Tom Glandfield rewrote the Lewes Wanderers record books by recording an incredible mileage of 267.6 miles in the National 12-Hour Championship run over a testing Essex course on Sunday.
The long-standing club record for the distance was set in 1991 by the late Matthew Rabbetts, who notched up an impressive distance of 259.6 miles.
Tom had been striving to crack the record for the last three years and was on target last year until he was forced to retire due to over ambitious pacing for the first 100 miles. This year, he used this experience over the gruelling distance to adopt a more sensible pacing strategy (though some might question if 58 minutes for first 25 miles is a particularly conservative start) and managed to complete his epic 12-hour adventure without stopping. Tom finished 8th overall, a magnificent achievement in the face of some fierce completion from some of the premier long distance riders in the country. Tom has marked a line in the sand and several Lewes riders will be striving to grab the record from him at the forthcoming Kent 12, notably Audax legend Paul Gibbons who is at the peak of fitness after his three-day 1000-mile adventure.
Several Wanderers opted for slightly shorter rides at the weekend, though slightly shorter than they had anticipated. For many years riders have been grumbling about the pockmarked state of the road around the Boship and were delighted to see significant improvement in the road surface. However, the irony of the situation was not lost on the riders as an unexpected roadwork’s flotilla arrived early on Saturday morning to resurface a stretch of the course scheduled for the10-mile event. Rather than cancel the programme organiser Stuart Davis of Eastbourne made the inspired decision to run a prologue style race over a shortened 4.9-mile course. With a shorter distance, one might envisage that the race would be easier, not quite so, as the pain is dished out in a more intense dose as riders explode from the blocks in an eye-popping five-mile sprint. Lewes Nick Dwyer was the master of this explosive event covering the distance in a flying time of 8:47.
The diligent road patchers meant that the scheduled Sunday 25-mile course had to be curtailed to a unique 13.9-mile distance, the novelty of the distance meaning that every rider would set a PB on the day. Steve Kane reversed Saturday’s result by setting a time of 29:18, edging out Nick Dwyer by an eight second margin. Dwyer teamed up with Phil Allen (30:07) and Rob Rollings (31:13) to claim the team prize. Other Lewes times on the day were Stuart Kirkham (34:02), your correspondent (34:42), Oliver Tuckley (35:16) and Stephen Gaston (35:17).
The combined result of the two weekend races saw Steve Kane and Nick Dwyer sharing top spot with identical aggregate times, with the fast improving Phil Allen grabbing the third podium spot.
More details of this ride and other club activities can be found at the website www.leweswanderers.co.uk
Above: Tom Glandfield National 12-Hour. This picture by Ferg Muir.