Last Sunday I cycled my first 100 mile event, the Suffolk Sunrise 100. It meant an early start - my alarm went off at 5.30am and I was on the road (driving!) 45 minutes later. After I arrived and got myself ready I went and signed on, grabbed a bag of jelly babies, attached the timing chip to my bike and headed for the start.
There were around 1000 riders registered and the first group were out on the road by 7. I set off around 7:50 and soon overtook those I started with. Annoyingly I couldn’t quite find anyone my own pace in the first miles but as “luck”” would have it, I punctured at 13 miles and was promptly overtaken by loads of people. A quick tube change later and I was back on my way, working through the groups that had passed me to try and find someone at my own pace. After a quick banana and tyre pump stop at 25 miles I carried on in my quest, eventually finding the wheel of two blokes who seemed to operate at my speed. From that point out we worked as a trio making good time and picking up another chap along the way too.
By 50 miles my stomach was demanding food so I and one of the others from the group stopped for a bite to eat. There was a lot of food with lots of variety, even someone fussy like me. Also there was cake.
I refilled one of my empty water bottles and set off with my new-found pace-pal to try and track down the original member of our trio who was 5 miles or so down the road. We soon caught up with him and after a further 5 miles pulled over to wait the arrival of someone they had started with but had to return to the start with a mechanical. Once he had joined we carried on till the final feed stop at 75 miles. Yet another banana and another drink refill were had and off we set on the last leg of the journey.
At around the 95 mile mark I pushed ahead alone and made it to the finish line in just over 5 hours and 14 minutes at a pace of 19.1mph. I received lots of cheers and applause as I crossed the finish line from those gathered to watch and help which was a nice touch. After finishing I queued up to get my free massage having slightly sore legs and very sore shoulders. The masseuse told me she could have worked on the knots in my shoulders all day they were so bad. Erk. I should probably book myself a sports massage…
I’m pretty pleased with the time as I have never cycled that far before and was aiming for 5:30. My next target then will be to do a 100 in under 5 hours. I think that’s pretty achievable….