This weekend I took part in the 4th round of the Open Adventure Open5 race series. I’d been looking forward to this one for a while as it was on the Quantocks, which is the area where I grew up and I always love going back home and hitting the hills on my e-120! My local riding spot didn’t disappoint either. The Open5 races are five-hour MTB / Running races where you have to collect as many checkpoints as possible within the time-limit. I probably enjoyed the riding a little too much though… At one point I deliberately took the long way round in order to ride Smith’s Combe (well I’d come all the way from Manchester so wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to ride my favourite descent).
By the end of the ride I was beginning to feel the effects of the Christmas period – and I still had a fair bit of running to do. The run was going surprisingly well and with 20 minutes to go I began making my way back to the finish (there are heavy penalties for being late). While making my way cross country back (think trogging up the side of a valley through gorse bushes), my thigh cramped and as I went to stretch it, so did the other one! So crippled, off the paths and with about a mile or so left to run things weren’t looking so good. Then, as quickly as they had come on, the cramps went again and I was back on my way.
In the end I was slightly late back but I’d had a great day on the hills and intend to use this race as a kick-start to get back into some proper training for the year ahead.
Whyte Adventure Racer