All photos thanks to Joolze Dymond www.joolzedymond.com
One Lap, One Rider, One Adventure, 100 Miles!!!
Friday 14th September saw me heading off very early in the morning to the Scottish boarders for the Montane Kielder 100, full of excitment and a bundle full of nerves. With a long drive ahead I took off early in the morning to try and miss alot of the traffic which I manged to do and arrived at my destination of Kielder forrest at 1.30pm in the afternoon.
On arrival to the campsite I found the grounds to be sodden underfoot but managed to find a fairly dry spot to set up the tent and then get the bike out for a quick leg warmer ride and a few short sprints to take the kinks out of the legs. I hit some of the single track up near the castle and did a fast hour spin whcih seemed to open the lungs up nicely. Breifing was at 9pm so had a few hours to get my head down for a wee rest and also get registered and get all my gear together for the morning as was an early start had to on the start line for 5.45am.
Alarm goes off at 5am oh joy this is when you start to question what the hell you were thinking entering this race but once up and fed I was ready to race and on the start line for 5.50am and was in about the middle of the field so not a bad position to be in. Amazingly there were no midges at all due to the wind that goodness. The race started at 6.30am and we had a lead out vehicle for about 2-3 miles so made good use of this to get up to the lead bunch and then we were off it was a fairly brisk start and I thought I would push a bit in the first 20-30 miles to try and get a good start and see if I could put myself in the lead position for the woman. The start of the course was on open gravel fire roads which was good as it strung the field out a bit before we headed into some nice single track that had some short sharp ups and easy fast flowing downs, there were a few hold ups but in general most people were happy to move over where they could let you pass. I saw the 18 mile mark as we headed into a old slightly over grown rutted fire road and it was a long steady climb with a bit of slippery mud thrown in for good measure and this was were I felt really strong and passed alot of people including the leading lady so from their I just put my head down and also my foot down for the next 20 miles to try and put a wee gap between us. I got to the 50 mile mark and was still feeling good and fresh and had a good steady pace going and the people about me were awesome so had a few good conversations and at times I was playing leap frog with a few guys which is always fun. Just after the halfway mark we rode over a long boardwalk and by the end of it my eyes were starting to go funny but then it was a cool rocky section before we crossed the boarder into Scotland were we had a dude playing the bag pipes welcoming us to Scotland it was very awesome and sent chills down my spine. From here it was not far to the next food stop and by this time I was ready for some solid food and I was concerned I may not have enough food to get me thorugh the rest of the race so thank heavens they had some rolls there it must have looked very funny as I grabbed a roll and a cup of coffee and shoved the whole roll in my mouth ( just like scooby doo) with the coffee and headed off as fast as I could as at this stage didnt know how close the other ladies were so didnt want to hang around too much. This next section for me was the hardest as I had made the mistake of not eating sooner so energy levels were a bit low but put my head down and just peddled and sang to my ipod I had playing this was my saving grace plus a couple of guys who let me hang on their wheel when I was in no mans land on a forrest road with a head wind so a big THANKS to those guys. I got to the next pit stop and the tech support guys oiled my chain up for me while I put a bit more water into my bottle with the knowledge that I only had 22 miles to go and that felt damn good as I knew now that I was going to finish so off I head and started to feel stronger which suprised me again had a few guys around me for a chat for the last 20 miles and then I saw the sign I was hanging out to see LAST 5 MILES whoop whoop! pity ther was a bit of hill climbing to do in this as by this stage I just wanted to finish and the marshals at the top of climb said you have 3.5 miles of downhill to go YAY but as always I am not sure what they class as downhill but to me it seemed I was still going up for at least another mile then it was a lovely single track to the finish but by this stage my arms were knacked and I just had to hold on and hope I didnt fall off as could barely use the brakes but managed to hold it together and finished first woman in a time of 10.08.08 and 49th overall so very happy with that result and on top of it all found out I also set a new record time for Vet Female.
The weather was awesome and was a very well run event and would encourage you all to try this it has stunning scenery and the race has an awesome atmosphere and is one hell of an adventure and if your not up for the 100 mile they do a 50 mile course that is equally fun.
So now I have a few easy weeks before my next race an 8 hour solo so happy riding and see you out on the trails.