By Ron Gordon
AMI BURNS, of the Gosport Branch of the Submariners Association, has completed the Etape Loch Ness Bike Race in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Etape Loch Ness is a bike race around the circumference of Loch Ness, which is 66 miles (105km) in total.
In addition to the distance, it also includes an elevation gain (uphill) of 3,789ft (1,155m) across the ride.
Ami was one of over 5,500 participants in the race. Four four days prior to the event, she was taken unwell and did not think that she would even be able to make the 1,250 mile round trip to
Inverness, never mind the cycle ride.
But she did not want to let her sponsors down, so Ami very slowly made her way to Inverness over three days, instead of the planned two, in the hope that she would feel well enough to at least attempt the race.
On the A9, car after car had cycles on the roof and on bike racks; it felt like a mini pilgrimage. This, combined with the beautiful Scottish countryside as a backdrop, lifted her spirits.
The following is a summary of the ride in Ami’s own words:
“A VERY early start, getting in some porridge and mustered at the start line. The weather was perfect for cycling with high cloud cover and little wind.
“The race is wonderful, as all of the roads are closed off, so you really have the space to enjoy the sights. The scenery was absolutely spectacular, with 360 degree views of Loch Ness.
“The mountain (which appears at almost exactly half way) was a killer. I admit, I had to walk for some parts of the ascent up the mountain) but I never stopped.
“A wonderful touch was at the top of the ‘King of the Mountain’. They had a lone piper playing the bagpipes, which was wonderful. After that it was all downhill, for at least 10km).
“Light rain appeared after about three hours. Apparently I managed a ‘sprint finish’. My support team said I went past the finish so quickly they couldn’t get the camera out fast enough for a picture.
“My official time the ride is 5 hours 34 minutes (with two rehydration/nutrition stops my actual cycling time was 4 hrs 59 minutes).
“My overall position was 3,643 of over 5,500 and I was 540th female out of over 1,500. I was just happy to finish!
“I have raised over £700 for Macmillan Cancer care.”
If you would like to donate to Ami’s charity, please click on the following link.
Ami is a Nuclear Marine Engineer Officer in Submarines and lives in Gosport with her cat, Cilla.