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Chilly Duathlon Series - Race 1

Chilly Duathlon Series - Race 1

A perfect morning, bright sunshine, 12 degrees, 5 knots of wind, no rain for two days, and a midday start to allow for a lie in. It all seemed so civilised.

 

I arrived at the Castle Coombe race track nice and early to rack my bike in a good position and sensed a change in the air from the November race. The average value of bikes seemed to be around the £3,000 mark with some very slick looking machines whose wheels alone probably cost that. Something was very different. A van pulled up next to me, and out jumped last years winner who kindly informed me that with the national championships looming, every serious duathlete in the area was using this as a warm-up event - my hopes of finishing in the top half were rapidly diminishing.

 

Time for some positive thinking - I still had a PB to beat, and a sneaky look around the paddock confirmed that the guy who beat me by 6 seconds last time was here again..

 

My pre race plan had me starting in the middle of the pack (rather than at the back), in the hope I would pick a faster pace for the first 2 miles. Off goes the gun and my plan is working well with only one tiny flaw. The pack last time did not include 200 duathletes wanting to compete in the national championships. Lungs burning, vision blurring I manage half a mile before backing off to a more sensible pace. My rival comes past me at the mile mark - but I keep the gap to 20 metres as we go into T1.

 

Out onto the track and I start reeling in some of those quick runners. The bike feels great on the road after a winter on the turbo trainer and my pace feels good. I go past my rival on lap 2, and in I go after lap 5 (10 miles) for T2. The ##*# next to me has kicked my running shoes out of position when he racked his bike - but transition practice works a treat and we are off on the final 2 mile run.

 

My legs are really wobbly and I'm not feeling good, throwing up or throwing in the towel both feel like attractive options. Just when it can't get any worse my rival cruises past me looking fresh.

 

Sheer bloody mindedness kicks in and I set about reeling him in.

 

With a half mile to go I realise that I need to get past him or he will control the finish. My stride lengthens and at 500m I go past him and another runner. I can see the 200m mark coming up, and suspect that they will kick on at that point. I kick at 210m, and then again at 100m. Through the finish line I go - VICTORY IS MINE!!! Oh, and I took 5mins off my PB.

 

156th overall - not too shabby considering the field.

 

http://www.dbmax.co.uk/assets/results/745/original/web_duo.html?1330283559

 

Andrew Lennox

 

Brighton Half Marathon - AKA - Pee Bee City with an orange hue

Brighton Half Marathon - AKA - Pee Bee City with an orange hue

As usual there were a couple of pantomime horses at the front which must have taken at least 2-3 minutes of every ones times as the runners attempted to get past and skidded on the manure, another PB slips away in the first few minutes.

There was a strange orange lady running that looked like she had drunk some special Orange fizzy drink from Willy Wonkers chocolate factory, expanded in strange places and changed colour

Jade (who was not orange) lavished in the sun shine, it was a beautiful day, and she really enjoyed 'racing' a fast course. 

Steve Mac also had a great race and felt very comfortable all the way round until about mile 10 when allegedly Saturdays bike ride came back to pay a visit, a quick stretch (he did not say where) and by mile 11 it was all ok again.

Jade set off steadily increasing her pace and surprised herself when she smashed her previous best time (that was previously well over 2 hours!) and even managed a negative split

Steve was running in his new MSTC running vest and  appeared to be missing 2 nipples at the end and has customised his vest with red go faster streaks

Well done to Andy who was quite surprised at his result with a stupendous 1.21.53 and third in his age group he says that despite being 53, it just goes to show that by laying off the alcohol, abstaining from sex and only eating fruit, it really can turn a man from being a cart horse plodder, who in previous years has only achieved a PB of 1:39, into a testosterone crazed athlete capable of dramatically improving his performance by 18 minutes.

Colin tried to hide from all the MSTC runners to save being taken down in the final minutes fortunately Steve Mac did not spot him but Martin did a sterling effort to chase him to the line crossing  just a few places behind. Colin would have gone faster but slipped on Steve's nipples (not for the first time) as they rolled across the road in search of the orange lady (in a kind of cathodic way)

The general consensus from the throng of disgruntled sweaty athletes moaning as as they crossed the line is that ½ mile was added on to the course (700m by my and others Garmins), which meant most had run slower than they thought they should have. The organisers have amended the race results to try and reflect this but not correctly and most agree that the calculations are wrong and additional time should be taken off the final results.

Colin (in his very boring nerdy way) believes that at least 3min 40secs should have been deducted from his original time as he was running an average of just under 7.20min miles, where only 2m 20 was deducted, so he is going to take of an additional 1:20 it all helps so all should give themselves a proper adjusted time by deducting half of a one mile pace from the original time.

Jim and Martin would benefit from the Colin rule of taking of extra time time to give exceptional PBs as will Helen who did a stonking PB, Jade, Jean and Steve also PB'd which were most deserved with Jim doing  a spectacular 1.25.01 which should be amended to sub 1.25 and Martin about 1.36

Steve Mac smashed his PB by nearly 7 mins to show that level pacing and steady Heart Rate really do work and for the first time felt like he could have carried on for a few more miles. If there was a prize for the biggest PB smash then maybe Steve and Jade are in the running.

Jade reckons it is a great course, great day, fun atmosphere and great results all round, terrible organisation but won't dwell on any negatives, no  bumping into the boobtastic Miss Price so an all round good day!

And a big cheer for the support from MSTC spectators inc Claire and Tim who have had their loyalty cards stamped - five more spectator sightings and they get a big sweaty club hug.

After a very short millisecond Andy honourably fessed up that he was not a turbo charged whippet capable of creaming the opposition and smashing younger club runners into the middle of next week, he was ill on the day and one of Steve Macs new pace makers had taken his place. Although if its there in print it's hard for the 'race time denialist' to argue as Colin knows with his 2.03 London Triathlon certificate which takes pride of place on his wall.

So it was all a bit Pee Bee City on the seafront with about eight noted and sorry if your PB has not been mentioned especially as they may be more PB's with the statutory Colin adjustment

 

 

Chip time

Adjusted time

Proper adjusted time

Andrew Miles

 

1.23.53

1.21.53

1.20 something

Jim Graham

 

1.27.07

1.25.01

1.23 something

Colin Chambers

 

1.39.39

1.37.16

1.35.56

Martin Sanwell

 

1.39.45

1.37.22

1.36.02

Tamsin Clarke

 

1.45.44

1.42.05

1.40.45

Jade Overy

 

1.48.19

1.45.43

1.44 something

Steve Mac

 

1.53.19

1.50.36

1.49. something

Derek Hastings

 

1.59.46

1.56.53

1.55. something

Nancy Doyle

 

2.05.28

2.02.27

1.59.58 ish

Jean fish

 

2.09.04

2.06.08

2.05 ish

Helen Graham

 

2.11.38

2.08.28

2.06.59ish

Kay Mac

 

2.13.15

2.10.03

2.08. something

 

 

 Authors: Colin and various others

Snow, Slips and Cyclo

Snow, Slips and Cyclo

Sunday 12 February 2012, Great Walstead School

Still not sure how the three of us got persuaded into doing our first cyclo cross event; something to do with Steve Mac thinking it would be a good idea to have a team representing the Mid Sussex Tri Club and we just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. 

Mark Smith from the Crawley Wheelers kindly showed us the course the day before, which really helped familiarise ourselves with the snow, ice, mud, tight corners, Dougie's dip and the odd tree stump!  The only thing missing was the other one hundred and thirty two riders.

Morning of the race dawned bright but very cold - oh, what to wear! So we layered up, with me trying to match my colours - which in the end didn't matter as we were all a lovely mud colour by the end. Andy and I arrived with plenty of time to spare, to calm the nerves, which got worse when we saw how professional the other guys were looking, on their cyclo cross bikes and skin suits. I decided to break the reflectors off my mountain bike, in a desperate attempt to fit in. One team member even had a bell on his bike.

Oh, but where was our third team member? A thermos of soup in hand, Mat turned up 30mins before the start, all smiles until we pointed out it might be a good idea to familiarise himself with the course, so off we dashed to the woods.

There we found Steve, Kay, Tim and an old man under a blanket, which turned out to be Kevin trying to keep warm. They did a grand job of lap counting. Off dashed Andy and Matt to recce the course with 15 minutes to go.  Five to go...where are they?  Round the bend they appear with Mat stripping off, so Andy and I make our way down to the start and position ourselves at the back of the of riders. One minute to go, where is Mat? On the phone to his wife giving directions to the event before a swift handover to Dougie who finished off his conversation! 30 seconds to start ..where are my team members? Peeing in the bushes! Beware of yellow snow.

We're off and any nerves have now disappeared as we head round a field covered in snow, desperately trying to stay on our bikes as by now the route is really slippy. Into the woods and we try to navigate a load of hair pin bends which lead us into our first drop followed by a sharp turn to the right up a quick climb into more bends. We twist and turn on snow and mud until we get to a great little downhill bit, were we could pick up some speed and smile at Ant who was taking some great pictures.

Right hand bend and we are at Dougies dip, for me this was the best bit, straight into the drop no brakes and the speed carries you out the other side, just missing the tree on your right. I think I even got some 'air'! Round the corner someone leaves a tree across the path!  Off the bike, carry it over the tree, back on and we're on the home straight and then do it all again (x4).

The course was really technical and made all the more fun by overtaking riders, very slippery conditions (rumour has it Mat fell off three times!), trackside bonfires and Tour de France style drums and tooters!  A great day out and a huge recommendation to others.

For the three of us, being our first cyclo cross event, it was fantastic fun, made all the better with the support from the club, the sight of all those familiar faces spurned us on. 

Jean Fish, Andy Jenkins and Mat Record

 Photos here

  

Marrakech Marathon 29/1/12 Race Report

Marrakech Marathon 29/1/12 Race Report

The Results: A top class international field produced a marathon winning time of 2:08 with 21 runners doing 2:18 or less. Any one of those would have won the Brighton marathon. The top 50 runners were finished by 2:45 and they were virtually all from Ethiopia , Kenya and Morocco. Jim Graham was the 98th man (the 4th British male runner) by finishing in 3:11, just a few seconds outside of PB.

 

The half-marathon race started 30 minutes before the marathon and the winning time was a sensational 1:01:59. Helen Graham was the 359th woman home in 2:17 (including time spent in a mid-race comfort break) which is MSTC best half-marathon time of the year (so far). 

 

The web-sites and results on the internet are mostly in French, so it is a bit tricky to work it all out. Race numbers went to around 7,000 but that seemed to combine half-marathon and marathon. Therefore, the event is tiny compared to London Marathon and about half the size of Brighton Marathon. There appear to have been fewer than 700 marathon finishers with the majority of runners doing the half-marathon.

 

 

The experience: The easyjet flights and transfers from Gatwick to the superb hotel "les Jardins de la Koutoubia" were a doddle (www.lesjardinsdelakoutoubia.com).

 

We chose to organise the trip and race entry ourselves rather than use one of the marathon tour companies. As a result we paid the same in total but got a much better hotel that was just half a mile walking distance from the race start/finish. Collecting race numbers the day before from the expo was easy and great fun as it coincided with a kids race that day.

 

Marrakech is a culture shock (in a good way) for a couple from Hassocks. A cross between "Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Arc" and "Carry on Follow that Camel". Shouldn't have been such a culture shock because Carry-on-Follow-that-Camel was filmed on Littlehampton beach. Like Littlehampton, Marrakech feels like it hasn't changed much for centuries (except the horse-drawn carts in Marrakech have rubber tyres now). There was plenty of exhaust fumes from 2-stroke mopeds to remind one this is the 21st century.

 

Following the race we had a swim in the hotel pool then a nice wander in the Marrakech Souk (markets a few hundred yards from the hotel). Within minutes we had got live snakes wrapped around our necks and were being demanded to pay money for the privilege. Mayhem. It was frantic and amazing doing a little shopping for souvenirs.

 

The race was different with no energy drinks but just bottled water at irregular intervals (carry your own bottle I suggest). No energy gels but oranges, dates, figs and raisins on offer. The middle of the marathon had a 5-mile section with no feed stations and running through busy city roads competing with traffic and pedestrians. It is actually possible to get lost even though the runner in front is just a few metres away. The road closures get a bit less well enforced once the elite runners have gone through (I'd have had those Ethiopian Olympic Team runners otherwise..honest). However, the course is flat and has no annoying hairpins or switch backs so definite PB potential. The temperature was a pleasant 13-15 degrees during the race plus there was some shade from palm-trees and the ancient city walls.