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Graham gets a Ton Up

Well done to Graham Moreton who completed his first 100 mile TT on 12th July

Here is his report on the experience (The event was the Shropshire Championship 100) :

Graham in Action

Graham in Action on the day. Photo by Ellen Isherwood

Time Trialling is something I have found to be quite addictive! I regularly participate in the club 10 mile TT events but  after being convinced to take part in the Phoenix 25 TT a few weeks ago something clicked…. the madness switch!

I booked myself into an Open 100 TT with a preparation period of two weeks which certainly felt longer at the time of booking. Before I knew it the eve of the time trial was upon me. I had just finished shooting a wedding which is not advisable a day before such a long endurance event. I loaded the car up with the essentials and set multiple alarm clocks for the unknown hour of 4am (I didn’t know that existed?!)

For the first time in a long time I actually woke up pre alarm with a churning stomach, the nerves were starting to kick in. After a quick dash around the kitchen eating 2 bowls of porridge and preparing my thermos for the drive down to Whitchurch, I set off trying to remember if I had forgotten anything. I made great time on the empty roads which turned out to be needed as when I found the course using Google Maps I couldn’t find the HQ! That is the worst thing groggy eyed in the morning not being able to find the HQ and the clock is ticked ever closer towards the push off time.

Finally after speaking to a marshal I made my way down a winding road to the back of  beyond and finally there it was. After picking up my number and dropping off the multiple bottles I had in the designated spot I jumped back in the car and began the interesting search for a place to park. With the clock forever ticking I was thankful I decided to put my skin suit on pre travelling.  After dumping the car on a gravel car park (Still not sure whether I was meant to park there) I had a 4 mile time trial to get to the start point. At least I was warmed up! I just missed the push off by 1 minute – bugger.

After a 16 minute wait for the next available slot I was informed I would have a 1 minute penalty.  I was very relieved not to have a more severe time penalty but now was not the time to worry. I was clipped in and ready and the countdown begun… 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . GO!

I was into very unknown territory, it was me, my bike and the assistance of a Heart Rate Monitor. I knew I had to average mid 160bpm for the ride to avoid over cooking it and failing to finish in a good time if not at all!

About 15 mins into the ride the rain started and it didn’t ease off for a good hour at which time the wind whipped up a tasty headwind which I never seemed to be able to escape whichever direction I turned.  11 miles in I caught my minute man which made me feel good, I looked down at my HRM and realised I was pushing too hard – ease off I told myself!

I ploughed on trying to keep things as steady and smooth as possible, telling myself to drink and eat which is something that I am not used to on Time Trials coming from short distances. I consumed 3 gels, 2 and a half bottles of water and a pack of carb power shot sweet things (Still not sure what they were but knew they were out of date!)

75 miles in I had to stop for a quick pee and that was the first time a rider had passed me, I kicked myself and made it my mission at least not to lose sight of him. I jumped back on the bike after retrieving a gel from the back of my skinsuit.

The hunt began to reel him in, now I had something to keep the mental pain away! It was slow progress but finally on a long draggy climb an out of saddle effort took me past him again. Now my legs were really starting to feel the pain, the advice that had been given to me was all ringing true and I was doing everything I could to focus on the task at hand. A few choice words were said at times but before I knew it the 90 mile mark was there – I had been told this would feel good.

Not on that day it didn’t! From the previous lap I knew that the next ten miles were up hill into a very strong headwind so I gritted my teeth and dug in. With 4 miles to go the second rider of the day passed me this time from Phoenix. We both took a brief look at each other as we passed and both knew the pain we were suffering!

He did not pull out much of a lead before his pace dropped to the same as mine  – then the roundabout which marked 1 mile to go loomed into the distance….

Nearly there I told myself – I gave it absolutely everything I had for what felt like an eternity and finally I came round a gradual bend. There was the time keeper! I just about had enough energy to shout my number and that was it. The pain was over, or so I thought.

A ride back to the car loosened my legs up a bit but after a short drive back to HQ I very nearly was unable to exit the car as my back had completely given up! After a very undignified hobble to the Village Hall I received my time of 4:18:59 plus a minute time penalty.

I had beaten my target of 4 1/2 hours by 11 minutes!

The next day I booked myself onto a 12 hour Time Trial… I need my head testing.

Graham Moreton 15 July 2015. Picture

For the full results click here

 

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