The lead up to the Isle of Man End2End started for us on the Saturday morning at 5.30 am when Baz arrived at my door and we loaded up for the drive to Carlops and Mark's house where the bikes etc. were transferred onto his Landrover for the journey to the ferry at Heysham. And what a journey, the Landrover gave a fairish impression of a vehicle with a dose of the flu, frequently threatening to run out of steam and then picking up speed again (if you can call 40mph on the motorway "speed")! We eventually reached Heysham with over 2 hours to spare however and by the time we eventually reached the Isle of Man we'd been on the go for over 12 hours. Next stop was to register for the race and the pasta meal that came with the entry fee and then off to find our beds for the weekend. Though the rooms we'd booked were far from luxurious they were heaven compared to our first choice which had been to camp for the weekend, thank god that was dropped from the plans! Sunday morning and we were up at 6am and breakfasting on porridge or coco pops, (the choice of the professional mountain biker!!) and off on the bikes to catch the lorry for the bikes and the bus for the riders to take us to the north of the island for the start. One very small complaint was the time spent waiting for the start, one hour forty minutes, in a cold occasionally drizzly wind, but at last the race got going. The first 12 miles or so was on flattish road which stretched the field out and Mark caught Baz and me out by sneaking ahead up the pack before the start to be able to make a quicker start than us. He took a bit of hunting down but we eventually caught him at about 7 miles out. The first off road hill stretched the field out as well and the Pentland climbs really helped us here.
The course was a cracker, not overly technical but a lot of long hard climbs followed by some fast flowing descents and the fact that I managed to average 10 mph for the 45 miles says a lot about the condition of the off road tracks.
Baz's time was 4 hours 37 minutes
My time was 4 hours 43 minutes
Mark's time was 5 hours 42 minutes (pretty good for someone who'd spent the previous week consuming a fairish bit of beer while on holiday!!)
A great event on a great island, definitely recommend it!!