This is it. Reiver day. I decided last night to do my run first thing. Didn’t think I’d be able to walk nevermind run afterwards. So alarm went off at 5am, I tried to sneak to the toilet without waking Stu (sleeping in the bed next to me). Got ready and left, said morning to Stu on the way past as I’d woke him. Heading out of the site I turned left onto the road, towards Bellingham. I’d seen a trail along the river when we passed last night. It was still getting light and a low mist on the hills.
Over the bridge then down the steep steps to the water’s edge. I wanted to go the other way but maybe tomorrow. Just keeping it short today and wanted to do a recce for the pub. Really nice along the river trail, nice and peaceful and very scenic.
After running for just over a mile I turn back and head into the village of Bellingham. As I passed the pub I checked my watch, 1.5miles. I take the path back to the river and then retrace my steps. A slight climb of the hill to the site. 2.5 miles so exactly a mile to the pub.
Everyone’s getting ready and having breakfast, so I shower quickly and got ready. Porridge for me and a black coffee. We leave just after 6am, all happy and looking forward to it. It takes around 30mins to get there and the parking is mayhem. We get Directed up a road, seems a long way from the start. Dean pulls on the side into the grass, a bit too keenly. The front wheel sinks about 6 inches and we stop ha ha stuck. We get it out between us with a bit of team work and park a bit better. We start getting ready and getting the bikes put together. This is when I realised I’d forgot something Noooooo! Shit! Shit! Shit! “What’s wrong” Dean said. “I’ve left my through axle at the room” “your joking me” he says “nope”. I can’t believe I’m so pissed off with myself. Only 30mins to the start and over an hour return trip to fetch it 😡 idiot! Dean calmed me down. Nick lent me his bike and I rode down to see if I could get one. After alot of asking and pushing through keen cyclist’s, I get directed to a van by Wolverine. Top bloke he was too. He had a 12mm axle, I gave him a tenner then flew back up the hill to fit it. Bugger! Too long. Gutted. So I bodged it with a quick release bolt. Well its the one we used to fix the bike bike in the van. It’s got 2 chances and the only option I have. Or sit and wait for 10 hours. Would of done a run if I’d put my running stuff in. Stu had already gone and Dub was waiting slightly up the road from the rolling start. We was just about the last ones over the start line. The sun was out so started off slightly under dressed as knew it’d soon warm up. We start the first climb of many and I mean many. Over 11,000ft of climbing over 120miles and 95% off road. It was an amazing experience and very tough. We all got persuaded by Banana man to carry on, while Chicken man tried to temp us to do the shorter route (was very tempting) Dub left us at the first feed station and Stu was still ahead. Just the 3 Amigos left.
Dean though was struggling to keep up a bit, he hasn’t felt the best since he got back from his hols.
I have a blow out on my front wheel, down the first big rocky down hill. Luckily I stayed on and no damages. I changed my tube in the bushes. We left Dean after the 2nd feed station around 60miles in, after he’d said to leave him. I was struggling to keep with Nick then and told go on alone, this was around 70miles. Good decision as I eased off and instantly felt better, was very hot now and was down to my gillet. God how many more hills? Relentless. I ran out of water with about 10 miles to go to the last feed station. Then I got a blow out in my rear tyre, which I find out was less than a quarter of a mile from the feed station. All the feed station’s was amazing, with music and plenty of food a water. In fact the whole event was extremely well organized. Apart from the pasta party and the after food, shocking. Anyway 10 miles of hills then the undulating stunning 20 miles of trails around the lake. This section was great, absolutely loved it but unfortunately too knackered to stop for pics. Caught Dub up with about 8 miles to go. We stuck together till the end and he got to beat his last year’s time, by over half hour. Everyone’s cheering and ringing bells to get us over the line. Awesome.
Stu and Nick was waiting in the tent drinking tea. Stu finished in just over 9hrs and 30 minutes and was first of us to finish. Nick was 15-20 mins after, machines.
Dean rolled in after getting a lift back from after feed station 3. He got heat stroke and got rescued by guitar man. DNF. He was ok now, well just about. Apparently he ate the blokes pack up and had a sleep in the van.
Showers all around and a nice walk up the pub for some food and beers.
Day 111 done 254 to go.
2.5 miles run.
120.7 miles biked 11,200ft
690.8 miles total.