Considering the last time I did this race me and Dom ended up with hyperthermia and double pneumonia, it’s probably not surprising that I was the lone Bigfooter this time round. Lone but not lonely, as I spotted many other folks from my running club plus Corinium CC, Cotswold Veldrijden and Ride 24/7. One of Graham’s Slam 69’er chaps was humming along on a fat bike (that must have been hard work!). And it was good to spot that lapsed ‘footer Steve ‘silk’ Hurley hasn’t retired just yet and is out there representing ‘short, fat, bald blokes’ everywhere (his words, honest!).
Given the storms we’d had recently I nearly didn’t make it to the start line, but figuring it couldn’t be any worse than last year I rocked up early so I could bag a good place to rack my bike up. The format is still the 2 mile off road run, 10 mile XC bike and 2 mile run again, following the usual course. The only change this year was they’d put in a road diversion to avoid one of the muddiest sections towards the end of the bike lap, which was a shame ‘cos it was one of my favourites 😉
As always, not the most technical of courses but it does mean that you can get away with running silly narrow tyres for extra speed and to help cut through the mud. Chatting to one of the guys on a CX bike with flat bars on I realised that my tyres might even be too narrow ‘cos UCI regs have a minimum width of 1.5″ to qualify something as a MTB. Hopefully I’ll never be placed high enough to have to worry about that (Triathlon rules ban CX bikes from off road events).
The latest storm had passed us over by the time the race started and the weather was behaving itself, it was almost pleasant… The course was super slippery as always but I managed to pace a nice even effort and bagged up 26th spot overall (11th in MVet40+) in 1:23:19, nearly 10 min quicker than last year!
Steve Hurley used his time tested ‘no training’ method to still pick a respectable 63rd spot overall with 10th MVet50+ in 1:39:23
Always on the look out for any other off road multisport events so do let me know if you’ve spotted one you like the look of…