Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Sunday 8 October 2017 – The Calderdale Mountain Bike Marathon

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Just Robert and I turned up for this year’s CMBM, other regulars having alternative commitments. They were not alone, as numbers were seriously down from previous years, with only 150 or so taking part. As has now become normal, I set off right at the back on my 1990 Shogun bike that behaved impeccably as usual, once a minor fault with a new mudguard had been rectified.

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Robert made his way through the crowd and rode in the middle of the field, whilst I stayed right at the back, nursing my hamstring injury.

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After a few wetish days we were blessed with pretty much perfect weather for the ride, but conditions were very ‘wet’ underfoot (undertyre?).

The support points were great, with drinks, bananas, flapjack and jelly babies available in copious quantities.

I realised how slowly I was going when riders started to worry about ‘cut off’ points for slowcoaches! Yes, I was going along at a very gentle pace, avoiding any danger by descending slower than usual on the greasy surfaces.

“No need to worry” were my thoughts, as I joined the line of stragglers fighting their way across the sludge that had developed on Midgley Moor.

From the point where I took the next three pictures, I walked over the moor as cycling involved just a bit too much strain on my injury.

Here’s Amanda Lees, who later finished up walking even more than me on the difficult descent to Luddenden.

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I think this is Simon Midgley, struggling to contend with his eponymous moor. You can just see the string of fellow stragglers ahead of him.

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There were good views towards Stoodley Pike across the sunlit Hebden valley.

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Robert finished in 3 hours 12 minutes, and came back down to the Rochdale Canal to meet me. Thanks Robert, and my apologies for finishing so slowly by walking up the final hill. I’ve rarely done that before, but today it was wise under the circumstances. My leisurely pace has avoided any unpleasant after effects.

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Thanks to the finish marshal pictured below who took the above photo. Also seen in the picture is the eight year old boy who finished nearly half an hour ahead of me. Well done him!

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Robert and I were the only riders adjourning to The Church Stile Inn, ‘Open as Usual’, but not for long if the limited availability of beer and the filthy condition of the place is anything to go by. It was nice outside in the sunshine.

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Here’s the route – 42 km (26 miles) with around 1100 metres ascent, plus a kilometre or so to the start. (Click on the image for a larger version.)

It’s a bit different from previous years due to a closed path. The change in route to replace some cobbled and boggy sections with a long stretch of tarmac should have resulted in faster times, but was countered by the slow sections through mud following recent rain.

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The results are here, and a brief summary of our results over the years is in this posting, whilst all my blog reports are here.

Today’s Statistics:

Winner – 1 hr 59 min – 154 finishers – slowest 5 hrs 5 min
Robert: 3 hrs 12 min – 85
Martin: 4 hrs 20 min – 146

Finally, congratulations again to the organisers for making the event run so smoothly and for providing lots of drinks and food along the way and at the finish.

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