The Race Weekend
We set up base camp early being first on site, very keen, very nervous, I went around meeting with many other teams, giving away free thermal mugs and water bottles really helped with this, or it might have been my utter fat lad bare faced cheek, meeting other that didn't have much clue was making me a jolly happy chap, meeting the guys that do the big races was amazing, great tips or so I thought lol.
Saturday went by very fast up at 7, ate awesome breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes, the siting laps around Brands really opened our eyes to this challenge the climbs had to be taken with as much carry speed as possible, I did wonder why so many riders done several laps. I knew not to waste energy that would be needed at night,
RAIN, We've all been caught in the rain, But on this day, I was going to cycle around a race track in the pouring rain, in the dark, 2 things I hadn't done while training, I went to the pub in the cold, wet and dark evenings. of course I did, Lesson learned on that one I hope.....
3PM and we are off.
Olly was starting us off. There was no way the other 3 we’re going to fall over running across the race track. I held the bike on the opposite side, the starting handover went well and I gave great words of advice, Olly don’t lose it on the 1st lap etc. Aus. was next to take over in the pouring rain, I thought rather him than me, except the rain stayed, so when Dom’s turn came around the rain seemed worse, oh no I was next nerves fully set in legs felt like jelly and rain I’d never ridden in the rain and the wind was now full pelt, put up ol beam everyone’s in the same boat here, Dom was coming in, His words of wisdom we’re watch that ruddy great hill the winds gonna take you off, off you pop. And I did, That great hill was the first bend on track so I went and took the racing line in, came out of the bend thinking where am I? pretty sure I should be over there, into the rain the wind and those long 13Degree hills that seemed to go on far too long for lap after lap, that hour seemed long and like nothing id trained for, whoopsie daisies, I promised myself the earth if I could just finish on Sunday, The next stint seemed to come around very fast it was now pitch black darkness a small light on the bikes as no lighting around the circuit it was of course still wet but by 11pm the rain seemed to drift away leaving clear cold skies meaning our wet clothing was now soaking wet until the sun came up, We barely saw each other over the next few hours trying to get rest, eat what we could change into warmer dryer clothes we had left, 2AM stint was not good flipping freezing cold I could get it together on track my whole mindset went sideways I now needed to try and sleep I came in handed over to Olly who looked as Lilly white as myself, the fake tan didn’t last the rain this time round, Even Andy looked dog tired, I went and took some wet gear climbed into my sleeping bag still with my compression outfit still on, an hour I managed to grab an hour, but at 5AM on a cold dark Sunday morning this didn’t feel good, my damp clothes didn’t feel great but hey what could I do I needed those padded shorts as everything now hurt, and I mean hurt, Saw Andy quickly he looked good as also grabbed an hour, amazing what an hour can do…
It was still cold but the darkness was leaving to be swapped for a sunrise and what a sunrise, I will remember still being on track when the sun finally came over the top of the trees at 0640 the smiles we’re back I loved being here yes my body was in pain but oh boy this is why we started this journey, I think I might have handed over with a hug. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one moment more pain was to come later though, Liam cooked me some breakfast and then back on the bike. By 1030AM Hamstring had gone I wasn’t giving up I knew I could find RMA Therapy on site and get some physio after this stint the handover was harsh I dropped everything and went off to see the chap that loves dishing out even more pain with sports therapy the good news Dave he says is: your hamstring is damaged and on the other let your Achilles Tendon has also blown, my advice would be to go home and rest, but I know you’re going to telling to tell me, err no right? I was not giving up now, double soaks compression tights I had everything including ice and deep heat. The boys were also suffering too Marks bandage work was so much better than mine and nurse Andy’s Olly and Dom pushed on helping me to do one less lap I wanted this so bad, The last hour was a mixture of emotions and pain, fastest lap and fasted speed done on these last couple too, I was smiling somehow, family and friends had come along to cheer us on a massive boost seeing a mate hanging over the pit wall calling me a Wendy.
I spoke to many of the other riders on this stint shook hands we knew it was the end, probably the hardest sporting challenge I’ve ever done I didn’t care I was smiling, except I slight miss time I would have to do another lap, that hill yet again, no way, I just couldn’t do it, My saviour was a marshal who shouted out The checked flag will be out in 2 mins, I decided to wait with him well his radio until the race end before I took that last 500 yards. It did seem like more than 2 mins but I blame the boys in the pits for that, I mean I was totally ready to finish. The crawl across the line was awesome, ringing my bicycle bell all the way down the last straight everyone on the grid waiting, getting off took some doing, the pain was there, I didn’t care I wanted to shake the hands of my team, this turned into emotional hugs yet again! I’m pretty sure we had lots to do after this time, like kit etc. tents, My drive home oh sorry peeps, my drive to the hotel 300 yards from Brands was a great idea I had, still in race kit I just walked to the bar got a pint and went Arrrrhhhhhhhh xx
Result; A massive thanks to our teams sponsor Conquip Engineering Group, They brought us some awesome Owayo kit which really saved parts that would have been in so much worse pain shall we say lol On top of buying us kit giving us support they made extremely generous donations to the charities that we were riding for. A great company run by a really nice honest and genuine family
My weight from being almost 18 stone last year, I was 17.2 in March after a little loss, But since training and healthy eating habits giving me a much better overall lifestyle. Before the carb up and race weekend I had got to. 12.6 stone
I’m now getting back to what is now the norm, Good food, and gym sessions, Yoga for that extra strength along with more rides, golf, and oh yes shuffle or jogging I think it’s called.
What’s next: a few of us have signed up to shuffle, I mean run a marathon, A 24-hour straight walk, 2 100 mile cycle events and hopefully take on the 24 hour Revolve Challenge again with a lot more planning and training of course If we can get sponsorship i/we would love to do more, Kit and training does cost, so I’d be happy to wear a logo if it means I can help others, I plan on helping where possible if the budget is available then I’ll be there to help you x Dave x