Ballot, biking and longer-term goals

Posted on: 04 May 2018

Last chance for those of you who are planning on entering the ballot as it closes today at 5pm. Naturally, I’ve entered again, more in hope than expectation, as I’d like to finally end this run of eight consecutive failures in the ballot.

Ever since I took part in 2010 - the first Virgin-sponsored event - I’ve always felt that I had some unfinished business with the London marathon as my cramp-ridden experience wasn’t really the London that I wanted it to be. Just one more time I’d like to have a go - the aim being to get round by running the course non-stop. A sub-4 might be beyond me, it would all very much depend on how the body held up to training.

Those of you who have followed my blog for some time will know that in more recent years my focus has been on road cycling. Last weekend I took part in the Church Hill Challenge consisting of a ride of just over 75 miles with one of the most ridiculous climbing ascents I’ve ever tried to take on at around the halfway point.

It would be fair to say that the climb was that steep that my front wheel was actually lifting off the ground. More practice on technique when tackling those 20%+ gradient climbs required I think.

I actually managed to do the bulk of the climb until a very tired wobbling cyclist started veerring to the right forcing me towards the wall on the climb, meaning I had to put my foot down. Once you’ve stopped there’s no way you’re getting going again on a climb of that gradient.

I had to walk up to next next relatively flat bit of the hill in order to remount and finish the climb. For added measure the course took in the old Horseshoe Pass, which those of you who are familiar with that particular part of North Wales will know it is not for the faint-hearted.

It’s early days in the cycling season but the climbing training now ramps up for me, with everything all geared toward the late August Wild Wales Challenge - the very event I missed last year because I forgot my cycling shoes! Hopefully some kinder weather comes our way over the next few months as there hasn’t been much dry weather riding going on round this way and my ‘summer’ bike has been largely inactive.

As a long-term goal if I don’t manage to get a place in the London Marathon in the next few years I think I’d like to set my sight on L’Etape du Tour, the event that takes in a gruelling stage of the Tour de France. In terms of difficulty I’m pretty sure that it would have to be right up there with running a marathon or perhaps even tackling an ultra.

Mid-week I made it along to Anfield where they were screening the Roma v Liverpool game. Thankfully the result went the right way (just!). If I set off on the bike now for Kiev I might just make it in time for the final. 

 

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