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Trevor's Ironman Wales

Trevor's Ironman Wales

The event couldn't really have gone much better for me. The swim was beautiful, a little choppy in places and I spotted a couple of jellyfish low down, but you couldn't have hoped for much better conditions considering it's the sea off Wales. I was really happy with 1hour 13mins.

My bike speed isn't the best so I was worried about cut-offs but I rode in the moment and enjoyed every part, even the hills, amazingly, due to the incredible support from the hundreds of spectators lining the sides. Adrenaline is an amazing thing. It's a hard bike but seeing people sat in front of their houses or on a sofa on a flat-bed farm trailer in a lay-by or banging pots with wooden spoons really helps and they stayed put for even the slower riders on their second lap so you feel as special as the fast competitors. Again really happy with my time, a great feeling knowing you're not going to be cut off and you'll be allowed to do the marathon!

The bike has a deserved reputation for being hard but the run lies in wait, quietly gloating, as it knows it's actually harder. It heads out of town and then steeply uphill for probably a couple of miles. Then back down the way you've come and winds round in a maze through the crowded streets of Tenby. Four laps. Supporters even on the further reaches of the run had music systems set up in front of their houses.

I was determined to do the first two laps with no walking, hills and all, except for water stations. Rose was in Personal Needs on the run so I saw her every lap and she supplied what I needed most... love and belief in me. I can't thank her enough for selflessly supporting for over 15 hours, exhausting in itself. She'd even walked out to Saundersfoot on the bike course to cheer at the top of the hill for a brief moment as I passed and then walked the 3 miles back.

Lap 3 of the run was dark. Literally it was getting dark, but mentally too. My poor quads were shot from the bike effort. I took the last painkiller and salt tab. My adaptive nutrition plan which had worked wonderfully on the bike and until now was starting to crumble. I developed a weird 'scratch' on the back of my throat that made me cough to the point where I thought I might be sick. I think it was the build-up of the intense flavour of the Powerbar gels or a scratch from the one and only Dorito I had had at a Feed station. I had to breathe through my nose to control the cough reflex for a while until it passed. No gels from now on, for now water for a bit and flat coke.

Loads of people were walking the long, long, long hill now but I'm a bit bloody-minded and decided to run. I knew for me that to alternate walk / run would be the start of a downward spiral to just walking everything. I was like a slow snail creeping past fractionally slower snails! Some of the slower snails sped off on the downhill but others didn't. It mattered not as I wasn't battling them... I hadn't walked… an internal fight won.

So no gels but I need energy still so it's tiny bites of banana and tiny sips of coke and energy drink. I had to pop up a dark side road for a wee so I'm OK hydration-wise so no more water, that will dilute salts.

Back in town on the second half of the third lap and Tenby was a disco. The bike shop literally had disco lazer lights strobing the street. In fact it was becoming a bit overwhelming. Once more past the finishing chute seeing people enter it... but you're peeling off for another lap.

But there's Rose again and it's the LAST lap! What a mental pickup. I tell myself it's a lap of honour. I thanked every supporter that I passed on the bike and now I thank these ones doubly. It's raining and they're still out. Every tiny child on the run wanting a high five has got one. Their excitement at that small act is such a positive buzz that I feel like they transfer a small bit of energy to me.

I'm running slow but OK. I'm not an Ironman yet but my quads feel as hard as iron. My knees hate the downhills. ITB pain is bearable due to the taping. I'm so happy it's the last lap, everything's good now. There's even some chats to be had with other last lappers and a few laughs. We're on the way home.

The finish chute is loud and red and a blur. I high five Paul Kaye,  he tells me I am an Ironman. I search for Rose, she's there, but too much music and faces to see her so I cross the line arms raised. I see Rose on the other side, there's hugs and a few tears.

A long, long journey, four years since not finishing Bolton but absolutely worth it. The last lap was definitely the last lap, it doesn't get much harder than Wales, no need to do it again!

Trevor's times:

Swim: 1.13.27

Bike: 7.48.20

Run: 5.46.03

Overall: 15.16.03

Ironman Wales and Conquer the Chilterns

Ironman Wales and Conquer the Chilterns

Ironman Wales at Tenby

Seven members went to Tenby in Pembrokeshire to compete in the Ironman Wales event on Sunday 18th September.

IRONMAN Wales is now well established as having one of the most challenging bike and run courses on the IRONMAN calendar.  This is counterbalanced by Tenby's North Beach providing the most spectacular swim location, possibly of any IRONMAN event, and the inspiration gained from one of the most vocal and enthusiastically-supported events, with tens of thousands of spectators, who turn out on race day for all three discplines. This is a full Ironman with a swim of 2.4 miles, a bike ride of 112 miles, together with a marathon (26.22 miles).

Dr James Graham came home in 11.27.04 placing 17 in the 50-54 age group.  James said," Tenby is simply the best Ironman race in the world. Beautiful swim. Hard technical cycle but nevertheless pretty. Amazing hard hard hard run. The very best crowd support of any Ironman. So much banter and music and lovely friendly crowds". James goes to Kona in Hawaii in early October for the World Ironman Championships.

Colin Chambers was the second club member to finish, in 12.28.25 placing 35th in the 50-54 age group.  Doug MacTaggart was the third club member to finish in 13.07.12, placing 109th in the 45-49 age group. Doug commented , "A month ago my plan A was to try and sneak a sub 14 at Vichy IM and then just get around at Wales. Never did I think I could get a 12:41 at Vichy and then be only 26 minutes slower with a 13:07, at what is definitely the toughest IM I have done at Wales.  Time for a month's rest before I attempt a 100 mile trail run".

Sharona Harrington did very well coming in 20th place in the Women's 35-39 group in 14.29.42, Charlie Langhorne, also in the 50-54 age group, finished in 14.49.54 saying he was delighted to have completed the course but felt really tired. Trevor Moore finished in 15.16.03 and Cliff Wilson in 16.31.21.

Conquer the Chilterns Sprint Plus Triathlon at Henley on Thames

Sarah Hinton and Ricci Lennon went to this inaugural event which featured a 750m swim, a 30 km bike ride and a 5km run. The swim was in the River Thames and navigated the world-famous Henley Royal Regatta section. The bike leg followed a multi-lap rolling course with one large climb per lap, and the runs featured an undulating climb which required competitors to to push their legs to their limits. Sarah was the 8th woman to finish in 1.58.07, whilst Ricci was 10th in 2.01.19. This was Sarah's first open water triathlon.

Bodiam Castle Triathlon: 11 Sept 2016

Bodiam Castle Triathlon: 11 Sept 2016

Three men in a moat

A beautiful bright morning saw 3 of Mid Sussex' finest triathletes in action at the Bodiam triathlon amid a high quality field of 260+. The early mist gave way to sunny skies and a friendly vibe as waves of 50 were sent on their way to swim 400m around the castle in the moat. Surely this is worth the entry fee alone?

As I lined up in my wave alongside Callum I heard one competitor say "What a load of carp". Thinking he was commenting on the race briefing I was found to be incorrect in my assumption as I looked into the depths of the moat.

Now I have had pre-race nerves before but not about being eaten alive!

Happily the poor fish/ beasts of the deep had enough sense to keep clear of the thrashing riot of rubber that constituted the rather riotous start of my wave.

The water was warm and not unpleasant on the palate and Jo, Callum and I made it out without mishap and all limbs accounted for.

The bike course is a scenic (read hilly) ride in and out of the valley over 21km or so and very enjoyable in the good conditions. Jo enjoyed his bike ride longer than the rest of us as he had a rather deflating experience with his front wheel. However he still managed to get back to transition, mend his puncture and complete his triathlon quicker than others who had no misfortune.

The transition is in front of the Castle and was quite hectic with people coming in and out from all directions. The 5.5k run takes you from transition and behind the castle to some pleasant fields and then to the footpath beside the canal and ESKR railway. The castle is in sight for quite a long time before you actually get to the finish and makes this a really enjoyable event. After the finish you can mull around the castle grounds and enjoy the end of term atmosphere made all the better by the weather.

Results

Loz 10th, 1st age group 1.08.14

Callum, 6th age group 1.22.19

Jo, not last but awaiting correct times from race director

Recent news and charity donations

Recent news and charity donations

Members of the club have been competing in all sorts of events from Channel Swims to Olympic Distance and full Ironman Triathlons, abroad in Austria and France, and within the UK. The club also staged its annual Triathalon Festival at Ardingly Reservoir over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Bank Holiday weekend 27th - 31st August

Triathlons

Doug Mac Taggart competed in the Vichy Ironman at Vichy in France completing the course in 12.41.29, whilst Andrew Biggs participated in the Olympic Distance Triathlon at Chateau Chantilly just outside Paris in a time of 2.53.19.This is part of the Castle Triathlon series where triathlons are held at scenic castle locations such as Hever and Cholmomdeley Castles, Castle Howard and Chateau de Chantilly.


Charity Channel Swim

Phil Couch and David Shepherd set off to swim the English Channel on the 31st August in calm and sunny conditions. At the half way stage they were on course for a 10-12hour crossing, however as they approached the French coast, the wind picked up and the sea became very rough, and eventually they had to abandon their swim challenge. David though obviously very disappointed said, "We may not have made it the whole distance, but we gave everything and, most importantly, everyone got back safely".  Despite the failure to complete the crossing, Phil was delighted to report that he had raised over £1000 for their chosen charity Asthma UK.

Club Triathlon Festival at Ardingly Reservoir

This event attracted 37 club participants in either Olympic Distance or Middle Distance events. In the Olympic Distance event Neil Giles was first in 2.23.26 with Mike Jaffe second in 2.33.00. Rachael Baker was first woman home in 2.44.20, with Emma Jaffe second in 3.09.02. Gunter Eifler was first in the Middle Distance event in 4.56.23, with Steve Alden second in 4.59.10. Laurie Anderson was the first woman in 5.43.53 with Lisa Stephenson second in 6.02.06.The profit of about £550 from the entry fees for the event was donated to Chailey Heritage.

4th September

European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships at Walshee, Tirol, Austria

Kate McTear went to Walshsee in the Tirol to compete in the European Middle Distance Championships, coming an excellent second in her 20-24 age group with a highly commendable time of 4.59.41. Kate was delighted that all the training hours had finally paid off.

River Dart 10km Swim

David Ricketts and Rob Southern swam in this extremely popular event, with David finishing on 2.25.30 and Rob not far behind with a time of 2.39.11.

10th September Vitruvian Middle Distance Triathlon at Rutland Water

Matt Critchley, Julienne Stuart-Colwill and Claire Hunt travelled to  Rutland Water for the Vitruvian Middle Distance Triathlon with Matt finishing in 5.38.22, Julienne in 6.11.29 and Claire in 7.32.47.

11th September Weymouth Ironman

Gunter Eifler competed in the full Ironman distance completing the course in 11.38.15. This placed him 28th in the 40-44 age group. Meanwhile as a  wedding anniversary celebration, husband and wife team Drs Jim and  Helen Graham competed in the Middle Distance event (70.3) with Jim completing the course in 5.38.32 and Helen in 7.39.54. Ed Cockill also competed in his first ever 70.3 event, completing the course in an impressive 5.38.48 and a 44th place in his age group.He commented that he could not have asked for a better day.

18th September: Ironman Wales Tenby

A contingent of members including Trevor Moore, Colin Chambers, Sharona Harrington, Doug Mac Taggart and Jim Graham will be going to Tenby to compete on Sunday. This event along with the Weymouth 70.3 is part of Jim's training for the iconic World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii on 8th October.

Jim Graham qualifies for World Ironman Championships, Kona

Jim Graham qualifies for World Ironman Championships, Kona

A Mid Sussex Triathlete's biggest race ever will be on 8th October 2016, when this 52 year old GP goes up against Beijing Olympic Gold medalist and reigning Ironman World Champion.

In March 2015, James was almost brought to tears when he received a phone call and an email form The World Triathlon Corporation "to formally congratulate you on being selected to compete at the 2016 Ironman World Championship", "for dedication, not only to Ironman but to the sport of triathlon".

Some call it the world's toughest single-day sporting event. The Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii is approximately 4 times the distance of an OlympicTriathlon. Participation in this particular race is the ultimate dream for almost all triathletes but most will never get the opportunity. It is a privilege to be one of the 2,000 professionals and amateurs to be selected out of around a quarter of a million who enter qualifying races each year.

This Hassocks resident and father of 3 has completed 17 official Ironman Triathlon races since 2009, which are all qualifying opportunities for the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Despite ranking highly on several occasions, James never achieved automatic World Championship Qualification with a podium finish. His best finish time is 9 hours 45 mins, which is quite good for an amateur, but the professional world record time of 7 hours 41minutes is held by Germany's Jan Frodeno. 

Jan Frodeno won The Triathlon Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympics and he will be the defending Ironman World Champion racing this year against James at Kona, Hawaii. Triathlon offers priceless opportunities for amateurs to race alongside the top professionals. James is dedicating this race to a close relative who has Alzheimer's Disease and many people have already kindly made donations to the Alzheimer's Society via his site. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/James-Graham19

Mid Sussex Triathlon Club is the main reason for James' sporting progress. When he joined the club in 2009, his best marathon time was 4:45 but in April this year James finished Brighton Marathon in 2:51. This terrific club caters for able-bodied and disabled athletes of all standards from social-joggers to those of international age-group standard. James also thanks Jane Roweth (of Hassocks) at www.aspirefitnesssolutions.co.uk for helping him with fitness and nutrition advice. We are blessed to have a friendly supportive fitness community locally. However, the biggest thanks of all go to a wonderful supportive wife, Helen.