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Posted on 14 April 2016

Looking back to Blenheim


I'm Isabel Hastie and I am writing a series of blogs in the lead up to the Brompton World Championship Final. I thought in the lead up to the eleventh Brompton World Championship Final that I would share my memories from my very first Brompton World Championship race back in 2012 at Blenheim.

The day of the World Championship came around, a baking hot day in August, and the race time was set for around midday. We were ushered to our starting pens where our Bromptons were folded. I stood nervously and waited for the sound of the starting pistol. BANG!  I ran to my bike, and I suddenly noticed my legs had turned to jelly. I got to my bike and tried to unfold it, something I’d done almost every day for the previous couple of years, and I suddenly found myself struggling. I was nervous and nothing worked! I finally managed to unfold my bike, although I was one of the last out from my group. I got on my Brompton, and just rode, legs a little jelly like, but the nerves were slowly disappearing as I thought of the ride ahead.

Photo credit: Nick Hussey and Vulpine Photography

Thoughts that my nerves had killed my chances ran into my head, but as I rode I found myself overtaking most of the others from my starting pen, and then by the time I got around the first lap, I was pretty sure I’d passed most of the girls from my group, and then suddenly I heard my other half shout ‘C’mon Issy, you’re the first girl! You would have thought this would give me extra motivation, but at this point I was exhausted, and I knew a long climb was just ahead. As I rode up it I saw that some other competitors had got off their bike and were walking up the hill, and I said to myself that I was going to get off and join them. But the thought it would just drag the race out for longer made me repeat to myself, ‘it will be over soon, it will be over soon, just do it’. I slowed, I felt tired, and I maybe didn’t push myself as hard as I could have. Finally I got to the top of the hill, the drag was over and I knew it was a long descent from there, followed by a very slight incline to the finish. I used the final downhill section to recover a little and catch my breath. Suddenly the finish line was at last in sight, and I just wanted it all to be over, I finally went through the finishing line and crashed out on the floor. 

It was a good few hours until they announced the winning times, then I found out my position, I’d come third! That meant a place on the podium and a prize! Wooooohooo! This was all a very new experience for me, and the crowd and competitors all made the day a fantastic experience. I’d set out what I thought to, and hoped I could, achieve: a place on the podium!