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Masochism of Mountain Mayhem 03.

Well that’s Mountain Mayhem over and done with for another year. We had a weekend of stunning weather and excellent event organisation yet again. TORQ had 2 teams, “The non stop TORQers”, which were girls of course and “TORQ fitness old boys”, because we were all over 30 (well, we reckon we’re getting old anyway).

Muchos respect to the girls who made it onto the podium with a highly respectable 3rd place in the Women’s category. Us boys got 7th in elite – 3 spaces better than last year and we were soooo close to 6th and a couple of minutes off getting our petrol money back.

TORQ pitched its TORQ bar gazebo in the upper field - you may have seen it. Unfortunately we weren’t able to have a trade stand in the main arena, because Red Bull have the contract for sole promotion of ‘energy products’, but hey if you want to try TORQ bar we’ll have a higher profile at some other events. There’s a marketing stand down at Beastway every week and we’ll be up at the Polaris in a couple of weeks time. We’re also signed up for the Cycle 2003 show in Islington at the end of September, so come along and give TORQ bar a try.

Anyway, here’s our post match analysis of Mountain Mayhem 2003:

Theresa Jordan

How does the body survive over 24 hours, on 5 litres of energy drink, a maximum temperature of 29 degrees, a few hours sleep and as many 10 mile laps as a team of 4 girls can cram in. The answer, not brilliantly, but in the main it was great fun trying. As always the Saab Salomon Mountain Mayhem was a fantastically organised event, which took the body, both physically and mentally, through the fullest range of emotions. Great event and I will be back next year.

Louise Potter

What a fantastic weekend! It's weird how you hate it while it is happening, but as soon as it is finished you want to do it all over again! We had a great team, organisation and back-up which helped. The course was very fast and was a joy to ride, everyone on the course was friendly and the organisation was class. I still think it is easier to keep going, it’s the breaks that bugger you up.

Solo next year?

Nicky Hughes

This photo has been borrowed from the fantastic website that is www.bikemagic.com

This was my first Mountain Mayhem event and I have to admit to enjoying every minute of it. The highlight of my weekend has to be the sprint between myself and Hannah Reynolds (Evans) at the end of our second lap - obviously we were pacing ourselves with only another 18 hours to go! The atmosphere was superb and the fine weather just added to the enjoyment. It was a great experience riding as part of an all girls team. I will definitely be back for more next year and hopefully 2nd place!

Gaynor Lea

Awaiting comment

Jeremy Olsen

It's 2:00 on Saturday afternoon and I'm surrounded by hundreds of mountain bikers all wondering about how they will survive the next 24 hours of racing. Personally I am more concerned about how I will survive the next ½ mile of running (I thought it was a bike race). I'm not sure why I got selected for the starting leg - I think Matt's annoyed that my 800m pb is better than his! (Ed. You’re damn right Jeremy – anyone who can run under 2 minutes for 800m qualifies to do the run in my book. I didn't see you, but apparently you were mincing a bit though - all be it mincing rather quickly!).

The course was dusty, loose, and bumpy, with some great singletrack sections, but no hills to speak of. The first few laps flew by with little incident (other than a first lap argument with some gravel). At about 10pm it was time to get the lights ready - we weren't sure how we were doing, but were fairly sure that we were in the top 10 teams so some fast and consistent night laps were going to be called for.

I cemented my reputation as a water lover by managing to fall in the lake on my first night lap - which bit of "passing on your left" was too hard to understand? On my following night lap the fatigue began to bite and I had a big crash which taco'd my front wheel and remodelled my elbow - at least I'd have something to show for my night's efforts. By Sunday morning we were in a 5 way battle, with less than 20 mins covering 4th - 8th and our team in 5th place. As the race drew to a close, and Matt's happiness increased as he worked out he wouldn't have to do another lap, we began to slip back from 5th and settled for contesting 6th place. Sadly we just couldn't peg the team from Arctic Racing and ended up 11 seconds behind them after 24 1/2 hours of riding!!

So was it fun? Ask me when I've recovered!

Paul Whiteman

When I suggested the Torq old boys team I was relatively fit and chomping on the bit. Past experiences of 24 hour races were good, the last, a podium place at "Sleepless in the Saddle". Since the first suggestion, I have not raced nor trained at all due to various reasons, all of them completely valid, I tell myself - and this culminated in one of the worst experiences of my life (Ed. I can confirm that Paul, through no fault of his own, has been a lazy b*%&£rd for many months now). Mountain Mayhem really was 24 hours of pain, mainly cramp. The moral of the story, get fit and stay fit. There is no substitute for proper training.

NEVER AGAIN! Until next year?

Marcos Schier

To race the 24 hours for the second time was really good. I knew what to expect and could prepare myself better than last year. Although I just met my team at the race and we didn't really have a plan or tactics, we did really well. Holding the fifth place for 22 ½ hours was quite an achievement and made us realise that if we had put our minds into it, the result could be much better.

The feeling of being part of an event like that is amazing! There was a lot of competition but at the same time a lot of sympathy amongst the riders. It is always a big party, full of positive energy and very well organised.

At the end of the race, all the riders are exhausted and swearing that this would be the last time but as we all know the passion for the sport is bigger than that and I am sure I will see you all next year!!

(Ed. Not a bad bit of prose from the Brazilian Bullet)

Matt Hart

Yes, I did it again and hell was I questioning my sanity this time? The months of ‘TORQ bar’ R&D put pains to any effective preparation on my part, so like Paul felt completely physically unprepared for such an event. Fine if we had a ‘TORQ wear your wife’s knickers and a silly wig’ team, but Jeremy signed us up for elite like last year, which alas meant we had to try!! (and leave our wife’s knickers at home).

I had two particularly dark laps, where my legs cramped and I screamed for my mummy, but like last year I found some energy for the last coupla laps. During one of my night laps, my borrowed Cateye Stadium (really bloody bright light) kept flipping up and blinding me, which took many minutes to sort out. Only crashed once though and that was a super stupid ‘coming through on yer righ…oooo…eeerr….ahhhh….smack…b*£&cks….nettles…sorry mate…yep I was approaching rather quick….just run it under the tap when you get back!!’ Apart from that regrettable incident I went on to hurt neither myself nor anyone else.

I expect to be managing a fast team of riders next year, standing next to the trail with my clipboard and beer belly, offering golden nuggets of advice. I’m getting too old for this participation lark!!!

Words by the Non-Stop TORQers/TORQ Fitness Old Boys.