Ben Hardisty writes…
Kent CA 100
On our new Strava club discussion forum Ben Houston had suggested the Kent CA 100. As usual I always try to squeeze one in during the season, checked the diary, and duly sent off my entry. Unfortunately we couldn’t persuade Mike to enter, so it was just Ben and myself up for the challenge.
The Q100 course was a new one for me. With HQ near Ashford, the course looped back and forth to Ashford a couple of times before dropping down onto the Romney Marsh at Hamstreet at about the 20 mile point. The course then looped twice around the flat plain in an anticlockwise direction along some lovely back roads, picking up Appledore, Rye, East Guldeford, Brookland, back to East Guldeford, Camber, Lydd, Brenzett and on to the second loop.
A dinner party the previous evening, a long drive back home, watching England lose to Italy, then 2 hours sleep was not the ideal preparation. But having checked the relatively flat route profile I thought I might get a PB for my efforts so was determined to ride.
I put in a solid stint for the first 40-50 miles with/against the wind and I was thinking I am on for a best time. But out on the flatter part of the course there is little cover and when I turned again into the NE wind, it was much harder work than I expected and my pace dropped. 10-15 miles later all thoughts of a PB had gone. But at about 75 miles I upped my pace again and pushed as hard as I dared, passing a few stragglers on the way. On the course there were plenty of support cars, cheering on all riders not just their own, which was uplifting.
Finally into the wind again for the last 10-15 miles or so and I was now really struggling, no matter which way the road turned I couldn’t seem to escape it. On the final 3 to 4 miles back to Hamstreet to the finish line I was treading in water. But I crossed the line and I could banish last years nightmare 100 from the memory.
Three riders from the Velorefined Aerosmiths took the top three places (Tye/Meilak/Barnes all under 4 hours) and four riders from Thornton RC took the bottom four places, with Ben and I somewhere in between. Ben was using this event as preparation for his Ironman event in Austria.
Many thanks to the Kent CA for a well run event, marshalls on all corners, of which there were many. Someone did pass me asking if I had gone wrong, but it was obviously him, but no idea how he had managed it. On a float day this would be a very fast course.
Strava track http://www.strava.com/activities/153808069