Haglöfs Open 5 Yorkshire Dales
I’ve just come back from a fabulous weekend away in Yorkshire!
This Open 5 had the advantage of being located quite close to my brother and his wife. My dad also fancied a visit, so I managed to combine racing with visiting family, eating out and being thoroughly looked after by my dad’s friends Jim and Penny. Thanks all!
On to the race. My dad chucked me out of the car at 8:45 and set off back home. I wandered in to the hall to find Lucy so that we could register and start planning. Up until Wednesday I had been psyching myself up to race solo as she had been ill with the dreaded lurgy for 7 weeks! However, she made a last minute recovery and felt up to racing. Unfortunately, at 6pm on Thursday I was struck down too! Luckily by Sunday I felt a bit brighter.
So it was that the two of us raced with Lucy sounding like she was on 20 a day, and my throat and lungs burning with every breath. Still, it didn’t seem to affect our performance. In fact, we seemed to be more relaxed, chatty and in control than usual! Maybe we should race like this all the time …
After my decent run at Bowhill I was excited to see how my legs would be. We set off and I was pleased to see that the normal springy running Lucy had returned after last month’s strange episode. I followed her round like a faithful dog and didn’t interfere ;-).
Everything went pretty smoothly. With about 2km to go I hitched onto the tow. I was just keeping up but didn’t want to kill myself only to suffer on the bike. The effect was mostly motivational, plus the little reminder tug to keep up when my concentration lapsed :-).
In just over 2 hours we came into transition and were soon biking. What a great course! Loads of riding, fast and dry and almost no pushing. We knew we had two big hills near the start, but loved the downhill in between. On the long drag to the trig point my lungs were on fire, but we were soon there (well, after 30 minutes!) and admiring the panoramic views.
Nothing would make us ride to Malham, hidden a long way down in a steep valley! Instead we whizzed around on top. After a few moments debate we did a long out and back to a control stuck in the middle of the map worth 20 points. For a while I thought it might be close for time, but we were soon hammering down a fast grassy, rocky track. We faced just 8km of almost our only road of the day back to the finish.
It soon transpired we were going faster than I expected. There’s always a first for everything! This was even better than we had hoped. For a complicated reason relating to series scoring, any minutes early we could get in were a bonus. We finished in 4h45mins with 575 points.
Enough to comfortably win our class. I am now the owner of a nice Haglöfs bag that I think Andy would steal, if only it wasn’t so PINK!
After that, my only task was to cycle the 14km back to Skipton with all my kit to catch a train. I have to say, I was slowly falling apart and needed no persuading when, halfway there, a fellow racer pulled up in a car and offered me a lift. Many, many thanks Pete!
This race was planned by Tom and Dawn. Dawn is going back home to America and we’ll miss her. I was touched by the gift of a wooden bowl she had hand turned herself. Bye bye Dawn!