Monday, 12 May 2014

Fifth National Marathon Championship Win

Last year the National Marathon Championships were on dry, dusty trails in hot, sunny Selkirk, Scotland. This year it was the same place, but different conditions! In some ways that was nice because it made it a new experience and more technically challenging. The trails were pretty slick and slippery and the Continental Race Kings were certainly pushed to - and at times beyond - their limit ;) On reflection perhaps the X King would have been a wiser choice! 

Thanks to zupix for the photos

Neutralised start through Selkirk High Street

Do not be deceived! This was the beginning of the race and before the mud!!

Steep, slippery singletrack descents, natural trails, man-made berms, rocks and roots, open moorland - the single loop 75km course has pretty much everything and challenges a range of skills making it a worthy course for the best of the British to battle it out for the National Title.

There are a few races rolled in to one, so while the elite race for the titles others can compete on the same course or on a shorter course (25km or 50km). We stayed in a lovely eco house - the Green House -in a village outside of Selkirk. A couple of friends and my nephew raced the 25km course, while Dave and my parents provided feed zone and technical support. My father pulled the short straw and had to cycle to the feed zone at the top of the last climb in the rain, but fortunately he could enjoy the final descent after I'd passed through! It was really nice for us to spend time with our friends and family at a race :) 

The National Championships is an important race, the National stripes identify riders as the best from their nation so I'm really happy to be wearing the jersey once again this year. Winning my fifth title is also pretty cool :) 

Yesterday we left Selkirk and headed north to the Cairngorms. Endless forests, mountains, rivers, lochs and quiet roads - I'm excited to explore this beautiful place over the next few days :) 

Pretty cool place to relax :) 

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