piccie by richpips
I think I’d missed the butterflies in my stomache. I wasn’t sure. Stood on the start line, going through the pre-race mental checklist in my head as the sun beat down and little plumes of dust were kicked up off the gravel fire road by the wind, I’m pretty sure I was happy to be getting ready to flail about on top of a bike anyway.
The mixture of adrenaline in my blood and energy drink in my gut was a combination I’d not had for well over a year. 24hr races just aren’t the same – they’re damn exciting on the start line yes, but the knowledge of what’s about to happen to me in a short, super intense xc race is very different, just like the race itself everything feels much more explosive.
I definately loved the way everyone dropped into silence as ears pricked up to hear the starting gun (or megaphone warble in this case), the way a plethora of tendons tightened and twitched in anticpation and hands shuffled over grips in search of the perfect hold…
‘bang’ (ok, ‘warble’)
tyres rip, lungs roar, wide eyes dart, muscles explode and the pack is almost instantly transformed into a huge ball of dust thundering up the climb.
Everything hurts and everything feels good all at once, buried in the middle of all that fury. This is it for the next hour and a half. Race on.
Once the dust had settled, stories had ben swopped and left over drink poured down gasping throats it turned out I finished 2nd. Quite a shock as I’d not really done any sort of “fast” preperation at all – all my training being aimed more at the summers 24hr races still to come – but delightfully welcome nontheless.