" Mountain Mayhem 2014 – the 17th running of the world longest running & biggest 24-hour race took place in Princess Anne's back garden at Gatcombe Park... and what a weekend for it (if you like riding in the heat!).
I took the day off on Friday to get down there early and grab a pitch trackside (and there was over a kilometer of it) and grab a sighting lap. What an excellent job Pat Adams and his team had done with the course since last year... gone were the monster climbs from last year, instead replaced with 7 miles of (mainly wooded) trails & track with the odd bit to catch out those not paying attention. Friday evening was a relaxed affair, watching the sun go down with friends, a few beers and a cheese board supplied by the Godiva Trailriders Dutch contingent (thanks to Luc & Marja).
As 12 o’clock approached on Saturday, it was obvious it was going to be a scorcher, so decided no camel back this year to help try to keep things cool. I also decided to start the run from up near the front to avoid getting snarled up in the trails on the first lap – things went well and the riding through the trees made the heat bearable, and the coating of dust that gathered kept the sunburn away. A rhythm of a bottle a lap and then a stock up on mule bars/gels every 3 worked well. The first 6 hours saw myself and David Powel of JMC swapping places regularly, however it was not good to see Julian Ryder of Swinnerton Cycles retiring so early – not a happy man. It was good to keep bumping into fellow Mules Matt Carr & Will Simpson out on the trails, together the rest of the Godiva teams/solos and the amazing support/heckling from the spectators – especially those at the Retrobike end of the campsite!
As evening approached, the night seemed to take a long time to take over, and then didn’t hang around for long. A quick change of kit saw through until early morning and settled into a 3rd place battle with Michael Pluckrose. However as Sunday kicked in and the temperature started to climb again,I started to feel the pain of pretty much non-stop riding off road on a rigid singlespeed and lap times started to tail off and a 4th place looked settled. As the 24th hour kicked in, it was clear another lap was out of reach, together with claiming a 3rd place, but regardless of this I still feel I had achieved something special with a total of 30 laps completed, 210 miles and 27500+ft of climbing gaining 4th overall, 4th singlespeed (solo & teams) and 1st solo singlespeed. I was also really pleased to get back the Nick Wallis perpetual trophy for the 3rd time (1st solo singlespeed). Also, big respect to the top 3 solos of Jason Miles (JMC – 33 laps), Richard Dunnet (CCN – 33 laps) & Michael Pluckrose (31 laps). Thanks to all at MuleBar for providing me with the sports nutrition"
"Looking forward to the 3-peaks now – singlespeed of course!"
Amazing Mule Steve Day...
June 25, 2014