Sunday 13 May 2012: The Etape
There was a weather vane with a wind speed spinny thing on it right outside the window of my B&B. When I peeled myself out of bed at 4.30, it was going crazy.
I'll admit I toyed with throwing in the towel at that point, but my inner badass took over and two hours later I found myself in the throng of cyclists queuing up for lift-off.
Despite the gales, the first fifty miles weren't too bad and I even made it up schiehallion without stopping. The next twenty miles were hell on earth then, just as I found some more energy and thought I was on the home straight, I discovered the organisers had thrown in another hill climb through the woods above Pitlochry.
My official time was 5:20:04, position 2,361 out of a field of over 5,000. Minus the pee stops, it was 5:05. I'll allow myself to be happy with that.
Layla discovered Ewan McGregor was there too and only beat me by four minutes, "and he's fit" she said. I think that might be a compliment.
Finally, thanks to whoever shouted "go faster Joe!" as I limped the last 100 yards to the finish line. I assume you were a Blipper...