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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Open All Hours

I ended my season on a high note having been denied the opportunity to race the nation’s finest (ft. Commonwealth Games stay overs) at the British Elite Triathlon Champs. After making the trek to Liverpool to race I was thrilled the weather spared me the embarrassment of having my self-esteem demolished by some of the world’s best. Although common sense prevailed and the race organisers realised that the majority of Triathletes are incapable at riding deep section wheels at the best of times (let alone in gale force cross-winds), it was a frustrating waste of time. Plus, I forgot my wetsuit so it was kind of convenient. And I met Gwen Jorgensen, so that was alright.

After another small block of training I had my last race of the season (Cambridge Triathlon) cancelled too because of ebola or something in the river. Love it.

Following all the end of season drama, my sports science support team and I (me) made the executive decision to fatten up for winter and find my some motivation for winter training.

Dusk Till Dawn
Having signed for Primo Cycles RT for an undisclosed figure (I was promised a bike, lights, bacon and a camper van) I was drafted in to the all night MTB relay race and rocked up less than an hour before race start in Tom’s Dad’s car with my tesco value flapjack. Despite Tom, Luke and I being consistently fast we were let down by Charles (who was actually miles faster than us) who had the only MTB experience in the team. The majority of the ordeal was endured spooning Tom in the back of the car, cuddled under old curtains designed to protect our filthy bikes whilst Charles had the time of his life.

Not having any idea what we were doing tactically, we asked our CCC neighbours how to negotiate the 12 hour race most effectively, and didn’t stick to any plan, randomly ordering our turns based on who fancied it (generally Charles).

We survived to finish 8th which was respectable for two Triathletes, a retired U23 and an ├╝ber keen 17 year old. Our combined total of MTB experience*, at the time, was 0 hours.
*excluding Charles
 BUCS Short Course
A six man ARU team headed up to Ponds Forge for the BUCS short course swim champs. Assembling last minute at Cambridge Station we left on time to arrive in Sheffield with plenty of time, having irritated the majority of passengers on board.

Karma would eventually catch up with us as we bundled a weekends worth of kit for 6, and 6 swimmers into the back of a taxi. After convincing the driver where we thought our hotel was we got going before coming to an abrupt holt at a junction somewhere. One can only presume the driver anticipated the car in front trying to sneak through the amber light, but he didn’t. Our taxi slammed into the car and Tom and Danny flew towards us. Always wear your seatbelts folks.

With a substantial amount of oil leaking from the front of the car, we were stranded in the middle of a busy dual carriage way, without a clue where we were. With a vague point from the angered driver we dodged cars and tried to find a path to guide us in some sort of direction towards the hotel.

Having composed ourselves we took a more successful taxi ride to Ponds Forge and prepared to race. I won’t mention the ARU relay team being DQd for multiple offenses in the 4x50m freestyle relay but my 1500m wasn’t much better.

Slowed to a 17.27.19 1500m having derailed somewhere in the middle of a boring 60 lengths. I was, however, more proud of my transition and run to the station with Chrissy D to catch the last train home. I arrived at the station with two minutes to spare, still in my wet racing trunks, having been in the pool racing 10 minutes before hand. Fortunately a long transfer at Leicester allowed me to escape my trunks and breathe again. Sitting on a train in skins for an hour is far from pretty.

St Neots Half Marathon
Jogged round with Mum cos I cba.

Hereward Relays
After being drafted in last minute a kind favour became a ‘you owe me big time’ as I lined up at the start of the Hereward relays. It was well cold, and pissing down with rain. No part of me fancied smashing nearly 11k but I managed to pull a reasonable performance out the bag. I owe a lot to Christof for pacing me round a perfect even split and the words of encouragement making a bleak, long, straight, slog bearable.

In spite of the ordeal, watching the three other 20k legs brought a warm smug feeling to my heart knowing I had the least mud and shortest leg *thumbs up emoji*.

Most rewarding was handing over the imaginary batten in 10th, in front of the rest of the Tri Club boys. Friendly abuse will be heading James and Stu’s way.


Despite the promising start, all Cambridge Tri Club teams (including both Women’s teams) over took us. Although Alex brought us home with a decent performance, he paid the price for  his brother’s first run in a couple of years and was forced to belly slide of the finish line.