On Sunday I was, yet again, up at the crack of dawn for another event. I was unsure how I would be following the longest run I had done the day before though I had seen a number of amazing people when I got back from Hyde Park who were in our local park (the one that I run in) completing a 24 hour race called Spitfire Scramble. That’s right 24 hours! You could do it in a team or individually and we had popped over to show some support to some people we knew that were taking part (local triathlon club team from Havering Tri came 10th overall – massive well done!). I figured if these guys were camping out and taking it in turns to run 10k laps for 24 hours I am sure I can manage a 51 mile bike ride after my 10 mile run.
So off to Colchester I headed with two lovely ladies Lucy from Lucy Lunges and Helen for a new event ran by Wiggle very aptly, for where we live, called The Only Way. (Everything in our area seems to have latched onto this and following The Only Way Is Essex TV show we have bike shops, animal groomers, beauty salons and tanning salons all with similar names!)
It was a tour of Essex and Suffolk in rolling countryside. I should know by now that rolling countryside means hill after hill after hill after drag after incline after slope. These are not my favourite sort of rides. I like flat. Flat and no hills. Especially after running so much the day before.
There were three distances for this event short (51 miles), standard (74 miles) and epic (98 miles). We were doing the short at 51 miles.
The three of us set off and it worked out great as we were able to ride closely together for pretty much all of it as we found we cycled at about the same level though in the second half I could feel every hill in my heavy legs but could redeem myself on the descent or the flat.
I try not to look at my Garmin as I go up a hill as I would rather not know the gradient though there were a few that snuck up on us today that kicked up to 14% and 15% – these were not my friends.
The event was run in conjunction with PowerBar so at the feed stop there was nutrition and refreshments – bars, energy drinks, water and all free. We had all come prepared so didn’t need to stop for this but was great for those that wanted it.
It was £23 for the 51 mile route and you got a lot for your money! Not only did you get all the PowerBar nutrition at the feed stops but you also had support vehicles dotted along the route should you need them (thankfully we didn’t). When you finished you got a medal, finishers t-shirt, PowerBar and packet of the official snack of Mark Cavendish – pistachios! I’m not making that up it was actually on the packet.
You are allocated times for Wiggle events based on when you finish and you can either get Gold, Silver or Bronze – obviously the quicker you are the better you get and we managed to get a Gold award for our ride so I was pretty chuffed especially with the elevation.
Another lovely event completed with two lovely ladies – and another medal for the collection!