I reported on last year's event here.
That was won in 2 hours and 6 minutes, by this chap, Stefan Macina.
Robert and I were over an hour behind him, in the third quartile of the field. This year there were nearly 400 (or so it seemed) participants. Arriving late, I failed to push my way down the narrow lane to rendezvous with Rob, who set off ahead of me and finished over 30 minutes ahead, in just over three hours. He 'walked' me in (it finishes with a steep hill) and explained that he had a new bike that had produced a bit of speed. He must be one of few people to go faster this year as despite the excellent weather the moors were very wet, with ankle deep mud in places that are often fairly dry. A section of the moor that can usually be cycled had to be walked this year - my attempts at cycling it were abandoned early due to spinning wheels and others walking past!
So a time of 3.32 was quite satisfactory. Yet again the riders who chose to walk down the technical sections were most courteous in moving over - for me these sections are the most fun - but my slow overall speed puts me amongst folk who despite their high spec bikes still prefer to walk. Others who did choose to cycle managed to strew themselves in bushes and moorland - I think perhaps they were trying too hard! But apart from a few scrapes and bruises nobody seemed too badly injured, though quite a few of us suffered from cramp.
I'll add the positions etc when they are published. (See here.)
I didn't take a camera, but after finishing took these snaps with our old Olympus C-220 camera - something of a museum piece.
Here's someone approaching the finish in Sowerby Bridge - the hill is quite steep.
The Church Stile Inn provides welcome refreshments.
From where stragglers can be encouraged.
And stories can be recounted (and new t-shirts admired!).
...time for another beer, I think.
Then it's home to find a hose pipe to wash down the old bike and the Innov8 Roclites, all of which were totally encrusted in mud this year.
Finally, a big thanks to the organisers, who provide frequent and very effective support points and who mark and marshall the course.
It means you don't need to take any food or drink with you. They really are very efficient.
Next year's event - on 11 October 2009 - is in the diary, and further information is on the CMBM website.