Megavalanche: Diary of a desk jockey

Mountain Biking Magazine



Megavalanche: Diary of a desk jockey

Paul Haysom sits at a desk selling adverts for FactoryMedia Monday to Friday. But he has a dream. And that dream is to race the Megavalanche in France next year…and finish in the top 100.

Top 100 in the Mega is quite an ambition. But you’ve got to dream haven’t you? Where would we be without dreams? Probably craving cheese. Has Paul been eating too much cheese? Will cheese be part of his diet and training plan? Edam, Gouda, Wensleydale? Surely not Baby Belle?

Here’s what Paul says:

The Megavalanche race has been on my mind (as I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of you) for a long time, since I was a young teenager in fact. I’ve really wanted to do a ‘big life thing’ and was struggling to choose which to go for, that was until I popped Earthed 3 into the DVD player for a bit of nostalgia.

Well, the main reason I was watching the DVD was to nurse the all weekend hangover that had just kicked me square in the balls. Having just come off a stag do with 18 other lads, my blood alcohol level was returning to more of a healthy concentration, the need to get fitter entered my mind and after not much self-discussion I knew that I needed to sort myself out.

I needed a goal, something to work to with a deadline that if I didn’t reach it would punish me for not doing so. I’ve always gone on fitness trips but with nothing to shoot for my interest always disappears.

I am of course not the only person in the world that’s had this sudden epiphany, I’d put a guess that easily 50% of you are reading this while crying out, ‘Hallelujah! The man speaks the truth!’ It’s so easy to settle in to the 9-5 routine and forget why you used to get up at 6am on a Sunday and go riding all day until it was time for dinner. I fit in to this category and with an out of breath wheeze and splutter I have decided to do something about it.
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So when the movie hit the Mega section and after Jonesy’s comments with all the other interviews, I was inspired to get my ass in to gear and figure out what I need to do to get there.

Thankfully I am one of the original Facebook generation and all my riding buddies are within easy reach, Dom was conveniently online (a Mega veteran). He didn’t need much convincing and the event was created, so far we have 10 or so of us on board. With the group sorted, I needed to look at myself in the mirror and figure out how I can get to any sort of level to get down the mountain – in my eyes it really is that sorry of a situation.

The best thing is (in a way) that I’m a completely average rider, so I get to go on this journey right from the beginning. I get to choose the kit, everything from bike to protection, and have the ultimate drive to accomplish something that not everyone in the world has achieved (well….a lot of people have already but that’s not important right now).

So with this I will be documenting all of my training activities, the gear that I will be using, the types of training activities and how I’m getting on – my aim is to get down the mountain in a respectable position (top 100), perhaps inspire one or two others too and try everything along the way. This is the part you guys come in, if you have anything to recommend for training drop it in the comments section below and over the next two weeks I will endeavour to complete a selection of them.

So it’s time to lay off the ale, chow down on some lean turkey and start hitting the fitness high road and nail this race. I’m feeling pretty good about it now… ask me again in a month!
Check out what I’ve been doing so far, it’s time to dig (also done a bit of running).


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