An Epic 100 Mile Ride For Shooting Star Chase

The sound of the rain woke me up on Sunday morning at 02:30am and instantly remembering that I had a 100 mile ride ahead of me with a 1650m climb, it was not a good start!

Feeling anxious but excited, I got ready for my big day in time for my lift that was waiting for me. At 3:50am as we drove to the Olympic park I could see that the roads were busy with people making their way home from their night out! As well as being filled with all the other overly keen riders making their way to the start line on their bikes in the pouring rain from Wandsworth!

My start time was 06:32am and I arrived ahead of schedule at 05:15am to register and take my position. Filled with a mix of excitement and anticipation from the atmosphere that was buzzing with the Jam blasting out at the start liAnnie on bikene…

We were all ready to go!

I headed out towards Chiswick Bridge and as I cycled, I felt myself being dragged along by the other riders who were cycling so much faster than I seemed to be.  The speed that they were going was terrifying, but I held my nerve and kept pedalling.  As I cycled through Richmond Park the feeling of bliss came over me as there were no cars, just the warmth of the  gorgeous sunshine which shone on me and in the far distance I could see  a stream of cyclists making their way up Sawyer’s hill towards Richmond. As I rode towards Kingston I was delighted to hear the cheers by the Shooting Star supporters encouraging us to keep on going. A quick pit stop at a fellow contender’s house  then off towards the Surrey hills via Weybridge, Pyrford and Ripley. My energy levels were kept high with the supply of protein bars that I managed to keep nibbling on at every opportunity.

Once I reached West Horsley I felt a sense of relief as I was in familiar territory but I knew Newlands Corner was just ahead! Feeling confident that I could do it, I zoomed up the hill followed with a fast downhill glide.

I was 48 miles in to the ride and as other cyclists were still zooming past me, a feeling of frustration came over me as my legs were feeling tired and I struggled to keep up. I knew the mammoth Leith hill climb was ahead but I was super cautious and held back in case a rider decided to stop suddenly. I was determined not to walk the hill which would have been extremely painful and hard work pushing a bike up a 9% uphill! I found the strength and pushed through. The decent down to Westcott and Dorking was amazing and the feeling that I had managed to get over it was fabulous.

Box hill 2.2K was my next challenge and to conquer the zigzag road to the top, however once again, I cycled with all the strength that I had and was rewarded by the breath-taking view of Surrey. With 80 miles completed and knowing I only had 20 miles left to get to the finish line I held on to that thought.

The crowds were growing and the support was increasing as I rode through Leatherhead, where once again I could hear the cheering from the Shooting Star supporters, this helped me to get through to Oxshott, Esher and Kingston.

94 miles in, I reached Wimbledon hill. The crowd, once again there to cheers us all on and the sound of them was amazing which motivated me to complete Wimbledon hill, the steepest of all the hills which was deceiving at 4% gradient and 700m, but with all my determination and the last bit of energy I had, I cycled up to the top.

6 miles to go, I pedalled furiously, wanting to get to the finishing line. I flew down Putney Hill down the high street, over Putney Bridge, Chelsea embankment, Mill bank, past Big Ben heading down the Mall and managed the final 300m sprint to the finish. It was all over.

A smile across my face, a feeling of relief! I had done it.

It was all worth it. I have raised over £1,000 and I hope more will be added to the total.

Annie and medal

Thank you to all my supporters who donated to Shooting Star Chase and to all those in the crowd that lined the streets cheering us all on. I couldn’t have done it without your support.

If you would like to make a donation, there is still time please click on the link