Race Reports

5-3-1 Charity swim 2014

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The 5-3-1 charity swim was a great success with several participants completing all the distances on offer to swim a whopping 9km! Early reports indicate the event has raised over £1000 for the Lauren's Silver Swimmers charity. Louise and Stuart Silverlock were most grateful and sent the following letter through to Mark Jordan. 

Dear Mark,

We wanted to write and thank you for organising the open water swim at Ardingly on 2nd August 2014 in aid of Lauren's Silver Swimmers. It was an extremely emotional day for us as it brings to the forefront again the loss we have to go through on a daily basis. Although the charity was something we wanted to achieve, it is still immensely hard to put into words how we struggle on a daily basis.

I would be grateful if you could forward this letter to everyone involved with the day along with our sincere thanks for the kindness shown to both myself and Stuart. It highlights in more detail the aim of the charity which I found somewhat difficult to convey yesterday.

LaurenAs you know, we lost our daughter Lauren in December 2012 aged just 9. Lauren was born at 24 weeks and spent the first 6 months of her life in many hospitals around the country. As a result of her extreme prematurity Lauren was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Lauren was a fighter from birth and seemed to take great pride in proving all the medics wrong. We were told of many things Lauren would be unlikely to achieve, although what they didn't realise was her great strength and personality that would prove everyone wrong. Lauren achieved everything in her short life and much much more.

When Lauren was a year old she was given Aquatic Hydrotherapy treatment which was to prove invaluable to her overall wellbeing and body strength. However this treatment was given to her for only 6 weeks, having one half hour session each week. It was then up to us, as her family, whether we were able to continue to provide Lauren with further treatment, of which there was no question. The treatment in the water has outstanding results, allowing children like Lauren to achieve their full potential. This treatment however is expensive, costing in excess of £45.00 for a half hour session. Of course we did our best as a family to ensure she received this treatment weekly as it was clear that the benefits were huge. Lauren enjoyed her sessions and it gave her an experience that most children take for granted, swimming.

The focus of the charity is to be able to subsidise the cost of Aquatic therapy for children that would benefit from regular and constant treatment. Our long term dream is to build 'Lauren's dream', an aquatic pool available for all.  

With the generous support of people like you and all of those involved with the swim, we will be able to help many of these children.  

The generosity of everyone yesterday, giving their time to take part in this event, is something we will never forget. I know the final figures haven't been calculated as yet but the amount that has been indicated to us is truly amazing and it is thanks to people like yourself, dedicating so much time and effort in organising the event, that will enable us to continue to work towards 'Lauren's Dream.  

Thank you to everyone that was involved in the day, the organisers, the people in the safety boat and canoes, the people on the side ensuring no-one skipped a circuit!!, and to all those that entered the water and swam for so long. I really am humbled at what I witnessed yesterday and feel thank you is not enough to show how much we appreciated you all giving your time for our charity.

Best Regards 

Louise and Stuart Silverlock

 

For more information on our charity and upcoming events please email me lasilverlock@yahoo.co.uk .

 

National Sprint Championships, Big Cow 2014

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This is the first time I have entered this race. Neil Giles said it was a good one. SatNav said it was a 2 hour drive from home and as my start time was 8.10am I could drive up if I had an early alarm start.

Breakfast was 4.15am, I arrived at 6.20am and drove the bike loop for a reconnaissance. It looked good, a bit flat for me, I like hills these days. The first wave was age 18 to 39, and I had a good vantage point to observe them on their 750m circuit. I was in the 50-54 age group, J, tattooed on my left calf, just like Dambuster. Starting far right was the best swim line.

The lake water was warm and I got a great start, and seemed to be in the lead group, sighting, I could not see many ahead of me. T1 went well I emerged on the bike in the lead group, how exiting. Before the group broke up I counted 5 Jays, and 2 were behind me  which meant I was 4th. How very exciting.  A Jay overtook me and disappeared up the road. 5th. A Jay faded, 4th. Into T2, and out on the run. I could see a guy about my age, about 60m ahead. I was very very slowly catching him. My eyesight goes a bit blurry on the bike and it wasn't until about 30m that I could see his calf tattoo. It was a Jay! OMG I could be 3rd if I could overtake him. It took me for ever to catch him, about 2km.  "Come on Jay" I said as I overtook him.

No idea why I said that. Mmmm he sat on my left shoulder, taking my pace. Oh dear. I could see another guy about our age about 50m ahead. I was making no progress, Jay overtook me...we chased him down together taking each other's pace. It was Kay! That's no bloody good. Jay was now suffering, I think he was hacked off it a Kay. As I overtook Kay, he wasn't bothered by me, he let me go. I had about 1km to go, no oldies ahead, and I could no longer hear Kay and Jay behind me.

I settled into my Jedi running. Blurred vision check, shoulders hurting check, chest on fire check, stomach burning check, legs in agony check, calfs in screaming agony check. I was in great shape. Was I really 3rd? Pat pat pat pat pat pat I heard from behind. Oh dear. Pat was coming up fast. As Pat came past, Pat had grey hair, bad news, Pat looked about 50, I made him come around to my left as we swept around a long right turn. Pat was wearing GB blue. Oh dear. This could be very bad news.

I could see the finish inflateable arch about 200m away. Pat had better not be a bloody Jay. I could now see his left calf until he was 2 -3m ahead of me. Pat Bloody well was a Jay. PatJay was now pulling away.....but then I held him. 100m to go. Come on Martin come on. 50m to go, come on come on, this could be for 3rd. COME ON, GO, GO, GO. I could not pull him back. Finish. If I am 4th I am going to cry all the way home I think. 

Shattered I go over to PatJay to say hello, his wife was there. "Bad luck Andy, I think you were 4th" she says. PatJay and I have a chat, "I think I am going to cry all the way home" he says. "Don't" says his wife. Jay The 3rd, was 58 secs ahead of us it turns out, and JaySwim1st, was a fish, miles ahead in the swim. So I was 5th.

If you had said I would have come 5th in the Nationals a year ago, I would have laughed so much, I would have had a hernia. You have got to do this race next year, there were only 25 in my age category, so a great chance for a medal. Wouldn't it be cool if you had been there and won one. A MSTC member with a National Championship medal, that would be super cool.

Martin, 7th July 2014

Ironman Nice 2014

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First of all thank you to all MSTC coaches for their tuition this past year. 

This was my first attempt at the full distance Ironman and it quite rightly needed to be treated with respect. I went into the event feeling pretty good, apprehensions of the swim had faded after some decent simulated distance swims in training. 

Swim

(3.8km) - Open water sea swim, double 1.9km loop with Australian exit after loop 1. The start is possibly best described as a scenario whereby a ferry as sunk and 2800 people are clambering for 1 lifeboat! It was extreme and didn't settle down until atleast 1km in. I opted to not follow the crowd and concentrate on my own navigation which proved to work out quite well with alot of competitors swimming too far. Finished strong and perhaps should have gone 10mins quicker. 

Bike

(180.2km) - Don't try Ironman Nice if you're looking for a flat ride, the first 85 km are spent climbing almost 1200m into the Alpes Maritimes, in fact you're so high up you go past Greolieres which is a ski resort! There is another punishing climb about 110km in and then it is fast downhill all the way back to Nice. The weather can be very unpredictable in these mountains and on this occasion it was no different, the remaining 70km were extremely hard in the rain, no one had dressed warm enough and it became a real slog , I counted 4 ambulances along the way with many people going off including the a few pros at the front of the field, in fact I'm told the winner came off twice.

Overall it went ok, I knew the course pretty well and was able to manage my way through it, biggest mistake was not packing some water proofs in the special needs bag at the top of the mountain. I also made the mistake of altering my nutrition strategy from something I'd tried in training; i took sodium tablets with the water and i suspect these didn't work too well with the gels. However i stuck to my plan and took in about 310 calories per hour plus 750 ml of water/sodium per hour.

Full respect to the guy that was doing this event with 1 leg. 

Run

(42.2 km) - From hypothermically cold to 30 degree heat on the Promenade, 4 x 10km loops was the next stage. First 15-20km were not too bad and I was able to hold my target pace, support from the crowd was immense and this helped alot. Wet feet then became the next big issue, they were soaking from the bike leg and new socks in transition 2 had not helped enough, the run through showers only made it worse and once the blisters set in it became extremely hard. Drying your feet properly in transition 2 is probably worth 20mins off your finish time. The 2nd half of the Marathon on an Ironman is a real test of will power and fitness and I was mightily impressed by the other competitors and how hard they all pushed themselves. Crossing the finish line is what it's all about; some sprinted, some dived, some jumped, some carried their children, some laid down on a stretcher and some crawled.  

Result

Overall a rewarding day that was organised very well. Learnt alot for next time..

Swim (1h22) Bike (6h48) Run (4h:14) = 12:39

Anthony Vince

Kitzbuhel European Championships 2014 – Allez! Allez! Allez!

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Check out Paul Newsome's full race report on Kitzbuhel here:

Kitzbuhel European Championships 2014 - Allez! Allez! Allez!

 

 

Dambuster Triathlon

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The pre race plan was elegantly simple: Arrive early, pitch the tent, register, curry, bed. The military however say that plans never last longer than first contact with the enemy - in this case myself.

8 minutes into the 117 mile drive, I announce to my wife that I have forgotten my wallet. About turn, collect wallet, try again.

12 minutes into the restarted 117 mile drive we hit the first of four traffic jams - at that point I decided the only course of action was to break out the wriggly worms.

For the uninitiated, these are some excellent sweeties made by the natural confectionary company that Helen swears that the gelatin content has improved her nails (race report and beauty tips, how I spoil you...). Two bags and 50miles later and I am feeling a little sick.

Anyway, four hours and forty minutes into the two and a half hour drive, we arrive at Rutland water to be met by a phalanx of MSTC members patronising the on site restaurant. I register, collect my t-shirt, and debate how many free gels it is polite to cram into your envelope before grabbing a large handful.

We pitch the tent in the field next door and walk the 7mins back to the restaurant after realising that neither of us can be bothered to drive into town for a take-out. Fish and chips are ordered, and we settle down to enjoy the company of our fellow MSTC athletes - who all decide it is time to head to their hotels several miles away.

We are forced into idle small talk over dinner until a passing Dalmatian called "Pebbles" decides she fancies my dog and destroys a good proportion of the seating area with her extending lead in her efforts to get to him! We are clearly causing a scene and decide it is time to head back to the tent.

The children of the two families camping next to us put on a delightful display of unruly behaviour until at 9:58pm (and two minutes before my "THAT'S IT" limit) they are ushered off to bed. Peace ensues, and we too head to our queen size inflatable mattress/divan, feather pillows and duck down duvet. Blissful sleep awaits.

Until 3:48am...

At that point the geese decide its time to get up, and see no reason as to why we should not join them. I make a mental note to add "shotgun" to my equipment checklist, and attempt to return to sleep.

5:15 arrives too soon, and I am up flapping like a good-un. Breakfast is consumed en route to the facilities, and pre-race nerves start to show. Back to the tent where I collect the bike and my new Tri-bag, and off to transition I head.

Dambuster Water Exit

Transition is well laid out, with plenty of space for us all. Considering I have the least distance to travel, I am still racked and ready a full 50mins prior to race brief, and 85mins prior to my start time. I wander around for a bit and try to calm myself with some caffeine. Eventually the MSTC posse start showing themselves around the briefing area and we club together like so many lemmings on our way to the cliff.

Race briefing had some memorable moments, with competitors being told to take their hands off their helmets, and a joke about Barrett homes. We wish each other luck, and start congregating in swim hat colour groups.

The race starts with a blast of the horn, and the first wave is off. Another wave heads out 10mins later, and then before my wave can go, the first swimmers are coming back in - 18mins since starting. I tell myself that jealousy is not nice, but my ego continues to chunter unkind thoughts.

It's our turn at last and off we go over the 30ft of sharp stones hidden below the surface. I start swimming as soon as I can, and am amazed by the visibility in the water. We head out to the first buoy, and I start overtaking those who went out too quickly. My sighting practice has stood me in good stead, and I round each buoy right next to it. Competition for this prime line is stiff, and I have a new black eye to prove it.

Out of the water in just over 31mins, and I run to the bike. Now I am very chuffed by this development - normally I shuffle up the slope doing a dog trot at best with my legs not working post swim. So shocked that I am actually running at this point, I forget to unzip my wetsuit until I am almost at my bike!

T1 progresses well and out I head on to the bike course. All goes well on the roads, descents are fast and ascents slowed by the weight of traffic stuck behind slower bikes. I manage a fair bit of overtaking and make it past the 8mile mark where my bike broke last year. Every mile from here is going into the unknown but I am loving it.

I keep the speed average up above 20mph and finally make it back to the main road thinking "not long now". That final 5.5mile stretch seems to last forever, with some great potholes on the descent into the last village almost breaking my wrists with the shock of hitting them. Up the final hill, down the link road, and back to T2.

I look at my watch and it shows 1:53. I have a target of 2:40 in my head so off I go. It's going to be close - but doable.

Dambuster Andrew Lennox

I keep my pacing short with high cadence to get my legs working, and all seems to be going well until the dam. A guy at the feed station shouts "High Five", and I start wondering why the hell I would want to high five him when what I really need is a drink. I grab the two cups offered and pour them over my head. As I grab another to drink someone else shouts "water", and the penny drops.

As the sun beats down across the dam I am now a sticky mess.

I tap hands with passing club mates as we go which is a great encouragement, but by the end of the second mile I feel myself slowing in the heat. From the dam to the turnaround point takes forever, but I make it to the feed station and ensure I douse myself in several cups of water to wash off the high five.

I focus on maintaining cadence and pray for cloud to hide the sun - but it is not to be. I look at my watch and realise that I have little chance of running the final 4km in 16mins as it has taken 30mins to run the first 6. I dig in for a bit, determined to be sub 2:45.

The final rise from the cattle grids up towards the watersports centre drains my legs some more, and I start hearing the tannoy more clearly - almost home.

Through the yacht park I go and I am greeted with my first sight of the finish line accompanied by the sound of cow-bells. The MSTC posse make some noise, and I am lifted enormously as I head to the line. I hear someone coming up behind me and I push on to hold off their attempt to beat me at the last.

I cross the line elated and lean against the railings not knowing whether to collapse or be sick - I know for sure I have left nothing out there on my race. Finish time of 2:43 - but a bit disappointed to not get 2:40. I console myself with a cheeseburger and tell tall tales to my friends.

Overall I had great race, and am proud to have competed at a national championships level for my sport - I am finally beginning to believe that I am a triathlete. Best of all I did not get chicked until 6km into the run - I must be getting better.

Andrew Lennox, 22/06/2014

Dambuster Finishers

Some Dambuster finishers enjoying a well earned beer (alcohol free, of course)

Check out the MSTC flickr group and facebook page for more photos from Dambuster.