Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I wasn't that excited about the 3 Peaks this year until I got there, until it was all going so well,  until it all went so well and now it is done and it was so perfect.  Then the imperfections in my day appear. I could have prepared better (not got a hole in my tool bag),  riden more conservatively over sharp rocks (not got a hole in my innwr tube), I might have missed the hold up where a motorcycle crashed (put a hole in my time).

At the end of the day,  I can't change those things. It is over for another year. I stand at the top of the stairs,  hands over my itching eyes, uncertain of whether it is fatigue or allergies making them itch and wonder if it's my cold or fatigue that's making my nose run. Either way,  I can't sleep. I have a hole in my life.

It's gone for another year. This time I can sense what can be achieved in a new world of free - flowing bloods.  Last year was just the beginning.  I was still taking blood thinners and ferrous sulphate which screwed with my digestion and I had no endurance base younger than 6 weeks.  

In full health and this year's conditions though, it's not the result that should matter. The day was a win for everyone racing. For nature,  for the event,  for the spectators and the organisation and volunteers.

I could spend hours (have already spent some hours) trawling hundreds of photos of the day but I still haven't found any that register the epic scene of the Lakeland fells emerging from a sea of cloud from the temperature inversion over Morecambe Bay or the clear view over the Howgills on the other side of Whernside. The heron that flew over the start line in clear blue skies.

I may need some recovery time before writing in a positive light about this beautiful 3 Peaks Cyclocross. I wasted time on prep, cut corners to save money and haemorrhaged time when I could have been up there achieving things I have only dreamt of (since 2004) and I feel I need to process that so I can do a great day justice.

I heard a lot of complaints about how hard it was on Sunday. I tried to put it out there that we were 1 in 20 years lucky. I wonder what those people thought they signed up for. What they would have said or done if it was wet or windy again?

As I sit on the sofa with my knees in the air, thinking self indulgent sorry thoughts, I am already looking forward to next year because this time I know that the best preparation for this race is getting out there and doing what I love most and that will get me somewhere,  even if it is just up there,  enjoying it with those people and dreading that moment when I realise it's all over for another year.

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