Starting my 40th year has prompted a flurry of entries to some 'gnarlier' events than the XC and endurance stuff I have attempted before. My thinking being, I'll get them in now and if I utterly embarrass myself, I can blame it on a mid life crisis. The first effort was round 1 of the Alpine Bikes Winter Series at Innerleithen. 'A fun race' I was told, how come then, when I looked at the start list there was a certain T Moseley, J Mart and K Curd in the line up... So, I was going to come last, the question was, just how last would I be?
The heady aroma of testosterone filled the air in the queue for the uplift, not another woman in sight, I was truly afraid. Squeaking, swearing and hyperventilating, I made it down the practice runs in one piece and at last got chatting to a couple of the 7 other lady competitors. I was the only first timer to DH racing on the female start list, but experienced young and upcoming riders Bex Reilly and Angela Coates looked after me. My race run was a blur of adrenaline induced tunnel vision and I collapsed in a retching, gasping heap at the finish. Anyone who suggests that DH is a lazy option because of the pushing and uplifts is so wrong. I've rarely exerted more intense effort over a short period, even during the most beasting of hill intervals. So how did I do? Though I say so myself, I thought I acquitted myself respectably at 40 secs behind the girl in front and not coming last overall. The thing that I will treasure is that I rode in the same race as a multiple world cup winner and was only 1minute and 58 seconds slower. And so I enter my mid life crisis with my head held high :)