A Date with the Devil – Hellrider 2012
Andrew, Dom and I made up a Bigfoot team of three for the 8 hour race based down in West Wycombe. The format is simple: one person runs a lap, the next bikes, the next runs and so on until the 8 hour clock has chimed. Unlike Bikefest, if you can get someone out onto the course just before the time runs out, that lap counts.
The event is held in the National Trust’s West Wycombe Park which provides a great backdrop to the pain suffered for the day. The weather started off drizzly and cold (very English) before warming up with some glimpses of sun later in the day.
Before we started, Andrew had done some calculations to work out how we could squeeze in about 20 laps. It soon became apparent that those times may be a little ambitious. So, 10am arrived and an 8 foot tall Satan kicked off the proceedings before making his way to the Devil’s Disco to keep the music pumping all day. Andrew was first up for the initial running lap of 5km. With the first half a mile taking in a 250 foot climb, it was just the rude awakening you want! Luckily, the running lap finishes with two thigh deep stream crossings – very refreshing!
I was next up for the bike lap. An 8km loop with a mixture of tarmac, bridle tracks, gravel path and single track. Nothing too technical on the lap but a couple of nasty low gear climbs. A good chance though for the Bigfooters to make up places.
Dom was third to go and back on the run. And so it continued all day.
For me, having not been able to get much running training in recently due to injury, having to run a 5km hilly lap was much fun! By the time it came to my third running lap I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to it. However, by then we were at the 7 hour mark so I knew it was my last lap of the day, plus I wanted to give Dom as much chance of getting round his bike lap before the 8 hour cut off so we could send Andrew out for one final lap!
So, when Andrew returned from an impressive fourth running lap, we’d chalked up 19 laps in all. The official results aren’t out yet but the winning team of three did 21 laps, so we weren’t that far off.
I think the most impressive thing of the day was the soloists that managed 18 laps on their own! Another level of fitness there.
Definitely a great event. Good free technical t-shirt and loads of freebies from Clif bars, For Goodness Shakes etc through the day. I think Andrew may have covered his entry fee in For Goodness Shakes alone!
Andrew here – found some more pics of us: