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