Mixed feelings for me about this race. I don't like this course, even less so in the very windy conditions. I did a 1.35.13 last year and being an unfit so and so I was aiming for anywhere between 1.35 and 1.40. Arrived in time for a half decent warm up on the turbo and no port in my system from the night before. Rob RE and I rolled off to the start and had a quick natter with Dominic before getting ready for the off. At the start I was feeling much better than the Redhill 18 and (almost) looking forward to it.
the start of the course is flat n easy (guess where the pic was taken). Few grotty bits heading back towards Reigate and then over the heath. The wind really hit me here, hey ho, me no like. Got onto the A25 and mentally, pretty much fell apart. The wind really rattled my cage and it was all I could do to relax enough to keep going. Flats or ups, great. Downs, no thanks. I was crawling down any decline, braking. For goodness sake!!!
My confidence was all over the place, I well and truly had the wind up me. I thought of bailing more than once but no. I really enjoyed the A24 climb and I was actually reeling people in on the hills but the minute the road fell, so did my speed. I did this event with no gadgets I'm glad to say as the downhill speeds would have you all in stitches. I wibbled and wobbled my way round, thoroughly enjoyed the short squirt along the A264 and huffed and puffed up the rusper hill. I was hoping the lanes might provide me some shelter and allow me to push harder for the last few miles.
Nope, I was having none of it. I wussed my way home, hard on the ups, even harder on the flats and ridiculously cautious on the downs. So - a horrible (tortuous even) ride, bizarrely finishing just inside my target range (1.39.24). Trouble is, if I could shake these demons I know I'd have been a lot, lot faster today. 29.9 miles of hell.
Somebody get me a Doctor.