Race Reports

Hastings Half Marathon 23/3/14

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As I had not done this race since 2005 I was a little apprehensive to say the least. My time then was 1hr 37 mins but now that I am in my late 60's I knew that I wasn't going to beat that!!! Although it was a respectable start time, 10.30 am, I was up early as usual and had my porridge like a good "boy". I left home about 8.00 and arrived at the designated car park with no problems at 9.00 giving me plenty of time to chill out before the start and of course my warm up, a walk to the loo and back!!
           

On arrival at the start, which was approximately 10 mins walk from the car park I met up with Kevin [James]. The weather was reasonably warm and dry with a slight wind, so was probably ideal running conditions. Just before we lined up Steve [Birchall] and Pippa [ Crouch] turned up.
             

Then it was gun time and there was no turning back! We all know Hastings is a hilly course but exactly how hilly I had forgotten as it was 9yrs ago the last time I did this race! Obviously another C.R.A.F.T. moment!!! The first 5 miles is basically up hill, so there is got to be a "down" somewhere!! The crowds were very encouraging along the way, which always helps, plenty of jelly babies being given out! Once I got to mile 7 I thought well there is only 6 miles to go!!
               

Dropping down out of Hastings Old town you then find yourself at mile 11 on the seafront and that always seems like a lot further than 2 miles to the finish! With just under a mile to go you can see the finish but it feels like someone keeps moving it further away!! I ran the whole way round and even had some left in the tank for those last two miles. With about half  a mile to go Jules Stuart- Colwill] came up alongside me and we were nip and tuck til just before this finish line when Jules had that extra bit in her tank and crossed over just before me, well done Jules!!
                 My race time was 2hrs 2 mins 36 secs
                 My personal time was 2hrs.1 min 48secs


Will I do it next year, maybe if I have another C.R.A.F.T. moment!!!

Burgess Hill Winter Classic

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Woke up Sunday morning to the wind blowing like mad and thought do I really need to be doing this ride!!

On arrival at Cyprus Hall Burgess Hill to sign on I found out that the ride would be 77.2 miles not the 75 miles I thought!!! Oh well what's a couple of extra miles!!

Unfortunately there was nobody else from MSTC doing the long ride so I was on my own!! There were a number of other like minded people doing the ride but all looked a lot younger than me! Anyway having signed on I started at 08.36 and headed out West through Ashurst, West Washington, West Chiltington, Billingshurst, Wisborough Green, Loxwood and onto Ellens Green, which was basically the turn round point.

I stopped very briefly to get my timing chip swiped and to refuel. The journey to here had been uneventful, although there was a lot of surface water in places at least it wasn't raining!! But the wind was just terrible which reduced the average speed somewhat!

After a few minutes at this stop I headed out on the return journey saying to myself "it's only another 35 miles" and if you looked at the map the right way up it was all down hill !!!!!! Who was I kidding!!!

The ride back went through Broadbridge Heath, Barn's Green, Southwater, West Grinstead, Ashurst, Partridge Green, Alborne, Hassocks, HurstpierPoint, Keymer and back to Burgess Hill to the Cyprus Hall.

Well it wasn't down hill coming back and the wind was bloody worse!!! But at least it didn't rain!!!

I arrived in one piece after a very tough ride. My timing chip time was 5hrs 14 mins 43 secs [the Gold Standard for my age group OAP was 5hrs 30 mins] so I was well pleased with that, especially as my actual riding time was 5hrs 7 mins on my computer.


Will I be back next year??? Of course I will!!!!
 
Del

Balcombe Bull Run?

The Balcombe Bull Run, a 7km cross-country run, is being held at 10.30am on Sunday 23rd March.  The event is being organised by Balcombe School PTA and Mid Sussex Triathlon Club.  It goes over the fields, paths, lanes and tracks of Balcombe Estate.  It is a fully marshalled event and refreshments are available in the school hall.
 
Here is a map of the course http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6141126
 
For application form and instructions for runners Click Here, and a flyer.  Adults are £8, juniors/U16 £5 (all runners must be over 12 on 31/8/14).  Race numbers should be collected on the day from registration in the school hall.  There is a maximum field of 150 runners, so apply early to avoid disappointment.
 
If you would like to help marshal on the day (between 9.30am and 11.30am) please get in touch with Mat Record at mcrecord@hotmail.com or 07811 325.  You'll get to wear a lovely flourescent jacket!
 
Mat Record
Race Director

Charity Donation

Rach will be handing over a cheque to Hazel tonight (2nd Jan) for the Hollyrood learning centre for £1,385.72.  This is the total sum raised last year from our club events.

 

Please all attend

Quintuple Ironman 2013 race report

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What is it?
5 x iron/day format.
Total of 19k swim, 900k bike & 211k run in 80hr40sec.

Where is it?
Monterrey, Nuevo León , Mexico, 18-22 Nov 13.

 

Monterrey was like I expected a Mexican city to be... colourful, but a bit crappy with lots of heavily armed police in big trucks. Even race site security had kevlar helmets and semi-automatics. There is quite a lot of drug related gang violence in Mexico.

Type in 'Monterrey deca' in Google and it comes up 'Monterrey decapitation'; last year 49 mutilated bodies were found in one of Monterrey's municipal parks. But most of the violence is gang-on-gang so I guess it's pretty safe... you just hope not to be caught up in any crossfire or that they don't take a dislike to your lycra bike shorts.

However, we found most of the locals to be charming. The race venue was Parque Espana where we swam in an open air 50m pool in wetsuits, and completed bike & run loops around the park.

 

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The bike course was very juddery; after day 1 I took to wearing 2 bike shorts to dampen the vibration.

The weather was variable, from 31'C in baking hot sun on day 1 down to 6'C on the last day. We also had thunderstorms and torrential rain. Strong winds on day 5 brought down a power line so that it was held up by a tree only feet above our heads on the bike course.

In Europe the race would have been suspended for H&S (half way through the final day) ... but I needn't have worried... this was Mexico; some park employees built some sort of gantry to raise the line higher above our heads while we continued to cycle underneath.

 

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Some people don't like the idea of short looped courses that are often a feature of ultra distance triathlons but there are benefits. You're never that far away from your support crew or medical attention if necessary. During the event you get to know the other competitors (double, triple, quin & deca) as you occasionally run and bike together, offering each other support or telling jokes.

I was able to witness the fascinating duel between Kamil Suran and Antal Voneki as they battled it out for title of IUTA (International Ultra Triathlon Association... governing body of ultra dist tris) World Champion 2013.  

They both came to the race with similar points so winning the continuous deca would be decisive. Half way through their 422k run they were still within 4k of each other!

  

 

 

 

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(Right: Kamil, taking a short nap during 422k run. Note ice bags)

By day 3 you've got yourself and support crew into a pattern. A daily routine of discomfort becomes your new 'reality' and acceptance of it is necessary. The discomfort (aka pain) and fatigue involved normally comes in waves, and it is vital to remain upbeat. Everybody was managing 'issues'.

Mine was a dodgy back; in March I had prolapsed a lumbar disc and torn another. That had severely disrupted my training and I had to miss 2 build up races over the summer. I owe a debt of gratitude to the pain specialist at the Nuffield. He scheduled a root nerve injection for me a couple of weeks before so that the optimum window of benefit would coincide with the race.

 

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Lugging my bike box and the long flight didn't help... the days before the race it was causing me pain again just to walk around town. During each swim I had to limit the power I put into the stroke to keep my back happy, but the juddery bike course was the worst part. Normally I enjoy the bike the most, but each day I couldn't wait to get to the marathon.

Note to self day 3: 'tell my wife not to let me do anymore of these races!

Completing these races would not have been possible without a lot of support. The ladies in the 24hr race kitchen would make you anything.... as long as it was Mexican.

My eldest son Ben was my race crew. He has crewed a few of these races for me. Ben did a fantastic job of looking after his Dad, and I couldn't have done the race without him.

As well monitoring/managing my hydration, nutrition and electrolyte intake he was always thinking of innovative ways to take care of me like putting sandwich bags of ice in my bike jersey back pockets to keep me cool or duct taping a bag of ice into a neck scarf for the run. We also had a great time hanging out in Mexico before and after the race.

 

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The last 5k of the run on day 5 produced my fastest run splits as I was just so excited about the

prospect of finishing... finally. I had forgotten my day 3 'note to self' and was already thinking about the next challenge...?


Ultra distance triathlon is not going to be everybody's cup of tea but recommended if you think you'd enjoy small intimate races with great camaraderie and the opportunity to explore your personal mental and physical endurance. You don't have to be fast; you just need to keep moving.

My back is a lot happier now that I've stopped provoking it. 

 

 

 

See the 'World Cup Ultra Triathlon Mexico' Facebook page for more photos.

Follow this link to a video of Johns 5 days of Ironman

http://youtu.be/dvEzIZhy828

 

John Liebers