As always, the kids at the Colts were eager to step up to the challenge, and we got not one, but two teams willing to put in the training and enter the race. Our two teams were;
The Old Crew: Andy, Corey, Ewan and Lewis, with an average age of 16, apart from a very tough 12 year old.
The Young Crew: Blair, Callum, Ewan and Findlay, with an average age of just 14.
Under the guidance of Alan and Jack, these two teams started a year of training, including rollers sessions, track sessions, early morning rides, recce trips to the course, off bike training sessions and a 12 hour training session through the night on our local trails.
Around comes January 2017 and it is time to head to the hill.
The lads were off to a flying start, with our first two riders, Lewis and Blair being within the first dozen riders up the hill from the start line, this set a precedent for the race, with the rider consistently turning in 40 to 45 minute laps within the daylight section of the race. Between laps, the Colts base camp was a fantastic place to be, roaring fire, music belting out and cheers of encouragement to and from passing riders, MON THE FATBIKE!! It must have been a difficult place to cycle past, halfway up that 3 mile climb, Luckily we had visits from plenty of Colts family to keep spirits up and the much required coffee flowing.
The sun started setting around 4pm, the lights came out, the night got a lot colder, bikes started to freeze. The PA at the bottom of the hill explaining to riders to expect their lap times to get longer by about 10 minutes. Our older team must have missed that announcement, as their times remained within the 40 to 45 minute range. By this point the coaches were gobsmacked at the strength and determination in the riders.
The night began to take its toll on the young team, with illness catching up with one hardy rider, who still put in a good few laps while feeling ill, even running a massive bit of the course after a mechanical. Falls took a two riders out of the running for a couple of laps, but the team spirit stepped in, with Blair stepping up to put in extra laps until his team mates were back on their feet.
With the sun coming back up, the Colts found another burst of energy to get the last few laps in, with Lewis tearing off up the hill for the final lap.
Then comes the moment of truth, the results, The Colts Old Team came an incredible 12th out of 133 quad teams and the Colts Young Team, an very respectable 54th. This is a fantastic result for the Colts, and they already have plans for next years 'Puffer.
There has to be a special mention for our substitute rider, Cameron, who has been at all the training sessions, all the fundraising every step of the way. In the situation of someone being injured and unable to ride, Cameron was there to step in, he put in as much as the riders, come the next Puffer, he is going to rip it up.
Many Many Thanks
The Puffer is a big race which takes a lot of commitment from the riders, but also a LOT of support in finances, time and equipment.
Big thanks need to go to the Club for their support through the training, the families who have given so much in time and money to make this happen. More than this, we have had support from various sources and we give a massive thank you and high fives to all the people listed below, we could not have done this without your support:
- Failte Foods
- Wilson Developments
- Pedal Power
- John Bissett
- South Lanarkshire Counci
- Pro Am Cycles
- Tesco Lesmahagow
- Jo and Sara @ SWC