So Saturday was the Kintyre Way Ultra Cycle ……….
The running race has been going on for quite a few years but the cycle element was just added last year. I knew about it then but too late to put the time on the bike to be able to get any fitness for it ( I am so glad that I didn’t enter last year! ) However I knew that I really wanted to give it a shot so signed up as soon as I could for this year.
Wasn’t really till the beginning of this year that I started thinking about the training for it seriously and in combination of starting to cycle to work. In January I really wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to get fit enough then I got the news about my dad so wasn’t sure whether would be able to take part for other reasons. Unfortunately most of my training really was just the cycling to and from work which made a big difference but needed to be able to do a lot more. So I then wasn’t sure how far I was going to be able to get. However about a week before the race I was thinking I was going to have to pull out to spend time with my Dad so actually just getting to the start line on Saturday I was very happy about.
The second photo is the top cyclists from last year starting first, can be reassured that I never saw them again after that was taken!
That is the map of the full route, it is 74 miles so no mean under taking. As I said I was just happy that I was actually getting a chance to start it and had no idea how I was going to get on. My initial aim was to make it to Tayinloan and anything after that was a bonus. then it turned out that Kat was marshalling just past there so was going to try to make it to at least her.
Pretty much the first 6 miles is all uphill and it is a killer. I managed it which a few months ago without the cycling to and from work and a few other things I wouldn’t have at all but speed was not on my side. Not long after starting it I knew that I wasn’t going to finish it and set my sights on making it to Kat however after a couple of hours my site was set on finishing on Clachan and that is where I made it to.
Between Corranbuie and Clachan there are some very very very boggy sections and they were very much that on Saturday, the worst I think a lot of people had seen them. Pushing the bike through ankle deep bogs and down very muddy hills defo saps away at your energy.
Unfortunately it was a very misty day at least in the morning so there wasn’t much to look at apart from the track/path that you were on. Would have been great to have the amazing views that I know that the area can offer but it wasn’t to be.
4 and half hours it took me to get to Clachan, I was at the back from the start and cycled a lot of the way with the sweeper however I am happy with that. It is a lot better than I could have done before and especially last year.
My mental attitude to getting to that point is completely different than it would have been previously. I did the best that I could and that for me was starting the bike race and getting to Clachan. Rather than beating myself up about only getting to that point it showed me what I need to work on fitness wise and how I can get better.
Getting to Clachan meant that I could head back up to the house get some food, wash the bike and myself and then enjoy the afternoon. At that point the sun came out and was very content after biking 23 miles to sit in the sun and enjoy.