Escape to El Chorro
I had been looking forward to a lot of rest and visualised myself idylling by crags watching the proper climbers. Maybe a tiny bit of climbing. Bit of running and yoga. Lots of good books, good food and wine. However, my relaxing instincts aren't as good as my racing ones and, without really meaning too, I entered a 63km marathon race on the Sunday. It just sounded too good to resist and, possibly, I made the winning girls feel a bit better as at least they had another girl to win against. I thought the female contingent of xc racing in Scotland was low but the 7 women out of 300 racers was the lowest I'd ever seen. I don't speak much Spanish but I am sure the girl at the start line was saying 'it's nice to see more girls'.
Me and my racing buddies from Blazing Trails
I don't think the Spanish are really so into technical biking and (for probably the only race of my life) I was one of the slower ones on the ups and one of the more confident on the downs. There wasn't much technical riding at all but somehow fate meant that day was the first rain in nearly six months and it really, really rained. Normally dusty trails were turned into slimy off-camber horror shows and my Mugdock-survival biking really came into its own. I may have been easy to pick out at the start line due to my nobbly tyres and white legs but by the end, the tyres were good for the job and we all had brown legs from the mud! A fun race and a nice bbq at the end but much harder than I expected. It turned out we'd climbed all the way to the top of a 900m mountain - no wonder it felt hard (6000ft of ascent in total).
In the end, I never climbed a thing the whole trip. I just enjoyed the biking (miniMoab), a bit of running and a bit of watching the others climb hard stuff.