Jessica Willis


I am a mother of one and work as a part time Admin Assistant. I’ve always been a great spectator of sport and love watching live events but I never actually took any sport up. After the birth of my son I had four stone to lose which I did with a combination of eating healthy from scratch and running. My husband always used to laugh that I would watch track and road cycling and even volunteering at events like the Olympics and Tour of Britain but I’d never actually been near a bike since I was sixteen. So after being assured that the course is flat I hope to be there starting the 60k distance.

Event Update

On the morning of the event I was excited and thankful it was not raining! I didn't eat the best of breakfasts and instead munched on a muffin to fuel me, not my best idea. Meeting Victoria Pendleton was lovey, she was very enthusiastic  about female cycling and seemed to be enjoying her retirement.

The cycle itself want great apart from that first hill. I didn't quite realise how steep it was so overcooked the first half and then my chain fell off so I ended up walking up the second half. Once this monster of a hill was out the way I managed to keep a steady pace for the remainder. I found I was a pretty good descender and okay on rolling hills but terrible at steep ones. On the flats I enjoyed chatting with the fellow cyclists and ended up having some really good conversations. It was good to see a really diverse mix of ages and different bikes from carbon road bikes to mountain bikes. When I eventually came in I was pretty happy with how it went especially considering I didn't even own a bike when this stared! The organisation of the event was fantastic and the feed stations were particularly welcoming with very friendly Marshalls. I will be doing this event again next year as I enjoyed it so much. 

August Update 

What a difference a month makes. I finally got over my viral infection and I have a got a new bike!

After struggling on my husband’s bike I decided to get my own. Nothing too flashy or expensive but a good standard road bike that is three sizes smaller! Now I can actually reach the brakes, my confidence has gone up and I’m suddenly not so scared of the descents. Talk of descents, with an average elevation gain of around 1000ft every ride hills are something I have had to get used to very quickly. I commuted home the other day and although it was only 10 miles, the elevation of over 1,500ft really took the wind out of me.  Though I think Spatone has been helping me maintain my energy levels which are necessary as I need every bit of energy available for the hills.

In terms of the event, I’m really looking forward to it. Cycling can be a bit solitary so the thought of cycling around company really appeals. Plus the elevation of 562m seems to be what I'm used to now although I don't fully welcome it.

Jessica's July Update

There is always going to be a week or two in anyone's training that you have to simply write off and for me its this month. Training at the beginning started well I was up to around 15 miles and was beginning to time myself and the chat with Emma went really well. My diet isn't too bad and just needed a bit of fine tuning more than anything but the whole experience was very useful. I even managed to overtake a fellow cyclist for the first time. Admittedly the person I overtook was a young lad who was riding a mountain bike while swigging from a can of beer, but I'm still counting it.

After an amazing holiday in Scotland where I also managed to watch the Commonwealth games live I have picked up a very persistent chest infection so even some kind of cross-training is out. Once I have gotten over this I will be a few steps back from where I was. Luckily I have a way to go, if this had happened with only a couple of weeks to go it would have been a disaster. I might take this time to learn how to change a tyre and I am embarrassed to say, I still haven't a clue.

June Update

So far its been all about getting used to riding a road bike. Its amazing how quickly I've picked it up again and how quickly I've gotten used to zipping down hills (I was very scared the first few times) As I've acquired my road bike from my husband I took the bike into my local bike shop and they advised that while the bike is a frame size too big, for an entry level bike I can 'get away with it'. The shop are now going to fit a female saddle and fit a smaller bit to bring the handlebars nearer. The most I've ridden so far is ten miles so I have a while to go to get to 60km. While the Spatone has more or less the same taste as other brands of liquid Iron I have tried, its more watery texture does make it a lot easier to drink it.

Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.