Race the Sun 2008

On Saturday 6th September Fg Off Nick Harvey, WO Lee Morris, Sgt Dan Goldman and CI Steven Hawes represented team "ENSLAVED NECKTIE"(An anagram of our names before you ask!) cycled 50 miles, ran up Helvellyn (the second highest mountain in England) and canoed two miles around Thirlmere, and all before the sun went down. As a team we raced against 75 other teams and were trying to raise at least £1800 in aid of Action Medical Research. Action Medical Research is the UK’s most forward thinking charity. In its 50 year history it has been involved with numerous breakthroughs such as ultrasound in pregnancy, the polio vaccine and the hip replacement operation.

The event started early Saturday morning. Our start time to "Race the Sun" was 0640hrs. The first stage was a 25 mile cycle from Penrith to Lake Thirlmere; it was a section full of surprises with a combination of road, trail, off road, single track and strangely cycling through and along streams and rivers. WO Morris found out about the streams and rivers the hard way and was swept away by the current. On the main off road section, the team’s mountain biking experience showed as we tore apart the field in a big way. The other racers just watched and commented on our speed and agility. Energy levels were flailing and the importance of nutrition and hydration was paramount as we approached the transition to accent of Helvellyn. We quickly changed into our fell running gear and started the climb. The rain was still falling on us and we began to overtake scores of exhausted walkers. The looks on there faces as we over took them was a picture. 45 mins into the climb my energy level dropped once more and was in urgent need of food and water. The weather was against us the cloud dense and wind was fierce. I was carried off my feet with every gust. Any normal day on the hill we would have turned back. Old injuries also began to show the face causing me to slow down; my back was sore and causing unbearable pain. Once at the top we spoke to the poor Marshall standing on top on his own in the wind and rain. We fed ourselves Jelly babies and begin with our decent. We moved with haste, running the entire way to the bottom. We passed the stragglers at back of the field, the envy on their face apparent. We hurdled, once silent raging torrents of water. Mud was up to our knees.

We then got back into our soaking wet biking gear and cycled to the Canoeing stage. We paired up; WO Morris and Sgt Goldman partnered and Fg off Harvey and me took the other boat. Thirlmere was raging like white water. The canoe out was against the current and a big struggle. We got battered and soaked by the waves. The return journey was the quiet the opposite. We rode the waves like a surfer. It was hard work and both canoe teams were exhausted at the finish.

The team then jumped back on our bikes and began the 26 miles return to Penrith. This for me was the most difficult leg. I was physically exhausted from the previous 6 hours of intense competition. It was a long tough leg with many a hill to climb. Again Hydration and food was key here. We were overtaken for the first time by a team on light agile racing bikes. Team work and team spirit spurred us on. No one wanted to let the team down.

We finished the course on 8hrs 15. We finish 5th out of 75 teams a spectacular result.

A full list of results can be found here: http://www.actionforcharity.co.uk/UKres … 202008.pdf