10@Kirroughtree 2019

The 10@Kiroughtree (known locally as “the ten”) is a lapped MTB endurance race on one of the most brilliant courses I’ve ridden. Yeah yeah, I know I’m a local boy now and therefore I’m bound to be biased, but after the 2018 race I genuinely was hoping that the course was going to be the same this year.

In spite of the race being held at a trail centre, only some of the course uses ‘built’ trails and most of the natural stuff is about as root-infested, exciting and steep as the most challenging XC courses in the country. If you’ve got a dropper seatpost on your bike, you’ll probably end up using it. The route is about 9 miles long, has a surprising amount of climbing and descent and really does have ‘a wee bit of everything’.

Since doing hardly any riding since the Pan Celtic race due to being pretty broken, injured and demotivated, I was getting desperate for a way out of the solo category as the day of the event grew closer. One of those seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time ideas.

Luckily Sofia wasn’t all that keen on racing the 10 as a soloist either, so a quick couple of text messages later, we were in as a mixed pair. We’ve done ok since the start of the year as a smash n’ grab tag team so sod it, we thought.

Partly as an attempt to exorcise my first lap puncture curse, Sof agreed to ride the first lap while I had a leisurely wander over to the transition area in the warm sunshine, deciding that I was never doing a first lap again 😉

Before long we’d taken the lead, but the last lap disaster of the Glentress 7 meant that nothing was being taken for granted. I don’t know about Sof but I was getting a bit ahead of myself and had to lie down in between laps after pouring a bottle of water over my head….

Apart from a burped front tyre (my fault), my Blur and Highball were both flawless. Normally I’ll have a stupid mechanical at some point but this time I’d spent more than 10 minutes on preparing them both. Maybe I’m starting to learn harsh lessons in my advancing years.

(pic:Chris Helson)

More laps, more lying down and more almost-vomiting followed until the point at which Sofia HAD TO RIDE ONE MORE LAP THAN ME and take the overall mixed pairs and vets win. Chuffed!

Thanks to the Galloway Hillbillies for organising another brilliant event with the now trademark laid-back and welcoming Galloway vibe, Sofia for being a brilliant (and fast!) pairs teammate and to Deb for doing her thing in the pit as usual, keeping everything ticking along smoothly and making sure everyone and everything is in the right place at the right time.


(pic:Stevie Todd)

Keep your eyes on the Galloway Hillbillies website and Facebook page for news of 2020 events (as well as the 10 there’s a duathlon in the spring).