Monday, January 21, 2008
Up and at em. A top week end. Summary: friday, chris manfully drove a bunch of folk up to Strathpeffer, on the information provided by mel and shaggy that the campsite wasn't going to open as it was a mud bath. Fortunately, we found a spot by the Victorian Station in the spa town and set up the camper vans with the just riding along crew and the minx kittens all there.
A few beers were drunk then all of a sudden we were being towed into the campsite by a tractor. Needless to say the start was delayed to 11 am, and as i was last up i had the pleasure of our teams first lap. Wow - ice. I reckon 20% of the course needed to be walked initially as there were huges sheets of boiler plate ice all over the fire roads. The course was ace though with new technical singletrack sections added, slabby rock decents and very little mud, at this stage anyway. The race continued and the minxes and TSPC rolled out a few laps. The ice was breaking up as the studded tire mob and the walkers shattered the surface enough to create some traction. As this happened the sun shone and the mud began to form. Shaggy and phil were steadily amassing laps in the solo compo as was chris duncan despite a brake issue.
Into the latter part of the evening, emily went down hard and pulled her knee, off to Raigmore Hospital for her, and our teams were both down to three. The girls struggled 'manfully' through the night and ended up second, whereas the lure of sleeping bags and beer led to the TSPC taking longer and longer to change over until we folded around midnight.
Phil raged into first place singlespeed solo and Shaggy did the right thing and pulled before his knee tore up too much...he was in 4th overall and maintaining a good pace...respect to all.
The pics will no doubt start arriving and i have borrowed one from him up north which i think is beautiful and summed up the amazing conditions at this years event.
On a slightly more sober note, the organisers weren't sure whether they will do another strathpuffer. I am not surprised, the stress levels must have been pretty high as they fought to find some way to get the folk to the race and wondered whether there would be any race course access for the inevitable crashes, which on ice are quick and always sore. Kudos for doing it at all...