I was looking for something a little bit different, something that wasn’t a triathlon but still a challenge, and I came across the coast to coast Rat Race - running, cycling and kayaking 105 miles over 2 days from East to West Coast Scotland. The weather on the first day was unbelievably bad, and it happened to be the day of the longest cycle at 44 miles, climbing up some big hills. The winds reached over 40 miles per hour, accompanied by horizontal rain and freezing temperatures, despite it taking place in mid September. Always be prepared for the worst in Scotland!!
The first day was hugely difficult, a real challenge, and when I took a photo at the top of the last huge hill the wind nearly blew the phone out of my hand. A lot of the elites, who were doing the race in 24 hours, dropped out, the weather being the worst the event had seen in its history. Unfortunately, my team mate suffered mild hypothermia, and had to drop out after the first morning cycle on day 2. This is no reflection on her abilities, just bad luck in the horrific conditions, not helped by soggy wet tents overnight. I set off on the final 14 mile hill trek/run feeling anxious, and worried as always about toilet stops for my bag. My bag behaved until I was on top the of the hill, with competitors all around, and no where to empty it. I had to keep running over the top of the hill, down the other side and then climb up the final bit hill, with the bag full and heavy against my legs, causing me huge amounts of stress. This of course just made it worse, as nerves increase output, so it was vicious circle that I could do little about. I descended the final hill and looked across the water to the finish, which I had to kayak to...trying not to dislodge my huge filled bag.
I found a partner for the kayak, and we rowed one mile swiftly across the water to the finish. I collapsed into tears at the end, so relieved I had done it, so emotional that my team mate wasn‘t with me, and hugely relieved that I could now go to the bloody toilet! Another job done.