Post Race Report :: Ruth Newman at the Deal Tri Winter Series Duathlon

ruth-newmanDeal Tri Winter Series Duathlon: round five 13 March 2016 Betteshanger Country Park

1.9 mile run, 10.1 mile bike, 1.9 mile run.

Having not managed to enter rounds one to four I made a special effort to enter the fifth and final round. If you’ve not done a race at Betteshanger:  it’s a proper cycling track, with a path round the outside, so traffic-free, fast and a great place to have a go at cycling if you’re not confident or want to improve your bike-handling skills safely.

I’ve done a few of these races in the past and have experienced the course in all weathers. Imagine my delight as I pushed my bike up on to the track in bright sunshine and into a stiff north-easterly wind.  I was then greeted by the sight of a large number of serious-looking children wearing race numbers, all of whom were built like whippets, were better dressed and riding better bikes than me.  Undaunted, I racked my bike and warmed up, while surreptitiously looking around for anyone who I might be in with a chance of beating,  or at least keeping up with.

Carefully choosing my spot at the back of the 27-strong pack, the words “go hard, or go home” popped into my head and I set off at a brisk (for me) pace, which I managed to keep up for the duration of the run, thanks mainly to the woman who overtook me and who I then felt obliged to get in front of and keep behind me.  The running track was pretty dry and the only hindrance was the wind, which made running west-east a challenge, but which seemed to make little difference when it was behind me. 15min 37 secs later, I staggered into transition and farted about taking off my trail shoes, having forgotten to put my stretchy tri laces in them.  This allowed the woman I had overtaken to catch me up and leave transition in front of me.

I had to wait a bit before getting on to the track, as the decent cyclists were hurtling down the fast downhill section like a train.  As I watched them disappear into the distance, I elegantly mounted my bike and peddled for all I was worth to get the most out of going downhill with the wind behind me before rounding the bend at the bottom and riding into it.

I swear that the wind speed increased with each lap. I literally threw caution to the wind and managed to go a bit faster downhill at the end of each lap – clocking up speeds that an elite rider would regularly churn out on the flat sections of  Le Tour on a bad day – but the uphill/into the wind sections took my breath and my bravado away.  I did, however, catch my rival and reel her in, putting plenty of air between us.

Thighs screaming, I hurtled down the home straight of the fifth and final lap, mentally preparing myself for transition and the second run.  I left transition with my rival just behind me (my gloves got stuck due to sweaty hands) and with my legs feeling stronger than I had dared hope. By this time, there were no other competitors to be seen ahead, so it felt like less of a race, more of a solo training run. However, I knew SHE was there, hoping that I would crack, so I dug in and kept going, finishing the second run in 16:40, giving an overall time of 1:11:37 and coming in 24th out of 27.

It was a really enjoyable race, despite the wind, and I would recommend these duathlons – which also take place during the evenings in summer –   to anyone, as:

  • They are on a lovely smooth track and you feel like a proper cyclist going round the bends
  • They only cost £5 to enter + £2 car parking
  • They are really friendly
  • You get free flapjacks at the end

 

Post Race Report :: Garry Curley running the Larmer Tree Marathon

IMG_2765Yesterday I ran the Larmer Tree marathon in the New Forest. 

Not content with already having signed up for 4 marathons in March, mid Saturday I got a phone call offering me a place at the amazing Larmer Tree Marathon. While keen to take this place, 2 problems stood in my way… It’s 4hours away, and I did not have accommodation. Thankfully someone offered me the couch in a hotel room and a plan was formed.


What a great decision it was. This race is quite simply stunning. The beautiful terrain around the New Forest made for quite the outstanding day. The pace was steady and I completed in 5h 8m and 12th in my age group.

2 down, 3 to go


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Post Race Report :: Adrian Heathfield in the Yorkshire Day at the Races National Paracycling Circuit

ADRIAN HEATHFIELD - Team GB ParatiathleteThe race wasn’t till 16:00 but I had to be there for midday to get myself categorised, it was just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s really, as a below knee amp I was pretty sure I would be C4 and I was. It was a good chance to talk to some of the staff from British Cycling and find out more details.

I had turned up with TT bike thinking I had entered a TT on a closed circuit but it became quickly evident after bumping into one of the GB coaches that it was in fact a timed road race on a closed circuit track, so I had the wrong bike with me. He asked around and one of the young paracycle girls, Millie had kindly offered me her old bike which she used for cycling to college. No it wasn’t pink and no it didn’t have ribbons on, as I’ve been asked many times. Her dad, Dave couldn’t have been more helpful setting it up for me, although luckily it only needed the seat raising and the cleated pedals tightening so the cycle leg didn’t come out. Luckily I am very flexible so can ride just about anything as long as I can reach the pedals all is good. It was a horrendous day weather wise with gales, rain and hail, so was pleased for the very sharp brakes! One of the Coaches, Paul kindly lent me a crash hat as I had only brought my aero bonnet and I was set. If a little nervous, on a borrowed bike, wet windy conditions, with the able bodied race running at the same time, on a 1K circuit with two dead turns, one 90˚ turn and my first race in a pack!

The races before mine didn’t feel me with confidence. Waiting in a mobile home out of the weather, people came in that had pulled out not wanting to wreck their season, saying it was too wet, too windy and too cold. Luckily by the start of mine it wasn’t tipping it down at the start which means at least you can get warm before getting wet.

My warm up wasn’t as long as I would have liked, but warmed up off the circuit, then about 10 minutes on the track and all the nerves were gone. I hadn’t raced outside Ashford for about 1 ½ years (Madrid was the last) and was going to enjoy it! Speaking to Tom one of the coaches beforehand he said they would start very quick and to just try to stay with the pack. It wasn’t a lack of speed on the straights but was on the corners that dropped me from the 9 man front pack and a lack of experience on a couple of the corners. I just didn’t know if the bike would hold on the wet surface. I got working with other riders though, some that were a little work shy but a good bunch in general. The last half of the race I was in a group of 4 and working well together when going into one of the dead turns the rider in front of me broke too late and had to fight to stay on his bike. He was swerving all over the place but saved it well and I was pleased for the good brakes on my new steed! My confidence grew as the race continued and was learning all the time. I could take the dead turns surprisingly fast, even in the wet and felt comfortable standing, coming out to get back up to speed on the exit. My little group of four had become two on the near crash and when it got to about ¼ of a lap to go I tried to make a sprint for home but he had me on the line, by about a rim.

I just loved it though and couldn’t stop smiling! Definitely lots to learn and work on but 2nd amongst the para category’s and 10th overall including the able bodied guys, (I think 37 entrants) so it’s a good place to build from.

I also didn’t crash  😎

Massive thanks to the captains’ fund and to ATC in general, your support over the years means a lot!

Post Race Report :: Abu Dhabi ITU Sprint Tri :: by Robert Lawrence

12805812_10153947861455480_4463541905829000506_nOn the 5th of March 2016 I completed the first triathlon of the World Triathlon Series and I suspect the only one of that series I’ll be completing this year! The sea was warm enough for wetsuits to be optional and only a few of the over 2000 competitors used them.  

The swim started in the water, holding on to the pontoon. One lap and into a busy transition area then out on the bike for one of the best cycling courses you can find. Pan flat, no pot-holes and smooth tarmac, so it was head-down for 20km on the road bike I hired for approximately £50.

In and then out of T2 and by this time it was 10.20am and the temperature was creeping up to 29 degrees. Luckily there were four water stops and two wet sponge stops to keep us cool. The finish line was a great morale booster with music pumping, supporters on a grandstand, a backdrop of blue sea with sky scrapers and a great atmosphere.

Although a lack of training made me feel horribly unfit, I managed 1hr 31 mins and loved the race.

Robert Lawrence – ATC

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