Dusk til Dawn 2012

Dusk til Dawn 8pm Saturday 6th - 8am Sunday 7th October

Weather forecast was for a dry night.  Fantastic.  The past two years were shockingly wet.  I had previously ridden as part of a team of three, then a team of two, but this year I entered as a solo rider.

At 8pm the race started.  I resisted the temptation to go out too fast and was soon in the trees and in mud.  Add a few tree roots and this made the conditions very tricky.  Two fast guys past me and both hit the floor soon after.

The conditions changed as the lap progressed and I was now enjoying the course.  One section with an impressive run of whoops through the trees.  Just one bomb hole, at the 6 mile marker, which was pretty straightforward.  Two great roller coaster sections close to The Beast.  But from the 8 mile marker we were back in mud.  One section was like riding through a marsh.  Classical music piped into the forest at 10 miles - bizarre - then back to the start/finish at 10.5 miles.

I rode two laps then stopped for food, then headed straight out again for lap three.  The temperature had dropped considerably and I finished the lap with cold hands.  I headed to my car and the warmth of my sleeping bag.  I slept for around three hours, then more food and off again for lap four.  Fog had rolled in and there was a sharp frost on the ground for the open heathland sections of the course.  Lap five was uneventful and I stopped again for more food and to wait for the sun to rise for my final lap.  I set of just after 7am and had a great last lap.  The tricky sections were simple in the daylight and I rolled over the finish line at 08:11 hrs.

So, six laps and 63 miles in twelve hours.  I was 79th of the 122 solo riders.  The solo winner completed 14 laps.  The winners of the male team of 4 completed 18 laps, lapping at 40-45 minutes.  Superhuman effort.

Next year?  Absolutely. If the conditions are good, then seven or perhaps eights laps the target.  Come and join me.

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