Karrimor Enduro 6hr Trentham Gardens May 04 2001 - Jack's race
A steady drag up from the pits and along the camp site edge, made sure you warmed up quick. The drop to the lake had a new section at its end, to join the usual track lakeside.
Round the usual short field section then into the long climb to the monument, better for grip than previous years but it was still walked at the top by most. Round the monument this time on a newly cut section of track that proved very sticky, then led to some great new sections of downhill that had your shoulders clipping the trees.
An almost instant granny ring climb back up, led into more new good sections in the drop off the mound, almost half pipe like in places.
After dropping to the gate to start the campsite wood, it was back to the familiar leafy lane slog to face the final killer Quarry climb. With a tail wind across the top, you soon dropped into a brand new rooty descent to face the very sloppy tracks to and around the top lake. It was like riding in plasticine in sections.
|In the after
race spiral into tiredness I lost track of the guys, so here's a completely
personal account of the race.
After a Saturday evening downpour the course was going to be a mud bath, last years 10 laps was out of the question and I packed my pit with spare bike and camelback, expecting some mechanicals along the way. The race was on, the goal being to keep the plumz raceteam in the top 20, with Adi out to get a good placing.
The usual suspects seemed to line up for the start, funny how the same faces clammer for the photo opportunity, hey Shali. The run seemed to go on for ever, boy it hurt, my recent running attempts to lessen the pain had no effect what so ever as I seemed to be in the last 10 people in. Into the pits, grab bike and Camelback, stuff pockets full of nuts and gel's and we're off in like 150th place!
|The pits area
gives a good idea of the weather we expected, the smart pairs teams opted for
tents to shelter in between laps, but the sun shone in this mini
With a solo field of about 150 and loads of pairs teams the course was pretty packed to start with, but the first killer climbs soon put riders in their correct places.
Its always a shame to follow so many through the first singletrack descent, and this year some new tracks made it a cracker, but there's time for fun, can't complain its my fault I'm so crap at running.
Lap 1 confirmed how much of a drag the muddy course was, 45 mins and really blowing, way too much heart rate. I followed Ed over the line and decided this was too fast for me, and eased back. Ed seemed to yo-yo in and out of view for ages as he pulled away on the straights and came back on the descents, I caught him at the 2nd lake only to go down like a sack of spuds in the mud as I messed up passing another rider.
Plodding on, this was not fun, and going over the bars on the 3rd lap on the rooty descent gave me a good battering. Mentally that was it, I flipped and eased right back, sod these climbs, from now on its descent fun and easy climbing.
Adi's dad, manning his feed station, seemed to be asleep every time we passed the pits so it looked like Adi was going well again, but this meant me and Ed didn't have a clue where we were in the field. I caught Ed again on the first climb of the 4th lap, nearly 3 hrs had gone, Ed looked beat as we walked even earlier than usual. He reckoned he needed a blow, and would probably stop this lap for a bit, I pushed on thinking almost the same way.
The track after the top of the monument hill descended down a woody, rooty singletrack twister of a route, it was fast. I left Ed and jumped past 3 riders and finally the track was all mine, ripping through, both wheels sliding and in danger of ripping an arm off as I dodged the trees, this was what it was all about.
Its amazing how one good section of trail makes you feel so good, the rest of the lap didn't seem so bad after that.
Vines seen here swilling down "the real thing" in his pit (thanks to Dave Vines
for manning my camera) was running in the pairs race. The pits is a walk only
zone so its a good idea to keep out of them unless essential, as you lose a bit
With 4 hours approaching I had planned my first stop for the second camelback, but I still had food and drink on board for another lap, due to the slower pace so I carried on straight through, this decision turned my race on its head.
Passing the end of the pit, there was Shali, eating and stationary, perhaps I'm not doing as bad as I thought. The shouts from Karen that Adi was 5 minutes into the lap were a further incentive and I set off with renewed spirit.
On the climb after the monument there he was, a few hours earlier than I usually catch him Adi was pushing and struggling, I rode up to him and tried to offer some encouragement as he tucked in behind.
2 minutes later psssssst went the rear tyre, bollox, I looked down to see latex spurting out of yet another gashed sidewall. Propping the bike against a tree as Adi re-passed the leak had stopped, the latex doing its job despite the size of hole. I whipped out one of those C02 air guns I had bought for the first time ever two days before and banged in a canister of air. The tyre re-split with the increase in pressure and latex spurted out all over a curious spectator, made me laugh though. It worked though we were back in business.
Setting off again, making a mental note to give all rocks a wide berth, I caught Adi again very quickly. the pits couldn't come soon enough.
The tyre looked ok, and I decided there was still long enough to go to take the risk on it, swapping bikes now would mean losing the comfort of suspension.
Setting off with 2 lites of cool liquid on my back and the discarding of a long sleeve top, perked me up no end. The fact that no other rider I knew passed while I was in there meant I was on target, a shout of your in 15th place went down bloody well too.
I nearly paid for the gamble though, the rear tyre started to go soft again towards the end of the lap, luck was on my side, but it meant another pitstop to get my hellbound hardtail.
Why oh why did I lock it up, I thought as I fumbled for the keys, but decided to take the extra time to swap my heart-rate/speedo over to get the full race details.
Leaving the pits Dave shouted that one time winner of this event Roy Hunt was 5 mins up the track, with 2 hours to go it was time to see if I'd saved enough.
After riding one bike for 4 hours it's amazing how you notice all the differences in another. The lack of a few pounds was really noticeable, not in the climbs as the lack of granny ring was no help there, but in acceleration. Passing other riders seemed to be a point and spurt operation, cool, the downhills battered my aching body though.
That lap flew and it was now too late to get two more in as I passed the pits again, Dave now shouted 1 minute down on Roy, so head down it was all or nothing,
I passed him at some speed before the lake, which made me feel great.
It was now a constant check on all the riders legs as I passed them, dirty legs meant prey, as all the pairs riders had cleaner legs. I was storming and really enjoying it, the best way to plan an event like this, rather than slogging to the end.
I actually put my fastest lap of the race on that final circuit, the improving track helped, but it was also faster than any other riders last lap, I guess I'm back in shape then.
|Now it was
time to eat, and big style, the donuts came out, and I searched out my
teammates, and friends. Ed came in and collapsed in a heap, but soon brightened
up at the offer of Homer food, the SIS stand boys owe me a favour now too.
All the men in black finished on 8 laps, a great effort. I was chuffed to learn I had come in 8th, way above my expectation's as I was 12th last year. Ed held on for 19th place coming in 21mins after me.
Poor Adi struggled in after 6 Hrs 46 mins, I had put 42 mins into him yet again, there's always next time mate. See you at the Kona 100 for your revenge.
The prizes were well usefull too, Specialized tools and a Karrimor seatpack.
Full results here thanks to Singletrackworld.
The results sorted by laps (MS-XL file)show the guys rise and demise as the race wears on.
Bikemagic did a great service taking oodles of photos, if your a member put our race numbers (or anybodys) here for all of them .
Jack 134, Adi 148, Ed 110, I think Shalli was 147.
If not heres some of them Jack 1 2 3 Adi 1hounds Patrick Adi 2 and ED
|Jon Webb, centre, gets his rewards for a staggering night Timetrial lap in the 33 mins - Wow||The Mixed pairs podium with some familiar faces|
recovered in the sun apres race, I though I had really blown it. The dull ache
from the liver was crippling, too much to soon maybe.
Bank holiday Monday was a much needed day off, the bruises on both ankles and my ribs told the full story though. The over the bars crash caused the damage, I felt like I'd been hit by a bus, but the liver's looking good. Pheww.
© Numplumz.com May 2003