Monday, 16 May 2011

Longleg Post race report

Photos supplied by

Sussex Sport - News Blog 

Sportive Post Race Review

15th May was a busy weekend in the south-east sportive calendar this year. With already 3 to choose from it was with a mixture of anxiety and throwing caution to the wind that led to event organizers allabouttriathlons to hold their first sportive in the Surrey Hills, their own back yard! They say fortune favours the brave….and so it did!

Karen, escaped from organising the CPTri (next sunday), and ignored the EGTri for a nice ride.

Event director Rory Macpherson said “My brother and I have grown up in these hills and have been cycling on and off them for over 30 years. I’d like to think we could offer something a little different to the usual routes that riders follow. If the feedback we’ve had so far is to be believed, mission accomplished!”

The courses on offer were the 100k medium and 65k short with the HQ being on Albury Cricket Pitch, one of the most beautiful spots in the South East.

Back at the start, as soon as riders checked in their electronic time card, the clock started ticking and the bike cogs started turning.

Thumbs up - 1 mile in, all downhill so far

Whilst not offering an epic distance, both the routes on offer proved to be rather intense. Indeed only a handful managed to get gold standard time on the 100k and no one achieving gold on the 65k.

Rolling hills in classic Surrey countryside perhaps lulled people into a false sense of security. Above average speed was being achieved by most on a still, warm day, although some of the road surfaces put paid to that as they deteriorated to an extent that allowed cyclists to sample their very own Strada Bianche – which happened on the same day in Italy…Coincidence? I think not..

Not many stopped at the first feed station as it was only 22k in. They would regret this later on. Local cake baker Debbie Nicholas supplied cakes that many will never forget. “I think we may have just raised the bar for feed stations! I knew they would be good but I’ve never seen a post cake reaction like that before” said Toby Jenkins – fellow allabouttriathlons event director.  “Mmmmmm” with a look of sheer pleasure on her face was all that one 100k sportive rider could say.

Getting comfy for the climbs ahead
In a heady atmosphere of anxiety and trepidation, the 100k headed off towards the base of Leith Hill, whilst the 65k towards Winterfold. Signs greeting cyclists at the bottom of both hills confirmed everyone’s fears. Tanhurst Lane: 18%. Bar Hatch Lane: 21%. While the 65k had to deal with Bar Hatch Lane only, the 100k would do both.  But the omnipresent motorbike safety marshals were certainly a comfort to most.

And so it was. The LongLeg Sportive has arrived. A spring classic, which will only grow in popularity due to its unique tough courses, thorough organization and great cakes!!

The Long Leg 10k and 5k Runs are here: 

The Long Leg Sportive cycle rides are here: 

A few pictures from today...

The Long Leg Run - race page here:

Strong run into the finish

That finished feeling !

Wave in the air like you don't care

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