There's nothing like a 3.30am wake up call to get the blood pumping and the mind racing as to what the day will bring. Ok that's a slight exaggeration - there's nothing like a 3.30am wake up call to wake you up!
Yesterday certainly started early, but with a 5.00am start for the 100km Gold Coast Cycle Challenge at Southbank, we had to allow ourselves plenty of time to be fed, watered and transported to the starting line.
Pity my poor travel companions though - I started at 5 and they started at 6.15, so they had a bit of waiting around to do!
If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, you'll know that this ride was close to my heart - one of the main recipients was Diabetes Aust (Qld) and I have been fundraising for the ride with my nephew Noah as my inspiration.
As a result of my efforts, and my fabulous friends and family, I succeeded in being one of the top ten fundraisers and was allocated a pole position start. I was chuffed at the time, but even more excited when I discovered that the Green Team would be joined this year by a number of the Brisbane Lions players. Michael Voss, their coach, is married to Donna, who has diabetes and they were there to show their support.
I was very excited to see a number of players who I recognised at the starting line, including Vossy, Jonathan Brown, Simon Black, Jamie Charman, Daniel Merrett, Daniel Rich and I think Jack Redden. There were a couple of other young ones who I recognised but couldn't place a name against.
Anyway...the ride started at 5.20 and I stayed with the 30+ km/hr riders for about 2km before I made a pact with myself to finish, which I wasn't sure I could do if I tried to maintain their pace (I usually sit at about 25km/hr). So I worked at about that pace for the rest of the ride. Starting at the front can be quite daunting - I got passed a lot, as there were two more waves of riders who rode faster than me! Usually I'm the fastest of the slow riders, not the slowest of the fast.
Won't go on too much about the ride, suffice it to say that the new setup on my bike handled like a dream (it was like riding a new bike!) and I was lucky enough to meet a lovely young fellow who pushed me to maintain 30km/hr for a good 20k. When he slotted in behind me for a draught he called out, "this is a great pace mate, mind if I tail you?" think he must have gotten a shock when I called him forward for a draught to find I was a woman!
Had a great 100k - met some lovely characters, finished in 3.45.15 and did not get caught by hubby who started almost an hour after me. In fact if you look at the onboard computers, I think you'll find I beat his time by that much (fingers about a cm apart!) Just jokes Bren - I know you're much faster than that!
At the end I enjoyed the hospitality of the Diabetes Qld crew - a few cool waters, a lovely, invigorating massage and a few words with Simon and Daniel and a photo for posterity. It's a great ice breaker when you walk up, shake their hand and thank them for riding for the cause.
To all of my mates who kicked in their hard earned cash, I thank you for your support - I couldn't have done it without you. And to those of you who live with diabetes everyday, I will continue to put my legs on the line to raise much needed funds so someday we may find a cure.