Sunday, October 09, 2011

Late Three Peaks Report

Pete asked where my race report was for the Three Peaks so I suppose I'd better post one.

There were only two Condors this year, re-recruit Adrian and myself. The forecast was for fine weather in the morning and rain in the afternoon which would have been ok; as it was we had rain in the morning and it was fine in the afternoon and therefore it wasn’t.

We set off wet and this set the tone for the day. Simon Fell was a bugger - as always - I took my place in the line of the traumatised hauling myself up the legendary wire field fence and it was at this point that I lost sight of Adrian who I didn’t see again all day until the finish at Helwith Bridge

In an attempt to avoid pinch punctures on the rocky descents I was using Schwalbe Land Cruisers at 60psi however the high pressure and a relatively unaggressive tread pattern meant that they were badly suited to the wet boggy conditions and previously rideable sections of moorland fell were now impassable other than on foot. The descent from Ingleborough to Cold Cotes, normally a blast was, equally difficult and it soon became clear that I wouldn’t be winning any prizes or breaking any pb’s this year.

My ascent of Wherenside went ok; a lot of carrying but I was able to keep it together and it seemed that a training regime that had involved multiple climbs with my bike over my shoulder, in the dark, up a local hill was paying off. It all went a bit wrong however at the start of the descent when I fell on rocky ground winding myself badly and in the process hurting my carrying arm and ribs, however by the time I reached Blea Moor it became clear that I hadn’t broken anything, that I wasn’t going to die and that I might as well carry on. The last hill Pen-y-Ghent went much to plan – slow but steady - I was even gaining places and starting to enjoy myself as I headed down Pen-y Ghent Lane to the smooth tarmac and the run in to Helwith Bridge.

At the finish I caught up with Adrian who had finished about ten minutes in front of me. His ride had been pretty uneventful, I think, but his partner (I think that’s right) Neris had not been so lucky, she’d fallen broken her ankle and had had to be winched from the top of Wherenside. She’s incapacitated with her leg in a pot at the moment but otherwise ok.

Slowest time of all my attempts; partly down to the weather I’m sure but I also suspect that holding back the years will become more difficult year on year.

PS I’m writing this on the 9th October three full weeks after the race and my ribs still hurt, maybe I did more damage than I thought on Wherenside

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