This event involves a 10mile trail run, followed by 16 miles of mountain biking, around the 7 Stanes trail center at Dalbeattie. Think Glentress, but a bit more technical, with a few more rocks.
I first decided I wanted to enter this when, conincidently, I was mountain biking with friends at the trail center when the event was held last year. The weather was perfect and it looked like such a good laugh. The best part was, I had a whole year to train.
Training was going well, up til a week before the event when I had a pretty bad fall off my bike up at Mugdock. Bashed knee, hip, elbow, rib, and shoulder. Nothing too serious, but still sore enough to make things like putting on a jacket or kneeling down quite painful.
By Friday, the hip, ribs, shoulder and elbow had healed, leaving just the knee remaining.
Not knowing what to do, I decided to run the McAndrew’s relay as a test. A short 5km course would do no harm, would it?
Like Cam mentioned, racing 5km takes more out of you than you think. The results could be felt as I started the 10 mile run. My legs felt heavy from the very beginning.
I finished the run in 10th place, or 3rd in the invidual category, and felt reasonably pleased with my placing, despite being 6 minutes slower than my target time.
The mountain biking didnt really go according to plan at all. It took me a good 5 miles to get into it properly, constantly stopping with cramp, and also getting passed by about 10-15 bikers who had entered the team category. That’s not to mention the rain. Another 5 mountain individual mountain bikers overtook me at various points during the race and I finished in 8th place in the individual category (or 29th overall).
A little bit disapointed with my run time, and I’ve clearly been overestimating my mountain biking abilities too. Still, happy to have completed the course, after having some major doubts at the start of the bike ride. Perhaps I’ll be back again one day to try and improve my pb.