2012 is going to be fun year with a focus on the shorter XC races but so far this year I haven't done one due to weather and lack of entries but did get the chance to do 2 new events for me, The Dyfi Winter Warmer and Fearless X Duathlon at Llandegla. I also did these on a new type of bike for me, a 29er, which in these events have shown how brilliant they are and I'm definitely a big wheel convert now.  
The Dyfi was a 28mile off road marathon which had the potential to be very very very cold but we luckily managed to miss all the snow and started on a sunny North Wales day with the neutral roll out on the road,  but unfortunately this was down hill and a little too slow so was a very cold start to the day! Turning onto the first big climb (which went on for about 20 odd mins and hurt a lot) I managed to place myself about 7th or 8th  with Phil Morris (xcracer.com) in second about 30secs ahead which pleased me even tho Matt Page (Team Wiggle) well out of sight at this point. My lack of time on the big wheels did tell on the first downhill run with me being a little to nervous and losing time but I don't race to be beatem that easily and on the following climbs and laps  Ieventually managed to find my racing legs and pulled myself upto 6th after 2hr 15mins of suffering.  
Next up was the Fearless Duathlon which was a nice change following the last minute cancellation of the Welsh XC at Margam Park. The thought of a 8km run followed by 17km of mtb and 4km of running seemed like fun before the start but come race time I started to feel like the total novice I am in these events. As the siren went to start the race the racer in me took over and I just focussed on what I had to do and on the first 2.5km climb I managed to get myself around the top 20 and settled into my pace before my strong discipline came along. I even surprised myself by putting some others into the hurt locker on the run and attacking a little but come the bike leg I knew that was where me race would really start as I stuck in the big ring and set off after the rest of the guys ahead of me and very quickly moved into the top ten. Unfortunatley some bad luck was around a corner quite literally as on one apex of a corner I hit sheet ice and bent my gear hanger and banged myself up quite badly and costing me about 5mins in total - but I needed to finish the race for the training benenfit at least and I started so might as well finsih! I just went as fast as I could on the bike coming into the transition area in the top 10 but on the second run  Istarted to feel tired and my bruising from the bike crash started to hurt. I struggled to get up to speed and quickly lost a few spots which was disappointing. I also got lost losing another 5mins or so but finished in 23rd overall with the 5th fastest bike lap,  2mins off the fastest time but feel comfortable that I could have beaten that time and got fastest bike split of the day.  I think some work on my running would help a lot and make me more competitive next time so will be including some more running work in my training plan.  
Well its my day off from the shop and its not raining snowing or cold so I think its time to do some training .  

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