43 hardy riders took to the roads this weekend to take on the ultimate test of endurance: a 12 hour time trial. Setting off in the relative cool of the early morning, the riders settled into what was to be a intense day, both in terms of temperature and competition.
Setting an incredible early pace, long distance legend Andy Wilkinson of Port Sunlight Wheelers went through the first 150miles reportedly averaging 30mph, but would ultimately succumb to race ending back pain soon after the half way mark. The remaining riders battled on, with the lead changing hands as encouragement was dished out in equal measure with water and food from friends, family and marshals all supporting along the roadside.
Leaving the A11 and entering the finishing circuit from Hingham to Watton, the heat had clearly taken it’s toll on the riders, but with only a couple of hours remaining the end was in sight. Counting down the minutes, there was only yards in it, with the win in the women’s category being decided by a mere 0.7 of a mile.
Charles Mitchell of a3crg came out on top with a total of 310.789 miles and lead of just over 12 miles from 2nd placed Derek Parkinson of Springfield Financial RT who finished with 298.428 miles, Mark Smith of Crawley Wheelers rounded off the podium with 296.961 miles. In the women’s category Becky Murley of Wisbech Wheelers RC total of 256.994 miles just pipped Christina Mackenzie of Stirling Bike Club who set a Women’s Scottish National Record with 256.281 miles. Becky and Howard Lewis of Mid Shropshire Wheelers took on the challenge riding tandem, finishing with a Mixed Tandem Comp Record of 285.957 miles. CCBreckland’s Dave Green finished in 8th place, just shy of his PB which he set last year with a total of 289.569 miles.
A huge thanks goes to organiser Mark Fairhead and the many timekeepers, marshals, helpers, refreshment providers of which there are too many to name that allow this event to happen.