So on Friday, I went to Leeds and picked up the hire car. Then loaded everything (almost) into the back and drove to County Durham.
Camping on site had been cancelled but frankly camping in the windswept Pennines in October before racing is neither fun nor conducive to getting adequate rest.
The organisers Cold Brew had done a brilliant job in difficult circumstances; the rave had initially been set for Hamsterly Forest in May, then lockdown happened and various other factors changed venue and arrangements were offered to allow us all to still race and socially distance.
Now, it should be noted that for most of the week, the weather was dire. The course was set on rural farming land on an escarpment with 1100 feet of climbing per lap. So already a tough ask for an 8 hour race.
Weather on the day was utterly filthy, a large consideration was taken on simply what to wear.
A wet a slippery course rapidly became more and more slippery and had me ruing not investing in mud tyres, rather than my usual go to of Schwalbe Rocket Ron and Racing Ralph.
The Stages Power crank helped me to keep a nice rhythm, cadence and power whilst not pushing into the red too much. Generally maintaining power zone 3 and 4. My legs felt great throughout the race. Everythjng else hurt!
OK here’s where it went wrong. On the second lap, I had my first crash, simply losing traction on a fast descent and going over the bars. I mentioned this at the feed station but carried on.
Fatigue set in and by the seventh lap, having crashed a couple more times, I couldn’t get gels out of Jersey pocket without extreme pain. It was over halfway in and time get solid food anyway. At this point, I spoke to the first aid staff and with a great deal of logistics required, I, my partner and our hire car and gear were all taken to Durham A&E.
The result of X-Rays is still inconclusive, I am waiting on a consultation with a consultant but it is suspected that I have broken the ulner and separated or cracked the shoulder/collarbone.
Race results: 8th in my class, despite only riding for 4 and a half hours. 21st overall. For my first endurance race and dropping out due to injury, combined with wholly disgusting weather conditions, I consider this a great success.