My actual first MTB nationals was in 2011 when I just started racing, however, I had no training or experience then and just went along for fun. But this time I have been training for almost a 6 months now with Maddie and Jay and so even they said "The pressure was on". Personally, I thought I was going to be thrashed so it was a really nice surprise when I then came out with 4th place, I felt it proved my training had been paying off. I think the rest of the team were chuffed with their results too and I believe they all should be because they did great. Patsy even grabbed a 3rd place on the podium - AMAZING.
Travelling up on Saturday morning, we started off the day by marshalling for the U12's race. It was great fun watching them have their turn, taking on the berms and getting competitive. Although they may be small, some of them can fly.
My family and The South West Squad then spent the day working out the best lines around the course and attempting to ride the technical bits. After not riding "Down To Brown" in the regional race at Wheelmaid, I was happy I managed to pluck up the courage do it at the Nationals - finally.
Wheelmaid was a lovely race course organised and set up by Maddie and Jay from Fully Sussed. It is a great place to ride with a mixture of technical downs and ups, but also more gentle routes if you fancy. The race course was one of the most technical ones I've ridden, including things like "Down to Brown" (A very steep drop with a toxic pond at the bottom), "The Wall" (A berm that nearly everyone slid down the side of at least once), and "The Leveller" (another lovely techy drop). These were all very exciting, and made the course a great challenge for everyone.
In general, it was a really lovely weekend with everyone and with every bit of serious competition came some laughs. Thank you to the organisers, Marshalls and helpers for making the weekend happen!