Anna Mei Sets New 12- and 24-hour Track Records
|Anna Mei, WUCA member #8206
|September 10, 2011 at 0915
|September 10, 2011 at 0915
|September 10, 2011 at 2115
|September 11, 2011 at 0915
|12 hours, 00 minutes
|24 hours, 00 minutes
|Outdoor Track at Roberto Battaglia Outdoor Velodrome, Busto Garolfo, Italy
|Frugeri Ottaviano, Francesco Guarneri, Filippini Alberto
By Anna Mei
Edited By Wendell Hyink
My name is Anna Mei, I’m an Italian biker. The weather conditions were, for summer time in Italy, a bit cool and humid. The record started with 25 degrees (77F). During the day it was a little bit windy and hot, more than 30 degrees (86F). At night, we had a wonderful full moon and the temperature was good, not frigid, but between 14 and 18 degrees (57 and 64F).
I began ultracycling competition only two years ago, when I decided to change from mountain to road bike racing. I have done many mountain bike 24hr races and had good results: Italian jersey three times, and world age group jersey twice. My real dream, however, has always been RAAM. I always felt that I was a better biker on the road than off road. I feel better on skinny wheels. So it was easy for me to start with the Italian 24hr Montello cup.
One year ago, perhaps for destiny, I did a 24hr ride on the road bike for charity. I became acquainted with this terrible skin disease called epidermiolysis bullosa, meeting Mattia for the first time. I will never forget Mattia’s eyes. The organizer of the charity ride found a sponsor who would contribute one euro per km which I rode for the children with this illness. It was an amazing experience.
It was then that I decided to try breaking a world record on a track, making lots and lots of loops while wearing a helmet with a butterfy as a logo for the sick children. This would be a good way to inform people about epidermiolysis bullosa. So I started training and dreaming about it. Mattia and his mother were so happy, as was I. This record was for him because he needs a voice: epidermiolysis bullosa is a very rare genetic disease, with disfiguring skin lesions, and medical knowledge about it is only in its infancy. For more information visit DEBRA (The Dystrophic Epidermiolysis Bullosa Research Association of America) at http://www.debra.org/ By breaking this record, I really believe we have done something important. Sponsors gave me, for Mattia, three euro for each km I rode. It was a thrill to give Mattia a big big check.
I used the usual bike clothes, track helmet, and a Frugeri bike.
With regards to nutrition, early in the morning, three hours before the start, I had a portion of Italian pasta, with olive oil and parmesan cheese: my carbohydrate load up. During the record, as I told previously, it was hot, so I had lots of fruits, watermelon, peaches, grana padano cheese, and a wonderful lemon ice cream, which I’ll never forget!!! At about 2pm, I had a bit of chicken salad and pasta salad. Dinner was a wonderful minestrone: mixed vegetables with potatoes and meat. I drank about 12 liters of fluids: water, sometimes coke, tonic water, or orange juice.
The best part of the race was when I broke the 12hr record. I was strong and feeling fabulous. My average was 32km/hr (about 20mph) and I could have been faster, but I knew I still had 12hr to go. At that moment I was quite sure I would also break the 24hr record. The hardest part of the race was the km between the 500 and 600. They seemed endless and the time seemed to stand still. I had back pain and a sore knee, but we were very close to 700km. As I approached the 24 hour record, everybody started to celebrate, while I was still on my bike, going slower, but going: a wonderful sensation!!!