Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What would Bob Graham do?

I had a plan for next year which involved my return to 24 hour mountain bike racing. I've always liked competing solo and endurance is the only high card I will ever hold.

24 hour bike racing, I like it but the same old courses no longer hold a real appeal.

Thursday: We go and reccy a fell running race with navigation. 2-3hrs. Rain, mist, concentration and pain from trying to make swift progress. I haven't run for ages, I tried hard.
So contented from the sortie, that I run another 4 miles that evening with my fell running club (who I've drank far more beers, than I've ever run miles with).
I hobbled for a couple of days after.

Sunday: Race day, (I'd reccied checkpoints #2 and #3 on Thursday).
I find #1 easily, who knows what possesed me next. I traverse far too high, I completely miss #2 and #3.

I can see nothing, it is pissing with rain, my navigation is obviously not A1, and I am slow. I remember 30yrs ago atop Rossett Gill crying in similar circumstances, and it bringing me no more salvation than it would today.

OK time for home? Nah, I have cheese scones I made yesterday and jellybabies.

On to #4 then #5. Down now to #2 and #3, then back up to #6. So much time lost. Rain, wind, bog, cold, thirsty.

#7 and #8 were easy, and the weather calmed a bit. #9 would have been easy to find for a navigator, maybe, I was crap it took me ages to work out where I was.

Anyways ~4 hours on my own getting lost, falling over, and eventually finding the checkpoints. The penultimate finisher. Tired but not too much considering the night of beer and dancing the night before. Probably 12 miles and 3500' .

And I have run twice since. Forsaking my bike. What's occurring?

Right, I'm crap at fast running, and I haven't run regularly for years, and would like to tell you how I did wonderous things back in the day, but the reality is I've mostly been a smoking, beer drinking type who fits exercise in amongst partying.

So without more ado I'll announce I'm going to do the Bob Graham Round next year.

62 ish miles and 27,000' of ascent and descent. Hills I know well, hills I've not visited for a long time and some I've never visited.

Loads of training to do, (27 miles and 8000' this week). Looking forward to trips to the lakes with like minded peeps to reccy it all.

It's going to be scary, it's going to be painful, I'll learn to read a map properly, but for sure it's going to be more fun than training for, and riding round a muddy field for 24 hours.


  1. Lordy. That's a big pie. Can't promise much, but may be available to help with a slice? my mate Clive (no. 8-hundred and something) said. It's only walking pace. Just 24 hours of it :)

  2. Steve, yep, it's a big ask. I know I'm good for 24 hours, it remains to be seen if I can keep up a "walking pace" though.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

  3. Wow, great challenge. If you need help with support during the event give us a shout - Ali is great at that sort of thing and I can tag along.

    I want another go at 24hour mtb racing so that is my thing again next year.

  4. I'd be happy (nay, honoured!) to help you out for a bit of it. I'll even do some training for it if you want :)

  5. Jase, your company would be welcome. Training for one leg, nah, you'll be fine. It's a real steady pace. Date still to be decided. :)