RACE REPORT: FNSS Rd1 and Midlands XC Rd3

That was fun. Really hard and tiring, but fun. This weekend kicked off the 27th year of the FNSS at Borough Hill – a venue that I’ve never raced at before and thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice to see a couple of customers come and race for the first time in a very long time – I even ended up lending one of them my titanium Kingdom hardtail to race on.

It was followed on Sunday with Round 3 of the Midlands XC and the first one I’ve done this year due to the distances. Dry, dusty and a great laugh!

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RIDE REPORT: Miles for Smiles Charity Ride

What a massive weekend. Over 300 miles (or over 500km if you’re metrically inclined), 10,000kcal consumed and over 20 hours in the saddle. Thankfully, we did manage to raise a frankly awesome £8000 for charity as a result!

We set off on Saturday morning towards Wales, riding via Cannock Chase and Telford, before stopping for the night in Ludlow. Sunday’s ride included 87 miles of the finest Welsh roads (and the Long Mynd!) before heading back to Ludlow followed by 110 miles back home on Monday. It was a long, 900TSS weekend!

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EVENT REPORT: Belvoir Castle Tough Mudder

This was quite frankly one of the best events I think I’ve ever done! Definitely a Type 1 fun kind of day – the kind of event that makes you realise just how much fun really hard events can really be.

If you’ve never heard of Tough Mudder they organise mud run events throughout the country. Think of a 12 mile cross country run with lots of really fun obstacles and you’re about halfway from the truth. Add in thousands of people who are all in together, a huge sense of camaraderie, an enormous sense of teamwork and several hundred tons of mud and you’re about bang on!

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RACE REPORT: Dalby Forest National XC3

Yesterday was the third round of the British Cycling National XC Series at Dalby Forest. Whilst still being really quite tired from the weekend, I’d first like to say that was just the best race course I’ve raced on in a long time! However, I am paying for it somewhat today in terms of lethargy and aches.
As a Nathan might say, that was definitely Type 2 fun.

In brief, the preparation and the race went well, the only downer was not having a low enough gear to really push it on the climbs! I think the slogan for the weekend would have to be looking fast, slowly….

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EVENT REPORT: 9Bar 9×9 Trail Running Festival

This is a slight change for me, and definitely not my normal mode of racing! 9Bar being the wonderful sponsors that they are asked if some of us brand ambassadors would mind travelling down to Guildford for the inaugural 9Bar  9×9 Trail Running Festival. It was basically a 9km cross country lap, with options to run 3 laps (27km), 5 laps (45km), 6 laps (54 km), or 9 laps (81km).

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RACE REPORT: Chesterfield XCE

I have to admit to being a bit lax here – ever since I finished my PGCE my brain has kind of just switched off. I’m not saying I haven’t been busy. I’ve been riding, racing and doing numerous household jobs (like building rabbit hutches, putting together a new workbench and looking after my daughter whilst Lizzie goes back to work).

Anyway, updates! Had a few events since the last update, but as I haven’t been feeling on top form I have just been concentrating on smaller races and trying to get myself in some kind of form ready for SSUK15.

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Well, this Friday gone (22nd May) was my second time racing the FNSS series – in previous years I had only raced the ones at Mallory Park. I traveled down to Delapre Park in Northampton with Oli, Nathan, Mary and Rob. The journey down was interesting, we only managed to drive into the park from the wrong entrance before heading back the way we came and retrying from the other side. I did spend most of the drive down drinking water and munching a few 9bars, they’re great when you don’t want anything too heavy but need to get some #goodenergytwice into your system!

I had heard that the course was good despite it being hosted on the side of a golf course – I’m always open to new courses, but flat grass courses do suck. I crossed my fingers it would be good, and it really was!

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RACE REPORT: Mallory Park and Mallory Park

The not-quite-weekend just gone was a busy one for me – I have been paying for coaching from Melissa at FasCat Coaching and she reckoned it would be a good opportunity to do two races back-to-back and see how I did.

I was quite excited, if somewhat apprehensive running up to them, but I know Melissa knows her stuff!
After work on Thursday I rode home, stuck the bike in the back of the rental car (only just – see my review soon!) and drove out to Mallory. The rain had started gently, meaning the track was likely to be a little damp.

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