Wow it’s been a busy few months for me working/training out in Mallorca with Real Fitness Triathlon Camps for 19 days totaling swim 12 miles, bike 850 miles and running 70 miles. This camp has set me up for the season and hopefully it will show in my results. Since I’ve been back it’s been non stop with working, racing and helping out at the Grantham Triathlon which was a super event to watch this year!!.
First race was the Slateman Triathlon soon to be shown on Channel 4 and Eurosport so look out for the OTCF RT kit to see if it gets on the Tele. Pre race I was hoping for a top 5 but when registering for the event I noticed the field was stacked with Ironman Pro Paul Hawkins, French based Stephen Skates and the Brownlee brother’s training partner Robert Bridges so I knew it was a strong field.
The swim was the full 1km this year as they somehow measured the water temp at 13 degrees Celsius (NO WAY). Helped by my Zone 3 wetsuit I got out the water in 11th which for me is OK as I’m always playing catch up after the swim . Onto the bike my new Claud Butler TT01 I started to move up a little getting up to 7th until a former work mate Joe Mercer from GMC Fire Service came flying past me in the last few miles on the bike to set the fastest bike split of the day. The run is tough – probably one of the hardest Triathlon Runs out there. Leaving T2 I was in 9th as another guy got out just in front of me however I managed to pass him within the first 400m of the run and switch my focus to Joe. Up up and up the slate quarry we went and as I moved up into 7th I got into a rhythm and managed to pick another guy off in the last 400m to finish in 6th overall and just 4 seconds outside the top 5!
Seven days later and I’m racing again at the Keyo Brigg Bomber having not run since Slateman as I’ve developed a niggling shin injury. The Keyo Brigg Bomber (Quadrathlon) put on by my local club Lincsquad is a cracking race involving a 4th discipline consisting of a 7km kayak as well as the usual swim, bike and run. This year it was also the European Championships as well as the British Championships so as it got closer I was telling myself it would be good to win it and should give it everything.
The field was probably as strong as it has ever been with Germans, Swedes, Danish and Irish all coming over to race.
I exited the swim in 3rd and I thought not bad but I was dreading the kayak leg as I’ve only kayaked 5 times in the last 20 months since I’ve been concentrating on Ironman racing and just don’t have the time to fit a 4th discipline in. I dropped down to position 5 and was 5 minute 30 seconds down on the leader Stefan Teichert (Germany).
Onto the bike and time to get to work – head down arse up push push and push on the Claud Butler TT01. I put in the fastest solo bike split of the day, moving up to 2nd place and to within 90 seconds of the leader.
Onto the run (normally my strongest section) my legs felt heavy and I started to think I’d pushed too hard on the bike but being the local lad everyone was so supportive and shouting at me “you’re 80 seconds behind him”. Out on Cadney Road as the road stretched out I could see the leader and the gap was now down to 45 seconds. At the drinks station 5km in it was 15 seconds and once I got level I knew the guys behind were a few minutes down so unless they was running like Mo Farah they wouldn’t catch us. I sat on Stefan’s shoulder for a bit for a recovery and listened to how he was breathing and it was definitely heavier than me.
At 7km I looked at him and made my move putting about 25m into him pretty quickly.
I ran hard for the next 60 seconds then looked behind again to see the gap had grown to over 100m. I clenched my fist and smiled as pre race I’d decided to try and win this race for my mate Chris Brown who tragically died when we was out training on the bike in Feb this year. I’d written him a message on a Lincsquad T shirt (see pic) and parked my car on the last few hundred metres of the course so I could quickly grab it out of the car if I was in the lead and take it across the finish. I should also mention Chris’s best mate Steve Beevers (a top bloke) was at the same time smashing the Edinburgh Marathon for Chris as well!!!!
Anyway with a tear in my eye I managed to win and take both the British and European Quadrathlon titles for 2013 and I just want to thank my local club Lincsquad for supporting me with my OTCF RT venture, My sponsors Claud Butler, Scott Running, Metres to Miles, Mcbride Physiotherapy, Pickering Cottage, Zone 3 wetsuits, North Lincs Council and my wife Emily (my number 1 fan) who comes to every race I do and even gets phone updates whilst in a church at a christening ;-).
Next race comes just 5 days after the Bomber racing for the Fire Service against all the other Emergency and Military services after which my training gears towards Challenge Roth in Germany (Ironman Distance)