“I’m extremely excited to be taking part in this year’s Chase the Sun”, here Mimi explains why:
Trying to keep ourselves motivated to train in the winter months isn’t easy in normal times but with events being cancelled for the next few months, motivation to keep training is even tougher. Like many of us I’m used to a diary booked up with races or adventures, things to look forward to and train for. Some days getting out of the house to go for a training session is hard and I have to admit that on occasions I really don’t want to do it but I force myself out knowing after a few minutes on my bike I’m in my happy place. It’s very easy not to sign up for something “just in case” it doesn’t happen, but my fingers are firmly crossed that come June things will feel a little more normal.
I first heard of Chase the Sun three years ago when a couple of people I knew took part and loved it, Chase the Sun rides are all non-competitive with no rules or route-signs, timings or medals – a good old fashion event. A choice of three route locations, each ride is approximately 200 miles in length.
I had signed up in 2020, determined that I would do it but sadly, along with everything else in the calendar that year it was cancelled due to the world wide pandemic. So 2021 arrives and as soon as entries to Chase the Sun opened I signed up for the UK South ride route and immediately booked my accommodation, now I finally had something in my diary, time to get training!
CYCLING AND ME
Cycling has only been part of my life since 2018. I come from a running endurance background and have been lucky enough to run all over the world for over 20 years taking part in events such as MdS, Jungle Ultra, 6633 Arctic Ultra (352 miles) Spartathlon (153 miles), Badwater (135 miles), a run across South Africa plus many others. I specialised in running ultra distances; in 2008 I broke the female world record for running from John O’Groats to Land’s End; in 2012 I set a new female word record for running the length of Ireland and stupidly have even broken a world record for running on a treadmill for seven days (never to be repeated!). In 2017 I attempted to run across the USA to break a World Record but had to stop after running for 40 days and 2,215 miles due to a knee injury which devastatingly bought an end to my running career. After giving myself time to recover both physically and mentally a friend suggested that I took part in an event cycling LEJOG in 2018, I loved it and I haven’t stop cycling since!
THE CHASE THE SUN CHALLENGE
I’m extremely excited for many reasons to be taking part in this year’s Chase the Sun.
– Firstly the distance, 205 miles is a very long way! The furthest I have cycled in one go to date is 300km in an Audax event, so I know I can do the distance but will need to work on a bit of speed to beat the sunset in Burnham-on-Sea!
– The idea of cycling from coast to coast chasing the sun on two wheels is very appealing.
– Being unsupported makes it even more of a challenge. We will have to navigate our own way along the route using GPS devices as the route is unmarked. Managing ourselves is very important, making sure we eat, drink and if necessary take short breaks (we are allowed to stop at shops along the route to buy food and drinks). This is helped as there is a designated lunch venue where riders have to sign-in and here we can also replenish our supplies then it’s on to the finish.
– Although there is a time limit to try and beat sun-set Chase the Sun isn’t a race, it’s a journey, this is what I love about cycling. On journeys you meet so many likeminded people, travel through some beautiful places, have amazing experiences and learn so many things about yourself, I can’t wait.
Sylvia (my bike) and I have already started our journey/training. This is divided between sessions inside on my turbo and sessions outside, it all depends on the weather (I don’t particularly enjoy training outside when it’s very cold and icy!). As the weeks, months go on I will up my distances and hopefully come 19th June I will be fit and ready to join all the other riders on our journey to Chase the Sun.