Ant reports from the changed Mountain Mayhem:
|Out on your own - photo credits Augustus Farmer|
After riding five previous 24 hour solo races I have found that as a mere mortal I cannot race more than one or two in a season, so the build up to one of the few big goals of the season seems even more intense, as there isn’t the opportunity to do another one for a long while until you are fully recovered again. So in the preceding weeks I became drawn in by the snippets of information realised by Pat & his team, by rumour and tattle on the forums and then in the last week by the BBC weather site. The main question was how would it compare with Eastnor and would we get a dry one?
The Gatcombe park campsite was smaller but had the same atmosphere about it. The trade area, similar – smaller, but with the same feel as last year. Our AQR pit was the same organised and efficient haven as usual, but this time crewed differently by fellow AQR team mates Matt and Kirsty.
Seven hours in I had the usual “why am I doing this” thought, but after an on-course pep talk from fellow rider Rory Hitchens I perked up and ploughed on through the night. Chatting to other riders kept the spirits up whilst plodding up the climbs, whilst all the time picking off other solo riders and gradually climbing up the leader board.
Dawn came and as the course continued to dry the trusty mud tyres were swapped for faster rolling Ikons and from 20 hours in I was in a battle for a top five placing. My pit crew were getting increasingly excited and I did what I could to pull the gap to 4th place back to just 4 minutes.
|It's all a blur|
My aim was a top five placing, so 5th after approximately 165 miles and 7000m of climbing was something I was delighted to have achieved.
It was the same fantastic pit support from AQR teammates I have received in the past but this time from Matt and Kirsty aided by Rach, Ruth & Mat. I really can’t thank them enough as they tirelessly worked through the entire race. Unfortunately Rach had a rather different race experience, here's her report.
So all in all Mayhem 2013 was different in many ways but the same in others. It was a brave move to use a fresh venue, but the Gatcombe estate really suits the event, and Pat and his team put on yet another outstanding event. It still had the same unique feel and camaraderie as previous Mayhems and I think it can only get better as it settles into its new venue and eventually gets the dry weather it deserves.