We had such a good time on Saturday at the kids aquathlon that we have decided to do it all again on Saturday 13th October. Details and online entries available at https://www.entrycentral.com/kids_splash_and_dash Sign up before 11th August and you get an early bird discount!
Race report: Tenfoot Swim.
Bit different this one, earlier this year my Sister suggested we do the Tenfoot swim, a 5km sea swim from Tenby to Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire. So on Saturday morning there we were on Tenby North Beach with around 500 other swimmers ready for the off.
3,2,1….go! And the most polite, ordered mass start to a swim I’ve ever seen! I even received an apology for being crowded out on the beach. Very unlike IM events I’ve been to in the past, despite probably half the field sporting M.Dot tattoos and finisher t-shirts.
3 km in and it was out on to Monkstone beach for a check up. I had cramp by this point, probably as a result of flying back from India the day before, but otherwise feeling fine. A handful of Jelly babies and a stretch before diving in for the last 2k.
I felt good so pushed on, but disaster! 3 jelly fish stings to the face in quick succession severely hampered progress (most swimmers had the same experience….)
I arrived at the finish line in 2h 03 minutes and immediately joined the "vinegar queue" to get sting treatment. Apparently the hot weather bought a huge number of jellies in earlier than normal.
Never the less, thoroughly recommended and very friendly event with lots of things for support crew (A series of running events on Friday were really well organised and an after show party was really good)
Things I learnt:
1) A 5km sea swim after 13 hours on a plane is not sensible
2) A single jellyfish sting to the face can be tolerable, the third is excruciatingly painful, and very annoying.
3) if you forget to pack wetsuit glide, borrow some (see pikkie)
Aquabike event at Ripon
For me it was a most welcome return to racing …….without the inconvenience of the run section! Frustrated with a season of non competition I was recommended to try a new ( well to me anyway ) format called aquabike in which competitors complete the first 2 disciplines of a standard Tri event but finish at or near the bike dismount line. Great for athletes unable to contemplate a 10 km run for whatever reason and a format that is likely to appeal to a growing number of former full version athletes many of whom may by now have knees, backs, hips etc no longer suitable for a lengthy run.
I competed at Ripon racetrack which turned out to be a full weekend of excellent facilities, entertainment and a variety of event options for all ages and abilities. Glorious weather, great location and apart from the odd timing glitch was well organised and delivered. Burglar Bill would have been pleased too as the weekend included the north Yorkshire Police relays so “ Bobbies on the Beat” there were none!
1500 metre wet suit free 24 degree lake swim (attracted plenty of midges ) followed by an undulating country lanes ride meant I was back at T2 in good time having never been off the bigger chain ring. Perhaps a lack of competitive event swimming/cycling over the past 12 months may have temporarily blunted my race tempo. With a finish time of 1hr 49 min it was deemed acceptable but not eye-catching. However with a few more events to come later this season I am hopeful of rekindling the racing mojo!
It was a busy weekend for triathlons last weekend as Liz and I also raced so race report from Nottingham Sprint Tri.
The race was at the Holmepierpoint rowing lake, the same venue as the Outlaw Half but fortunately with much shorter distances. 750M swim round 2 buoys and back, 4 laps on the bike of a pan flat course round the lake, then a reverse lap of the lake running with a couple of slight undulations to avoid the bikes coming into transition and make up the distance.
Liz’s brother, sister and nieces and nephew came to watch and the venue is ideal for spectating with grandstand seating looking down on the transition areas and finish and you can see competitors all the way round the lake.
The race was split into 4 waves with each wave finishing before the next started which reduced congestion.
I lined up at the swim start with 200 other competitors. As the race was a European Age Group Qualifier for Glasgow I knew the competition would be fierce. I always dread the swim leg and try to start at the back and keep out of trouble. However with qualification places up for grabs I decided to get as close to the start as I dared. Lots of splashing arms and feet at the start but only got bumped a couple of times and the field started to spread out. Time to concentrate on stroke and try to keep up. I came out the water about half way down the field and after many nightmare swims in the past I can say I actually enjoyed the swim!
The bike leg was quite busy but everyone kept to the left and overtaking was easy. A couple of people overtook me but I don’t think they were in my age group so kept the effort up trying to catch up. On my 3rd lap a bike came flying by, the eventual winner lapping me, and I watched that smooth powerful style with envy. Into transition and saw loads of bikes racked so still some catching up to do. Out of transition Liz’s nephew cheered and called for a high 5 from the gantry which raised my spirits for what was going to be a hot and painful run.
The slight undulation felt like a mountain with tired quads from the bike but tried to keep driving. Fortunately the run is my strongest leg so I kept gaining places. Towards the end I had one more competitor in sight. He kept looking back to check on my progress. As the finish banner came into sight it was time for the sprint. The commentator explained to the crowd that a mad sprint for 169th place was because qualifications were at stake! My competitor had held just enough back to hold me off so I congratulated him and headed off for water to rehydrate.
That meant 6th place in my age category and a long wait to find if my time was fast enough to get a fastest loser “roll down” qualification place.
Liz had a great race finishing 3rd in her age category, David Fryer-Winder had a fast time but being in the first wave he had finished before we even arrived so we didn’t see him and we bumped into Nicky Dick now representing Peak Performance.
David Fryer-Winder 1:05:32 12th (20-24)
Jon 1:07:00 6th (55-59)
Liz 1:12:07 3rd(50-54)
Nicky Dick 1:19:42 10th (55-59)
Proud to wear my new High Peak Tri suit, great organisation at the event and great day out!
This event wasn’t a true relay for us guys unlike the elites. We were "tribes" and what bloody amazing "tribes" we were! From HPTC Garry, Lucas Jones and David Heathcote made up the men’s tribe whilst Caroline Pimblett, Nicola Longden and Courtney Beattie made up the girls tribe. I was part of another tribe for another club (I know I know I’m a traitor).
All members of the tribe set off together and each had to complete a 750m swim, 18km bike and 4.5km run. The total times for everyone within the tribe is then calculated to give you your tribe time.
The swim was in the river Trent and consisted of 1 lap upstream followed by down stream. The swim start was from the pontoon which we had to slide into the water and hold onto the edge ready to begin. I didn’t slide, I flopped, nearly drowned, got asked if I needed assistance by the marshall on the side and then missed the start of the race as I wasn’t ready at all!
The swim for me wasn’t ask quick as I had hoped however it wasn’t bad and I found myself a nice spot on the far left side by myself. The only encounter I had was around one of the buoys where I had to stick to my guns and not let 2 people swim over me.
The run exit was long…..too long for my liking but hey ho. I was ages in transition as always but my wetsuit didn’t come off as quick as normal.
The bike was 6 laps of a pan flat 3km course which had some deadly hairpin turns at either end. I am still shocked that I didn’t see one person fall off or be knocked off. The bike was uneventful for me apart from one bloke saying to me "remember to keep to the right buddy" as he passed me. Now I was on the right so you can only imagine my response!
It was lovely to see the rest of HPTC on the course and to get encouragement from them as they ALL lapped me but I don’t mind, I quite like my position at the back now I’ve got used to it. Into T2 and Dave was following me in, I thought about chasing him down and re over take him but I didn’t want to show him up.
The run was 3 laps of a 1.5km course over 2 bridges. The support from the crowd was amazing and definitely kept me going. At the end we were interviewed by various people (Nott’s TV, British Triathlon) and had photos with Rebecca Adlington and Louise Minchin.
It was a fantastic event, a fantastic day out and once again super proud to be part of HPTC.
Well another race report this time from the Deva Triathlon at Chester. Four triathletes from High Peak Tri Club competed in the standard distance race this Sunday. Myself, Liz, Lisa Cox and Simon Somerville.
Many of you may have done this race before but for those of you that haven’t, a brief course description. The swim leg takes place in the river Dee with 850m upstream then 650m downstream. The 40km bike course starts on closed roads through the city of Chester then undulates its way through the countryside before returning to Chester. The run course consists of 3 laps going over a suspension bridge over the river along a road through the meadows then back alongside the river, back over the old bridge then towards the finish then repeat.
The weather on race day was fantastic with wall to wall sunshine and water temperature at 15C.
The standard distance race race was split into 7 waves of around 100 people in each to reduce congestions with 15 minutes between. Oldest last meant a more relaxed start time of 9.30 for me.
So the swim started with a deep water start and as this race was a qualifier for the world age group championships there were plenty of fast swimmers. I kicked and splashed arms at the start to keep people away from me, which seemed to work, then did my best sprint start. After about 100m I was exhausted so had to slow down to recover as all the decent swimmers disappeared into the distance. As I swam upstream I felt strong surges of current against me and occasionally hit the ground with my hands. There is clearly a technique and some local knowledge to a fast swim on this course which I missed out on! After what seemed like age I reached the turn around buoy and headed back down stream trying to find people to slipstream.
Onto the bike leg and a twisty start with speed bumps to negotiate. Despite studying the map before hand I had no idea where I was on the course. The course was constantly changing gradient and terrain so no chance to settle into a rhythm. Eventually a coned section indicated we were back in the city. Had I pushed too hard on the bike or not hard enough only time would tell. As the coned section widened I stood out of the saddle to over take Louise Minchen (of TV triathlon and breakfast tv presentation fame (anyone read her triathlon book yet?)) and instantly felt cramp in my calf muscle. Would I still be able to run?
The run course was really crowded with previous waves on their various laps so lots of dodging around other runners. At the end of the first lap my legs were burning and the commentator announced here comes Jon on his second lap “looking as fresh as a daisy but probably not feeling like that himself”. How right he was that looks can be deceptive! Another two laps of agony to come. When I picked up my number at sign on, I noticed it had my first name in large letters which I thought was strange. However as I struggled through lap 2 and 3 instead of being “Johnny no mates” lots of the marshalls and spectators called out my name giving a real boost. Some kids at the end of the lap called for a high 5 so I obliged, great to see them enjoying watching the race. Through the finish at last, downed a can of coke (which is supposed to ward off any bugs ingested while swimming through the murky waters of the river Dee) find out how the others have got on and find somewhere to lie down and collapse.
It turned out Liz and Lisa had a really close race with Lisa declaring “the worst run of her life”and Liz just pipping her to the finish. I did not see Simon before or after the race and would be interested to hear his story.
Jon 2:21:21 6th (M55-59)
Liz 2:34:23 7th (F50-54)
Lisa 2:35:05 8th (F50-54)
Simon given DNS but 2:34:56 after swim bike?