Ben completed the 50 miles around the demonically agressive hills and single track roads that made up the Tour de Lauder this weekend. He was joined by James and Simon who are friends since their days growing up in Haddington. The trio did remarkably well considering their group training had been sporadic- Ben and James squeezed in two training rides before the event and we only met Simon for the pre-race strategy beer on Thursday.
The story of the Tour de Lauder is a teary yet inspirational one, I only learned the history by listening to Rosy Cully’s pre-ride speech. Steve Cully was an amazingly fit man who was police officer and was on the Royal Protection detail, to give you an idea of his fitness, he competed in the Marathon des Sables which is ‘ultra-marathon’ or ‘ultra’ run in six days over a course of between 150 and 156 (254km) miles and he finished. He died of a sudden heart attack at just 41. Leaving Rosy and two young children.
Two of his friends decided to organise a small cycle ride in his honour and donate any proceeds to the Steve Cully Tribute fund at Chest Heart Stroke Scotland, before they knew it word had spread and almost 100 cyclists wanted to take part in the 2012 ride. It was a smashing success and they raised 17,000 pounds in Steve Cully’s honour.
This was year two of the Tour de Lauder and there were 270 registered riders who had the choice between 50 miles or 86 miles ending on the Col de Stow- a hill with a 15% grade.
It was an especially nice day sunshine and blue skies. There was a bit of wind, but according to Ben, it did not bother them too much. Ben, Simon and James completed the 50 mile ride in 3 hours 51 minutes, with an average pace of 13.5 miles per hour and a top speed of 40 mph.
I went as a volunteer and had the pleasure of meeting many of the cyclists at the check-in table- I will always be strong support of anyone with numbers 1-70! Sarah joined me out on the course where we helped at the first water stop- they do it right, the Lady Bakers of Lauder- I am unsure if this is a real organisation, but in my opinion they should band together, all the refuelling snacks were homemade and donated for this event- I have never seen such baked-goods variety. For a healthier option there were 600 bananas and orange wedges. Sarah and I opted for the bananas.
The people of Lauder were unbelievable- Sarah and I were driven around by Carol the event organiser and she was funny and friendly. There were some scary moments on the narrow roads, but we made it back to the ‘chateau’, unfortunately, we missed the finish or our team- they were too fast. There has already been chatter about trying it again next spring and maybe even tackling the 86 miles.
Tour de Lauder- we will be back!
Complete photo set can be found here.
I am hoping by posting this, I am reinvigorated for my upcoming three weeks away.
In parallel to my working, I need to get some serious running done, I am registered for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon on April 14. My friend Reia (of Paris semi-marathon fame) will be popping to EDI for a few days to make memories and run- hopefully in that order.
According to Runkeeper, Reia is crushing her training, while I am just about smushing mine with my pinky toe (read, not running enough). As I travel from Mexico to Colombia to Chile to Brazil to India, these hotel gyms and I are going to get to know each other- watch out treadmills- I have a halfie to accomplish!
I have signed up for another triathlon. For those of you who do not keep up with my athletic pursuits, I completed a mini-triathalon in September 2010 with my friend Sarah Sherman. Since then I have been trying to find another event which will challenge me and keep me heading towards my fitness goals (not clearly defined).
On September 9, I will be partaking in the Haddington Sprint Triathlon, sponsored by the East Lothian Triathlon Club. Here is the breakdown:
Swim: 750 meters- which I must complete in 25 minutes- it is a pool swim, so 30 lengths of a 25 meter pool.
Bike: 19 km- so excited to have a road bike this time (I did my mini with a mountain bike).
As usual Ben will be my support crew. His Aunt Mary and Uncle Colin will be visiting that weekend, but I am a less is more kind of person when it comes to fan support, also family does not let family see me in bicycle shorts!