Paul Coward, England of300 2015

Paul Coward, Offorad Finnmark, Foto: Jon Vidar Bull
Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has donated money to the Motor Neurone Disease Association charity. We have managed to raise just over £750 which is just short of the £1000 target we had set but we are really pleased with that. Secondly thank you to all the messages of support we received on the run up to the race I found it quite humbling to read through them all. Now onto the race, as some of you may be aware we actually failed in completing the ride in the allotted time being timed out just 35km from the finish line, frustrating because not only had we slogged our way round 265km of very tough terrain but we knew that the final 10-15km was down hill and we was having it taken away from us.

This well organised race is an excellent opportunity to ride in some of the most remote landscapes where in parts you can ride/walk for up to 9 hrs without any sign of life, no people, no roads, no buildings, no electricity pylons but due to every rider being tracked via satellite if the shit hits the fan race organisers are able to find you (although when the power lead attachment to the tracking device broke and the batteries to our GPS ran flat there was a slight worry we was going to just disappear off the map). After having some batteries donated off a passing team we was back up to speed.

Thanks have to given to all the volunteers who work the check points along the route. These checkpoints (tents at the side of the road, schools,peoples homes, even a reindeer barn) placed approximately every 55 km were a welcome releif offering food and drink and in a couple of cases a mattress where you could lie down for 40 mins. All these checkpoints were staffed by volunteers who were happy to chat and make you a hot drink or get you some food before sending you on your way.

Tutteberget, Offroad Finnmark, Foto: Steinar Vik
The experience of cycling for over 30hrs (including rest/checkpoint stops) and for it not to go dark
can soon start to mess with your head. People who were just up the track were as you approached actually rocks. The 2 race marshals we both saw at the top of a hill turned out to be trees. But watching the sun set around 1am then watching it rise again around 3ish is an experience I wont forget.

Finally thanks to Michael Bottom for being the only one daft enough to do the ride with me and for nursing me through my little strop (lasted about 5 hrs) which culminated in me throwing the bike after a slo-mo crash onto rocks because I was too tired to clip out of my pedals. A great few days spent in a beautiful Country where we met some excellent people.

Strava results: 165.3 miles, cycling time 32.55.12, Climbing 32,759 ft, calories burnt 14,579.

Offroadfinnmark this year it wasn't meant to be but will be back next year to finish.

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