Race Reports

Categories

Archive

Monthly archive for October 2011

Abingdon Marathon

Abingdon Marathon

I thoroughly recommend this race, which is well organised and has less than 800 runners (so not enough people to get in the way). Well marshalled plus decent medal and a technical shirt in the goodie-bag. 

Vibram Five-Fingers in training allowed Asics Piranha SP3 shoes to be used for the marathon. The Piranha's weigh 140g each (half the weight of normal marathon shoes) and are considered best for distances up to 5k. By running on the balls of feet there is no need for the heel cushioning but it does stress the calf muscles.

Abingdon Ranked Top in UK For PBs in 2010 Runners World Poll.

This is the first marathon I have ever done "with negative splits". 1:36 out and 1:34 back. Wonderful feeling finishing strongly and being able to sprint the last few hundred metres in an Athletics Stadium to the finish line. All my previous marathon efforts have ended in wall-hit near-death experiences as I crawl over the finish line, having slowed dramatically over the last few miles. Pleasant 10 degrees weather helped.

by Jim Graham

Brighton Marina Triathlon

I won't bore you with details of my "extremely long" journey from South Chailey to Brighton as it was uneventfull and by 06.15 i was parked right opposite the start point.The weather was good the sky looked pretty clear and the sun would soon be out. I spent the next hour setting up my gear in transition and chatting to other competitors. I even found myself giving advise to a very nervous guy about the swim leg! Yes ME giving advise about swimming!!! Well actually it was more about trying to reassure him to try to alleviate his nerves!!

I still find it hard to believe that i have reached a point in my triathlon career where the swim leg no longer presents a mental problem, i just wish i could move quicker through the water, then i will really have cracked it!!!

There were two "waves", the first, all males under 40yrs, the second, all males over 40yrs and all the females. The 1000m swim leg takes place in the Inner Marina, so the water is brackish and fairly still. At least i didn't have to fight the waves and the wind like in Wales!!! As i got into the water my nose clip broke, which in the past would have really "pissed" me off because without a nose clip i suffer after a swim with a severely congested nose, but being a real triathlete i ignored the issue!!! as soon as the hooter sounded i was off and into my rhythm albeit a slow one!! The swim went without any problems and the next thing i am climbing the ladder, yes climbing a ladder, to get out of the water, then it is a 200m run through the Marina shopping precinct on pavement and road back to T1.

No problems this time in getting my wet suit off and i was soon off on the two lap 32K bike course which takes you out of the Marina heading towards the roundabout at St. Dunstans where the route then goes up through Ovingdean and continues to climb up to Woodingdean. After climbing the short but steep ramp at the lights it then heads towards the race course where it turns left and down Wilson Avenue,[over 40mph down here but you have to careful at the bottom that you slow in time for left turn at the lights] then behind the golf course for the start of the second lap. By now although it was a bit cloudy the sun was warming up. During the two bike laps i managed to overtake a number of other riders so by the time i reached T2 i had made up some of the time i always lose on the swim.

No problems in T2 and then it was an 8K out and back run along the underpass towards Rottingdean. the sun was quite warm now but there was a nice breeze coming off the sea.On the way out i overtook a few runners and the return leg i even managed to up my pace and passed a couple more before "sprinting" to the finish line. Although by now my nose was pretty blocked up i enjoyed my last triathlon of this season.
 
SWIM: 1000 m   26 mins 25 sec
 
T1                    4 mins
 
BIKE: 32 K         1 hr.7 mins 24 sec
 
T2                    2 mins
 
RUN:8 K            38 mins 6 sec
 
OVERALL TIME:  2 hrs 17 mins 55 sec      [ beat last years time by 5 mins 5 sec ]
 
OVERALL POSITION: 88th  out of  134 
 
 
Sorry no photos yet!!!

Author: Del

 

New Forest Middle Dist - 25 Sept 2011

New Forest Middle Dist - 25 Sept 2011

An early start having racked the day before, at Fordingbridge, and overnighted at a friend's house. Alarm at 4.15am for breakfast and then a drive to the fabulously named "Sandy Balls Holiday Camp" to park up and take a bus transfer to T1 and the lake.

Standing by the lake at 6.30am, I was questioning my sanity but at 7.10 we (old farts) followed Wave 1 (Quick Men & Ladies) into the water which was surprisingly warm (unlike Hever last year which was surprisingly freezing!) and at 7.22am we were off for a 1.9k swim. It all went well and I enjoyed myself. I estimate that I was about 35/36 mins for the swim but T1 was a bit of a mare as I got caught up trying to put dry kit on a wet body but my splits show 42 mins for Swim + T1. There was a bit of a run out to the road which was partly on mats but then on mud/sand which was okay except my Shimano cycle cleats clogged up and wouldn't clip to my pedals. Off the bike, clean the cleats, back on the bike and not happy.

 

The bike was more hilly than I expected and why is it all the flat stretches appear to be into a head wind? Perhaps I was travelling very fast (!) (wise up Andy, the time says otherwise). Great scenery with plenty of wildlife - horses, ponies, donkeys, cattle - and a lovely moment when a bull wandered out in front of me causing a slalom avoidance manoeuvre that had fellow cyclists applauding my cycling agility - but that was about all there was to applaud.

 

On reflection I found the bike tough (very undulating with little remission from climbing) and despite covering more than this distance regularly in training with Jeff & Peter - at about mile 45 the quad cramps started and it was  almost the Sussex Sportive all over again! So I pulled back on the speed and nursed my legs to the finish and after 56 miles it was a relief to get off the bike and dump it in T2.

 

Into the tent, off with the cycle kit and deep joy to pull on the trainers for the run. My split shows 3.32 for Bike + T2.

 

And off I plodded. No whippet out of the blocks as per usual but more a cart horse with one goal - to finish what I'd started.

 

A cross country half marathon is very different to my usual road races and I found it tough, especially with my thighs in shreds. Fortunately, I teamed up - at about mile 7 - with 2 other runners having similar fun, to see each other to the end. The final hill nearly killed me and my quads were spasming (quite odd to watch) but after 2.40 (an hour longer than my average half marathon time) I crossed the line and never has a chair been so welcoming.

 

Final time 6.55.39. Was hoping for somewhere around 6 hrs but I have re-aligned my expectations, since!!

 

What have I learned? Not to over estimate my own abilities and not to under estimate the course.

 

But more importantly I found out that even during the most negative parts of the bike course - when I was unsure how much further there was to cycle, when my legs were killing me, when I started to think there was no way of running 13 miles and when I just wanted to give up - that there is a part of me that refuses to give in. I was not going to let all that training go to waste, I was not going to tell everyone I'd achieved a DNF and, more importantly, I was not going to let myself down.

 

I don't care about the time. I'm proud to have finished such a huge race. To expect your body to deliver for 7 hours is a massive ask. Ironmen? Hats off guys - I'm in awe.

 

Andy.

 

Ps Perhaps now, I can be upgraded on The Forum from "Sprint Distance" athlete, to "Middle Distance". I feel I have earned it!

 

pps My mum made me smile. "I'm so proud of you, Andrew. You have to remember though, you're 53 and not getting any younger". Ouch!!

 Author: Andy Miles