…well, not much anyway. Jacqui, Phil and the girls went to Wales for a big bike ride….

The Scott MTB Full Marathon was not a race I’d like to repeat with the same conditions! A combination of a hard riding week with a laptop carrying induced sore back, and the most unrelenting winds I have ever experienced meant I crawled around most of the course. The first up-hill was reminiscent of the IOM End to End where you think you’ve reached the summit but it keeps climbing and climbing.

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Relief was not forthcoming at the top as once on the exposed moors I kept being blown off the bike. Descending was no improvement as the wind would pick up my front wheel and take me off my line into ruts and dismounts into the heather and loose stones. On the positive there was respite with a couple of miles in the valley but it was soon over as we headed back up for the second half into the driving winds and heather diving.

The strength of the blasts meant I could not take my hand off the handlebars to reach my food or drink, so by about mile 28 I had not eaten or drunk nearly enough. The course was an outer loop for the full distance or a smaller inner loop for half which had multiple joint stretches. I managed to keep to the full course all the way until the last additional 3 mile loop of direct headwind grinding, which I relinquished were beyond my cramping legged and sore-backed state.

I finished having ridden 36 miles and achieved the 4500 ft of climbing in less than five hours. Despite the gloomy report I am pleased with the result and I now have many learnings of how to tackle such a course and conditions next time. It’s all good training you know!

Ciara and Iona’s race reports….

The race was tiring but the views were wonderful when you got to the top. But the wind at the top was so strong it blew me off my bike. The downhill in the forest was lovely after all that uphill. Ciara Simcock Aged 10 (almost).

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I enjoyed the race. I was glad I did it but I did not like the hills and the breeze on them, but I got through it! I even beat the man on the hill at the end. I was so tired at the top of the hill. The views were lovely. A man thought that I was a boy but it was fun! I love the feeding station. I think there should be them in all races. Iona Simcock Aged 8

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