Surrey Sunshine at Macmillan Cycletta
9th September 2015
As the first Macmillan Cycletta Surrey riders arrived on Sunday 6th September, the sun was starting to beam through the layer of mist that had descended over Loseley Park, making for an atmospheric start to the day.
Loseley Park has played host to the Surrey edition of the Macmillan Cycletta series for the past two years and with the 16th century Loseley Housecreating a dramatic backdrop to the start line and with stunning scenery in the surrounding area, it’s clear to see why so many cyclists returned to take part again in 2015.
Kickstarting the day in true Macmillan Cycletta fashion, was the Scootathlon, a scoot, bike and run event for 4-8 year olds. All Scootathletes receive a medal for completing the course, but that didn’t stop some of our young athletes from taking the competition very seriously, especially when we saw a brother and sister go head to head…!
Once the course was cleared of abandoned scooters, bikes and children it was time for the ladies to set off. With a new longer route available this year, the 90km riders were set off first in small groups closely followed by the 45km riders, which was the most popular distance of the day. Last to leave the event village were the 18km route riders. With thanks to Liv, the dedicated cycling brand for women, all our riders made it to the start line in time after a busy morning helping with last minute adjustments and mechanical issues.
All routes set off in the same direction to begin with, taking in the undulating roads of Surrey. For those doing the longer routes there was a perfectly placed Zipvit Sport feed station at the 25km mark and a little further down the road was Waverley House which was open for cream tea for those looking to really make the most of their Sunday in the countryside!
In what seemed like only minutes after they left, the first 18km rider was approaching the finish line. Our motorbike road safety team were impressed at the speed and determination of cyclist Anita Gilbey who sped off from the start leaving the rest of the pack in her wake, returning back to the event village in an impressive time of 44:11.
Sarah Dearson and Jasmine Bressler were the next two ladies from the 18km route to return to the village to collect their Liv goody bag and relax in the sunshine after flying round the course in 50:19 and 54:46 respectively.
The finish line soon became a hive of activity with the 18km cyclists returning home in a steady stream. Among them was our first medium route rider, Tracey Smedley who pedalled at an impressive 26.8km/h average to return home from the 45km route in 1:51.50. Cranleigh Cycling Club member, Anna Pritchard, was next to return, followed by Carole Butler.
As more and more riders crossed the finish line it was apparent that “that hill” was going to be the talking point of the ride, with nearly all finishers having a word or two to say about it when asked about the route! Luckily the groans of burning thighs were tiny gripes amongst gushing comments about the scenery, sunshine and great camaraderie between the cyclists.
Whilst the 18km and 45km riders were enjoying a sports massage from Physio & Therapy our 90km riders were sweating it out in the midday heat. It wasn’t long however before our first two riders returned, with friends Nova Berry and Kate Blake making light of the course and ‘that hill’ to complete the distance in a joint time of 3:23:46. Katie Francis was our third lady to complete the route, returning in 3:27:55.
Many of the riders taking part from all distances were supporting the official charity Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan are hoping to raise an impressive £25,000 from this event thanks to the support from those cyclists. One participant who deserves an extra special mention is Melanie Hurley who is taking on all five Macmillan Cycletta rides this year for the charity. Only two left to go Melanie!
The 4th Macmillan Cycletta event of the series will take place on the 20th of September in the beautiful New Forest. For more information click here.