our practice lap in the rain we soon realised it was super muddy and our devil pedals weren't such a good idea. The race was 3.19 miles in length so thought 40 mins would be enough for a practice, we soon found ourselves sliding around in churned up mud laughing but realised the race started soon so hurried back. Terrified at the prospect of riding in our devil pedals we frantically phoned our other half's in the hope of a change but couldn't get though. 

At the start line we found the boys! Realising we had no time to change pedals and no time for Emma to get her knees on we began.... already exhausted from our practice lap with cold feet and cleats so full of mud we couldn't clip in. So we soon got taken over and slipped and skidded and skated our way round the course. Honestly I think I fell off about 5 times every lap and with 4 laps to complete that's a lot of falling off ahead of us. By the end of the first lap me and Emma were about level pegging. The lactic acid build up was horrible and my feet were so cold and after almost obliterating myself with my own bike in front of my husband and mum I wanted to cry having realised the idea of a good race position was over.

There was hope......! In the form of glorious flats pedals and trainers, The boys were ready for us at the side to have a pit stop so we quickly threw off our shoes n got ready to head off again. It felt so good to know where my feet were, and so warm in my glorious 6.0's. Spirits back up I realised just finishing would be good enough so started to relax and enjoy myself again. Other people looked just as challenged so began encouraging them along and camaraderie between all of us stragglers spurred me on. And one or 2 energy gels. 

Luckily everybody took so long that they reduced a lap off every category. I had hope we were going to make it :D 

We came 7th and 8th in women's non elite. 
Laura Griffiths 2:11:05
Emma Braithwaite 2:12:34

A very respectable time and position considering the circumstances. Our bikes were trashed and we were battered but elated to finish. With big smiles on our faces we returned to the car just in time before the hail began!

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