Race Reports

Age Group Win for MSTC at Ironman Boulder Colorado 2018

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Swim

Perfect conditions in a beautiful reservoir rolling-start single lap course resulted in one of the slowest swims in age group of 1:29. This was 17 minutes slower than my previous best iron-swim and reflects current poor swimming form.

Bike

Boulder2018_Jim_Bike.jpgHundreds of riders to overtake on the moderately hilly good surface non-technical bike course gave hundreds of brief legal drafting opportunities whilst going past people. The home-made bike constructed from mostly secondhand parts from eBay proved to be very aero with average speed of 22.5mph and maximum speed of 45mph for a 4:57 bike split. This was apparently fastest in age group apart from a 4:29 DNF.

Run

Temperatures were around 100F at the start of the run and I was content with the sub-5 hour bike split so a fast run was not in mind. Almost immediately I got overtaken by Stephen from Colorado who was in my age group and was wearing Kona World Championship Finisher's Kit. I was motivated to try harder and attempt to match Stephen's pace. I could not keep up with Stephen's running but he tended to spend longer at feed stations so I kept seeing him up until the last third of the run when he seemed to have got away. Just a few hundred metres from the finish I overtook an exhausted Stephen but because he had entered the water ahead of me our finish times were 2 minutes apart. Stephen's 4:01 run was best in age group and my 4:02 was second fastest.

Post-Race

Boulder2018_Jim_Finish.jpgBoulder2018_Jim_Finish.jpgThe exceptionally hot conditions and the 5,000 feet altitude accounted for a high DNF rate but Stephen and I secured the two Kona slots for 55-59. Unbelievable to get the age group award and the Kona slot medal. My 10:39 was almost and hour slower than PB but in the conditions it was pretty good and considerably faster than last year's IM Boulder 55-59 winning time. This result was totally unexpected as explained in the Grand Plan described later.

Background

This is the race report I never dreamt of being able to write, having completed 22 Iron Distance Races over 9 years and never ranked better than 5th in age group. It was a humbling experience having my perfect race at Barcelona 2015 only to find that the 9:45 finish time was slower than 6 people in my age group.

The Grand Plan

A final 100% effort to get a Kona qualification slot was planned for 2018 to coincide with going up an age group. Having been to Kona with a legacy place in 2016, I hoped to go back in 2018 with a roll-down slot to prove I could make the grade the proper way.
Every detail was addressed including body weight reduction, a more aero bike, 25mm graphene tyres, latex inner tubes and speedplay aero pedals/cleats. The schedule of training and preparation races included altitude training at the optimum time to deliver a best performance at IM Norway on 1st July at sea level. The Colorado altitude training in June included 3 races within 13 days (Revel Rockies Marathon, IM Boulder and Leadville Marathon).

I stayed at 8,000 feet for a week then raced at 5,000 feet in Boulder before going to 10,000 feet for a week to prepare for the 3rd race at Leadville with maximum elevation of 13,000 feet.

Reflections

I am very grateful for all the terrific support from friends, family and work colleagues to allow me to have do this trip plus the training needed to prepare. Commuting by bike to work 3 days a week and running marathons twice or more weekly in order to get 100-marathon club entry have been key factors in getting fitter.

Colorado is a wonderland for triathletes with great options for swimming, cycling and running at high altitude to maximise fitness adaptations. The landscape is gorgeous and the locals are very friendly. Flying direct from Gatwick to Denver with excellent budget airline Norwegian Air is very practical. Staying at AirBnB rentals was very good value and my hosts were wonderful.

The strategy of regular races paid off. 3rd in age group at Revel Rockies Marathon with 3:04 then 1st in age group at IM Boulder 7 days later. 6 days after IM Boulder I felt fully fit and secured 7th place in age group at the Leadville Marathon with maximum elevation of 13,000 feet, which won me a Leadville 100 qualifier slot.

Kona 2018 promises to be awesome and I am so lucky to be able to compete there. It looks like the big challenge for 2019 will be trying to complete one of the toughest 100 mile ultra runs in the world at Leadville.

MSTC Duathlon 2018

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Well done to all 33 athletes who took part in today's event. This is a big record turnout, and could have been higher but for a couple of injuries. We had fantastic weather and I think the vast majority really enjoyed the day even though that flat run is much more challenging than it looks, and the bike is fairly tough!

This time it was deliberately minimally marshalled, so we could test out a whole bunch of new signs, which of course, allows more people to race and because it was all low key, it allowed everyone to test kit and fitness and strategy.

A big thank you to our two timekeepers, Debbie and Roger, without whom we would not get any results, and also a big thank you to Martin and Lara Shoesmith for their huge effort in getting all the extra signs out and collecting them again afterwards.

The men's sprint race was dominated from the off by Phil Couch, but the women's race looked very exciting, with nothing to choose between the first five out of T2. Clio Lawrence kept something back for the second run though, to eventually win by nearly 2 minutes from Sarah Hinton who had posted the fastest bike split.

The men's standard race was comfortably won by Neil Giles, but the next 3 had a fairly tight battle throughout with only 3 minutes separating them at the end.

Lara Shoesmith moved up to the longer distance this year and did exceptionally well to win.

This race is not only about the winners though, and a few performances are worthy of mention. It was so good to see Del back racing again, and completing the sprint course was a great effort. Last year Rebecca Moore just did the 5k run, but this year completed her first duathlon, and has clearly progressed hugely over the last year. Emma Smith did her first standard distance Duathlon, but she had plenty of strength for the second run, and finished really strongly. All three of them clearly have a lot more to come.

We also had two relay teams, and several stand alone efforts. It was also great to see a couple of husbands taking part - they both look like potential future members of the club!!

The race results are available on the Duathlon event page and the BAR standings on the BAR event page.

News roundup 23rd April

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Over the past three weeks Mid Sussex Triathlon Club members have been running marathons in Manchester, Brighton & London, with Dr James Graham running all three.

Manchester Marathon 8th April

James Graham completed this marathon in 2.59.52, coming 21st in his age group. Sarah Moore also ran this marathon coming in with a time of 4.23.25.

Brighton Marathon 15th April

James Graham was running again coming in with a time of 3.12.58, placing 29th in the 50-59 group. Doug MacTaggart and Clair Hunt also ran, coming in with a times of 4.24.36 and 7.04.21

London Marathon 22nd April

ClaireHuntAtLondonMarathon2018Five members ran the London Marathon this year with Mike Jaffe being the 1st club member to finish in 3.12.40, James Graham, running his 3rd marathon in 3 weeks came in on 3.13.23, with Steve Alden the 3rd member to finish in 3.33.36. Kevin James was close behind, finishing in 3.40.49, whilst Clair Hunt completed her second marathon in a week with a time of 7.30.56.

Uckfield Triathlons 22nd April

Meanwhile other members got their Triathlon season underway closer to home at Uckfield. Phil Couch and Paul Richardson took on the Standard Triathlon (600m swim, 22km bike & 5.25km run) with Phil finishing 4th overall in 1.08.36, and Paul finishing in 47th place in 1.31.31. Lawrence Wintergold came in 5th in the Sprint Triathlon (400m swim, 16.5km bike, 3.5km run) in 51.19 with Jon Clark following on in 1.05.36.

Bluebell 10 mile Angmering

Sam Drake enjoyed the picturesque Bluebell 10 mile event in the grounds of the Angmering Estate, completing the course in 1.59.21.

London Landmarks Half Marathon 2018

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Running a half marathon has been on my bucket list for a while so when I saw the London Landmarks Half Marathon on 25th March, it seemed like an exciting one to take part in.

I encouraged my sister in law, Sacha to join me. She ran the London Marathon 4 years ago and vowed she'd never run again so when she agreed, I was really excited! I also put a post on Facebook asking if any of my friends would like to join us.  A dad at the school, Wayne, was keen and we trained together.  We hosted a cake sale to start raising money for Tommy's who we were running for.

I then found out a tri club member, Clair,  was taking part who is also a friend so our team was building.  Clair invited her friend too so now we had a team of 5. 

Our training was going well, despite winter illnesses, the weather, work commitments and various other excuses we found.  Everyone's race packs arrived a few weeks before the big day except mine.  I emailed the organisers and they said not to worry, they were being sent out in waves.

I still hadn't received it by the Thursday so I gave the organisers a call.  I was starting to panic a little bit.  It turns out my registration didn't go through and now it was too late to register. There was another Rebecca Moore and they thought I was the same lady.  The other Mrs Moore lives in Wimbledon, we are in Burgess Hill!  As you can imagine, I was devastated! With it being my 1st half marathon, I'd been training hard with my buddies the thought of letting people down really upset me. My race buddies were amazing and really encouraging.

My hubby sent an email explaining that this was their error and we asked for special dispensation due to all the hard work I'd put in and the excitement I felt for this event.  Thankfully, after a day of waiting, I received an email explaining I can collect my race pack on the Saturday before the event.

This threw another spanner in the works because I couldn't get to London on the Saturday. I rang the organisers again explaining this and they organised for me to collect my race pack on the day.

With the trains messed up on the day, I thought I was destined not to complete this race but my sister in law collected my pack for me and we all took part in the event.  Tommy's came up trumps in the end and we all completed the race with smiles on our faces at the beginning and the end!

It just goes to show, good comes out of bad.

Steyning Stinger 2018

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There was a good turnout at The Steyning Stinger by members of the Mid Sussex Triathlon Club.

Six members tackled the Half Marathon with Pete Harris 1.58.51 and Rob Hoodless 1.59.17 coming 2nd & 3rd in the 55-59 age group and 27th and 28th overall. Rachael Baker 2.17.59 was 7th in her age group and 88th overall. Amanda Durrant 3.00.53 and Sam Drake 3.17.42 also competed. Simon Hodge initially started the marathon but switched to the Half.

Four members were in the marathon with Chris Dawson being the 1st member to finish in 4.46.38 followed by Doug MacTaggart 5.53.12, Jean Fish and Sarah Hinton, both in 6.43.30. 

Sam Drake commented that the event was amazing, despite the mud, with terrific volunteer marshals and a well marked route.

Photo of Doug MacTaggart, Sarah Hinton, Jean Fish & Simon Hodge.