Rob and I are a bit stiff in the legs and lower back this morning after the Dukes Epic 8 hour race yesterday. We rode round and round a 9km loop as many times as we could for eight hours. It was a hoot.
We were lucky to be parked in the solo area with the True North team and their support crew. Housed underneath a huge tent, complete with Max the dog, they adopted us and were just brilliant, helping us with their encouragement, filling water bottles and passing us food.
I felt dreadful at the end and didn’t really have as good a day as I had hoped. With the pain behind me, I can see where I need to improve in my training and, it was a great learning experience to take forward to the rest of the season (most notably the Crank in September).
In a nut shell, my long distance training to date has been to do a maximum of four and a half hours of riding, and, sure enough, up to the four and a half hour mark yesterday I felt great but after that, I was more or less just focusing on finishing without doing myself any damage.
All that said, Team Wanderlust (Rob, Tecla and I) and the True North guys did really well. Mari and Jen (True North), who were doing a tag team, came 1st in the Women’s Tag Team category, Rob was fourth in the Solo Men’s 40+ category and I was sixth in the Womens Solo (which isn’t defined by age groups because there were only 13 of us, so, just in passing, I’d like to note that two of the women who beat me where under 29).
Jasmin took quite a few photos of the day, and I’ll link to them when they are up on the web, but just to give you an idea of the sort of state you get into after 8 hours of riding in the dust, check out the one above taken at the end of a similar race last year. I’m still trying to get the grit out of my eyes this morning.