Sunday, 30 June 2013

Carry On Cramping - Thetford Summer Enduro 2013 Race Report

Yesterday was a rather nice day. Two years ago, Thetford MTB Racing hosted their inaugural Summer Enduro. I did the solo 10 hour race and had one of the best ever races I can remember. Sunny skies, fast trails and a party atmosphere made it a really enjoyable 10 hours on the bike. Last year, the enduro had to be cancelled due to a serious infestation of over zealous wombles in Thetford Forest. But it was back with vengeance this year.

Friday night consisted of camping, erecting gazebos and a pasta fest. The plan was to pre-ride the course, but the rain was lashing down and the motivation melted. Woke up early on Saturday, feeling a tad chilly, but it wasn't raining. Thankfully, it stayed that way. Hooray! Before I knew it, the gun went off and we were tucking in to some classic Thetford singletrack. Half way through the lap, I was really enjoying the course, then the long fire road sections started becoming a lot longer, and I lost touch with the main group I was riding with, but I kept the hammer down and after a quick transition, my partner was off. For the event, I teamed up with local legend, "Nibs" - who is essentially the cycling version of The Stig (except he doesn't wear a crash helmet, or appear on a TV series presented by and aimed at people with severe learning difficulties).

As the race went on, I started to feel pretty rough and was fading. Towards the end, Nibs put in a double lap to give me some much needed rest. I found doing pairs pretty tough, especially on a reasonably short course, as it didn't really give enough time to get proper food down (assuming you wanted to keep it in the stomach). Also, even tougher when your partner is monstrously fast and doesn't fade…ever.

The biggest problem I had during the race was cramp. To the point that when I left transition on the last lap, it took me a minute or so to be able to lift my leg up to clip in - much to the amusement of onlookers. I've found cramp to be a bit of the problem over the last month's worth of racing, so had a good chat with the Torq people at the end of the race about it all. I was pointed towards this article on the beloved electrolyte tablets (aka "anti-cramp" tablets). In essence, the science suggests that cramp isn't caused by dehydration/lack of salts, but over exertion. As the race progressed, I was pushing my self harder and hard to try and keep up with the pace set by Nibsm and was feel like a bit of a let down, but at least the cramp told me I was trying hard enough ;) Anyway, we placed 8th (annoyingly just a minute off 6th), in a really classy field, so not bad for a day's work.

1 comment:

  1. Well done guys, there was some tough competition in that category, we seemed to be jumping between 7th and 8th place all through the day with you two.
    It was a good days racing!!

    Gipping Race Team


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