‘Just one alarm snooze’ is what I told myself when my alarm when off at 4:00am Saturday. It was the Abergavenny round of the CRC MTB Marathon event and we had to load bikes and leave London at 5:00am for Wales. Between snoozing sessions I noticed that the weather forecast was still showing thunder storms. Visions of South African thunderstorms had me thinking of having to lie down flat on a mountain top with lightning strikes around me. At this point I was starting to talk myself out of going and instead sleeping in. Luckily Nadene told me that we are already packed and that we should go.
Clear roads and a quick smooth registration helped to lift the spirit. Mike and his team have been doing these events for so long so that even with a 1,000 entries the sign on process is always painless without long queues.
By the time we were lining up for the start the weather had cleared up and it looked like the weather man was wrong again. As we set off behind the lead vehicle I noticed this skinny guy on a really nice Look bike but he was riding with baggies. This looked a bit out of place with all the other riders in the front group in their tight bibs. That is when I noticed the name on his jersey – ‘Oli Beck’.
As we hit the first rocky climb, Oli (in his baggies) clearly demonstrated why he has been multiple UK National Marathon champ. We only caught a glimpse of him at the feed stations where he would stop while we were charging through trying close the gap (without success).
The sun was starting to make its appearance and by midday I was thinking it was a mistake skipping sun block. The course was mainly dry with only a few muddy sections here and there. This resulted in a fast course and coupled with good single track this made for a great day out on the MTB. I couldn’t believe I wanted to stay in bed. Just as I was thinking how great it is to be out on my bike I hit a hole, went over the handlebar and landed on my chin. Took a while to shake the dizziness but by that point my mood was starting to improve again and by the time I finished I was on a MTB high again.
Thoroughly enjoyed the event and the super hot showers and Luff bus food rounded off a great day out.