Thu, 01 Aug 2019
A year off is long enough for me to forget how much I dislike the final descent at the Glentress 7s. About two laps is how long it takes to remember. The top is all off camber roots and the bottom is all dusty blown out corners that I can never quite hit right, and steep enough that I’m on the brakes a lot so it destroys the arms. It’s just not my thing.
This is a shame as I like the rest of the course. The change to the main climb since my previous go is definitely an improvement and the rest of the downhills are lovely. I’m even beginning to get the hang of the steep chute after the cake stop.
My legs do not like the first lap though. I spend most of it hoping this is just me taking a while to warm up and not a sign for how the rest of the day is going to go. Fortunately the former turns out to be the case and the second lap goes better. As do subsequent laps till I get to number six. It’s at this point that the rain settles in to a light but steady pattern that means by the end of the lap my bare arms are freezing, my descending has got sketchier than I would like and the notion of having a nice relaxed final lap sets in.
Seven laps is about par for me so I’m not unhappy with this. There was a brief moment earlier when nine had seemed possible but that turned out to be bad maths. I am, it turns out, not great at adding up average lap times while also putting in a reasonable effort to get up a hill.
It’s good to finish at an easy pace. Pottering up the hills, as much as that’s possible after six hours, and lazily coasting the descents. There’s also the traditional last lap cake stop which allows time for food photography rather than the hurried pre sketchiness scoffing of some years.
The last descent remains no fun. The corners are still blown out and the previously grippy roots now have an unhelpful layer of dampness. But it’s quickly done and in plenty time for post race tea and whatever is the most appealing option left from the food van. As ever I am comfortably mid pack results wise which I’ll take.
posted at: 23:35 #