Monday, 1 June 2009

10 Under the Ben.

Watch the video. I'll write something once I've finished building the workbench in the shed.

The next day...

Finished. Looks good too, hinged so it can be folded out of the way. Must get a vice.

Last Saturday was Ten Under the Ben at Nevis Range. Chris and I had entered Vet Pairs hoping to improve on 10 laps and 18th place from 2 years ago. Of course, "10 Under" is a bit of a misnomer. In the early days it was a 10 mile circuit and the race lasted for 10 hours, except you are allowed to squeeze a final lap in provided it starts before the 10 hours are up and finishes before hour 11. Saturday's circuit was also quite significantly different to previous years. The main lap was in fact 11.2 miles in length and they decided on a prologue lap which really went round the houses and weighed in at 17 miles.

I was very pleased to see that the spirit-crushing climb up Lazy K had been left out (it was part of the descent on lap 1) but in its place was a climb up one of the downhill sections of the World Champs course. They had also included some nice rooty, muddy sections which most people couldn't ride (bread and butter to me after a winter of riding in local forests).

I did the first lap and spent most of the time battling past slower riders to find my natural place in the field. There were up to 480 riders out at any one time and this made for some close quarters racing in places, particularly at the usual bottlenecks like the watersplash near the top of the circuit and the drop down to the road near the start. It took 1 hr 30 mins for lap 1 and as usual I've gone out too hard. I try to rehydrate while Chris does his first lap but I've got a bit of a sore head from the effort and the "Powerbar" carb drink is making me a bit naseous. This persists through lap 2 so I eat lots during the downtime and switch to Nuun electrolyte tablets. They have a dramatically positive effect and on laps 3, 4 and 5 I feel pretty good; strong enough to sprint up the first long fireroad section in the big ring.

We finish on 9 laps in 10 hrs 41 mins. 39th place out of 186 pairs which is OK considering it was a very strong field (our time would have won the Quads category outright!). I felt like I was passing lots of people on my laps but didn't really notice other riders passing me (apart from the usual Glencroft Rabble blur). Average lap time for me was 1:06:37 and my times were pretty consistent on the main lap. I felt like I took it easy on the last lap but it was only 2 minutes slower. I cannot imagine what one needs to do to put in a 50 minute lap like the fastest riders...

Calories: 5337
Distance: 99.19km
Height: 1940m
Falls: 1
Max HR: 193bpm
Temperature: 28 C

"You like numbers, don't you Gregory?"

"Numbers make the world go round"

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