Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Autumn 'Cross, the CXNE drops in at Preston Park, 12th October 2014

Photo copyright of Graham the Scribe

The past weekend felt different, I didn't have my dad with me to kick my bum into the van, drive me to the venue, sort the bike out and motivate me for the race as he was at the first national event of the cyclocross season (where he did outstandingly may I add!).  So it was up to my super-duper multi-tasking mam to take on the role, the poor love!

It was another early start as the race was at Preston Park about an hour and a half's drive away.  On opening the car door I was suddenly hit with the freezing cold wind and blinding sun, well hello there Autumn!  After that little shock to the system it was all as normal; sign on, kit on and off to check out the course. 

Photo copyright of Vicky Hopper

A lot of people were kind enough to offer me help with my bike as they knew my dad was away and my mam had no idea, bless her.  This is one of the things I love about the cyclocross scene, it’s like one big family where they all help to support each other and I was very grateful for it, big thanks guys.

Photo copyright of Alan Draffan

Got a few practice laps in and I wasn't too sure, it was really quite difficult with technical off-camber turns and a really big hill that was incredibly slippy.  I kinda got used to the track after a few more laps and decided to head back for a drink and a breather, however I turned to see some hurdles being set up and I hate hurdles!  So, swearing quietly under my breath, I had a shot at them and accepted I was in for a challenge come the racing.

Photo copyright of Ed Rollason

Soon it was time to be gridded and I headed over to the starting line to be met again with a great turn out for the women’s category.  It's really good to see so many women getting into the sport.  Nicola Davies, Jen Batey then myself were the first to be called out, once we were all set the gun went off and everyone was in the zone!

Photo copyright of Ed Rollason

I was with a group of five women, which included Nicola and Jen, we stayed together for the first lap, Nicola then got her race face on and shot off into the lead. Jen followed suit and I battled it out with Alison Sarmiento for another lap where I got into my zone and sped off. For the last half of the race the positions stayed the same with Nicola running first, Jen second and me in third (where I also took the Junior first place), pleased as punch with that! I was absolutely relieved when the race was over mind you, it was very physically challenging!  I know now that I need to go and practice my hurdling technique.

Photo copyright of Alan Draffan

The day's weather turned out to be lovely so we stayed and spectated, Preston Park is beautiful and such a great venue for cyclocross.  There was some amazing racing to be had.

Now it’s back to training for the Darlington race with the sand and the hurdles, I’ve heard we’re all in for another tricky one, bring it on!

Megan x

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