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Mt. Currie’s John Inglis and Lon Martin also raced for The Haywoods, finishing 23 rd out of 76 teams in the Open Men’s category with a time of 38:51:41.
They started strong before hitting their low point on the Wednesday with temperatures in the mid-30’s. Inglis had to be revived after the fourth stage by an intravenous drip, and they took it slow the following day. They started to feel better by Friday as the weather cooled off, and placed 15 th on the last stage.
"It was really challenging, but it’s fun – it’s something you would have to do twice or a bunch of times to do really well because there are so many variables to the race," he said. "There’s the weather, feeding yourself, getting up every day to ride. Multi day stage races are tough, I’ve never done one before, and getting out of bed was hard."
Inglis started training for the race in January, spending time on the trainer until the snow melted enough to ride in Squamish and Pemberton. He also raced in the Test of Metal. Still, if he had to do it over he says he would probably spend a lot more time on a road bike.
"There are a lot of logging roads, and some sections you’re doing 38 km on a logging road with an eight per cent grade. It was something you needed to train to do really well," he said.
"We’re pretty happy. We finished strong and felt good at the end, which was a positive thing considering how we felt after that one day."
In the Open Mixed race the Crissi-Crystal Hotels team, Pemberton’s Hillary Harrison and Ryan Watts, placed fourth overall in 35:39:15, less than half an hour back of the podium. They raced consistently, finishing between second and sixth in the seven race stages.
In the Open Women category the Uncivil Servants – featuring Whistler’s Lesley Clements and Nikki Kassel – placed third overall in 43:57:19. They won the first four stages and placed second twice, but took a 12-hour penalty when Clements was unable to complete stage six after injuring her ankle the day before in a crash.
"We had an hour lead after stage four and we were building on that (in stage five), but it’s such an insane race and so much can happen that an hour isn’t much security," she said. "Then I did my ankle on stage five and on stage six, which has a long hike-a-bike, I had to make a decision to pull out. If I went out into the forest I’d still be out there crawling up that path. The mud was up to your knees and you had to carry your bike over your head.