My first time trial awaited and it’s safe to say I was a little nervous! I’ve done plenty of 5K and 10K runs over the years, so I was expecting some pain!

First challenge: finding the course. Newcomers beware! The start line is easy to find but the sign-in is a short trek away. Coming from Shankhouse, head towards Bedlington road but, before you go under the dual carriageway, turn left onto it (A192 West) then take the right at East Horton. I may have eaten a 10 minute late start penalty for my sins. Lesson learnt!

Now onto the start! Thanks Anne and Tom for meeting me and cheering off the starting line and down the road into the A189 north! The course itself was straightforward: 2 laps going up to Woodhorn and back, finishing just shy of the Three Horseshoes roundabout. The beautiful sunny day hid a very cheeky crosswind as soon as you get exposed to open fields and rivers. The cars mostly observed social distancing, which I always appreciate. Truth be told, I got a bigger fright hearing the speed machines coming past with their disc wheels. The field was full of some excellent riders! Of the 93 starters, 53 finished under 1 hour, with the winner coming in sub-49!

My initial fears of a meltdown proved unfounded, I finished in a respectable 1:06:45 (+10 minutes taking me to 1:16:45). Overall, it was a great experience, everyone was really friendly (thanks to the Muckle CC rider who showed me the sign-in), the sun was out and I loved every second of it! If you’re ever interested in time-trialling, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Onto the next one!

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