Monday, February 8

Cyclocross National Championships (In the manner of 24)

*intake of breath*

Yesterday was probably one of the most stressful days in my life. Trying to run a national championships and compete in one on the same day. In my head in the lead up i thought; 'Sure if Robin can do it, so can I'. Suffice to say i was wrong.

The weeks leading up to the event were hard, postponing an event like this did not go down well, either with me or the cycling community as a whole. Not much could be done with the country under snow. But i digress.... The rescheduled dates clashed with another event that meant i lost half the marshals that said they would work on the day. Stress level 1.

Rock on the week before and people start dropping like flies , random statements coming out in the press about licence conditions that had no grounding in the truth, and the park still frozen in ice. Stress level 4

Day before, have scrounged enough marshals through emails/twitter/beer promises. Getting all the last bits sorted, meet the park, walk the course, de-flood the section 2 foot under water (bet you cant guess where that was). Everything was in place except my head. Stress level 5

2am, before the race, up in 5 hours to start marking the course. Cant sleep, cant eat, stomach in bits. Stress level 7.

7am Breakfast time...ooh food. Stress level 5. 7:30am arrive at the park and start taping out in the dark. Stress level 4.

9am marshals and helpers arrive, keep taping; stress level 5.

10am Phone call from Ollie, timing computer is not working. Ring Dave for spare. Stress level 7.5 ish. 11am, timing still shagged. underage race to start in 30mins, only 2 but gotta get them out. Stress 8.

11:45am underage race goes, only 2 riders. Get sent the wrong way by the 'leader'. Bodes well.....

12pm Timing is still down, tell the MTB race we are going to be at least 15 mins late. 12:30pm MTB race starts....god i feel bad. Stress level 8.

12:45 i leave my race radio down, and ride over to the room where my kit is. Race is starting in 15mins. No time for warmup time to get into kit, cram a gel in, grab a glass of water, get Stu to pin on my number and 'race'. Stress 3, this was the calmest moment of the whole day and at this point i almost thought about just leaving and going home.

1:10pm On the start line with people i thought i knew acting like idiots. This moment goes into my mental trove of times i will remember for the rest of my life, and one that has changed opinions of people for me for ever. You know who you are.

1:15pm Race starts, gridded at the back with no stress.

8 laps later race over. I'll write about that later.

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