2013 Already!

It’s 2013 already! When did that happen?

It is also the time of year when we all sit down and plan the races we will be competing in this year. As some of you may know I have taken the decision to step down from short course XC races and concentrate solely on the longer endurance races.

So, what will I be doing this year?

My main target event will be the 24hr World Championship, to be held in Australia in October. It is three years since I was there last time, that was supposed to be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience, but I am delighted to be returning, and to the very same venue, the excellent Mt Stromlo on the outskirts of Canberra.

The other 24hr race in which I will be competing is the European Championships in May. This is being staged in England for the first time, so at the logistics will be nice and easy. I know the venue from various National XC races there, it is likely to be a very fast course.

There will also be the British Endurance Series, which begins at Whinlatter in the Lake District in March, the shortest race at only 50km. This is followed by the Gorrick 100 and then the longest event, the National 24hr Championship (which is a combined event with the European Championship). There will also be the Gorrick 12hr at Minley and the Brighton Big Dog 6hr event on the South Downs, both excellent events with a great atmosphere, and two of the best courses in the South. The series concludes at the Keilder 100 in September, a notoriously tough 100 mile single-lap race across some of the most remote countryside in England, and also crossing briefly into Scotland. I took third in the series last year, it would be great if I could maintain, or even improve on, this in 2013 but I know there are some big names after it too.

I have been invited to compete in the Manx 100 in July. I have never been to the Isle of Man before so have no idea what to expect here. I do know that the race will be 100 miles with just over 14,500ft of climbing (and, oddly enough, a similar amount of descents) but I know very little else about it. I am really looking forward to having fun finding out.

As I’m sure most of you know, the National Marathon Championships are still up in the air at present, I won’t go into details or I will start off on another British Cycling-related rant, sufficient to say that if they happen (and I do know a little about the possibilities) then I will be there.

Finally there is the Classic Weekender up at Lee Quarry. This event doesn’t count for anything, but is such huge fun that I can’t miss it.

In between that little lot I will also be road racing. Richard Horton has decided that it would be a good idea to attempt to win the Lincolnshire Road Racing Association team prize at the 12hr event, and has roped in ‘The Captain’ John Scott, Chris Close and myself to achieve this. He has picked the National 12hr event to use for our attempt, which I have just discovered is the day after the Brighton Big Dog, that could be a tough race! I would also like to defend my individual LRRA 12hr title and will be using the Welsh National 12hr to try to do this, and hopefully secure the Lincolnshire Best All-Rounder title too. There will of course also be the local Thursday night road races over the summer, which are as much a social occasion as a training session.

There should be enough there to keep me occupied for the year!

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