Highland trail race – nearly ready to roll

14 05 2013

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I’ve already floated around that I’m doing a race organised by Alan Goldsmith in Scotland at the end of May. It’s the Highland trail 400 http://www.highlandtrail.net. Some people I tell about it can’t understand why I would want to use annual leave to race 430 miles mostly off-road round the highlands of Scotland whilst sleeping behind walls and rocks. But as most of you know, I kind of like that sort of thing. The best way to explain the race is to list the rules:

– Complete the entire route, under your own power – no drafting
– Be completely self-supported throughout the ride – absolutely no support crews, absolutely no gear sharing
– Only use commercial services that are available to all challengers – no private resupply, no private lodging
– If you have to leave the route, you must rejoin it at the exactly same spot
– No caches of any kind
– No pre-arranged support, which means before you begin your ride – e.g. booking a B&B, arranging to meet a vehicle
– No travel by any motorized means during your ride – by all means do so if necessary, but understand if you do your attempt is over
– Gear – nothing required, nothing prohibited

This does not explain why anyone would want to do it. I guess you either get it or you don’t. You will also note that its not a very spectator friendly format, not in the normal stand along the side of the road and cheer sort of way. However, there is a solution. Most of the people racing will be carrying a GPS tracking device that will send out a signal every 10 minutes. Everyone’s position will appear as a blue dot on a google map. So you can follow race progress from the comfort of your nice warm sofa, or on your mobile in the office on Monday. As soon as I have the link I will post it on here as well as Facebook and twitter. Please follow us, but be warned it can be addictive.

Preparation has been going well. Ive been honing my online shopping skills, reading OS maps with the occasional bike ride thrown in. I’ve even spent the odd night sleeping in church yards and behind dry stone walls. I don’t expect to win, or even come close, as I’ve not been able to train as much as I think is required to really stand a chance. Also of the 30 riders expected to start, many have done this sort of thing a good few times before. It’s going to be a race with many of the UK’s best ultra bike-packing racers, which in itself I’m excited about. However, whilst I’m not going to win, I hope to not come last because I’m going alright at the moment.

I’ve still a few things to do to the bike, like change tires and grease up the chain but I’m about ready to roll. The race starts at 10am on Saturday 25th May from Tyndrum, and the first person may be done by Monday. We shall see. If your interested this is my bike setup.

    UPDATE
    The trackleaders page is now live. You can follow the race by clicking the link below. Remember it starts at 10am on the 25th May.
    Highland Trail 400

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