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Racing the "Anfield 100"

The "Anfield Bicycle Club" 100 mile Time Trial is one of the most anticipated events in the TT calendar. The race dates from 1889 and has taken place every year apart from 1890 and the War Years. It was won as a paced event in 1889 in 7:11:00; the 5 hour barrier was broken for the first time in 1914 and 4 hours broken in 1981. The event record currently stands at an amazing 3:31:08 in 2017.

On Bank Holiday Monday 27th May, I made my 6th attempt. As a veteran and late-comer to cycling, I have absolutely no pretensions of competing with the best, but it is a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the elite as they whizz past seemingly effortlessly. I know however they are hurting just as much as I am, it's just they're going a little bit faster! One of the fascinating aspects of racing the longer events is learning by your own experience of what your body is capable of and formulating a plan to do better this year. This includes tinkering with the bike to get the optimal aero vs comfort position, to use a disc wheel or deep section, what and how much to use as hydration and refuelling en route. Then all important pacing yourself, not setting off too fast but not forgetting to make full use of the faster sections of the course. The Strava records of my previous attempts have helped enormously in preparing a race plan. This worked almost impeccably on this occasion and despite windy conditions and cramp in the last 2 miles, I finished 44 seconds faster than my previous best in the event, 2 years ago, in a time of 4:58:28 (inside the standard for my age of 14 mins 01 seconds) 80th place out of 103 starters, 11 of whom did not finish.

Yes my legs hurt, but boy it was satisfying to go faster than I had done before!

Then there's always next year to do better still!



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