OK, here goes - never done a write up before but I had to for this one in order to thank Jon Hollidge for putting up with me last weekend (when he already had rather a lot on his plate as team mechanic in Kitzbuhel.)
I managed Tonbridge tri a while back and decided that this was going to be the year of speedy transitions as I’ve never really thought about quick transitions and always wondered how (and why) on earth some people manage to put their shoes on whilst cycling.
This seemed like a good idea at the time and a real challenge.I knew I was in good hands with Debbie , the true 70.3 "pro" and Kim , not quite a virgin at this distance , but a top club athlete who has kept me company through many of the long runs and cycle rides.
A very early but smooth start on the Thursday got us into Aarhus ( the city of beautiful people , divine food and stunning countryside) and settled by 12 noon for a snooze then bike unpacking and tweaking (something "bicycle mechanic Mortleman"usually does for me in return for small favours!)
There were only 3 of us from the club on the start line – after the race had to be changed; injuries and conflicts – but this shouldn’t belie the effort made on behalf of each of the 3 of us. Ashburnham is a very pretty location but a tough course – hilly bike and hilly, windy off road run. Dave Truman started with a back injury and having been told by Doctor and coach not to do the run. Sarah Jones was doing her 3rd ever attempt at the distance after a good result in Mallorca 70.3 – and I was doing my third middle distance/half IM in 3 weeks.
A massive thank you to all those who came on the Shirkers 'Pilgrims Way' ride to Ashford last Friday. It was a fantastic day - great company, glorious weather, beautiful lanes and a good lunch stop ! I will plan to do it again next year - perhaps it will become a Shirkers pilgrimage?!
As well as the Triathlon at Ashford last Sunday there was another event going on that Charlie did despite suffering with a sore backside, here is his take on it -
"You may not be aware that there was also a “Premier League” event that day – the Brett Ashford Aquabike (aka “Crock-athon”). This gave me the opportunity to beat Neil Harris by about half an hour……
Seal Rec 9:30, Godden Green 9:35 (not calling at Chaser), Charcott, Chiddingstone Hoath, Fordcombe, Groombridge, Frant Lakes, Lamberhurst, Brenchley, Yalding, Plaxtol, Seal Rec. Expected average pace between 15 - 16 mph. Route - undulating. Distance approx 50 miles. 30 mins stop at Frant Lakes.
Grafman BTF National Champs - June 8th V IM UK 70.3 – Wimbleball June 15th
Interesting experience to do back to back middles ( half Ironman for the pumped up name) – one in sunny Cambridgeshire (Grafman) and the other in sunny Exmoor (Wimbleball). The former was rolling and fast and the latter was all hills ( except the water which was over populated as 1700 competitors).
A few club members were in action at the ‘Grafman’ National Middle distance champs (1.9km/90km/21km) including our very own swim coach Tom Macklin. Amazing performance by Jane who won her AG with an incredible time of 5hrs 10 and also to Tom for showing real grit to complete the full distance with little training and carrying a very painful knee injury. The event was made even more difficult by the relentless heat on the run. Respect to everyone who finished. A really well organised event held in a beautiful location. Steve
|4th||Neil Harris||2-08-09||1st M30-34|
|5th||Sam Begg||2-08-57||1st M20-24|
|12th||Cath Linney||2-20-15||2nd lady/1st F45-49|
|16th||Olly Hatfield||2-23-37||4th M40-44|
|19th||Sam Bennett||2-25-54||6th M40-44|
|26th||Mike Turner||2-29-37||2nd M50-54|
Another top turn out from 7oaks with 16 out of 31 riders.
A special mention to Janice Bailey for going under 30 mins for the first time for 10 miles. An excellent ride from Martin Brown in his build up to the 24 hour TT while Anthony Sizer continues to produce fast times on his road bike while his TT bike is temporarily out of action.
Next Thursday it's a completely different type of course - hilly and 21 miles.
7oaks Tri - 195, Sydenham Wheelers - 160 and GS Avanti - 91
Swim 3.8K/ Cycle 180K/ Run 44K (yes not 42K)
This Rat Race event was widely advertised in the Tri press with claims to be one of the hardest triathlons; surely just hype? The race comprised of 3 different event options: a full triathlon as 1 day (117 starters) or 2 day (13 starters) options and a duathlon (32 starters). After competing in the Helvellyn Triathlon last September this seemed a logical step up and it couldn’t be that hard could it?
Great to see a select band of club members go to the British Sprint Championships in May to pit their skills against some of the best age-group short course specialists in the country and come away with some medals. Cath Linney continues to show the speed in the water, and on the bike with a quick pair of feet to gain a bronze medal in what is a very competitive age-group amongst the women. Ben Cockburn who often mixes with the elites in Duathlon produced an excellent performance but couldn’t quite make the podium despite using his bike and run strengths.
We struggled a bit for points tonight and Sydenham have closed the gap to just 32 points. Let's have a bumper 7Oaks turn out this Thursday down at East Peckham to widen the gap again.
Current points - 7Oaks Tri 169, Sydenham Wheelers 137 and GS Avanti 65.
Last Sunday was the European Cross Triathlon Championship in Sardinia. My first ever Xterra triathlon! 1,500m swim, 30k mountain bike and 10k run.
Wow! What an experience.
25 degrees heat, the water was 16 degrees. A beach start (~300 men and women together) and two laps with a 50m run on the beach before returning to the water for the second lap. I have never swam in such clear water. Super choppy so it was about 200m before I saw the first (piddly) bouy. The bouy turns were super busy and a bit weird to look down and see a frog-person underneath taking photos!
This was a brand new race and impecably well organised with over 6,000 entrants.Having entered a few months ago , I immediately discovered that Sunday 9th was the day of the 3uptt and was very miffed. However , the half was great training for our 70.3 Aaghus (Denmark) race in June (so Kim and I kept saying)
We were reminded of our mission with weekly chirpy emails, then daily even chirpier messages by the race organisers , and received our time chipped numbers and tear off bag label by post.
The race start was at the Guildford Stadium.
Nathan Marsh came in 6th in the Junior Aquathlon and was the first triathlete in for the South East in The PruHealth World Triathlon Junior Section on Saturday 31st in Hyde Park, London. Times of 9.13 for the 750 swim and 17.20 for the 5k run.
If you're getting into longer distance cycling this is certainly a ride to pencil in your diaries for next year. Stunning route and brilliantly organised by Evans cycles ; it sets off from their headquarters in Crawley and you have a single loop 55m or double 110m choice , with an opt out clause half way if not feeling good or too slow to make the 2nd lap cut off time of 12 noon.
Meet at Seal Rec - 9.30, Godden Green - 9.35 and Chaser Inn - 10.00. Expected pace +15 mph average and total cycling time around 2:30 plus 30 mins Cafe stop. Neil leads.