I could now see the lake below, a blue welcoming haze, with little kayaks making their way back and forth across from one side to the finish on the other. I could hear slight noises in the wind, lakeside cheers and sounds being carried up by the circling wind, and I began to feel a familiar mixture of excitement and nerves. Excitement that the event was nearing the close, after over 100 miles of rugged Scottish land had been traversed by cycle and foot. Nerves that I still had one mile to kayak across the lake, and knowing I had to find someone to pair up with.
I got chatting to a fellow racer on the way down the hill, and we both chatted, slipped and tumbled our way down the hill, sections of the slope by now just a muddy slide. We watched and laughed as grown men raced down the hill, slipping in the mud, and sliding on their backsides at speed past us. The mood was one of relaxed conviviality, a sense of comradeship you always find during these events, especially when you have come through something as grim as the first day cycle. At least it gave us all something to discuss in great detail! As I’m such a gobshite I always get chatting to folk, and it’s something I love about doing events – you meet like minded people and have a good laugh at whatever calamities have befallen us during the event.
I was pretty knackered by now, tired, aching legs, sweaty, salty face and really really looking forward to a long sit down on something comfy.
I was, as always, a bit emotional, at seeing the end in sight....