Ben Crick writes…
Charlotteville 25 H25/8 26th July 2104
With 3 East Grinstead riders on the start sheet + one down as a reserve, the club had a potentially good showing for the Charlotteville 25 run on the H25/8 course which uses the A31 south west of Farnham.
I travelled down with Geoff Watson and we set off from South Godstone at 1215 to give us plenty of time to get there, check out the course and have a good warm up. The first objective failed as we were stuck in slow moving traffic for nearly 2 hours, which only cleared when we were actually 3 miles from the start leaving us no time to ride any of the course (2nd objective failed) but we did get in a good warm as Geoff’s air con was on the blink in his car so not all was lost. That said, we did arrive on the start line with time to spare and with the temperature nudging 28 Celsius it was going to be brutal. Geoff and I bumped into Ted Boorman who was off 46 with Geoff 53 and me 56 so 3 EG riders were going to give it a blast. With my own PB at 1:01:22 and Geoff’s a long 1:04 we were both hopeful to improve our times. After a good ride in the club 10 on Tuesday, taking 30 secs off my course PB, I was hoping to get closer to the hour.
I worked hard until the first turn which is 4.8 miles and I was 30 secs up on the time when I did the 10 course last year and had an average speed of 25.1 MPH. I saw Geoff coming the over way and noted the time to check if I was gaining on him (hopefully) and I was, but only by a few secs so he was also going well. You could feel the heat on your back and with very little wind from the north it was brutal for the next 3 miles but you then get about 3 miles of downhill. At 10 miles I was holding 25.3MPH and beat my time for H10/8 by 30 secs and started to believe the hour was possible.
After the 2nd roundabout the road is a long slow drag up past the start and I started to suffer. At 15 miles I was down to 24.6MPH and the doubt crept in. Glad to have a water bottle with me as my mouth was like sandpaper. I kept pushing because a PB was still possible and maybe I could recover a bit. By 20 miles I was 1:20 off the pace but knew the last 3 miles were fast. Geoff was still holding about 2:30 ahead so his PB had to be on. At mile 21 I started to man-up a bit and really went for it. With 2 miles to go I had 4 mins left and while that is possible for some it was a big ask for me and I rolled in with 1:00:31 which I was very pleased with.
I saw Geoff in a lay-by ahead and we had a sit down on the grass fro 10 minutes to recover, the heat was intense but it helped deliver ours PB’s and I knew there would be some fast times today. Geoff smashed his PB and clocked 1:01:17 which may have been a candidate for best improver. We bumped into Ted at the end and he did a respectable 1:06:10 (no water bottle needed for Super Ted!)
No sign of Ben Hardisty and back at the HQ we saw he had got a start time so hopeful that he got a ride in the oven that was the Charlotteville 25
Ben Crick 1:00:31 – PB
Geoff Watson 1:01:17 PB
Ben Hardisty 1:05:21
Ted Boorman 1:06:10