The TOTH took place on Sunday 8 August – the 39th time our club has staged the event. Overall, it was a great success despite the weather, thanks to the superb response from club members who volunteered as checkpoint marshals and in the hall and kitchen.
We had 133 web entries and 4 on the day, plus 5 entries to the Greensand ride. Of the 137 who signed up to TOTH, 111 actually started and 93 completed the course. Bad weather, punctures and terribly wet and mucky roads probably accounted for the drop-outs. Thankfully, there were no reported incidents or accidents.
Entry numbers were a bit lower than in 2019, the last year we did TOTH. We were slightly later in starting to advertise the event this year (due to uncertainties around Covid) and the poor weather forecast probably deterred some potential final-week entrants from signing up. As of 24 July – 2 weeks prior to the event, when decisions need to be made regarding brevet card orders – we had 77 entries.
It’s hard to know how/if Covid affected take-up. Maybe some were put off by attending a mass event, but then others might have been keen to enter as this was one of the first opportunities to do so since lockdown.
We set the entry price at £10 (up from £8 in 2019), and £15 for on the day entries. The majority (60%) of entrants were not members of Audax or CUK, and they pay an additional £3 for temporary insurance. 37 of the entrants (just over a quarter) were Audax UK members.
The first rider to complete the course was Frank Bauer at 4 hours 21 mins (average speed just under 27kmph). The last two riders came in at a more sedate 8 hours 20 mins. Two WSCC regulars – Paul Taylor and Pat Daffarn – were amongst the riders.