MS&G Final Round - Langdon Hills - Christine Rethman
Well this was my last race of the MSG season. Due to numerous injuries throughout the year, broken shoulder, wrecked leg, bruised ribs this would only be my third race.
After a summer of riding in 34 degree heat I was up for my last race, that was until I actually got there. It was damp, cold and “grey”, when I say “grey” imagine a very depressed Johnny Vegas saying this and then you have my mood.
So, it was muddy. MUDDY is not the word. I was like riding your bike through clay, the type of clay that makes mud huts stand for a thousand years.
So on the start line I am there with the rest of the WRRS team, we all look awesome, laughing together, keeping our spirits up, but really all I wanted to do was throw up. Never felt like this before, I think it was the conditions, it all seemed so scary. Kevin took a photo of me where I tried my hardest to smile. With last minute words of wisdom Kevin left us all there on line. The whistle went and I had my usual pants start, I swear to God a snail has more oomph off a start line than I do. But I got into my stride and started my campaign of trying to race to the best of my ability.
There are many uphill’s at Langdon and I am sure in the dry they are awesome, however in the wet/muddy conditions they are like a punishment sent from God. By the time you get to the top of the hill there is so much mud on your tyres that your wheels no longer can turn. However Kevin’s little tip of a stick to scrape the mud off came in handy and soon your wheels are free again.
The best part of the race was the only real A line of the course, this was awesome, the entrance was a little scary due to the mud but the rest of it was amazing, if only all the race could have been like that. Other downhill sections were not as wonderful, the rooted section was bad enough on the first circuit but had become treacherous on subsequent rounds. Still, a steady pace saw you survive this. My strategy was to try and stay on the bike as much as I could, steadily, not risking life and limb.
I finished the race and hooked up with the rest of the WRRS where we celebrated surviving the race together. It was the lovely Iain Webb who broke the amazing news to me that I had finished third, my first podium at MSG, one thing ticked off my bucket.
Love this club, love my team mates, and love my coaches.
Big thanks to you all.