UK Enduro Series Round 1, Crychan Forest, Wales.
This year, I’ve entered the Megavalanche and I thought I would try an Enduro, to force me to train hard, plus my parents think I might possibly die from this race. I didn’t want to do a Mini-Enduro (lame!), I wanted to jump in at the deep end and do something challenging. OMG, this race was horrendously hard.
When you go to a race, one of the most important aspects is the vibe. If the crowd has some decent banter, you’re gonna have a good weekend! But if the other riders aren’t feeling it, it’s definitely not going to be enjoyable. Compared to Downhill, Enduro is very chilled. You set off whenever you want and the race format allows you to do any stages in whatever order you want. I planned my race in order to make the transitions as easy as possible. Others went for numerical order, but that meant more climbing!
The transitions were all on fire roads with some very steep climbs which tested my CV Fitness. There was quality banter during the climbs and the other riders were very nice and encouraging, especially when they passed me :/ Between stage 1 and 2 it felt like I was riding up Mount Kilimanjaro.
The race had 1 day and 2 day options. I chose 2 days, because I am hardcore, like that. On the first day there were 3 women in my category. But a lot of people underestimated the course and about 30 % dropped out after the day. Day 2, I was the only non-elite/non-senior woman left and took an easy win.
Stage 1: Techy and definitely the most challenging track, littered with roots and it was difficult to find my flow.
Stage 2: My favourite stage; with fun and flowy sections and some enjoyable steep bits.
Stage 3: Similar to stage 2, but a little bit steeper. It also had the easiest transition.
Stage 4: Pedally, with steep finish, not the most fun but definitely raised your heart rate with how much pedalling you had to do.
Stage 5: Fun and flowed well.
Stage 6: A rerun of stage 2, my favourite stage, yay!
Overall, I had an awesome time and really appreciated the support from the other riders. I received so much encouragement, that the steep climbs seemed less steep. So I would like to finish with a big shout out to all the other riders! Cheers dudes, you made my weekend. Of course, thanks to my dad (also life coach) for running up and down the transitions to make sure I eat and drink. Also, thanks to my mum for brining the cow bell to the track, the only cow bell on the track. She was more proud of me for the effort put in this weekend than any other podiums at a downhill race.
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