Monday, November 28, 2011

THE LAST RIDER - by Steph Hanlon

Being chosen to be the last rider for an amazing team was an honour and a privilege.

After months of fundraising, working hard, organising, getting sponsorships and training, for me it all came down to the final laps of the big race. Our team's goal was 350 laps and we were sitting at 344 with about 20 minutes to go.

Ali hopped out of the trike, I very quickly jumped in and the pit crew fitted the new camel pack into the trike. Slowly rolling through pit lane watching the other bikes zooming past, the adrenalin was building and the nerves disappeared. There was a clear break on the track and I went for it. This was the final chance to achieve our goal. It was the final chance for all teams to put in their best ride and oh my gosh was it fast!

There were some very close calls on the track. People were cutting corners and riding like there was no one else on the track. I had to ride like every lap was my last. I had just 20 minutes to seal our teams goal of 350 laps. I knew I could do it. After the second lap I could feel my muscles screaming but I just had to keep on pushing and pushing to fly past the bikes in front of me.

Each lap (1.3km) seemed linger and harder as we all rode faster and faster. When the official waved the checkered flag, I didn't know how many laps I had ridden. I had given all that I could give. I just hoped that it was enough.

After the lap of honour my team gathered around the trike and drowned me in water. They then proceeded to pick up and carry the trike with me in it back to pits!

It felt amazing to finish such a big race with such a great team supporting me every step of the way. WE DID IT with one lap to spare. 351 laps, in total 456.3 km. Cant wait till next year!!!

Thanks no only to the team, but to our wonderfully supportive teachers, Mrs Arci and Mr Ratcliffe. We couldn't have done it without them.

Steph Hanlon

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