Race Reports

Bala Standard Distance

/media/22095/Bala.JPG

I arrived on the Saturday afternoon to register having travelled for nearly 5hrs and when i looked at THAT lake i said to myself " why the hell are you doing this again" !!! Maybe they will cancel the swim and turn it into a duathlon!  I stopped moaning to myself [something you do when you get older!] and went and found my B & B.

After a very fitful night's sleep i had a bowl of porridge and cycled down to the race start at about 08.00. On arrival in transition i looked out at the "lake" and it was like a mill pond, not a ripple in sight!! No wind, blue sky and reasonably warm. I thought this looks good!!!

By the time the first wave set off at 09.30 the sky had begun to cloud over and the wind had picked up a little and the water was no longer FLAT!! Well by the time my wave, the last, went off the wind was whipping down through the valley and the water was covered in "white horses" and it was really choppy. Within 100m the wind got worse and the waves got bigger!! I thought if i swallow enough water i might just empty the lake and run round the course!!! I continued to struggle through the water and eventually i could see the exit pontoon but the nightmare is not over yet as the last 15 or so metres is so shallow you almost have to crawl as you can't stand and walk because it's really rocky!

With a helping hand i was up onto the pontoon and running into T1 which went without too much trouble. Although it was cloudy it was fairly warm, unlike last year, so i didn't need a long sleeve top on for the ride and i was soon out onto the out and back undulating bike course on closed roads. The first half was into a strong head wind, so it was difficult to get a good speed going but i did manage to overtake a few riders. The return section, although undulating, was a lot faster, so i was soon heading back towards T2.

This transition went without a hitch and i began the run, which is an out and back undulating course on pavements. Although the wind was bad the run went very well and i even managed negative splits. By the time i crossed the finish line the wind was howling and the sky had really darkened but i did manage to return to my B&B before it rained!!

 

                       2012 Result                   2011 Result

swim 1500m   45mins 45 secs              52mins 1 sec
T1                 2mins 59secs                6mins 16secs
bike 40k        1hr 16 mins 43 secs       1hr 20mins 14secs
T2                 1min 11secs                  1min 35secs
run 10k          52mins 31secs             55mins 9secs
 
overall time 2hrs 59mins 11secs        3hrs 15mins 17secs
 

As you can see i improved my time from last year in all three disciplines, so i was really pleased.
                     

Bachuss - Wine & Jelly babies

/media/21990/Bachuss.jpg

Jeans Report

What a fantastic time I had, could not have enjoyed it anymore. Having all those familiar and friendly faces on the start line definitely made it more of a social fun run.

13 miles seem to fly past, maybe it was the continual talking! dancing at the water stops or just the wine!! whatever it was I was disappointed when we got to the finish.

Mile 2   First taste of white wine, Trevor's eyes lit up at all the Power Gels and started to fill his pockets.

Mile 6   Brought a queue for the toilets and welcome sponges, supplied by an old gentleman having the time of his life, sponging down all the ladies!!

Mile 10  Brought extra wine tasting - a water fight with me and Kay - Two courgettes! carried by Trevor and Jules (have you cooked them yet?) and a lovely picture of Claire skipping off into the distance.

Mile 13  MSTC competitiveness kicked in and there was a dash for the finish or it just could have been the tea, coffee, cake, fruit, Bar b q and more wine supplied at the end, so we greedily put back all the calories we had lost.

Bring it on again next year:)

Trev's Report
I'd just like to mention the pumpkins ... I was first competitor over the line carrying a pumpkin!

I also managed to eat more crisps , pretzels and jelly babies than anyone! And despite a valiant attempt from Jim I won the competition to earn the entry fee back by collecting as many gels as possible , even managing to store some inside Roses sports bra !

Also the MSTC medics at mile 12 ... Steve pumping that poor woman full of gels until she vomited!

And it was Roses first half marathon!

 

JulesReport
The "courgettes" are actually the size of small pumpkins rather than the sort you find in Sainsbury's!

Definitely the most fun I have ever, and I'm sure will ever, have on a half marathon. I echo Jean's sentiments when I actually got quite sad At mile 9 when I realised there were only 3 miles left!

I think the quantity of wine increased each stop due to realising that there were fewer and fewer people following us :-D

Clairs Report
Sunny 'Skippy' Sunday
I went to bed on Saturday night and slept soundly. On Sunday it was a perfect day, I left with my printed out map of the bike route to get to Denbies and met Jean on route.

Cycling to an event has to be the way to go, no problems with nerves. The route was great and Jean and I enjoyed the bike ride so much, it was more of a concern that my map reading skills - while cycling - would get us there (which they did). It was a beautiful scenic route and didn't feel like the 30 miles at all. We got to see the Olympic rings on the heights of Box Hill as we made our final road towards the Vinyard.

On arrival at Denbies, which was so lush-green and beautiful we were surrounded by runners dressed up to the nines! I liked the runners dressed up as vineyard grapes - by the time the run was done their balloons as had deflated with the heat of the sun pounding down on them and every so often a few would bang as the balloons burst with all the friction created.

It was Such a relief to be back in the swing of things, again. It really didnt feel like 13 miles. I was pretty certain that post injury that I would run 4 and walk the rest. I ran and skipped a very decent 12 plus miles. Meeting up with Fiona, Jo, Sharon, Graeme, Steve, Kay, Jim, Helen, Juls and of course Trevor and Rose was superb.

We had an enormous amount of fun, we chatted, danced and stopped of course at every feed-drink station to make sure that we were hydrated, re grouped and then we all ran on again. I did quite a lot of skipping ... I found that too much sugar does make for a very skippidy hoppidy me - thank goodness I didnt have any wine !

This event was really well organised, lovely marshalls and a really good event to be part of - sometimes running for fun, chatting with friends and enjoying the scenic view has to be a founditory reason for all the training that is done in the year. They provided a great post BBQ, music and the atmosphere was fantastic. I would definitely do this again, be more organised and dress up and would cycle back next time too.

Jim's Report
A great day for a PW (personal worst finish time).
Brilliant fun race with fancy dressing, wine, sunshine, friends and great scenery.
Felt like it was the South of France running beside vinyards in blazing heat.
Had the rare privelage to run with (and chat to) the race leader (eventual winner) for a couple of miles. Jonathan Ratcliffe had lapped me and I had no trouble keeping up with him for a while seeing as his legs were 13 miles more tired than mine. Jonathan is a 2:45 marathoner and won this event in 3:11, which shows how tough the course was with hills and half-drunk half-marathoners to negotiate.
Not for the first time, my competitive wife sprinted past me on the finish and beat me by a couple of seconds.

Sharons Report

Best half marathon I have ever done & best of all I achieved a PW (Personal Worse) - also the first time I have ever finished a run feeling a little bit tipsy (lightweight - I obviously don't get out much).

I've just checked the pics on the website & it's the first time I'm smiling while running - he! He! The scenery was fantastic and it was great to just stroll up the hills exercising the jaws from all the chatting

Also needs to be said on the race report that Steve was "chicked" at the finish post by at least a second - lol xx
 

Steve's Report

What a great race and my kind of nutrition plan more wine than you can drink and more jelly babies than you can eat a great social run except for the last 5 meters when the girls got a bit competitive :) think this will have to be a club run for next year.

Place Time Name
48 01:56:44 Fiona Bussell
138 02:14:54 Joanna Rendall
193 02:23:38 Helen Graham
194 02:23:40 James Graham
242 02:30:06 Graeme Fitzjohn
509 03:19:08 Claire Cresswell
562 03:43:56 Sharon Chladek
563 03:43:57 Kay McMenamin
564 03:43:57 Jean Fish
565 03:43:57 Steve McMenamin
567 03:44:05 Rose Ryan
568 03:44:05 Trevor Moore
0 03:43 Jules - times missing

 

 

 

LEJOG - 2012

/media/21937/LEJOG.jpg

Land's End to John o' Groats is the traversal of the whole length of the island of Great Britain between two extremities; in the southwest and northeast. The traditional distance by road is approx 900 miles.

The five - Brad Williams, Dave Ricketts, Ian Anderson, Steve Alden and Mark Jordan are going to try to complete the journey in 9 days - indeed they have to because Dave Ricketts is booked to perform surgery on the 10th day and has his flight booked from Wick to Gatwick.

LEJOG might be a common and well trodden path but it will be  real challenge to the five.  

The planned route is to pedal just under 100 miles each day. Amazingly, Emma Alden is driving the support wagon for the entire journey; what a star!!!!  

They are raising money for Help for Heroes andy have set up a website for sponsorship/donations click here

There will be a daily post on this club website to keep you informed.

 

I should have the route up here soon so you could pop out and join in for a day.

BRAT Standard Triathlon

/media/21920/BRAT2012.jpg

5:30am - Race day starts at a hotel in Coventry where my first concious effort is to down the pint of sports drink placed next to the bed, closely followed by two hob-nob cereal bars (chocolate covered), a banana, and more fluid. It's the breakfast of champions. 

6:00am - I'm on the road getting increasingly nervous (and tetchy) but somehow navigate my way safely to the venue where it all starts to go quite badly wrong. I get out the car and promptly turn my ankle on a large lump in the ground, then to help me get over it the valve on my front wheel shears off as I put the pump on it - to put it in context, it is now 6:55am, race brief is in 15mins, and my wave has to be in the water in 25mins - my kit is not yet in transition, and my water bottles still need filling. 

Much swearing ensues and my (long suffering) wife sorts out the water bottles and my race belt whilst I flap big style and change the front inner tube. 7:06am - wheel changed but I am flapping even more as I think I pinched the inner tune when I put the tyre back on - It is pumped up and appears sound but I still flap like a good 'un. I dare not check the pressure on the back wheel - it was 110 last night - that will have to do. 

7:10am I get my kit into transition and roughly laid out. A quick sprint to the race briefing where I use the time profitably to get into my wetsuit and pray I heard all the important bits. I race back to transition to check the layout of my kit and do some last minute prep. I look at my watch and it is saying 7:25am - I should be in the water now!!!!! A quick sprint and I am at the water where I literally have enough time to let some water into the front of my suit and we are into the 30second countdown. 

The horn goes and we're off. I reckon it's 350m before I  man up and deal with the cold water on my face, but from then on all I can think about is whether I pinched the inner tube and am I going back to a flat front tyre. My mind is nothing if not focused! I try to practice all my drills to be hydrodynamic, and exit the water in 31mins - a PB (thank you Mark). Up the hill to transition pulling off my wetsuit as I go, at the bike my drills are a little slow but and I exit without further mishap.

I quickly get passed by one guy on a swanky looking bike, but he applies the brakes going down a hill shortly afterwards (pussy) so I pile on the gears and fly past him. Onwards we go and I quickly start passing the faster swimmers. I know I am pushing hard as my legs are feeling the burn after 5 miles, but I am having a great time hunting down those in front of me.

Into my second loop it starts to rain, but as anyone who has been cycling this summer will know - it is just part of your Sunday morning ride. I am now a little worried about the run as the course is primarily on grass and it could be a little slippery, but I am on a flying lap and stop worrying too much. All the marshals are awesome and manage the traffic to allow the bikes to exit junctions without danger - I shout my thanks to as many as I can.

Back into transition, where my wife (and fellow triathlon widows) are cheering hard. I look at my watch and realise I have done 40km in about 1:07 - ANOTHER PB!!! My goal for the whole event was sub 2:45:00 and I am well ahead of that target. Good drills follow and I am out and running (slight embellishment there - more of a fast shoe shuffle) on the four laps of a flat (Ha!!) course. What they failed to mention was the 50ft tall berm you have to climb/descend on each lap, but like a good boy I keep running (unlike some).

By the time I get to the final lap, I have been needing the loo for some time (drank too much lake water), and when the kidney pain sets in I debate the pros and cons of peeing on the run or darting behind a container - decency prevails and I lose 45seconds and 600mls - a quick dash to the finish and it is all over: 2:31:29. It's not every day you take 38mins off your PB and finish in the top half of the field (just)! 

My post stretch reward is copious amounts of fluid and a bacon buttie - nutritionally dubious but well received nevertheless. 

Lots of lessons learnt about prior preparation and planning - but all in all a very successful day out. 

Andy Lennox

ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Champs

/media/21909/Jim G powerman.jpg

There were more than a dozen GB age groupers and we forged a pretty good team spirit. We met up for the race briefing and enjoyed the pasta party together. Most of us warmed up together at race start and spent the event giving each other high-fives plus cheers of encouragement.

Great award ceremony and dinner on race night. British girl narrowly beaten into second place in the professional category. A few podium finishes for GB age groupers, including Coventry triathlon legend Steve Howes (4 times Kona qualifier plus channel swimming buddy with Steve Mac and Jamie Goodhead).

Summary
Very Scenic tough hilly run/bike/run 10k/150k/30k.
This is THE Long Course Duathlon. Highly recommended. Terrific organisation (imagine Challenge Roth without the swim or the flat bits). As difficult as running/cycling Ditchling Beacon constantly for 8 hours or so.

Location
Easy 1 hour train journey from Zurich airpost. My hotel in Old Town Zofingen was 5 mins walk from train station and 5 mins walk from race start. Beautiful cobbled streets and pretty Swiss buildings like in a fairy story.Didn't have to cycle on the cobbled streets, fortunately.

Race
Gorgeous cycle up and down big hills with cows grazing beside Alpine Chalets. Some challenging sharp turns 30+mph but well marshalled and no traffic to speak of. Some flat-out TT aero sections for good measure. Insanely steep for running. Walked up and sprinted down every hill. Lots of people burned out running up the hills and were spent by the end, but I kept to HR zones and finished nice and strong.

Finished about 20-30 mins quicker than I predicted and came 6th in my ITU Age Group category. If I had been 3 months older, I would have taken bronze!!!!!!!

Results
I am delighted with my 8:06 and being top GBR athlete in my category on the day.
However, if Loz Wintergold had not pulled out with a knee injury then he would have finished some way in front no doubt.


See video clip
http://www.videoportal.sf.tv/video?id=adab32e3-97e9-414e-950b-4ff87ac19784

 

The male professional winner's speech got a bit awkward when he revealed the depth of his rivalry with the third place man. Throws darts at a picture of his rival to motivate in training. Read out a spiteful Tweet where the third place man falsely accused him of doping. The organisers cut his speech short when the world number one duathlete revealed he was learning to swim and intended competing in triathlon.

Lucy Gossage won silver as she represented the GE Great Britain Team at the prestigious Zofingen ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Switzerland  https://www.britishtriathlon.org/news/silver-success-for-gossage-at-european-championships_2259
 
Gossage said: "I'm very pleased to finish second on what is definitely the hardest course I have raced. I was certainly not prepared for the true brutality of the runs! Eva had an incredible race and thoroughly deserved the win. I'm sure I'll go back one day now that I know what to expect!"
 
The men's race was won by Joerie Vansteelant of Belgium. Britain's Matt Moorhouse was 21st in a time of 7:47.26.
 
The GE Great Britain Age-Group Team celebrated more medals with Dominic Rohan-Gates (M25-29) and Nikalas Cook (M35-39) winning gold and Steven Howes (M50-54) adding a silver medal.

by Jim Graham