It was my first 50 mile road race and I was extremely excited for the challenge,
I was determined not to just do the race but to beat my friend Alex who owns a bike shop in Llanberis. Alex sponsors me a great deal as he is just as passionate as myself about the charity and improving the lives of the children it helps.
We arrived early and got to the race presentation. The people were lovely and very helpful, the organizers and marshals that I spoke to were only happy to help advertise my fundraising for the charity.
The event started at 9am, there were 119 competitors in total, Alex and myself started in the same wave.
The start of the race was pretty easy and really good fun, after we got though Pwlhelli though it started to get serious.
Alex was in the front of me for the 10km, I managed to stay close behind him. However, once I warmed up, I got into the zone, which gave me the boost I needed to overtake him.
I have never done a specific cycle race only triathlons in the past, so it's safe to say that I lack the experience of how to use my energy in such a long cycle. I have learned from the triathlons that it's important to save the maximum amount of energy for the last half an hour of the race. So knowing this I tried to keep in the 70 - 80% range of my maximum Heart Rate Zone.
Further into the race I passed one female, she was pedalling quiet fast as she said to me that she is warming up her legs because there is big steep hill coming up soon. I thought that I am okay with that, as I train in North Wales but this hill was immense!
The hot weather makes it very difficult and I really just wanted to get on the top of that hill. I realised from this challenge that I have to integrate more hills like this in to my training.
After making it to the top, it took me about 10 minutes to recover and got back to my race pace. The heat from the sun was killing me as I left my jumper on and didn't wanted to stop because I wanted to do my best and finish with a good result, so I just tried to not think about how hot was it!
I forgot about Alex until one guy passed me he told me that we are half way and my friend is just behind me.
I realized then that I would have to speed up because I didn't wanted to lose our game!
I didn't have clue how far we were from the end, but my water and energy drink were totally gone, this indicated that the end was not too far away.
I was in the last 10 miles of the race, that was hardest ride that I have ever had to do. No water, sweaty in my jumper in addition to the hot sun on the tarmac really made me feel totally exhausted.
I really just wanted to jump into sea that was next to me, then I started to think about the children, who have no food and water. This thought really pushed me forward. I got very angry and wanted to get to the finish in a good position so that I could raise awareness and get as much money for them as much as I can!
I kept telling myself STRONG MIND=STRONG LEGS every single pedal stroke counts! The last 4 miles were nice and flat on a good fast road.
I had to stand up for the end and use every last bit of energy and power to get to the finish! My Legs were burning and I was so thirsty but blocked these feelings from my mind. I said to myself. This is for you! For your children, I will never give up as I will fight for you and I have to get to the finish line.
I managed to catch my breath after I got to the finish and I started to feel a little bit proud of myself and what I achieved today.
There were a nice couple that competed in the race at the finish that started to talk with me. They were local, they told me what their finish times were, I then realized that she was the winner because I heard my results over the megaphone. I was very proud of her as she competed in 2hr54mins which was 15mins faster than my time. My finish time was 3hr and 9 minutes I finished 2nd in female and 25th out of 119 overall. My friend Alex came 2 mins after me.
It was a fantastic race and a great experience, I met so many nice people.
A big thank you for all marshals, organizations and everyone involved for an amazing event I'm sure I will be back next year!
I am really looking forward to entering my next race in Pwlhelli now as it's such a beautiful place in North Wales.
So here is my story :)