National Masters Track Championships Newport, South Wales June 2013
I’ve done ‘coming out’, and going back in and now for trying a ‘comeback’!
I quite like defying the rules or at least pushing the boundaries a bit so when I showed up at the velodrome track last October after a 10 year ‘no show’ I got a resounding ‘what’s this then - you making a comeback?’ Mmmm turned into a maybe and then into an entry for the Masters. Whilst looking for motivation and picking up on Olympic legacy talk I got very excited about the idea of training to be the Fastest Grandma in the World (well at least over 500m that is), David Walliams has already put Gangsta Grandmas on the map, others have done Grandma’s Recipes, Grandmas on the Camino, Grandma vs Zombies, so looks like there is space for Glyn - the fastest grandma in the world. This weekend was the first milestone of that journey. In fact is was the marriage of me and my new bike and following the rules at this stage the something old is my bottom bracket and crank set, the something’s new are my Dolan Forza frame and aero helmet, something borrowed are all the tips from ‘trackie’ friends, coach and Victoria Pendleton herself, and the something blue are my shoes, shame because they don’t match anything else!
So how did we do?
The first measure was the flying 200m event – wind up the speed over 2 laps and then eye balls out for the final 200m. I came fourth in the 45+ age group and Jeanette my future team sprint partner came third. So this is a seeding process for the next event which is match sprinting. There are heats working our way through quarter finals, semi- finals and finals. The fastest woman gets to ride against the slowest, and the next fastest rides against the next slowest…….and Jeanette got to ride against me. For one moment those 14 years difference in age doesn’t matter because I have to believe I can win. I didn’t but I enjoyed trying.
Then the ‘losers’ get a second chance to make it back into the fray in a repechage – I won. So now I’m the slowest in the quarter final I get to ride against the fastest – you guessed, I lost and seed number 2 and 3 race it out to remain in the same position leaving me a final chance of pushing out Jeanette for the bronze. I didn’t but again it was fun trying.
Day 1 done and dusted. Jeanette got a nice bronze medal to dress up her new skinsuit and I was pleased with how I managed myself in that competitive environment (never a personal strength before). We signed on at 9.30am and 5 races latter left at 7.30pm. Got be tough, got be strong.
Day 2 didn’t have the best start – got lost on the way to the velodrome so me and mechanic had a little bit of tension between us. Moving on now to one of the purest tests of speed on a bike – just me, my bike and an electronic start gate.
We were cosy for all of 25 seconds when the bleep of 5-4-3-2- to go tells me – 1 out of the saddle and then GO with every sinew serving the purpose.
See what I mean about the shoes but just look at that muscle definition. Twice round the boards hugging that black line as close as possible and over the finish line to complete 500m in 42.192 secs.
Not a brilliant time but good enough to top the other five women in the 50+ age group and a few much younger ones too.
Next stop World Masters in October – all I got to do now is lose 2.5secs to be the fastest grandma in the world – this year!