As part of the 'puffer training i decided to enter the first Brass Monkey race held at Porridge Pot Hill.
Lining up at the start I looked around to see a lot of fast competitors, and got a funny feeling this was going be a little harder than I'd anticipated. As the horn sounded the mass sprint began. I'm awful at starts - I usually go off as fast as I can, which is usually not fast enough, my legs burn and I feel nauseous - and this was all true again (although I think the pre-race cinnamon latte did nothing to help the sick feeling). As we approached the first climb a lot of traffic had built up and I waited for my chance to pick my way through the other riders. The pace was very fast, faster than a 24, but I was loving it.
The course so far was up and down and the el Marachi was thriving in the fast flowing single track. Every lap I found something new - a jump or a new line up a small climb. It was really interesting and kept my mind on the course instead of on the screaming noises coming from my legs and back. As the race went on something didnt feel right and after a quick look down I realised that my saddle was slipping and had dropped about 3 inches, enough to effect my riding although the downhill sections did become alot more fun - I even did a sweet HUCK! But it was no good on the uphill, or the rest of the race. I pulled over and sorted it. Once this was done I cracked on, over-taking people and pulling a few places back. I think I was placed at 19th after the 1st lap, and had moved up to 14th by lap 4, which I was well happy with.
With an hour left I was feeling good and was up to 13th. I picked up a final energy gel and set off, determined to finish strong. The course had calmed down and I hardly saw anyone, so I could have a clear run on the climbs & descents, which i took advantage of...until I decided to jump off a steep drop and landed in a heap at the bottom. I dragged my sorry ass off the floor, pulled the mud and grass out of my teeth, and headed for the finish. 4hrs 15mins and 13th place. I was pretty pleased with that.
This race was great, an awesome course, everyone was happy and friendly. Will defininatly do it again.
1x El mariachi
4x caffeine gels
3x energy gels
6x bottles energy/electrolyte
1x lost tube
1x lost gas canister
1x ripped shorts
1x bruised shoulder.
6x branches to the face.