Race Report :: Daniel Hallett :: Dartford and White Oak 2018

After an early wake up, met Keith at 05.30 who kindly offered to car share, loaded up his van and off to Swanley.

We arrived in good time, about 06.30, headed to registration and signed on.

The nice lady asked ‘how long do you estimate your swim time will be’ ?

Giving an approximate time she handed me an 07.30 start which was great, especially on hearing Keiths answer to the same question!!!!

After making a complete hash of the HBT across the board, this time I paced myself.

Though not fast, completed the 400 mtrs / 12 lengths swim without incident and left the pool pleased with the way I got into a rhythm and stuck with it.

Into T1 ….  quick dry off, race belt on (I remembered this time!), shoes, helmet and off to the exit.

Was nice to have Alex encouraging me even if I did head out though the ‘in’ gate – quickly rectified and back on course.

The bike leg was a pleasant ‘undulating’ route through town and country. At on point I saw a cyclist in front and made them a target to catch – this almost took me off course….

The cyclist was a ‘local’ out for a Sunday spin and in chasing the down, I nearly missed a right turn, thankfully the Marshal noticed what I was up too and put me straight.

Back to T2, bike racked, helmet off, footwear change and off to the run.

The run started on road uphill to Swanley Park.

It was a nice run, twice around the park mostly on gravel paths with a small section though a wooded area.

Back down the hill, along the road and to the finish.

On crossing the finish line, you receive you medal and then the choice of water or beer.

Ok so it was alcohol free Erdinger, but it was still nice.

There was a great atmosphere and from comments made everyone enjoyed the event ..

Now looking forward to Leeds Castle ..

ATC Team were, Keith, Olivia, Lee, Aisling, Sally Dee and of course me….

Race Report :: Tristam Burgess :: World Triathlon Leeds 2018

The weekend of June the 9th and 10th saw the ITU World Triathlon Series come to Leeds for the third year. This year, the BTF held their standard distance championship at Leeds, and selected the same event as a qualifier for next years ETU European age group standard distance championship.

With all of these factors present, this race was set to be a serious one. When racking the bike the evening before, I realised just how big this event actually was – It was huge! On the morning of the race, even though I felt like I had arrived in the middle of the night, I really hadn’t given myself enough time to set up. I only remembered my goggles as I was putting my bag in the bag drop.

Fog had seriously reduced visibility, so the organisers took a cautious move to reduce the swim to just the 750m sprint/elite lap for all the men’s championship waves. I was a bit disappointed as I had prepared for a full swim, but was also somewhat relieved.

In the water and the horn sounds.

Turns out they don’t count down or say “get ready”, they just blow a horn and you go. And go I did. I positioned well in the swim early, which meant no fisticuffs, well, not until the “queue” to get up the ramp.

Out of the water and over the timing mat in 14:15. Transition felt like a mile away. I counted the racks and found my bike straight away! That was my first challenge completed. Another long run towards the mount line and I was finally out of T1 in 5:04.

As I ran round the corner to mount my bike, the guy in front fell over (a lot of the competitors had opted to don their shoes in transition in fear or the uphill mount). This forced me outside of the cones, where I was free to jump on my bike and continue up the hill and out on to the closed roads towards Headingley and back, twice, to complete the 36.2km route. After a great bike leg, I removed my feet from my shoes and dismounted as smoothly as I had mounted and my bike was done in 1:05:53.

I counted the racks again and found my trainers. Second challenge completed. Out of T2 in 2:16.

All that was left was a 10km run into and around town. With burning quads and slight confusion over where I was going, I made it onto the blue carpet to finish under the ITU banner, completing the run in 39:39 and finishing the whole event in 2:07:06, just inside the 120% required to qualify for Europe.

Race Report :: Terry Foreman :: Outlaw Half May 2018

A Half Hearted Affair

So there I was on a glorious sunny Saturday cruising north (ok crawling through the A14 roadworks), heading for the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, ready to put all that hard earned virtual training to good use (it is the planning to do the training that counts…right?…).

First stop the campsite next to the centre and having set up my luxury overnight accommodation it was a short walk to registration followed by the mandatory 40 minute race briefing in a baking hot marquee crammed with 300 eager triathletes, where we were reminded of all the material in the race info that we had meant to read but never got round to, with some great video animations covering all aspects of the race. Race organiser Iain Hamilton casually mentioned that Will Clarke, Phil Graves, Lucy Charles and Lucy Gossage would be racing – ah so they’ve brought out the big guns to challenge me – glad I’d brought the faster of my ATC trisuits – the mark 1 ATC suit (aka Victorian bathing costume) would have to wait for another day. Just time for a few pints of the cold erdinger for hydration and a chance to catch the action from the Sprint Tri.

Fortunately, I avoided oversleeping thanks the fellow camper who had kindly primed their dog to start barking at 2am for a good 10 minutes, followed by the steady drones of cars arriving at 4am ready for the carpark to open at 5. Time to walk bleary eyed to transition and rack my bike and have those last minute – oh bugger I forgot to bring…. moments (despite having packed the kitchen sink). Still – bike, helmet, 2 types of shoes, wetsuit, sorted. With calm conditions and a beautiful day in store there were no kit choice dilemmas – just the main challenge – having gained a ‘few’ extra pounds, would that extra tight fitting wetsuit ever get on – just as well I had an hour or so before the start of my wave, which also gave me chance to see the elite wave exiting the swim in 24 minutes for the 1900m.

With about 300 in each wave and nearly the whole width of the lake to start in, the swim start wasn’t too much of a bun fight, although I spent most of the first section with someone feeling me up – friendly lot these triathletes.

After a tardy 41 minute swim, time to jump on the bike – first 3 miles is a circuit of the rowing lake, flat, no traffic and chance to get settled, before heading out to the dual carriageway and a coned off lane for the next few miles, all pan flat. With calm conditions and a warm start to the day it’s ideal conditions and we’re cruising at a steady 20mph+. We peel off the dual carriageway at Radcliffe and wend our way through the streets, with every junction well marshalled, followed by the slight climb up to Shelford before dropping back down to the main road. A right turn at the roundabout (or island in this part of the world) takes us north for the next 10 miles to Oxton, and, apart from the bridge over the Trent, the road surface is good and traffic is quiet.

At Oxton there is the only hill of any note, climbing 50m in about ½ Km before coming to the first aid station – slow down and take a bottle (or gels or bananas) from one the many helpers spread over about 50m of road – then a long fast descent to Southwell and a right turn to head south – more downhill on a quiet A road as we complete the northern loop by rejoining the A6097 to re-cross the Trent and pass over the A46 and begin the southern loop – this is mainly on smaller back roads with the occasional bad surfaces to keep you focussed. Another well run aid station to top up on fluids just before mile 35, as we complete the loop and retrace our steps to Radcliffe, where the course takes you back via a single lane access road with speed bumps, gravel, pot holes and a cattle grid to the Water Sports centre. Really enjoyed the bike – managed to keep a fairly steady pace and plenty of overtaking, being retaken and re-overtaking (no drafting Navin, honest!). 2:55 for the bike

Back into transition and the familiar post bike jelly legs for the start of the run – this is where the lack of winter bike miles really bites you in the bum – the temperature’s now a very pleasant 23/24oC and a mere 13 miles to go – smile/grimace – at least the course is pan flat. The run takes you out to a towpath along the Trent – hot dusty limestone, before returning you to complete a 5k lap of the rowing lake on the tarmac perimeter road, then repeat. Plenty of aid stations (about every 1.3 miles) and a great crowd cheering everyone on. Back to the top of the lake on the 2nd lap, 2.5k to go and 15 minutes left to beat the 6 hour mark – bugger, time to try running – a good final flourish saw me cross the line in 5:58, with a 2:15 for the run and just a tad behind the winning time of 4:02.

 

 

 

 

Race Report :: Olivia Gilmore :: Hythe Bay Tri May ’18

After years of wondering if I could manage a triathlon, Hythe Bay 2017 was my first real experience of the sport. It was tough but I loved every second of it. I soon joined Ashford Tri club and signed up to the 2018 race as soon as I could.

Having joined ATC and attending training sessions throughout the year, I was more prepared and even more excited for the 2018 Hythe Bay tri. I arrived at Hythe pool with an hour to go before my set swim time. Registration was quick and simple; goodie bag, t shirt, chip and race number sorted, I was ready to go. After quite a bit of faffing around setting up my transition space, I was free to cheer on lots of familiar faces as they set off on their run section.

Finally it was time to go into the pool. Nerves kicked in but after a thorough race brief and (quite) a few deep breaths, I was ready to go. Swimming is probably my strongest discipline, counting lengths however, is not. Thankfully it was a ‘up and down and under’ swim, taking all counting out of the equation and leaving me plenty of time to think about how steep the hill is that I was about to cycle. 10 lengths came and went pretty quickly and I was soon out of the pool and into transition.

I managed to remember where my bike was and get myself sorted for the ride, stopping for a couple of jelly babies to boost me along. Out onto the road and I not so gracefully hopped onto my bike and off I went.  I found the ride tough at times, especially up Sandgate hill but all the marshals waving and shouting encouragement pushed me along. After a bumpy ride along Princes parade, it was time to flounder off my bike and get back through transition.

Bike dropped off and shoes changed, a quick stumble up the steps and I was out onto the sea front. The run section is a lovely flat out and back route, which I’d normally enjoy. However today those 1km markers felt miles apart and had it not been for the promise of jelly babies at the half way point, I may well have walked a good part of the first half. A swig of water and some encouragement from the marshals meant I was set for the last 2.5 km to the finish. I pushed myself on the way back to try and speed up a bit which I felt I achieved. About 1km away from the finish a ‘high five’ from a fellow club member gave me the oomph to pick it up another gear and make a strong finish.

Hythe bay triathlon is truly an amazing event, where total beginners and seasoned triathletes compete together in a friendly and supported atmosphere. Ashford Tri club has a great ethos of making everyone feel welcome no matter what their background, ability or goals are; I’d recommend joining a training session to anyone!

Race Report :: Daniel Hallet :: Hythe Bay Tri May ’18

What a difference a day makes …….

Entering a triathlon for the first time can be a bit daunting, as I found back in 2016, however 3 swimming lessons, a couple of Park Runs and sportives I was ready to take on the Hythe Bay Tri…

Having entered and really enjoyed this event for the past two years, as soon as the 2018 entries were open I was in…

On Saturday afternoon whilst setting up the fencing and signs around the transition area, the sun was shining with a slight but chilly breeze, however it was still quite warm. Many hands make light work so the task was completed quickly.

The last time I consulted the ‘XC Weather App’ it said ‘Sunday 10deg at 07.00 rising to 14 by 11.00… North East wind 15 / 20 mph’   What to pack? … Everything!!!

Spaghetti Carbonara for carbs and a reasonably early night as I had a 07.06 start time.

No need for the alarm – I was up at 04.00, then again at 04.30 and 5.00 – I was awake….

Was the morning chorus a bit louder than normal? Was it my birthday? Was Santa coming?

None of the above –  it’s Hythe Bay Tri day ….

As I sneak down stairs things are already running through my head – swim steady, save legs for the return bike, remember ‘foot down’, Adey’s dismount instructions from Tuesday night and just get through the run – sorted.

After coffee was made I opened the back door …… ‘Oh it’s a bit chilly out there’ (that’s the polite version!!!), however I think I covered every weather ‘eventuality’ with kit so no problem.

Bottles filled, bike and kit loaded into the car it’s off to Hythe.

On arrival at the registration, everyone was being greeted by a smile and warm welcome. That done, race number drawn on my arm, labels stuck onto bike and helmet, bike checked over it was off to setup transition.

Just before 7am it was off to the pool. Taking off my jersey, the ‘chill factor’ hit, however after a quick walk I was inside. There I met up with some friends and club members doing their first event. We were thoroughly briefed, informed of specific rules and headed down to the swim start. Gradually the steps got closer until it was my turn to get wet. Down the steps, swim cap and goggles on, I’m ready …. From the ‘Go’ my mind went to mush…. All the preparation and planning disappeared into a fog … In practice for the last 6 months I have been averaging 29 second per 25mtrs lengths – not today – I recon I was doing 25 / 26 second lengths until number 6 where I eventually ran out of puff and had to ‘drag’ myself through the final 4 lengths.

Out of the pool and off to transition 1 ….

To say it was a ‘little chilly’ would be an understatement, however unperturbed, quick wipe of the feet, on with my talc filled socks, shoes, jersey and helmet – excellent I’m off …

Who needs a tri belt with your number???  I was in such a rush to ‘get out’ I dropped it, got to the end of the racking before I realised. Back I went pulled it on and headed out.

Run out to the ‘bike start’ was fine and off I pedalled. Foot down at the end of Twiss Road and onto the course. I have ridden from Hythe to Folkestone many times so know all the lumps and bumps by heart. The marshals along the route encouraging the riders were brilliant and the signage good. Being colour blind, I was unable to see the ‘road hazards’ marked in red last year, however the change of colour to baby blue, or was it white this year? –  not sure but it helped – thank you.

As usual, Sandgate Hill took its toll but the thought of going down, kept the legs turning going up…

The rest of the ride was incident free, apart from my ‘young’ friend overtaking me like I was stationary. I had a very brief thought of ‘I can catch him’ which lasted about 10 seconds followed by  ‘get real he is under half my age’….

I think I did quite well with the ‘Adey’ dismount demonstrated on Tuesday evening.  Both feet hit the tarmac running – shame the legs thought different at this point….

I wobbled my way into T2, racked my bike, took off my helmet, jersey and changed to my running shoes…

Up the steps onto the seafront wobbling along with jelly legs but hey I’m on the final stretch, what can go wrong??

Everything is starting to hurt, and my calf is cramping this point. Maybe I should have had a drink from one of the two bottles and one of the two gels on the bike… My bad …

As said before my mind had gone to mush … I know all these this are necessary and good hydration prevents cramps. Normally I would follow the rules rigorously – why fail now?

Encouragement from the guys at the turn point / water stop and Paul B kept me going until finally the end is in sight.

From about 500mtrs from the finish line, the cheering started and mysteriously the pain went as I crossed the line like a gazelle, well maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, however I made it.

Being greeted by smiling faces and congratulations from all the ATC members, kids handing out the medals and water on the finish line; seeing family and friends was wonderful as was the achievement of finishing.

The support and encouragement that is given throughout the event is fantastic. The professional, efficient and friendly way the event is run filters to the athletes allowing them to perform to the best of their ability.   The setup is straightforward and easy to navigate, briefings informative and there is always someone to hand if help is needed.

The Hythe Bay Tri should be an annual diary date, whether a seasoned triathlete or beginner it’s an event for everyone….

Race Report :: Lee Gladwell :: Costa Brava SwimRun April ’18

Lee Gladwell and Andy Barwise AKA Team GingerLee

Like most good things in life it all started with a beer! Whilst celebrating our Coniston race with a curry and a beer, talk obviously got round to “so what shall we do next?”. How about a nice European race in the sun? We can make a nice long weekend out of it? The other halves will love it………to cut a long story short by the end of the evening we were doing SwimRun Costa Brava and we were definitely going to win it (quite a lot of beer had been drunk by this point!!!)

Fast forward 6 months and we were on top of a hill, in an ancient castle at the start line in Begur, wondering yet again why we hadn’t done any training and desperately trying to find a pair we thought we could beat (we couldn’t). Injuries and life had really got in the way of this one and my longest run was only 9 miles and my 2km morning swims started feeling woefully inadequate.

With an advertised 36km of running with 25 swims totalling 8.5km ahead of us, it was going to be a long day. We assumed our usual starting position at the back, just in case the Swedish Special Forces team decided to kill us with one steely look, and the starting horn sounded. Cue a 3.5km stampede down to the first swim 250m below us. We were told in the race briefing (in between beers) that the first half of the race was “testing”. This proved to be quite accurate if you consider death defying drops, ridiculous rock climbing and hair raising rope aided descents “testing”.

The longest run was 5.2km and this took us nearly 1hr 30min, which might tell you how testing it was!!!! Still, the scenery was spectacular, the swims at this point were quite sheltered and most importantly we weren’t last and were having that stupid type of masochistic fun! As we slowly worked our way along the coast the wind picked up and the swims became more and more exposed. It was at this point my lack of swim fitness started to show and I was massively regretting not bringing the tether we have used in the past. The head wind had caused a slow river effect to the water and this, coupled with the chop meant I was starting to struggle. Andy tried his best to swim slow enough to give me a drag but even his old lady side stroke was proving an issue to follow.

There were less hills in the second half and we could finally get some run/shuffle miles in between the numerous swims but it was definitely getting tough. It finally got to the stage where we were pitifully asking marshalls “how far it was to the end?” “Just 2 km and 2 swims left” was one response we heard with relief.

A soul destroying 5km and 8 swims later, we finally got to the last beach where Tori and Lisa were waiting for us, they seemed slightly concerned by our red faces and inability to raise our feet more than an inch off the floor!!!. They sprinted off to the finish line as we “only” had one swim to go, which Andy had assured me was just a 200m out and back before the 500m run to the finish line. As we turned the corner and saw it was about 700m into the current and waves, I had a sense of humour failure and seriously wondered if I could do it and whether it would be cheating to get into the shallower water and just pretend I was swimming as I walked along the sea bed.

I took my man up pills, followed the slowly drowning Andy and with a large amount of relief, swearing and even a little tear managed to get through it and after a short run through the streets, Team GingerLee made it to the finish line in 9hrs 53min and in 38th place. Reading some reports from others participant’s, the swim totalled about 10km in the end and there was over 2400m of climbing on the run (we must read these things before signing up).

The 2 burgers on the way back to the hotel was the start of an enjoyable recovery period in the sun that made the race even more special. Anyway, if you’ve made it this far without falling asleep, DO A SWIMRUN!!!! They’re amazing events, tough, hard, soul searching but ultimately wholly rewarding.

Just do some training beforehand !!!!!!!!!!!!

Race Report :: Tristam Burgess :: East Grinstead Sprint Triathlon May 2018

Race Report – East Grinstead Sprint Triathlon 13th May 2018

Once again, the ATC sprint championship was to be in East Grinstead. A cold, yet dry, start to the day greeted the Ashford triathletes. At 8:40, we took over the whole pool, and after a technical timing issue (ever common at EG), the pool was filled with eager swimmers clad in blue.

The race stayed dry and first across the line for the club for the second year in a row, and to retain his sprint champion title, was Alex Milne in 4th position (2nd in age group) with 1:09:20, followed by myself with 1:14:08 (11th overall) and Keith Russell one second behind with 1:14:09 (13th overall). Paul Barron won the Ultra-vet category with 1:28:40 (92nd overall).

First female over the line was Amanda Magnabosco, also for the second year running and retaining her sprint champion title, in 1:34:27 (13th female). She was followed by Olivia Gilmore with 1:40:49 (29th female), and Sarah Spencer with 1:42:49 (38th female). Mandy Cooper won the super-vet category with 1:51:47 (49th female).

Results can be found here.

Great racing and support from everyone involved!

Race Report :: Alex Milne :: MedwayTri April ’18

This year ATC have entered into the Triathlon England South East (TESE) Region Club Senior Series.

This duathlon being the first race of the series. With the need to score in at least three races, we managed to get the minimum of three members to score in the male competition.

With the start time for the adult race being 16:40, the day seemed to be spent hanging around in anticipation. This did allow plenty of time to ensure that there were no technical issues with the bikes. Alex Milne decided not to take advantage of this opportunity, and had to make a last minute “bodge” to his front mech in the car park.
Eventually we racked our bikes and the race started pretty much on time.

Results in the adult male competition were:
Alex Milne – 2nd – 44:03
Tristam Burgess – 7th – 48:51
Joey Chasseaud – 16th – 55:04

Although that is one race in the bag for the males, we are yet to get off the starting blocks in the female and mixed competitions.

Future races in the series are:
20th May – Arundel Lido Sprint Triathlon
10th June – Dartford and White Oak Sprint Triathlon
23rd June – Leeds Castle Sprint Triathlon
5th August – Bewl Water Standard Triathlon (this is also the club championship)
2nd September – Southwater relays

There are four competitions we can compete in. Male, Female and mixed, in which we require at least three entries into at least three events for each category. First three finishers for the club in each category score points and if males and females score in the same event, we also score in the mixed competition. There is also a mob competition where the club scores points simply for the number of entries.

Come on! Get involved!

Race Report :: The Adventures of Captain Keith and Hop-along Harry

(AKA Paris Marathon 2018 Race Report)

Right Captain, you’re running for both of us this weekend (no pressure) are you sure you’ve got everything? I’ve got my trainers, passport and a credit card, anything else is a bonus! [sigh] it’s going to be one of those weekends….

0450hrs – remind me whose idea the early train was? Mine? Errr… right…. Well is was loads cheaper and we get the day in Paris to explore! We both feel like we have a hangover though and blearily make our way up to Ashford. Did we book a car park? No? Should we have booked a car park? We’re running late…. Let’s book a car park…. We should really be more organised.

The Captain is realising that Hop-along has packed a great looking picnic, however with crutches and escalators to navigate he’s going to have to carry it all. It’s still not even 6am and we’ve been up for too long. Remind me again why we’re doing this? Mandy texts, their later train isn’t leaving from Ashford and they have to go to Ebbsfleet to get a train that’s going to go back through Ashford again. Hop-along is quietly vindicated that she dragged them on the predawn train.

Gare-du-Nord. It is chaos! Head for the metro, the hotel have sent directions: Magenta RER to Haussman.

Dark pink and light pink metro signs point in pretty much every direction. Magenta is dark pink, Hop-along confidently states and we (The Captain) starts dragging bags down the concourse and into the subway. Several subways later it turns out that Magenta is a station not a line. Magenta station is closed. The pink subway lines (either of them) don’t go anywhere near the hotel.

Welcome to Paris!

Finally at the hotel, is it really only 10am?! Bags dropped, let’s head to the expo, we reckon it’s going to be quieter Friday than Saturday. Metro to the Eiffel Tower (surprisingly easy to navigate once you have a route guide and are not half asleep). Feeling hungry, Hop-along’s picnic turns out to be a fabulous idea as we drink champagne out of plastic glasses and ponder whether we should eat the cheesecake or the croissants. Well, when in France!

Gorgeous day for going up the tower, bright sunshine, but as we wander over the realisation that it’s school holidays starts to take a hold, dear Lord, are there really that many children screaming? Shall we just go sit in the park and drink more champagne? Should we have saved some for after the race?

Expo is a piece of cake. They don’t even look at the medical cert apart from to check your name on it despite the fact that Hop-along is having to lean on the desk while she shifts her crutches to get the form out of the rucksack. Entry stamped, number collected, branded rucksack donned and it’s on to the shopping zone. Hop-along notes that this is the most expensive rucksack she has ever bought so she’s not buying anything else. The Captain is already going doe-eyed over the new hoka trainers.

Mandy and Ian arrive and plans start to form for the weekend; where are we eating, any nice pubs, shall we do a river cruise? Hop-along is grumpy as the painkillers are wearing off. No one has
mentioned the run yet. Mark texts, he has just realised there are train problems, it would seem that this is not going to impress Mrs Mark and he is in the dog house before even leaving to UK.

There is a Park Run in Paris. Mandy is going to be a Parkrun tourist. Or at least that was until she had to get up and go…. It would seem that no one was keen to do Saturday morning!

Vic and Family, and Ruth and Dan have arrived to complete the crew of the good ship ATC. We all meet at the expo again. Hop-along is slightly perkier having discovered codeine. Lunch and river tours seems to be the plan for most. Carb loading begins and table booked for pasta party. Race talk begins… is there a beer tent at the end?

Vic has irritable child syndrome and can’t make the pasta party, Mark is tired and going to eat near his hotel (turns out later to be about 200yds from the restaurant the crew are in). Hop-along has been working hard on a support plan: Paris metro doesn’t do lifts and has a dubious track record of working escalators.

The Captain, Vic and Mark are in the 3.15-3.30 starts. Mandy, Ruth and Dan are in the 4.30 start which frustratingly leaves almost an hour and half later. This means that the boys
will be at the opposite side of the city to the others for pretty much the whole race. Still, rucksack full of jelly babies, Hop-along sets off at a steady 20-30 min/mile pace with a hope she can get to the 2km mark before the race starts…

The Elite athletes are incredible. They just cruise past looking like they’re on a park run, 5km completed in under 15 minutes, Hop-along feels a bit tearful as she scowls at her crutches. It’s 16
degrees already, the band start playing, The Captain, Vic and Mark wait for the signal, and they’re off.

Hop-along and Mrs Vic start leapfrogging down the course watching the boys through (well Mrs Vic and mini Vic’s may have been leap frogging, Hop-along was just shaking her crutches at impatient people who kept pushing past on the Metro).

Mandy and Ruth are getting ready at the start, mildly amused that the boys are nearly halfway already. Ruth is happy though, as if you run too early the fit firemen aren’t in position for you to high 5 and swoon at.

Everyone is keeping a cracking pace. Hop-along follows the crowds through the grounds of Châteaux de Vincennes, gosh it’s stunning, must remember to put it on the list for visiting on another trip. It has a moat. The crowd starts jumping down into the moat and out the other side. Hop-along sees a flaw in this plan. Some time later, moat navigated, The Captain and Vic seen, can’t wait for Mark as the moat will take some time again and on a tight schedule.

The metro is getting crazy, people running in every direction with flags and placards. Is that person wearing a race number? They don’t look like they’ve dropped out….

Ian has managed to see the girls at several points. No one seems to know where Dan is, Hop-along rather guiltily realised she didn’t know his surname so can’t track him, damn not being on Facebook!

Searching for Mr Ruth didn’t work.

Hop-along makes it to the finish with minutes to spare to see The Captain finish. The tracker app worked perfectly, unfortunately it also shows that Vic (who started after Keith) is going to finish in
about 5 minutes and beat The Captain to the winning club time. Should I tell him straight away or let him enjoy his PB for a while?…

Vic finishes, looks a little sore but strong. Hop-along and The Captain head to the recovery tent. Wee before wine, Mandy had sagely adviced before the start. It’s beer though, so The Captain gets stuck in.

Hop-along keeps looking out for Vic, it’s taken him ages to get to us, is the bag pick up queue huge? No? Mrs Vic hasn’t seen him either. At least I haven’t had a call from the medics, she nervously laughs. It’s been half an hour, this is ridiculous, it’s only 400m from the finish, where is Vic!!! They won’t let anyone back down through finish area. Mrs Vic is getting stressed, we decide to
relocate to a central location to plan the search and rescue mission. It’s been 45 minutes, Hop-along can’t decide if Mrs Vic is worried or just really mad that they might miss their train home! Don’t panic, Vic has called, he’s on his way up, (Mrs Vic is definitely furious now if there was any doubt before). Mark finishes, Vic makes a dash for the Eurostar and we wait for the rest.

Mandy and Ruth have been barely 4 minutes apart at almost every 5km checkpoint but neither of them knew! Both were looking strong but towards the end injuries were worsening and the sun was really hotting things up. They finish within a couple of minutes of each other. Hop-along and The Captain screamed them across the line and then dashed as fast as a pair of crutches and marathon burnt legs could carry them to the recovery tent and ordered 4 cold beers.

We were going to be the best support pair ever when they come out of the competitor area. We stand with outstretched beers, but they both appear to have been sucked into the same vortex as
Vic. My knee has gone, Ian is carrying me back to the hotel, came the first response. The Captain looks sympathetic…. and starts on Mandy’s beer. I’m having my feet syringed, eeugghhh, Ruth that’s disgusting! The Captain looks a little ill…. I’m not sure I can drink 3. Well the nice couple from Mersey Tri helped with that as the crew fell back to their hotels to nurse various wounds.

A race of mixed outcomes, hot, slightly longer than 26.2 miles according to all watches, but a great club achievement to see 6 determined ship mates navigate the streets of Paris.

After a few hours of recovery, celebrations are in order. It turns out that agreeing which pub we are going to meet in is the hardest thing the crew have done today! Rehydration complete, Mandy and Ian makes sure Mark gets back to hotel as his sense of direction appears to be degraded by the marathon effort. We all wonder when he’ll discover all the pictures on his phone after he foolishly left it on the table.

The crew finally disband, having promised to (maybe) do it all again next year.

Hopefully a few more will join the good ship ATC and cheer the Blue. Bring on Paris 2019.

Bon Voyage.

HaH

Post Race Report :: Alex Milne :: Bedford Autodrome Duathlon

Race 2 – 2018 ETU Sprint Distance Duathlon Qualifier taking place in Ibiza

5k – 20k – 2.5k on the traffic free Bedford Autodrome motor racing track.

A fast start in a good quality field had me into T1 in 51st place before using the totally flat bike leg to gain 36 places and back into 8th.

After maintaining my same run pace as the first leg lost 1st place on the 2nd run to the person that would finish top in my age group.

Overall finished 9th and 2nd in AG with the following splits 0.17.38 – 0.29.11 – 0.09.32 – 0.57.38.