Glentress 7 tweedlove 2016

And so it begins… the road trip to Scotland. From lessons learnt we booked a hotel for the night before!
On the way to the hotel we stopped at Glentress and quickly bagged our solo pitch…next to the toilet. At the time it was the best location in the small area set aside for solos but we hadn’t thought about how we might regret this choice later the next day once the toilets got busy!
So the following morning, I was up bright and early and feeling refreshed… I wish! I didn’t sleep a wink due to a super snorer in the building keeping me awake( he knows who he is ;), and I couldn’t stomach breakfast which wasn’t quite the preparation for a 7 hour race I was hoping for.
We headed back to Glentress and sorted our pitch. Luckily we had already prepared everything and had our own boxes with what we needed to get through the 7 hours. My box consisted of several neatly wrapper Chia Charge peanut butter and jam sandwiches, without the crust of course! Also threw in a couple of gels, a packet of ibuprofen and 6 bottles of water.
gt7 6
On the start line I’d made the decision to try and ride with a friend for as long as I could to get a good start, then try and find my pace and keep pedalling. The first lap started on a fire road climb to string the field out, and my legs felt heavy!
After the first lap my thoughts turned to “where was I in the pack, who was I racing against and how much my legs can take!” On lap 2 I started to find my pace and allocated sections on the course where I would take on fluids, on passing through transition I was informed I had a 2 minute lead.
As the laps went on I started to gain a bigger time gap on second, but you’re always aware that a fall or mechanical could soon change things! I grabbed a sandwich and a 500ml bottle of Nutrixxion each lap, and ate before the first climb.
The weather was amazing, if not a little too warm on the climbs. The laps were around 6.8 miles with 1100ft of climbing, but there was no relief on the descents, these were brutal! My arms were taking a beating on every lap, despite riding my full suss.
In my head I’d pencilled in “ 7 laps” that’s my goal so I’ll be totally honest on laps 6 and 7 I went a little slower, no way did I want to do 8! But as I came through transition at 16:16 the announcement came that the cut off for getting your last lap in is 17:22. Our pit crew aka Deano was waiting for me and quickly updated me, I had won my category but if I went back out I would win overall female solo, …so I thought “what the hell! I’ll give it a go”.
Soon my thoughts turned to “do I have time, what if I don’t make it and my lap doesn’t count”. As I got towards the summit of the trail I kept looking at my garmin for reassurance “tick follows tock”. The marshals were fantastic, really supportive, they also remembered on lap 7 I said “this is my last one!” But here I was again! All the riders still out were very aware that time was running out, no one wanted to do a lap that didn’t count.
As I came along to the final decent I could hear everyone at the finish, quick check on the time and I knew this lap was going to count, bloody hell I’d done 8 laps! As I came in towards transition there were several riders trying to make the cut off, I kept saying “come on let’s make this count keep pedalling”
All my team and friends were there at the end, and through the crowd I could see Nigel’s face, he gave a sigh of relief:)The event and the staff, especially the marshals, were amazing and the support they gave was the best I’ve seen at any event so a huge thank you goes out to the GT7 team, you guys are awesome.

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