Anything 4 A Ride MTB Club / Race Team
Wiggle Enduro Six 27/04/08
Back up North to Catton Park for the 2nd race of our season. We had a full compliment of riders for this one, plus pit crew.

We arrived Saturday lunchtime and once we'd setup camp we went for a couple of recce laps to see what the course was like, meanwhile the pit crew stayed back and started on the beers. The course had changed from the last 2 years which was good, although the new climbs at the first singletrack where a tad harsh. The going was soft and what with the predicted rain, mud tyres where the way to go. 

Once we'd done our recce and showered, it was time to crack on with the BBQ and a few beers. As the sun come down we watched the beginning of the night time trial, then retired back to the new Race HQ for more beers, then bed.

We were woken about 5am by the rain lashing down on the tent, this did not bode well and thoughts turned to muddy course a la Early Dawes. However by the time we eventually got up, the rain had stopped and the sun was shinning (well almost). After a quick power breakfast of yogurt and noodles (yum) it was off to the pits to setup for the race. We each had our own pit, but they seemed to be on different sides of the field. Oh well luck of the draw. After the rider briefing and some last minuet nerve evacuation it was time to line up on the start line!
Graeme Report:
Instead of lining up at the front of the queue we decided nearer the back would be best as none of us are particularly good runners. The horn went to signal the start and the long snake of runners set off. The 3 of us ran together and we were soon back to the Start/Finish straight to pick our bikes up. It was very busy along the first straight and by the end of it there was a lot of congestion at the first bit of singletrack. It must have taken about 5mins just for us to file through. Once everyone had got through the first woods the race opened out a bit. I couldn’t see the others behind me, so was up for a race on my own.
After the congestion of the first lap I was onto lap 2 and going for it. However 2 miles into the lap I’d lost my chain. I ran back and found it but it had split at the Powerlink, which was no where to be seen, I didn’t have a spare on me either. Seeing as I couldn’t go back, I was going to have to run the lap to the pits, which I started to do, but seeing as it was lap 2 I figured Paul and Dave weren’t to far behind so I walked and waited for them. Luckily Paul had a spare which he lent me (ironically I’d given Paul my spare chain the night before).  By the time I’d fixed the chain Paul and Dave had long gone, so I was on for the chase down.
I caught them a couple more miles into the lap, and shouted “come on come with me” but neither seemed to be up for it. Anyway I completed the rest of the lap and then another (my first uninterrupted lap). At the end of lap 3 I dived into the pits for a quick refuel (malt loaf, can of Red Bull and a chocolate desert) whilst Katie topped the water up.
Out onto lap 4, this time 1.5 miles in and my chain snapped! I had no choice but to run as I still had no spares, I ran for about 2miles then decided I’d try and bodge a fix. Instead of doing anything useful I just broke my multitool and lost half a Powerlink. I had to run! Loads of people were asking if I was Ok and I kept saying yes. One guy from Lyme Racing Team stopped and insisted on helping. Luckily he had a decent chain splitter and a spare Powerlink, so he managed to get me back on my bike. (I must say a big thanks to that guy if you ever happen to read this).
I pitted at the end of the lap, to swap chains with my spare bike. I think Katie was pretending to be Ross Brawn “fuel to the end, fuel to the end”. There was still 2.5 hours to go, ahhh! So with my hydration pack full, 5 gels in my pocket and some chicken satay sticks, I was out til the end.
Lap 5 went by no probs, however on lap 6 there I saw someone at the side of the trail with a bust chain. I had to stop and help, I used the spare Powerlink on her chain so she could get back on it. At the end of that lap I went through the Start/Finish straight with Katie shouting “If your quick you can get 2 more laps in”, great I must push extra hard, yeah right. For the rest of the lap I was watching my watch count down the minutes. Loads of people were dawdling around the course and it was rather busy. Towards the end of the lap it looked like I might be able to get another one in if I went for it. I went up the last hill as quick as I could, then sprinted back down the off camber hill and along the bottom trail back to the finish. I took loads of people along here, then I heard the finish horn. I kept the spint going, as I figured I might as well finish as close to the 6 hours as possible.
At the dismount for the timing tent I jumped off the bike and cramped up straight away, I dragged myself through the timing tent and stopped right on the other side, I just couldn’t move. I’d finished the race, but I still had to get under the finish barrier. After a minute or two I got on the bike and coasted over the line, shaking Pat Adams hand. Once back in the bits I had to lie down for ages before I could even get back up. Katie to the rescue with her stretching techniques.
Dave Report:
After my usual winter training vacation, I was less than confident of a successful performance in my 1st race of the season.  However, after finishing last out of our trio at this event last time out, I was determined to do better this year!!

Knowing I had a tough 6 hours ahead, I knew I had to try and pace myself, so joined the pack on the start line reassuringly close to the back, preparing myself for a gentle jog for the le mans style start.

It was a pretty short jog, and I soon found myself on my bike, and heading down the 1st straight.  The course meant we waited in a jam for a few minutes to get up the 1st single track climb and into the course proper, though after that the field quickly spread out.  I got into my pace, but had a problem with my gears about half way into lap 1 so had to stop for a quick repair.  This seemed to set the tone as I continued to have problems with the bike for the next couple of laps, finally getting things sorted after an extended stop in the pits on lap 3.

Frustration meant I had a couple of offs, though fortunately nothing too serious and I realised I was pushing it too hard if I wanted to last the 6 hours at a decent pace.  The course was hard work, the combination of a few days rain and humid weather making the ground really sticky, so I was way down on my target number of laps, realising I had only completed 3 laps with 3 hours gone.

With legs and back starting to ache, I settled into a rhythm of lap followed by pit stop to take on food, drinks and energy gels, and with about 50 mins remaining set out on lap 6.  I could see riders around me starting to lag, and felt good that I’d managed to pace myself.  As I approached the finish I heard the horn and made it over the line only seconds after the 6 hour cut off!  Perfect timing!

Big thanks go to El for putting up with a very irritated me for the 1st few laps and keeping me stocked up with drinks!  Gonna have to get you into training to make 60psi next time though! ;)

Paul Report:
Saturday we decided to have a couple of practise laps and im glad I did, gears and brakes were playing up and on a closer look I had bent the gear hanger. I thought I didn’t have a spare with me when Emma piped up, “there is one of those on the side at home!” thanks for that. After some struggling in vain with pliers I went in seek of some help and A nice chap at the Giant tent came to my rescue with a big hammer and an adjustable spanner. Fixed.

The race started with a short run and I was using my MP3 player for the first time so was humming along to myself, when I finally jumped on the bike and had a quick look round I found the other two and off we went. The first lap was jammed with people and when we finally got moving a slippery root got the better of me and I was off in front of Dave! Damn!! I then managed to do exactly the same thing on lap 2!! Will I never learn! By the third lap I felt quite ill, this was the first race I have used torq in my camel bak to the proper mix and it wasn’t agreeing with me. Emma washed out the torq and filled it up with water, much better.

I was sitting in the pits after lap 3 when Katie came over a told me and Emma that Graeme’s chain had snapped, so I grab some spare link and went for it, typical, I never caught him and was so knackered when I got back to the pits I fell asleep (thought this was supposed to be a race!!). Emma woke me up and reminded me about the racing part and said if I went now I could get in 2 more laps, Thanks so off I plodded and 2 more laps I did. Moral of the story, never try something new on race day!!

Thanks to Emma who help and fussed over me loads and kept me going!

Very big thanks to our supporters/camera crew/pit crew; El, Emma & Katie who gave on much needed encouragement, physical and mechanical assistance throughout the race. Plus the fact they had to put up with 3 moaning MTBers and stay in the pits for 6hours solid.
Race Time
No Laps
Graeme Spreadbury
Paul Plowman

For full results see: