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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Race Preview: Northumberland Humbler

The Race

This is one of the XC Marthon Mountain Bike events. 30km or 60km of mountain biking on mostly single-track trails.

Last year I had a rather awful time at the XCMarathon Mansfield race.  I DNF'd the 60km with a mechanical, then scrambled to fix my bike in time for the 30km start... which went horribly.  It was hot, hilly and sandy and by the end I had just ran out of gas entirely.  Took me 2:37 - I wasn't in the results, but I would have been way at the back of the pack.

Why it Will be Different This Year

It's certainly not the course... it's going to be sandy and hilly, this much I know!  And the forecast is calling for a hot one.

So why do I expect things to be different?
#1 - Hydration.  Last time I started off only quasi-hydrated and ran low pretty early on.  There was one aide station, I gulped down what I could but by the end had run out of water.  This year I'm going to drink up before and bring lots of water for during - no reason to cut it even a little fine.

#2 - I'm not going to start one race, have a mechanical, scramble back to the start, fix it, then scramble to start the next race.  I was sweaty and hot before we even started!

I don't think I'm in significantly better shape this year - I have done more long rides, but my power is a bit down.  But I do have a better mindset and understanding of what is involved in a race like this.

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