From Tully we headed up the far bank of the Tay and up the long climb to Farragon Hill, I had done this a few times before but the hill seemed more brutal than usual towards the top.
Down into Tummel valley is a great fast ride to the road and then we passed over coronation bridge.
Everybody was still on good form as we took the back roads to Blair Atholl and to the Bruar Canyonning.
We got changed, its fair to say that we were not looking forward to this stage, it had been “bigged” up but most of us had been in here.
There was a fair bit of water from the rain and I think they had planned to do the upper, this changed and some stuff had been cobbled together on a short stretch.
The first jump I hit the bottom and ended up in the cave, it was a sporty swim to get out and it took me a bit of time, the lack of float in the PFD I was issued did not help either.
Skinny and Smithy made sure when the jumped they did not get pulled into the cave after seeing how long it took me to get out.
At another obstacle we jumped into another pool after a climb that was made awkward by the staff member there, we were then told to swim the chute.
Turns out the chute has a big rock at the bottom perfectly placed to catch your arse bone as you swim over at speed !
I swam back up to catch the team and stop them before they suffered the same fate !
We were all glad to be out and getting changed, the cold water had helped with a bit of muscle recovery though !
A bit of food and some warm clothing got us ready for the short course bike to Mar Lodge via Glen Tilt.
Having done Glen Tilt a few times I was ticking markers off in my head, it was dark and by the time we got to Forrest Lodge I was feeling really tired.
A quick chat and the decision was made to head for the bridge at Falls of Tarf and get some sleep under there, the rain was falling and it would give us a bit of shelter.
I stuck my hat and gloves on and climbed under the bridge, I think I was asleep before the last of the team was settled.
45 minutes later we were back on the move having a compulsory push and some sections that we ended up pushing (must go back and see if it was tiredness, dark or just crap track ).
A couple of river crossings later we arrived at the lodge, grabbed our kit and pitched the tent again I think was asleep before the last person was in the tent !
We awoke aware of activity outside, once up we realised that all the kit was now outside the lodge, we got ready and back in the saddle heading for Glen Muick and the end of the mountain biking for a while.
As we were heading up the last climb on the road before the transition i was starting to go into a bad place, I was dropping off the back of the group and struggling a bit.
A Landrover pulled up next to me and the window rolled down to reveal a smiling Cam Allan, he had been tracking us on his phone and wanted to see a bit of the race live.
The transition was fairly quiet as we boxed bikes and got our heads round the big trek.
Team Adidas Terrex came in from getting the outlying points, they looked fresh and were gone in no time.
We said our farewells to Cam, loaded our bike boxes onto the truck under the strict supervision of Chris and set off up the track to Lochnagar.
It was good to see familiar faces but somehow it burst the race bubble that I had put myself in and I struggled to get my head back into race mode.
It was time to get in about the bit that we thought was going to be the Crux of the race !