I came fourth - the most frustrating position there is, and I was soo close!! Last year I finished 3rd, and this year I just wanted to match or better that but ah well what you gonna do... The race itself was a bit of a mix for me: I started really well, doing my first lap in 37 minutes, and riding for about 5 hours feeling good. At this point I was completely covered in mud (as was everyone else) and the course was holding up really well, it was a lot faster (without the sheet ice to contend with), but during the course of the day my legs lost their spark.
Altough I was still lapping ok I only had one speed, I had to grind out the laps rather than attacking them. This lasted for hours - it was infuriating, and every lap became harder. Every little pain became massive and I began a race with my main competitor: my head. The constant battle of pulling out or not pulling out distracted me, I started to get frustrated and my technique and concentration went out the window. I kept eating and plugging away at the course and after 16 hrs I began to feel better and was getting close to 3rd. I started racing, pulling 3rd in closer all the time, after each lap I was closing in, then on my final lap I had done it (but i didn't know!) and for all my efforts lost it again. Only one thing to do: get a burger, get out of my kit and sit down. This really is an amazing event, its so tough, it just rips you to shreds, and I'm really pleased. Even if I did miss out on a podium! It was a good start to the season and my enthusiasm is still there. As for next year, I will give solo a miss but will return as part of a team, and in a couple of years have a crack at solo again. Its really hard to put into words what this event is like - you should try it and see for yourselves.