And the winner of the Revolve 6 hour race is…
Tan lines slowly disappearing from my legs and arms and the Prudential Ride 100 (MILES) behind I needed a new challenge. I googled ‘ endurance cycling race UK’ and the first result was a race called Revolve 24 Brands Hatch in September. Endurance race tick, racing on a famous motorsport circuit tick. I signed up in mid August so four weeks to the race I knew training had to be all about spending hours upon hours in the saddle.
Another member from my cycling thought he would join the madness and signed up to the 6h race too. (and another club member turned up on the day) We drove down the for the 24hour start (we both wanted to hang out in the Paddock too!) Possibly not the best night sleep in a freezing tent but with the first light the sun came out too and the 4.2km circuit started drying up from the mega shower from the previous day & night.
Race started and classic Alex, I couldn’t clip in properly so found myself at the back of the pack before crossing the start line. Couple of laps later I managed to catch up and started overtaking the slower riders. I was pleased when I reached a 6h lady racer, just don’t come last I said to myself.
A lot of people asked me how I spent 6 hours. I guess the secret is to break it into smaller sections and focus on getting to certain points. For example, I
only checked my watch for the time. Every hour I would reward myself with a piece of flapjack and energy bite and half an hour a couple of sips of water. When it was time to eat/ drink, I made sure I caught up and overtook the rider in front of me on a good section (uphill mainly) so I could gain a bit of advantage and kick back on the flat (which didn’t last too long).
A couple of things I will always remember:
A guy overtaking me on the inside on Surtees (a short sharp and sweet hill before Pilgrims Drop) and me not happy with that so I raced him to the top. I had to slow down to pick up my water bottle from a marshall that’s when I realised it was the 6 x Olympic Champion Jason Kenny. Where’s a photographer when you need one!
Spending the last 5 -8 laps chatting to a guy who was racing the 24hour event. We talked about everything in life and we laughed, sweated and pushed hard as we crossed the Finish line together feeling ecstatic.
At this point the three of us from the triathlon club had no idea where we finished. You drive round and round the circuit, seeing people, passing them but you never really know who stopped to rest/ fuel(I didn’t, get in!) but we decided to stick around for the prize ceremony. I won the ladies 6-hour race and came 10th overall which I was very pleased for. There were some seriously strong male cyclists there!
Riding for 6 hours, in the sunshine on a circuit which has a phenomenal motor racing history and really experiencing those hills riding Rocket was an experience out of this world. Next year, I’m signing up to the 24hour race either solo or in a team. ( well, there is only one way to test endurance right?)
© copyright 2021 by Alexandra Nemeth