New Forest Rattler
It was a great day, really well organised with minimal queuing for registration, toilets etc.
Myself and Joe arrived about 7:30 and it was already pretty busy, you can camp there if you want.
We registered and got our timing chip and route card and some sweets and an energy drink. We did look to get some of the porridge but it wasn't ready so we went without, Luckily we had both had a good breakfast.
There was a bit a queue to actually get started as they send you off in small groups every few minutes, but it helped build the excitement. Thanks to the timing chip your time starts and finishes as you cross the line.
We had read that it was a nice flat course, so were quite surprised by the few hills we encountered very early on, could have done with a few miles to warm up. Overall it is a flat course, but there are a few hills to keep you interested.
The course is very well signposted with both routes, the 47 mile and the 82 miles courses starting off together.
After about 20 miles there is a feed station with water, powder to make up an energy drink, flapjack and bananas. All very well received.
It was a very hot day so I should have taken more water, I started to feel it a bit towards the end. I was also feeling uncomfortable in the saddle but tried to keep going, when I did stop for a break and stretch it made a massive difference, I wish I had listened to my body more.
2 miles from the finish is Blissford Hill a 25% gradient, which is not nice anywhere let alone after 45 miles.
Here's a link to a video of someone else making it up it. Blissford Hill
Joe made it up in one go, I didn't, my foot slipped and I was heading towards a ditch so I bailed out.
To make matters worse there is a photographer half way up.
It is not a race but there are timing standards. We were aiming for Bronze which is between 3 hours 20 and 3 hours 40. We smashed it in a time of 3 hours 38, well chuffed. Joe did have to drag me along for the last quarter.
Next year I would like to go for the Silver time, under 3 hours 20, but Joe is talking about doing the 82 miler!