The Mary Towneley Loop 47-mile Off-Road Endurance Challenge.
6am Sunday morning my alarm was beeping, so straight out of bed to the window to see if the rain had stopped after it had bounced down all day Saturday! Unfortunately it was still raining, but never mind the Met Office said it was to clear around 8am and thankfully it did.
I arrived at Fearns Sports Community College, to be welcomed by the Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team offering brews, toast, sports supplements and lots of encouragement. Around the loop there are also 4 pit stops stacked with everything you need.
Before the start at 9am there’s a brief briefing and then its ready steady go! I shot straight to the front to work the gates with the leading pack, as there’s a good few gates in the first few miles. Covered in mud but going well I came to a stream crossing which was like a small river, hit a rock and went straight in and underwater! It was actually an advantage as the bike and me came out nice and clean. From then it was full gas to Gorple Rocks which then drops down to Widdop Reservoir. By this time I was around 4th or 5th position and feeling good.
I maintained a decent pace into Callis Bridge (near Hebden bridge) then up past the Stoodley Pike monument and into Todmorden. I kept looking back but no one was in sight so I just kept peddling like mad! I got to Watergrove Reservoir and came to a really muddy section that needed me to jump off and push and all of a sudden both legs cramped really badly and slowed me down.
By the time I got to Rooley Moor Road, the last and biggest climb, I was struggling a bit and lost 2 places. But once at the top I didn’t feel too bad and from there it was a great descent back down into Waterfoot to the finish.
I finished in 5hrs 3mins in 6th place. Really happy with a big personal best.
I’d highly recommend this event to any biker who wants to challenge themselves, The satisfied feeling once you have completed it is well worth everything you have gone through. And all monies raised by to a great cause.