This year’s three peaks? Deflating. Quite literally.
For the first time in 8 attempts, I suffered three punctures. Hey-ho. I knew I’d been riding my luck. It was moderately irritating however. At the top of Ingleborough I felt better than normal and my lungs remained where they should be rather than clambering into my mouth. Whernside? Pah. A tussock*. My new training regime of short steep sessions appeared to be paying off. I felt full of beans at the mid-point despite the winds that vied to twirl riders around like stunt kites. But then the hassles started. An impact puncture at the bottom of the Whernside slabs. At Ribblehead viaduct, a valve that felt its rubbery environment was too confining and launched itself into the middle distance. The final ignominy was served on the descent off Peny-Y-Ghent. Another impact puncture dealt out by the new pathwork, followed by lengthy running to avoid further woes.
Do I feel robbed or cheated? Nope. I feel lucky and blessed. Lucky in that the final puncture happened after I’d found an innertube on the moorland at the top of Pen-Y-Ghent (the cycling gods took pity) and its the first time I’d punctured in 8 completions. Blessed in that I’ve been part – again – of the world’s greatest cross race. Ingleborough? Whernside? Pen-Y-Ghent? See you next year lads.
*Ignore this remark. Its a ferocious lump.
Only two Cardiff JIF members entered the three peaks this year; Craig Standage joined me again and ground out his 5th successful Three Peaks race off only one specific training session (well done squire). With thanks to the Craven Arms Giggleswick for an excellent stay.
Images top: Bouncing off Ingleborough at Cold Cotes (original image by the excellent Sports Sunday and converted to B&W in Lightroom). Below: Craig shoulders his bike, possibly on Whernside (courtesy of Iain Francis).