On Sunday I traveled to Thetford forest for the third race in the Mud Sweat and Gears series.
I was looking forward to this race but felt a little nervous as the course was going to be mainly flat and fast, which doesn’t play to my strengths. We arrived in sunshine which was good as I had been expecting rain. yay!
The course was as predicted, very flat with some good twisty sections of single track which weaved through the trees and back onto open fields and cart tracks. The course was not technically demanding but the lack of hills and technical sections meant it was all about maintaining speed.
I knew I had to go out as fast as possible to hit the first section of single track as close to the lead as I could. This worked really well and I maintained second position behind Melanie Paddington (EHF Racing) throughout the four laps of the race.
I felt strong and although fast paced races don’t usually suite me I think knowing that I had to just keep driving on to try and catch Mel helped my motivation and kept me pushing forward. I also wanted to try and catch up with my Dad racing in the open race which had set off earlier.
I had been training on pushing a bigger gear and maintaining cadence so kept this in mind on my laps. I kept checking my watch after each lap and trying to keep my lap times consistent this worked very well with my lap times coming in at 20 mins, 21.36 mins, 21.38 mins and 22.08 mins meaning I only gained around 2 mins in laps, this is something I am going to work on but feel happy about my progress so far.
The course was 17.86 miles, which is the longest race i have done and it took me 1 hour 26 mins to complete.
Really happy to maintain my second place standing within the Mud Sweat and Gears series, but still chasing that first place!
After this race overall i’m sitting in third place nationally. Looking forward to the next race.
My dad also took part in the open category and loved it, his lap times were slower than mine (what a relief either I would never live it down) and he came in 57th place out of 96 which I think for his first race was not bad, although I know he wants to improve on this next time.