>This was the event where I rode my PB LTS last season, so I travelled up the A1(M) full of hope. My start time was 6:33am which meant a 3:30am alarm (actually I could have left it until 4am – it turns out that I eat muesli faster than I thought).
The course runs from Tempsford to Sandy to Buckden and back twice. This means that you pass your car at 25 and 30 miles… not everyone resisted the temptation of an early piece of bread pudding.
The day dawned still and warm. It felt as if it should be a float – perfect conditions. I chucked down an energy gel before the start (first one ever) and had a couple more in my back pocket. I caught my minute woman at about 10 miles and my 3 minute man at about 30-35 miles. Only 3 or 4 riders caught me – a lonely ride.
The course is flat and fast but there are some areas of poor road surface that shake you up after an hour or so in the saddle. I went well until about 30 miles and then had a minor ‘blow up’ where I lost the rhythm and struggled. My 5 mile splits moved from a 12.5 minute average to 13.5 and then 13 minutes. The ride was going down the pan at this point. The last ten miles is easier, however, and I pulled it back together to finish with a 12:04 and 11:48 5s (faster than my ’10’ and ’25’ PBs). The finish time was 2:06:03, a PB LTS and my second fasest ’50’ ever.
Last year I did a 2:08. With all my new equipment and the great day, I think I should have beaten it by more. I guess that it’s the lack of training in the last few weeks telling. I’ll be trying to get back on track with the training schedule.
Thanks to the Finsbury Park CC for a well-organised event.
Race stats: 50 miles in 2:06:03 (23.80mph). 20 out of 37 finishers. Slowest mile (38): 2:58 (20.22mph). Fastest mile (50): 2:13 (27.07mph). Top speed: 30.8mph. First 25 miles: 1:2:50, next 25 miles: 1:3:13. Max heart rate: 165bpm, average HR: 157bpm. Winner: Ian Cammish (Planet X) 1:47:03.