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European Ironman 70.3 Championships – Helsingør, Denmark – 17th June 2018

July 8, 2018

This is the third consecutive year I’ve raced this 70.3 as I have friends living in Denmark so now it’s become a bit of a tradition. I’ve been on the podium the last two years but had no expectations!

I had to have foot surgery in October and I knew my recovery would take 4-5 months however it took somewhat longer, especially to run, so it was always a bit of a gamble being able to compete in this race at all. I started running in April and did a steady build up to 90 minutes by the weekend before the race. That was quite tough and I was hoping the extra 20 mins or so on race day would be achievable. I still have tendon issues but much less than pre-surgery.

Denmark had superb weather the last few weeks but typically the rain decided to make an appearance for us. It was a dark, damp and dreary morning and had rained heavily overnight.

Swim: 34:28

T1: 06:48

Bike: 2:29:42

T2: 02:49

Run: 1:46:52

Total – 5hrs 0 mins 39 secs (PB!) – 6th

Swim

Swim start is drip fed and starts with a jump off the harbour wall into the Kattegat Sea.

I seeded myself in the second wave with a predicted swim time of 33-34 mins. That may have cost me some time since I found the swim very congested and caught people from the earlier wave – lesson learnt. The swim route was different this year and was quite confusing. We double backed on ourselves and I was worried I’d actually got lost and was starting again!

Either way 34 mins was an ok time for me and as I ran to transition I spotted a pal who is usually a faster swimmer than me also running into T1.

T1

It’s half a mile run through T1. I made an early start at stripping my wetsuit to my waist as I left the water and took it off quickly in T1 only to find my wetsuit zipper had chewed up my tri suit cord and I couldn’t untangle it!

Huge thanks to my pal Kevin who heard my shouts for scissors and came to the rescue ripping the two apart. My tri suit was now open but at least I wasn’t carrying the wetsuit on my back for the rest of the race!

Bike

I ride a Liv Trinity TT for Giant Radlett / Cadence Performance which I love. Giant Radlett kindly sourced some Powertap Pedals for me recently so I was looking forward to racing with power for the first time. I had my targets and a few different fields on my Garmin set up to allow me to keep an eye on power, heart rate, cadence and speed. As power is so new to me in racing I wanted to be alert to the other data also.

As well as monitoring my targets there were three pals ahead of me and two behind me so I was also hoping I could find some of those ahead and not let the ones behind catch me – I almost accomplished that mission 🙂 Just failed to catch one of the lads that started in a wave 10 mins ahead of me.

Knowing the route also helped me to push the power a little on the first section of the bike which is relatively fast and flat before heading onto a more technical section with more elevation. I think my tactics worked well. I had a four minute PB and an average speed of over 22 mph to make the bike my highest ranking discipline and my fastest ride ever of this distance.

T2

No dramas here – felt ready to see what my poor foot could deliver on the run course.

Run

Since my return to running six weeks before I’ve been employing a run:walk strategy so I don’t overload my Achilles’ tendon. I started with 2 mins of running and 1 minute of walking respite and increased it up to 9 mins run 1 min walk which was my intention for the race.

The run route is lovely – around the grounds of Kronborg Castle and the harbour before heading into the town. There is good support along the way and most importantly our support crew of five were on the route and we passed them twice on each 3.5 mile lap.

I kept the pace steady with the regular walk breaks and felt okay. I was maintaining good speed and managed to finish with a negative split and a sprint at the end.

Super happy with a PB time and to finish 6th/86 in my Age Group.

2016 – 3rd in AG – Time: 5hrs 24 mins

2017 – 2nd in AG – Time: 5hrs 4 mins

2018 – 6th in AG – Time: 5hrs 0 mins

Clearly although I’m getting faster so is the competition!

Hopefully I’ll be back again next year!

Huge thanks as ever to Giant Radlett for their continued support with all things bike.

Thanks also to Simon Costain at The Gait and Posture Centre and Gareth Ziyambi, world class physio at A2Z Elite Health for literally keeping me on my feet.

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Tallington Lakes Olympic Distance Triathlon – 3rd June 2018

June 15, 2018

I’ve had a challenging winter following surgery to my heel to remove some excess bone that has caused me lots of pain and difficulty running for the last two years. I feel like I’m just returning to full fitness and with the tri season rapidly approaching I felt that I needed a short triathlon of some description as a recce for a 70.3 in two weeks time.  I managed to get an on the day entry to this lovely little race.  The race was set in a beautiful park on the Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire borders.

  • Swim (1500m):  27:16
  • T1: 1:33
  • Bike (44km): 1:19:55
  • T2: 1:04
  • Run (10km):  50:00
  • TOTAL:  2:39:50    –    4th Lady, 1st F45-49

The swim was straightforward and clearly marked in lovely clear water.  The bike wasn’t a particularly fast course with lots of turns and junctions but it was on lovely quiet undulating country lanes around the venue. I was riding my favourite TT bike of all time my Cadence PerformanceLiv Trinity which is super comfortable and the run through the leisure park – traffic free and relatively flat.

All in all a great race.  I have been working harder at my swimming of late and was pleased with my swim time and exited the water as 3rd lady,  just over 2 mins slower than the first lady.  I had the 3rd fastest female bike split too – just two minutes behind the leader but my run predictably saw me slip a little into fourth position.  I only started running at the end of April and am building up slowly to avoid any setbacks.  I am currently running for 8 minutes and walking for 1 minute so was pleased to hang onto 4th place.

It was a small race but I was delighted to finish 1st in my age group and 29 mins ahead of 2nd place in my age group.  I was fourth lady overall. This is a great confidence boost that I need prior to the 70.3 in a couple of weeks!

Huge thanks as always to Giant Radlett for their continued support for all things bike, to Simon Costain at The Gait and Posture Centre for all things feet and last but no means least to Gareth Ziyambi of A2Z Elite Health who’s skill, patience, treatments and thorough assessments of me using advanced ViMove technology have made my return to running possible.

Surly Dorset Gravel Dash – 27 May 2018

June 8, 2018

I simply love riding off road, its safe, its sociable and its great fun.  This ride had been on my radar last year but I couldn’t persuade anyone to ride it with me.  Allergies when exercising mean that I prefer to have someone I know around me.  Aside from that you don’t need a pal to ride with as everyone I met was super friendly.

The forecast in the week leading up to the race was dire with heavy rain and thunderstorms all day.  Fortunately the forecast changed the day before to dry and sunny except there was a small matter of a rainstorm forecast for an hour, in the hour before the ride starting.  You could have set your watch by it.  No sooner had we pulled up in the car outside the Red Lion Hotel in Swanage the heavens opened!  Ah well it made for a bit of banter before we all started.

After a fun race briefing by Charlie The Bikemonger, we all knew the rules. 1) Don’t be a Dick, 2) Its not a race (but it is really) and 3) We are all going to die (but please make sure it is not until after the cut off of 9pm on the day of the ride and make sure you enjoy yourself before you do (wise words of William Shatner and expertly recited by Charlie!)

The options for this ride are 50:50 miles over two days or 100 miles in a day.  Myself and my buddy Kevin had chosen the 100 in a day, or at least I had and persuaded Kevin to join me!

As soon as we set off the sun came out to play and it turned into the most beautiful day.  Within minutes of leaving Swanage we had begun climbing up into the hills of Dorset and that set the scene for much of the day – hills, hills and more hills – 2460m of them!  Fortunately the worst was in the front three-quarters of the ride.  The scenery was stunning though and the majority of the ride was off-road.

Kevin had an extremely misshapen tyre at the beginning of the ride and 30 miles in he noticed the rubber peeling back from the tyre rim.  40 miles in – puncture! As he replaced the tube and reinflated the tyre the side wall of the tyre blew and made any chance of repair impossible.  Of course this happened in the middle of the countryside with no roads in sight.  Sadly Kevin had to bail the ride at that point.  We don’t talk about the cause of the misshapen tyre ;o)

I rode on meeting various people along the way, some I rode with for fair stretches.  People were riding a wide variety of bikes; cross bikes, fat bikes, single speed MTB, full suspension MTB, hard-tails, 29+, one guy even ran it over two days!  Happily I was on my Giant Anthem 29XW with full suspension and my Selle Italia saddle and I was in blissful comfort all day – apart from my legs of course!  I’ve had the bike for a few years and I absolutely love it and I remain super grateful to Giant Radlett and Cadence Performance for their continued support and the complete overhaul they gave the bike just before the event.  It rode like a dream.

For the last 30 miles I rode with three guys, two on cross bikes, one on a mountain bike, Steve, Tom and Peter and as Peter says 07:00 = 4 strangers in Swanage, 19:00 hrs = 4 friends in Swanage.

After too many fig rolls, malt loaves and Haribo Tangfastics to mention I got back to the race base with my new buddies – 96.5 miles on the Garmin – 2nd lady – 9.5 hrs on the move.  I couldn’t leave my mileage at that so went out for a sight seeing tour of Swanage to make it up to 100 miles …… as you do!

All in all a simply awesome event, I highly recommend it and fully intend to go back next year if it fits in with my race schedule.  I think the legs are still recovering 10 days later but they had a good soak in the sea the following day at Lulworth – bliss!

Penticton 2017 International Triathlon Union – World Long Course Aquabike Championships – 27th Aug 2017

September 13, 2017

Swim – 3k – 55 mins 5 secs

T1 – 3 mins 58 secs

Bike – 120k – 3hrs 41 mins 31 secs

Total – 4hrs 40 mins 34 secs

5th in Age Group

This was to be my A race this year and it was the inaugural Aquabike race at the ITU World Championship Festival of Sport. I thought it suited me perfectly given that I found out in February that I need surgery to my foot and am not really able to run.  The Aquabike is a separate wave of the Long Course triathlon who then go on to run 30k. Lots of my friends were doing the triathlon and I was very envious as it’s my favourite distance.

We arrived in Canada five days before the race. Penticton is a stunning location. We were swimming in the Okanagan lake.


This could get quite choppy on a windy day but on race morning it was like a millpond.

We were up at 4:15 am for a 6:55 am race start. Quick breakfast of pasta and then headed into transition whilst the sun was just beginning to come up.

The swim:

It’s such a beautiful lake to swim in. The water was clear and beautifully clean. The Aquabikers started in one wave together. The water is shallow to begin so I made the most of running the first 75 metres or so. Then I got into a steady rhythm for the one loop of 3k. Unfortunately we met several of the slower swimmers from the waves of the long distance tri that had set off before us but other than that it was uneventful and I focussed on working hard and managed a good pace for me.

T1 – Out the lake and into transition. I felt good. Two wetsuit strippers started to help me out of my wetsuit and told me to sit down. Bam!! 💥 Both my glutes went into a terrible spasm. This has happened to me once before many  years ago and then only on one side. I ran into grab my bike bag and into the change tent where I found a chair and hoped it would ease off. Sadly it didn’t!

The Bike: I was running to the mount line hoping my glutes would settle but they didn’t. They were insanely painful and tight including the tops of both hamstrings. I got on the bike and could barely pedal. I saw some green grass and was tempted to stop and stretch but still thought spinning easy would help and would lose me less time. The first part of the bike course was out and back on a dual carriageway with little elevation. It was super fast the day we reccied it. Alas today it wasn’t going to be for me. I couldn’t get down on the tri bars and had no power in my legs. I made the decision to stop and stretch after 6 miles. When I got back on the bike the pain had lessened and I was able to get down into the tri bars but still couldn’t power down to anywhere near normal. I made the most of what I could do and was just thankful the pain had diminished enough by the first turn around at 7.5 miles to enable me to up the power slightly and I started passing back all the people that I’d already passed before I stopped.

After the out and back section we had two hilly loops to complete. We entered the first hill at 20 miles. As I changed into my small ring my wheel suddenly had a hard resistance on it. I could barely turn the pedals. I started the climb like this and just as I was thinking about getting off to investigate it a mechanics van drove past. I managed to attract their attention and they stopped and adjusted my rear wheel for me. I got going again. It was only slightly improved.  As they drove past me again we chatted and they once more loaded my bike into the back of their van and tried again.  I cycled further up the hill but it felt no different. As they passed me again we chatted and I asked if they could do anymore. Back into the van with the bike and they made the most adjustment they could. Off I went again for the third time. This time it felt better. The faces around me were now very familiar! I kept overtaking and then falling back and repeating the process. By now I was at the top of the climb and was just praying the rear wheel was secure for the descent.  I tried to ride hard in spite of the descents in order to make up as much time as possible.

The scenery was stunning as we rounded the top of Skaha Lake and began the second big climb. I was managing to overtake lots of people on the climb but my glutes were still very unhappy. The sun was beating down on us now too.  We had a long sweeping descent of circa 6 miles that brought us to the beginning of the lake and from there a flat stretch before a climb back into Penticton for the turn around for the final loop. With just 26 miles left to ride on the last loop I was trying to work as hard as I could. Unfortunately my glutes couldn’t power as hard as I’d liked and my heart rate was down from where I wanted it. Never mind I was focussed on treating it like a time trial and trying to hunt as many women down as I could.  I wanted to leave everything I had out there and I believe I did.

In spite of my mechanicals and glute issues my stoppage time was only six minutes. I was super happy to finish in 5th despite all of this but feel sure the placing would have been higher without these issues – hey ho – that’s racing for you! It’s still my best placing at a World Championship event by a long shot!

As ever special thanks to Cadence Performance & Giant Radlett for their continued support of all things bike. To Simon Costain of the Gait & Posture Centre & Gareth Ziyambi at A2Z Elite Health for literally keeping me on my feet.

My 2017 season so far:

1st Female – Hercules Events 5k Open Water Swim

2nd In AG – Ironman 70.3 European Championships – Helsingør, Denmark

1st Female – Fambridge Yacht Haven Middle Distance Triathlon, Essex.

Gold Medallist, National Middle Distance Championships  – The Owler Triathlon, Kent

5th in AG – ITU World Championships Long Distance Aquabike

English National Middle Distance Championships The Owler Triathlon – 23rd July 2017

August 26, 2017

Short Report:

Swim 1.9km – 41 mins 33 secs (long at 2.2km)

T1 – 3 mins 40 secs

Bike 90km – 2 hrs 44 mins 58 secs

T2 – 1 min 38 secs

Run 21km – 1 hr 49 mins 19 secs

Overall: 5 hrs 21 mins 9 secs

National AG Championships Gold Medallist!

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I was a late sign up to this race. I really didn’t expect to be running this season as I am due to have surgery to my heel. However I have found that by reducing my run training to an absolute minimum I have still been able to race to a reasonable standard so I decided to give the National Middle Distance Championships a go. The field looked competitive so I had no expectations other than to try and have a decent swim and bike in preparation for my A race at the World Championships Long Distance Aquabike on 27th August.

Unfortunately, due to some blue algae in the lake the race was supposed to be at, the swim venue was changed which resulted in a split transition and a bit of a logistical nightmare for both pre and post-race. Nonetheless it was better to have this than to face a duathlon.

The Swim:- The new lake was actually very pleasant. Clean water and weed free but unfortunately there were a couple of sandbanks running across the lake which we had to try and swim over four times although the water was only knee deep. This combined with a long swim (2.2km) resulted in a very slow swim time for me. It was just about possible to swim through these shallow areas although my fingers were scraping the lake bed even with an adapted stroke.  The first wave were running across the sandbanks but we were told in no uncertain terms we were to swim.

Owler Swim

T2:–  There seemed to be a fair few bikes around but because of my swim time being so slow I was disappointed and set off hard on the bike to try and see if I could find some girls in my age group. I thought I must be towards the back of the pack.

The Bike:- I was working hard and the course was fast and flat to begin with. I was maintaining a good average speed and was picking off lots of women but couldn’t find anyone in my age group. I did however find my friend Kevin and felt better about my swim when he told me his was only 30 seconds quicker than mine and he is generally a much faster swimmer than me.

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The bike course soon became undulating on narrow country lanes with lots of twists and turns. I was getting infuriated by being held up by slow moving cars and campervans that couldn’t pass some of the slower cyclists in front of me. I made the most of these times by taking on fluid and nutrition. I then got held up by farm vehicles and temporary traffic lights and the people that I was passing were managing to catch up with me again. Then I hit a pothole whilst climbing a hill and lost my puncture repair kit. How many more things were going to slow me down?! I shouldn’t have asked.  A few minutes later it became apparent that I had missed a turn when a pack of cyclists came flying down the road telling me and some others behind that we were going the wrong way. I found it hard to maintain my focus from this point on but turned around and managed to find my way back onto the course. When I finally arrived back in transition there didn’t appear to be too many bicycles there and I could hear the commentator mention my name but didn’t catch what he said.

T2: – I had a quick transition and headed out onto the run course.

The Run: – Transition was on a running track but we left the stadium and headed out off road onto trails and some country roads. It was a slightly rolling course of which we had a couple of laps to run. It was great to see some of my fellow tri club members out on the course many of whom were racing one of the shorter distance races. I was running well but with my adapted gait to try and protect my heel. I also speed walked up the steeper inclines as this too helps to reduce the pain and irritation in my heel. I was keeping an eye on the women in front but couldn’t spot anyone from my age group. I wasn’t overtaken by many women either and again no-one in my age group. I was beginning to wonder if I could possibly be at the top end of the field but didn’t want to get too hopeful!

I maintained a steady pace and was constantly checking over my shoulder for any competition but there wasn’t any. I arrived back at the stadium and had a clear run to the finish line 300m around the running track.

I felt pleased with my performance but had no idea where I had finished and was disappointed to discover that no splits were available.  However, there seemed to be very few women across the finish line. It soon became clear that there had been some problems on the bike and run course with athletes (myself included) getting lost. The organiser advised me that there would be no presentations until the race had been unpicked and it felt strange walking away from a race not knowing the outcome.

Later that evening the results were published online and I was showing as first female in my age group by over five minutes but of course I knew there was to be an investigation. That took almost a week with lots of evidence going to and fro with Triathlon England. It was initially felt that we had all been given the bike route prior to the event and therefore it was our responsibility to know the route. Lost or not the results should stand.  However this soon changed and as a result of the investigations I and the 3rd place lady (who got more lost than I did) have both been awarded the National Champs gold medal which I have since received in the post.

The big investigation and delay into the results being published has taken the shine away from it for me and I’m left wondering what would have happened if nobody got lost on the day.  One thing is for sure, I would have been ecstatic to have just been on the podium straight after the race on race day!   Hopefully next year there won’t be any added complications!

All in all looking back I am over the moon both with my performance in this race and for the season this far where I’ve had some fantastic results in spite of the challenges caused by my foot and from wayward individuals tampering with signs!  The Owler is a lovely race and I feel for the organisers who of course rely on volunteers and have no control over members of the public trying to spoil our fun!

As ever special thanks to Cadence Performance & Giant Radlett for their continued support of all things bike. To Simon Costain of the Gait & Posture Centre & Gareth Ziyambi at A2Z Elite Health for literally keeping me on my feet. Next stop Canada for the World Championship Long Distance Aquabike where my poor foot can at least have a well deserved rest!

My 2017 season so far:

1st Female – Hercules Events 5k Open Water Swim

2nd In AG – Ironman 70.3 European Championships – Helsingør, Denmark

1st Female – Fambridge Yacht Haven Middle Distance Triathlon, Essex.

Gold Medallist, National Middle Distance Championships  – The Owler Triathlon, Kent

Fambridge Yacht Haven Middle Distance Triathlon & Tri London Middle Distance Club Championships

July 10, 2017


Swim – 39 mins 45 secs (current & a tad lost!)
T1 – 01 min 58 secs

Bike – 2 hrs 44 mins (fastest female bike split)

T2 – 1 min 25 secs

Run – 1 hour 37 Mins

Total: 5hrs 5 mins 

Position: 

1st Female

1st Vet

1st (but only!) Tri London Female 

2nd Overall Tri Londoner

This is a small event held on the Dengie Peninsula in Essex.  I last raced here in 2011.  Transition is set up in the Fambridge Yacht Haven Boat Yard. The swim is in the tidal River Crouch and the bike is two loops on the quiet, undulating roads of the Dengie Peninsula. The run is four laps, predominantly off road along the river bank, through some fields and back to transition at the Yacht Club.

Five of us raced from Tri London for our own Club Middle Distance Championships –  as I was the only female I didn’t have much to do other than finish to win that trophy!  Unfortunately I think the race clashed with some qualifiers for Standard Distance European Champs so the field on the whole for the race was relatively small at circa 100 triathletes.

Dengie Events are a small organisation but slick. Registration was quick and simple, volunteers and marshals were friendly and well informed and the safety crew were knowledgeable, friendly and very reassuring.  (I always make friends with the safety crew with my history of allergies! 😉)

It was a dreary start to the day with drizzle and grey skies but a promising look on the horizon.

The Swim:

It was a deep water start after entering the water on the concrete slipway so only a tiny squeal from me as my feet found the warm, slimy mud at the end of the slip.  My swim time was slow for me. Five minutes slower than a couple of weeks ago. I can only put this down to the tide and associated currents. We seemed to have a fast swim out and then a slower return. Two loops of this and it is evident from my Garmin lap times that this was the case. Of course it wasn’t helped by me swimming off towards buoy 2 instead of buoy 1 on the first lap!  I’m sure my fingers also ended up inside a jelly fish at some point but thankfully I only found one.

T1

I entered transition with a couple of the Tri London lads just ahead. I know one of them is definitely a faster swimmer than me so was pretty happy that although my time was slow I wasn’t alone! The lads headed out on their bikes before me but that was a good thing the chase was on.

The Bike

I was fairly certain that one of the Tri London lads was headed out on the bike before I got into transition and two I had seen leave. That left one. He could well be ahead but if he wasn’t I was sure he would be before too long.

I hadn’t tapered for this event and had raced a hard 70.3 a couple of weeks prior so I was pretty pleased to be maintaining a 20.5 mph average speed on the undulating and breezy course.


Two well signposted loops. The sun was out now and it became progressively warmer as we cycled.  One chap overtook me as I left transition and I overtook several more and a handful of females. I had no idea how I was placed but did my best to keep the power to the pedals and continued my hunt for the Tri London lads. I wasn’t sure I’d catch them but it was a good focus for me. Every time I saw a glimpse of someone ahead I tried my hardest to catch up and pass. Eventually with five miles to go I caught sight of the familiar blue of the Tri London kit. Whoop! I had found one and another hit on his toes too. I didn’t manage to create much of a gap but was delighted to reach T2 ahead of them.

T2

Relatively quick for me. Now time to put my non-existent run legs to the test.

The Run:

I’m battling a retrocalcaneal bursitis and Achilles tendonitis courtesy of a “Haglund’s Deformity”. You can see the excess bony growth in the picture below which has a sharp edge rubbing against the bursa.

 

As a result I need surgery but I’m trying to muddle through until the end of the season.   I’m doing very little run training as a result and the little I do is 9:1 mins run/walk circa once a week for less than an hour. In spite of this so far I have managed to run reasonably respectably in races.  Dropping some weight has definitely helped my run times too.


With only one aid station on each lap I didn’t get many walking breaks. The off road run on uneven terrain was also difficult for my right foot. I’ve managed to adapt my gait pretty well to keep the stress through my Achilles down by planting my foot down and lifting it back up without powering through the forefoot. I maintained a steady pace, power-walking up a short hill on each lap to avoid over stressing my foot and also for a bit of a chance for it to off -load. I also walked the only aid station back at the start and finish. Unfortunately the bin was placed a bit close to the aid station itself so I frequently had to stop. It was seriously warm on the run and trying to maintain fluid levels was more important to me than my speed.

I had no idea of my position in the race but shortly after leaving the Yacht Club for my final lap I heard the commentator mention a female also on her last lap. That definitely spurred me on and I spent the entire lap looking over my shoulder for her determined to try and avoid her passing me. Fortunately she wasn’t gaining on me.  As an added bonus I found a Tri London lad melting in the heat during the last kilometre of the run. After a brief chat my legs picked up the pace to head to the finish. 

I crossed the finish line to learn that I was the first female and the first female vet! Wow! I had just won a triathlon. I know it was a small field but I’m still chuffed given that I thought I wouldn’t even be running at all this year!  Not only that only one of the Tri London lads was ahead of me – happy days!


Thanks Tri London lads for your fab company and helping me keep my focus for the race.

As ever huge thanks to Giant Radlett & Cadence Performance.  Along with my pride and joy – my trusted Liv Trinity W time trial bike the new race kit clearly helped! Can’t thank these guys enough for their ongoing support and maintenance of all things bike.

Thanks also to Simon Costain at The Gait and Posture Centre for keeping me on my feet during challenging times. Gareth Ziyambi is also a miracle man keeping on top of the aches, pains and strains with minimal input. Particularly with a recent troublesome ‘mouseitis’ that was giving me awful pain and discomfort in my arm and shoulder. 

@MattLovell holds all the secrets to helping me on my way to racing weight. All it takes is a little willpower but that’s easy when you can see the results!

All in all everything seemed to come together on the day. Long may that last. Looks like I might enter The British Middle Distance Championships after all!

I really like this event and hope to not leave it another 6 years before I’m back!

Ironman 70.3 European Championships Helsingør, Denmark – 18th June 2017

June 22, 2017


Short Report:
Swim 1.9k: 34 mins 1 sec  (3rd in AG)

T1: 7 mins 13 secs (0.5 mile long transition!)

Bike 90k: 2 hrs 33 mins  (1st in AG)

T2: 2 mins 35 secs

Run 21.1k: 1 hr 47 mins  (2nd in AG)

Total: 5 hrs 4 mins 51 secs

2nd in AG!

Qualification for Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee September 2017

Long Report:

We have friends that live in Copenhagen and they have a beautiful summer house in Hornbaek just 8 miles from the race.


Last year they invited us over to race and I was very happy to finish 3rd in my Age Group especially since I had struggled with an Achilles problem and hadn’t really run for a few months.

Roll on a year later and I’m still struggling  and now require surgery to remove some excess bone which is scheduled to take place at the end of my season. My main focus this season was therefore going to be swim/bike with my A race being the World Championships Long Course Aquabike in Canada in August 2017.  However having already signed up to return to Helsingør I decided to see how I went.

I was a tad disappointed with my race number prior to the race. Thankfully all superstitious tendencies have now been forgotten 🙂


Because this race was the European Championships it was a much larger event than last year with 2,500 athletes (last year was 1250 athletes). Because of this and my lack of running It made for a very laid back build up to the race. I had no expectations because I knew it would be much more competitive and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to run so I fully intended to swim and bike hard and provided I had good times for those disciplines I thought I’d be happy. I was going to employ a strict jog/walk strategy for the half marathon and see how my foot held up.

Two weeks prior to the race I had a steroid injection into the swollen bursa and and had only run one 5k since.  The furthest I had run since December was 11.8 miles – just once. Hardly the best race prep!  In fact since December I’ve only averaged 17 miles a month running.  On a positive I have trained much harder on the bike than usual.  The table below shows my run volume and June includes this race’s 21k!


There were 9 of us around for the race weekend which made for great company. Four of us were racing and the rest there to cheer us on!


With no expectations I was feeling relaxed and had a solid nights sleep.  I got up for breakfast at 6 am. Cold spaghetti bolognese made by my friend and fellow competitor Farouk the night before (thanks Frouky!) It was perfect 🙂

We left the summerhouse at 6:30 am before the roads were closed to organise ourselves in transition. I’d lost my hydration bottle top the day before so I was hoping my improvisation with a rubber glove and elastic band would hold out (it did!).


No dramas on race morning. I was totally chilled out knowing that I really wouldn’t be competetive. However I did feel somewhat rusty having not raced since last September.

Swim:  Race start was 08:10. Everyone seeded themselves based on swim times and I was in the first wave of age groupers.


It was a big group but we had a rolling start which involved jumping off a pier into the cold Baltic Sea below one by one. With no chance to acclimatise it felt pretty chilly and I was glad of my decision to wear a neoprene hat and goggle/mask which helps protect my forehead from the cold. Other than that it was a pleasant swim.  Thank goodness there were no jelly fish like last year when the whole harbour was like a jellyfish soup.


It was a beautiful sunny morning with blue sky and lovely clear water. The swim felt fast although it was pretty congested in places and I received a few kicks. I was very happy with a swim time of 34 mins. That’s much quicker than my normal practice swims by almost 3 mins per 1km.

Strava link:  

https://www.strava.com/activities/1042432076

T1 was a hell of a long way from the water and then they make everyone run to the far end of a very long transition too. It ended up being half a mile run hence the fairly slow time of 7 mins 13 secs.  For me with my foot problem running barefoot is very difficult so it was more of a hobble to the transition area.



The Bike:

Once out on the road I was determined to work a bit harder than I would usually. I wanted to use this as a guide for the World Championships Aquabike event in August. It was a hot day but breezy on the bike so I didn’t get too hot. I was focusing on maintaining power and at 40k my friend Kris came past.  I had thought that he was ahead of me so it was great to see him and it also helped to keep my focus by not letting him pull too far away or even getting in front on occasion.  As a result we ended up going into T2 within seconds of each other.


I was delighted with my 2:33 bike split. I’d passed a lot of people and very few had passed me, and I hadn’t spotted any women overtaking me.  It wasn’t the same course as last year but very similar it was scenic and undulating and I was 14 minutes faster.  My left knee had become fairly sore around the 50km mark and I remember thinking how great it was that it wasn’t a full ironman!  This is my first year not racing iron distance after 8 consecutive years.

T2 no dramas. Fairly quick and time to see what was going to happen to my feet and legs on the run!

Strava link: 

https://www.strava.com/activities/1042432187

The Run:

By now it was hot, hot, hot! I usually do ok running in the heat. Whether my foot would hold up would be another matter. Halfway through the first lap I found our support crew or at least heard them before I saw them! Martin (hubby), Jackie, Celeste, Simon & Svenja. What a team! Martin quickly told me I was in first place in my age group! I was shocked and may have uttered an expletive knowing full well that I couldn’t bear to relinquish that position because of my pesky foot. I was planting it down and lifting it back up without powering through on it. It was sore but not unbearable unless there was an incline. I just wasn’t sure that I could sustain the pace having not put the distance or hours in in training.


I didn’t quite employ my 9min jog/1 min walk strategy but I did walk through all the aid stations drinking and taking on a gel every half an hour.  I saw a lady run by me fairly fast towards the end of the first lap and thought she may be in my age group. There was no chance of me running at the pace she was going anyway, foot problem or no foot problem! Sure enough on questioning my support crew on the next lap I was advised I was in 2nd.  They felt that if I maintained my pace I should keep my 2nd place. That was going to be the hardest thing to do though. My knee that had become sore on the bike now felt like it was tightening up as did the quad on that side. I guess it wasn’t helped by my slightly adapted run gait either which involved my left leg doing much more work than my right.

How I managed to maintain my speed I do not know but I did and I am astounded and so very happy with the outcome of 2nd in AG and a spot to race at the 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee! It was also a big PB on a true distance course.

Strava link: 

https://www.strava.com/activities/1042432135



Thank You’s!:

Huge thanks as ever to my sponsors. The team at Cadence Performance/Giant Radlett. Their support with bikes and excellent maintenance and mechanical skills enables me to race and train on amazing bikes.

Simon Costain at the Gait and Posture Centre has been invaluable at using his expertise to literally keep me on my feet.  I’m awaiting surgery to remove an extra growth of bone on the back of my heel. The bone is rubbing on the bursa and Achilles’ tendon which at times makes it difficult for me to even walk normally. My latest orthotics are definitely helping to take the strain.

Gareth Ziyambi at A2Z Elite Health for all the physio and massage that also helps to keep me race fit.

Martin, my husband, for his unrelenting support and encouragement and of course the others in Denmark who all played a role in my achievement our hosts Kris & Jackie; fellow competitors and good buddies Kevin & Farouk and the all important support crew Simon, Svenja & Celeste. Thanks also to all the friends, family and fellow Tri Londoners at home who provide me with a constant source of encouragement, messages, social media likes & kudos!

 

The Commando – 2016

November 21, 2016

Sunday 13th November 2016

The Commando is a 6km trail race with 18 obstacles throughout which are designed to give the participants the opportunity to experience the mud, sweat and pain of real, modern day commando training with 18 gruelling obstacles over a wild terrain course. Many of the obstacles were designed to be exact replicas of the training obstacles found at the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre in Devon including a 30m neck deep wading pool and the dreaded Sheep Dip – a 2m long tube submerged in muddy water. It is designed to be challenging for the participants. Alison Mead and I wanted a tough challenge last year and had an absolute blast so when we were invited back we jumped at the chance.

The course is pretty challenging for anyone – I think all those that participated will agree. Can you imagine undertaking it blindfolded?! Let me introduce you to Alison. Alison has a B1 classification from British Blind Sport having lost her sight in 2005. She is one tough cookie and since being introduced to her by British Triathlon in 2014 I am honoured and privileged to guide for her. There is no stopping her, she shows no fear, it was not easy, we struggled in thick mud, I tumbled and pulled Alison down, Alison tumbled and pulled me down but we had a barrel of laughs!

We knew the drill this time around and after arriving at the stunning  Hever Castle on a beautiful winters day we were really excited. Martin was looking after Ted, Alison’s awesome guide dog as well as playing Chief Photographer. We were greeted by Yvonne as we signed on and swiftly made our way to get our camouflage make up and do a quick interview before heading to the warm up arena for a beasting before we had even started the race!


The Race!

After our race briefing from the Commando in Chief, Brian Adcock we were on our way. Brian kindly makes our participation at this race possible.

 

 

Obstacle No.1 – Estuarine Immersion

 

This doesn’t look hard from the photo but it is a 20m long mud run and we were up to the top of our thighs in thick mud. It sucked us in, each step we took was slow, the river bed was very uneven and when you hung around trying to stabilise yourself you sunk so far in you couldn’t pull your leg back out! It took us a while but thankfully we didn’t lose a shoe or end up totally immersed in it!

Obstacle No.2 – Tunnel Rats

 

Next up, two 10m long winding tunnels crafted out of wriggly tin and earth. We had to crawl through on our hands and knees. I attached our usual run tether to my leg for Alison to follow me through.  Ted was keeping a watchful eye as we emerged. 

Obstacle No. 3 – Smarty Tubes

 

An 8m long and 2’ wide drainage pipe sunk into the ground and semi-immersed in muddy water. Again Alison followed me through whilst holding on to the tether attached to my ankle.

 

Obstacle No.4 – The Wires

 

This doesn’t sound difficult but we had to crawl under or over a 40m long stretch of wooded clearing with many wires criss-crossing the path with loud gun-fire sounding and smoke belching out at us. There were also fallen trees to navigate and the ground was muddy and extremely uneven.

Obstacle No.5 – Slippery Slope

 

A 30m long steep muddy slope with large ropes hanging down to assist our progress. As well as struggling up the steep slippy slope there were several banks of mud to navigate over too. The photo doesn’t do it justice whatsoever.  Every footstep taken slipped. With the uneven ground and the sudden drop after the banks of mud it was tricky to keep your balance.  It looks easy from the top!

Obstacle No.6 – Monkey Bars

 

Whilst I took the monkey bars Alison made her way across a balance beam.  I think the bars were easier than the beam.   Balancing when you cannot see is very tricky. Have you ever tried standing on one leg with your eyes shut? I fall over straight away!

Obstacle No.7 – Scramble Net


A replication of climbing up the sheer side of a ship – this was a 10m high scramble net laid onto tyres up the face of a vertical mud bank. No stopping Alison, she was up it in a jiffy!

Obstacle No.8 – Doom Drop

 

This remains our favourite obstacle – a 30m slippery slide with a steep entry and long run off. This year we bombed down it together. It was a bit bumpy on the bum but as much fun as we remember – its fast – assisted by water and washing up liquid!

Obstacle No.9 – Catacombs of Doom

 

This is a 30m long cave system originally tunnelled out by Lord Astor’s workers on the estate at the same time as they were digging out the lake. Its pitch black in here – I really think Alison should have been guiding me through!

Obstacle No. 10 – Peter’s Pool



A large 30m wide clay pit once used for brick making and now filled with chest deep muddy water – pretty chilly water at that! The descent into it was less than easy too! There were fallen trees submerged under the water ready to catch us out!
Obstacle No. 11 – Creepy Crawly

  

A 12m low scramble net supported on scaffold poles over a muddy section of ground. No problemo! We were muddy and wet already! Ted was still thinking we were mad though!

Obstacle No. 12 – River Cross

 

A crossing of the River Eden using tensioned ropes.  The hard part was lowering ourselves in – the easy bit getting wet!

Obstacle No. 13 – The Chasm

 

A 20m crossing of another clay marlpit filled with muddy water. Huge kudos to Alison for this one – she was on her own. Up on the wires before I knew it and off she went – I was on the rope opposite only able to give her voice guidance and she was not phased in the slightest in spite of being suspended above water for the 20m crossing.

Obstacle No.14 – The Blocker

 

A 6ft obstruction of piled up logs – literally a 6ft high wall and Alison was up and over it like a shot!  No photographic evidence for this one. Apparently Ted refused to cross the river to get there – he didn’t want to get wet!

Obstacle No.15 – The Frogger

 

A 15m crossing of the River Eden on inflatable tyres – might look easy but it wasn’t! They were unstable and slippery!

Obstacle No.16 – Wobbly Bridge

 

Exactly as it sounds – a 20m long wobbly bridge! Plastic containers tied together made for a tricky crossing which wasn’t wide enough for us to go side by side but we didn’t fall in!

Obstacle No. 17 – Sheep Dip

 

The dreaded sheep dip! A 2m long drainage pipe submerged in freezing cold muddy water – Alison was gone through in a flash and I followed straight after. It was chilly and not too palatable!!

From here we had a lovely run back to the final obstacle and finish line via the grounds and gardens of Hever Castle.  Goodness knows what the public, who had come out for a Sunday afternoon stroll, thought they had come across! However , the backdrop of the castle was so stunning Ted made us pose for a photo with him 🙂

 

Obstacle No. 18 – The Wall

 

The final obstacle before the finish line – a 12 foot high wall with trail rope and foot holds. Again Alison flew over this – nobody helping and nothing tied to us to make us think we were safe!

 

 

Yay! We made it for the second time and definitely had just as much fun. It was a cold day but with beautiful blue sky and sunshine and of course we were warmed up with the lovely warm showers:

  

We would like to say a huge thank you to Brian Adcock, Yvonne Turner and everyone at The Commando Series for making this possible for us. For all the commandos & volunteers the whole way round who gave us so much encouragement and made sure we were safe. To Martin, chauffer, photographer and Ted minder.  Ted definitely was worn out by the whole experience!


In addition we would like to thank Lesley Keddy and all of Alison’s guides many of whom are part of the Ricky Running Sisters. Park Run of course deserves a special mention as this is where Alison predominantly does her training. Then there is of course the support that I get that keeps me trained up and able to guide from both Giant Radlett who support my training in general and Simon Costain at The Gait & Posture Centre who literally keeps me on my awkward feet.

We cannot recommend this event highly enough – it is simply so much fun. Here is hoping we will be back in 2017 for a bigger and better Commando!

Alison you are courageous, fearless, gutsy and an absolute inspiration to me.  Thank you for trusting me to do these crazy things with you!

St James’ Place Foundation Triathlon – St Albans – 16th October 2016

November 15, 2016

Swim 400m

Bike 21km

Run 5 km

Can you imagine swimming 400m in a pool with obstacles that you’ve never swum in before? Jumping on the back of a tandem in torrential rain and putting your life in the hands of someone else for 13 hilly mills on busy roads and country lanes? Finishing that lot off with a hilly run through puddles in the rain on uneven paths and country lanes with no footpaths all the while being blindfolded?

Let me introduce you to Alison Mead who represented Tri London at a sprint triathlon in St Albans this year.  Alison has a B1 classification from British Blind Sport having lost her sight in 2005.  This is the second time I have guided Alison at a triathlon and she did herself proud finishing with fantastic times.

Our swim was 400m in a pool but although we had a lane to ourselves unfortunately there were a set of steps at the end of the pool which made things slightly tricky!  Nonetheless we had a great swim.

 

Next up was the tandem ride from St Albans pretty much all uphill to Shenley Village.  From here we took a tour of some of the sleepy country lanes.  The weather was atrocious though, pouring rain and pretty dark.  We kept our spirits high and powered our way up all the hills and were very happy with our bike split, finishing in the top half of the field.  We made our way back to the transition area to begin our soggy run.

 

We were delighted to have some supporters braving the inclement weather.  Martin was around the race base taking photos and as we were running Lesley, one of Alison’s guides popped up to give us a cheer.

 


In spite of the weather we had a fantastic time and were delighted with our result.  

We were very appreciative of the support and help we had with logistics from the organisers, Hope & Home’s for Children.  In addition we would like to thank all of the people that sponsored us we managed to raise a whopping £482.04 for Hope & Homes for Children.  Finally we must give a special mention to everyone that makes these events possible for us.  From Marty, our photographer and Chief Supporter to Kay Tang from CYCLEdude who not only services the tandem for Alison but also got up at sillyo’clock to transport her to the race.  Then of course there are all the wonderful people that guide for Alison and the fantastic Lesley Keddy who keeps the whole rota organised.  Without everyone’s help entering these events wouldn’t even be an option.  I’d also like to thank Giant Radlett who support me with all things bike & Simon Costain at the Gait and Posture Centre who literally keep me on my feet!

 

EUROPEAN LONG COURSE TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS CHALLENGE POZNAN, POLAND – 24th July 2016

July 31, 2016

3.8km Swim (Challenge have admitted this was short*), 180 km Bike, 42 km Run

Short Report:

Swim             54 mins 52 secs

T1                   4 mins 13 secs

Bike               5 hrs 37 mins

T2                   3 mins 48 secs

Run                4 hours 1 min

Total:            10 hrs 38 mins

European Long Course Triathlon Championships Silver Medallist!

2nd out of 14 GB ladies

7th Overall Female

Long Report:

This was my 8th Iron Distance event.  The days of Long Course Champs being Long Course (4k, 120k, 30k) are long gone since the European Triathlon Union teamed up with Challenge.  The race is now one of Challenges iron distance events around Europe.

I did promise myself that last year would be my last ironman but then the World Long Course Champs was to take place in Oklahoma and a nightmare to travel to so I decided I would have one last stab at getting my much yearned for PB and sub 11 hr ironman by taking part in Challenge Poznan.  I qualified for Team GB & entered the race early in 2016.  Then in March I upset my Achilles (again!) and had to stop running for three months.  Hardly the best race prep but I did manage to have more bike focused training.  I started running again in June and had completed a couple of 70.3 events prior to this big one and the Achilles was holding up with a  9 min run:1 min walk strategy on all my runs.

I arrived in Poznan late on the Friday night.  Something I never do.  I usually like a couple of days pre-race to find my feet and faff!  Luckily I had Martin (my husband) with me and he dragged my bike around to save my arms.

The day before the race was a frenzy of building my bike, registering, packing my transition bags, race briefing , racking,  eating and meeting the other Team GBers.  The event was not particularly well organised with long waits to rack our bikes whilst they numbered the bike racks.  It was far from restful!

Anyway my previous two nights sleep had been good so I wasn’t too concerned.  Managed to get to bed fairly early.  Not much sleep was had but that is normal before a big race.  Breakfast was ready and waiting in the fridge for my 4:30 am alarm call – cold spaghetti Bolognese from the restaurant J.

I was pretty organised in the morning and left the hotel at 5:30 for the 20 min walk to transition with Martin which left ample time before our start wave at 07:05.

The Swim:


A deep water start 100m from the end of the lake.  We were swimming in Lake Matalski, a fantastic rowing lake so the swim was a simple long length of the lake, turn to swim the width of the lake and return to the start end.  With a 2k long lake with measurements for the rowers clearly marked you would have thought Challenge could manage to mark out a 3.8km route but when I exited with a swim time of 54 mins I was confused and looking to see if we needed to dive in again!  Luckily I spotted people in the change tent and everyone was commenting on how fast they had swum.  I know my swim speed and that a 54 min 3.8km is very unlikely and was certain the course was short.  Anyhow, worry about that later.

The Bike:

I was quite concerned about the bike leg as I had been experiencing knee pain on all my bike rides longer than an hour since June.  I was hoping my gruelling massages with Gareth Ziyambi and Cliff Gudgeon would see me through and thankfully they did!  A closed road out and back circuit along a dual carriageway.  Nothing to look at but the road ahead.  Luckily it was four loops of 28 miles each which meant I could keep my brain occupied with time and distance calculations.  My four hour mind numbingly boring Wattbike sessions were definitely great mental prep for this!  The course was mostly flat with a few low rollers here and there.  It wasn’t too congested which was lovely.  I saw a Danish girl whizz by me sometime during the second loop and thought she was in my age group but there was no way I was prepared to challenge her at the speed she was going.  I was sticking religiously to a HR in the top of zone 2.  I knew it was going to be a long day!  It was warming up already on the bike with the air thick and humid.

fot.Pawel Naskrent/Maratomania.pl

fot.Pawel Naskrent/Maratomania.pl

I managed to maintain an average speed of 20.1 mph which I was very happy with.  The end of the bike course was poorly marked and it wasn’t until lap 3 that I had sussed out where to exit to go back to transition.  I also managed to spot Martin here who told me I was in 2nd place (WHOOP!) which gave me a bit of an incentive to motor on on the final lap when my focus is usually beginning to wane.

The Run:

We started by exiting transition and running along the length of Lake Matalski where we had swum earlier.  I was quickly plagued with a stitch which is usual for me after I get off the bike.  I stopped to stretch and sort it out and then ran on.  It was a long way to the first aid station so I employed my run/walk strategy.  I couldn’t make out the run route at all.  It had us twisting and turning all over the place.  Some was trail/sand, some cobbles, some pavement.  The aid stations were roughly every 2k so they became my walking territory along with any hills of which there were a couple short and steep on each lap.  The crowds in the city centre were a fantastic support and in fact there were people sparsely populating the entire course with a lot of locals banging wooden spoons against saucepans the entire afternoon.  As irritating as it was I had to admire their dedication!

fot.Pawel Naskrent/Maratomania.pl

fot.Pawel Naskrent/Maratomania.pl

It was great to see Martin close to the end of my first loop, he informed me I was still second with a 15-17 minute lead on the 3rd placed girl.  I knew I had to remain focused and that I could still be caught but knowing your placing is a great incentive to keep running!  I could also see that I could be on for my sub 11 hour race time that I had yearned for since I finished Barcelona in 11:07 three years ago.  The run surface was tough, it was a grueling route and the humidity was insane.  It was so hot and sticky.  It was just fab to have so many other GB athletes out on the course.  We were the largest team of 37 and the encouragement was great both from them and their supporters around the course.  Even Laura Sidwell, GB Pro who was racing the middle distance event (and won!) was encouraging us on her way around!

On lap 3 I became concerned that my lips were slightly burning.  I put it down to the sun and salt stinging them and then to the oranges that I had been sucking on at each aid station.  However it was slightly unnerving since my lips are often the first thing to react when my allergy kicks in.  I was just a wee bit concerned as I had taken an anti-histamine in the morning so perhaps my pro-dromal signs would be weakened…… I ran on but it wouldn’t go away even after washing my face with water and stopping eating the oranges.  I reassured myself that nothing else was happening and all was ok but then when it wouldn’t subside I looked at my skin on my arms and legs to see a fairly significant rash.  I couldn’t bear the thought of doing so well this far and not finishing so I popped another anti-histamine and told myself to just keep on running, no stopping (it can make it worse).  I know that being scared made me run faster which is no bad thing!  I saw Martin again as I began my final lap and he told me that I was still ahead but that 3rd was closing in but he knew I wanted the sub 11 more than anything and he knew I could do it.  The final lap was hard, I was hurting – my legs simply didn’t have much running in them.  I finally reached the final climb up to the spectacular finish line and rocked across in 10 hrs 38 mins absolutely over the moon!  (The state of my legs below gives you an idea of the kind of terrain we were running on at times!)

fot.Pawel Naskrent/Maratomania.pl

fot.Pawel Naskrent/Maratomania.pl

So a new PB over this distance by 29 mins – although I do acknowledge that our swim was short, in spite of that I would still be well under the 11 hours I yearned for.

And European Long Course Championships Silver Medalist!!  My fourth European medal in a third age group.  I really could not be happier.  As an added bonus I have also qualified for Challenge Samorin – the new Challenge Championship 2017.


Whoop! What a great race.

I find it quite interesting that this is probably the least training I have ever done for an iron distance event.  My biking consisted mainly of mountain biking through the winter, a week in Lanzarote and the Tour of Wessex.  Since the end of May 90% of my long ride cycling has been on my Wattbike at race pace for 3-4 hours at a time.  I was worried about the bike leg because of this but in fact I think it did me a favour with my fastest ever bike split!  My running was virtually non-existent and I replaced all of my run sessions with bike sessions until early June.  No run training seems to suit me!  Quality vs Quantity it seems is the way forward!

Huge thanks as ever to my sponsors Cadence & Giant Radlett.  They provide me with immense support and some fantastic bikes to ride.  Also to Simon Costain at the Gait and Posture Centre who literally keeps me on my feet.

To all my friends, family, Tri Londoners & Oxygen Addicts you are always ace in your support.  Kevin from Tri London deserves a special mention for patiently sitting on a mountain bike beside me to enable me to do my last few long runs whilst he was out of action with a calf injury.

Last but very definitely not least to Martin, my husband whose support is never-ending, having him out in Poland was simply fantastic.  He is always there for me wherever I am.  I have had some great results this season and his presence at my races has been a huge contribution to that.

Next up Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, September 2016.

*Explanation from Challenge for the Short Swim

Basically in spite of measuring the distance accurately, drawing a map, putting it on facebook, showing us in the briefing, showing the judges in their briefing and having a guy show us on a jet-ski in the morning it still wasn’t enough!  One of the water canoes positioned himself across the path of the oncoming swimmers directing them around a buoy but this was the wrong buoy.  However, he was not allowing people past.  The pros, the men and then the ladies were all directed to turn too early.  The race referee and the ETU Technical Delegate allowed the race to continue on the basis that the shortening of the swim did not affect the outcome of the final competition.