Ok, I have no idea how I do this, feeling all battered and tired from an XC race and then doing a 100km marathon the day after. But, when we lined up at the start line and there was no Sally Bigham, I was hoping it would be a little easier and I wouldn't have to kill myself, but then there was Jenn O'Connor there instead. She had finished a strong 2nd yesterday and was going to be my biggest competition.
The course from a bird's view :)
The course was basically the same as the NPS course from the day before with one modification: they took out the first technical climb to lead you further uphill on the fireroad, another singletrack section of the purposebuilt type, a fireroad linker descent that lead to another singletrack that eventually lead to the first singletrack descent from the day before.
The course profile - a lot of climbing!
We started riding and I kept with her for a while, but she was very good on the technical descents where she started opening a never again closing gap. I was close enough behind her for the first out of the 8 12.5km laps, but lost her sight more and more in the second lap. In the third lap I was feeling really crap, thinking "Why am I doing this to myself? I could just go for a ride instead in this beautiful countryside and enjoy the view....". By the 4th lap I got over it and rode on. It seemed as I was getting slower on the climbs (a total of about 2700m!!) I was getting better on the descents, starting to enjoy them more and more with each lap, with my favourite being the last singletrack descent. There were no girls around, so I mostly rode by myself or with some guys who were about my speed. Finally, after 06:05:37 I arrived at the finish, 11:24min behind Jenn O'Connor. Another second place.... but my time will come!!! ;)
The view from our car on the way to the B&B :)
Next weekend we are back in the UK for the Mayhem and I'm currently waiting to hear back from the German cycling body if I will be allowed to go to the World Marathon Champs in Italy. Lots more racing to come!
Full results, report and photos can be found here.
Some more pics by Rob Crayton can be found here and pics by Oliver Coat are here.