Margaret Wright memorial road race

Well, approximately 2 weeks ago I decided to have a go at my first ever ladies road race. For me personally, racing in the Margaret Wright memorial race was close to my heart and so it seemed fitting to make it my first. I was extremely nervous and not really sure what to expect.

37 ladies rolled out for a neutralized mile or so then and then the flag dropped and off we all went. The pace was manageable and I was sat in the middle of the pack, concentrating hard, watching everyone around me and getting the feel of moving and changing positions within the group.

Then after almost a lap, the dreaded hill was fast approaching and I gave it everything but everybody was overtaking me from all directions. All I could think about was ‘where is the top of the hill?’ My legs were screaming at me, and that was only lap 1 of 6.

Lap 2 was more of the same but on lap 3 I and a small group of ladies lost touch with the leading group. We all fought hard, working together, and eventually after 3 miles we got back onto the lead group. The HWCC marshals were cheering me on which I really needed and appreciated. I was really starting to breath heavily and had to dig deep to hang on with the leaders. I decided to change my tactics for the next climb (get me talking like a pro road racer!).

On Lap 4 I started to move up the group and got more confident maneuvering in and out of the group. I overtook the leaders and it felt great for about 10 second as I attacked the dreaded hill again. Then, within the blink of an eye, I was being over taken and I lost touch with the leaders. My legs were on fire. I tried so hard to catch them I was holding a TT pace but I started to struggle. I was alone for a while but then a few other ladies caught me and we worked together to complete 2 more laps and then, yes, the finish line was in my sights.

I remember seeing and hearing a few HWCC supporters shouting my name as I crossed the line. I was very emotional as I know Margaret would have been cheering me on too. I don’t know where I finished overall but it was hard work and great fun. I might even do another race next year.

Thanks to all of the helpers and for your support.

Dena Ford