|Photo by Joolze Dymond|
This was my 11th 24 hour race (all in a team, I'm nae daft) placing me firmly at the jaded end of the spectrum of racer and with the previous one having been a wet and muddy sufferfest, I was a little nervous of some rain and clay soil making things a little unpleasant.
Wrong! Summer has been a little kinder on Englandshire than it has up here. The ground was baked hard and the course dusty like California in places. Alex had done a fine job of course routing and there was some properly fun tight and twisty singletrack in amongst the trees.
The team was drawn from the cream of Endura's athletes - Chris, Dave, Simon and myself riding under the firm hand of Matt, our DS for the weekend. Dave led us off and looked a wee bitty warm by the time he got back, Chris next, then Simon, then me. And repeat.
Not for too long though. Pizza and beer stopped play at around 20:00 for a while with the intention of going for a mass dawn lap.
Well that was plan. In the end we got rolling again at 10:00...
After my first morning lap, it looked like that was me for the day, but blistering laps from Chris, Dave and Simon meant I was able to slip out again with 10 minutes still to go. Lots of weary faces out on the course and the stock 1000 yard stare from the soloists.
Over the line for the tradional handshake from Patrick and it was on to some sweaty packing and off once more to the M6.
If only all 24 hour races could be like that...