NATIONAL 24-HOUR TT 23/24TH JULY
Taken on by Rebecca and myself in as tough conditions as you will get in this race. As with 2021, Rebecca was supported by Nick, and I was supported by Phil (The Chair) Lawson. Arriving at the HQ on the morning of the race we are met with rain (while Kent and East Sussex had wall to wall sunshine) and notifications that because of road works there will be major changes to the course.
The course change would mean a lot of time on the Prees Heath down to Battlefield and back up leg, a 30-mile rolling terrain round trip. This would also be the route for the night circuit, in between this circuit we would be on the 12 mile Quina Brook loop.
By the time Rebecca and I started, at 13.16 and 13.21 the rain had ceased, but it was quite blustery on the course. Nick and Phil made their way down to the Battlefield road, parking separately on the tops of an incline to ease the handing up of bottles and feed. As we settled into the race, Phil and Nick were well positioned to hand up Bottles/feed and dish out encouragement as the blustery conditions continued.
Heading into the evening we were moved on to the Quina Brook circuit, again Nick and Phil managed to park up on opposite sides of the loop, which was perfect for that added encouragement as you passed them and then through Prees Heath where most of the support crews were. Josh Clark was there also helping support members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Association, one of whom was my minute man and in the early stages of the race banter was exchanged as we passed each other and would continue to be an inter forces battle to the following morning.
At around 10pm we were back on the Battlefield leg for the night circuit, the blustery conditions had continued and with it came the rain and would stay with us till the morning. Phil was in his spot and I was so very grateful for this, his support and encouragement was of much needed relief. Nick was parked up with his luminated Rye Wheelers sign, I had no idea where Rebecca was, although since looking at Strava Flyby we were like ships passing in the night.
The sun came up and even though it was still raining it was a morale booster. Heading back on the Quina Brook circuit with just over 17 hours in our legs, I had covered 304 miles. Phil was still trying to force feed me anything, but we did settle on a bowl of beans and a warm coffee. Although I didn’t see Rebecca on the circuit, I was reliably informed she was out there, Nick was still shouting out encouragement as I passed and Prees Heath was buzzing again.
As we passed 20 + hours of racing we were being moved up to the finishing circuit on the Wrexham Industrial estate. I had covered around 368 miles and the 17 mile transition to the finishing circuit was a proper drag.
Both Phil and Nick were parked up, Rebecca and I passed each other a few times on the circuit. I didn’t take on any more drinks from Phil for the final few laps and just continued to peddle squares until my finish time of 1.21pm. Finishing with 422,33 a small margin PB. Rebecca finished with 368,41 and 3rd Lady, an incredible achievement knowing that she had suffered some technical issues through the night as well as her ever present “Hot Foot”. the conditions were tough through out and that played havoc within the field with a high number of DNF’s.
A huge thanks to both our support teams, Nick and Phil and who without it would not be possible to compete in such an incredible race.
Rebecca and I also won the Womens/Mens 55-59 yrs age category.
For photographs of event follow link;
Photographs courtesy of Nick Wilson.
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