After only switching the telly off at 4.45am the alarm went of at 6 am. However the lashing rain as I was getting the bike and gear into the car woke me up.
The drive to Duncton Village Hall was a bit of an endurance event, it was very difficult to see in the dark with the lashing rain, and the wind and huge puddles
would cause you to veer unexpectedly, at one point the maximum speed on the M25 was 45 MPH, even so I was very close to a crash a car in front had carreened
into the barrier, and the people were still in the car with folks running to help when I went past. Driving down the country lanes involved getting past a number
of fallen trees and debris, and even huger lakes of water.
But I got there and met Graeme and luckily by the start time, the rain had mostly stopped, though
it chucked down on us occasionally throughout the day to keep us pretty damp. We set off on the two hour run and were going well overtaking a lot off people,
but it was very treacherous and muddy underfoot, at one point I skidded off to the side and nearly kicked someones fence down, at another point we had to run
upstream against a burst water main. Unfortunately we tried to fit in a last control , got lost and ended up climbing up a huge gully were I found my shoes didn't
have enough grip. Then to make matters worse I fell again, gashing my knee badly, which stiffened up immediately and left me hobbling. We were now in severe
danger of losing points, but the knee eased up and we ended up doing a cracking run to the line, passing a number of other teams and getting to the line with 6secs to spare.
Then we had an hour to assemble our bikes. Mine wasn't in such good repair the back brake was only just working and I only had the middle gear at the front. We
knew from the run we would struggle to get the off road points in the mud, so we collected most of the on road ones first. We ventured off road for some after
that and battered our way through the mud. We picked up a number of checkpoints, then I got confused by a pair of radio towers, that should have been south
of a control but were in fact North, we then tried to follow the south downs ways, that just seemed to dissapear, we got stuck in some chalky ravines and my
front gear kept failing due to shear amount of mud in the system. We made it back to a road with just a few minutes to spare. Then we quickly reorientated
ourselves, and made another heroic push to the line. We were just 2 minutes late, losing only four points.
Finally after an hour to recover with the help of lemon drizzle cake from flozzies kitchen we set off on the night navigation. We plotted ourselves a simple
route and followed others lights were they were available and did really well, after the final checkpoint we took the longer road route back to be on the
safe side, as things were dicey underfoot, and I had fallen twice in daylight, still we were a good five minutes early. So we got changed had a coffee
and stayed for the results ceremony, feeling pleased with ourselfs, though my knee was stiffening. The drive back was uneventful but I was feeling quite tired by then.