23 Jan - 2 Alpes Night Trail
2:11:05 - 28/101, 4/16 AG
21 Feb - Anglian Duathlon
2:15:36 - 36/175, 3/22 AG
28 Feb - Brighton Half Marathon
1:26:15 - 233/8095, 66/1439 AG
03 Apr - Windsor Duathlon
2:16:57 - 100/519, 6/90 AG
04 Jun - Trail Challenge Marathon
12 Jun - Midsussex Sprint Tri
1:12:27 - 20/238, 4/40 AG
26 Jun - 1st Swim Crawley Tri
0:59:28 - 5/68, 2/20 AG
06 Aug - Phoenix Running Marathon
3:24 - 5/102
26 Aug - CCC Ultra Marathon
21:29 - 465/2200, 27/152 AG
19 Nov - F3 Duathlon
2:09:24 - 3/50, 1 AG
04 Dec - Downland Devil 9
1:05:52 - 11/250, 2/28 AG
22 Feb - Brighton Half Marathon
03 May - Steyning Standard
1:49:52 - 6/97, 1/19 AG
27 May - Arundel Standard
1:59:57 - 6/105, 1/19 AG
14 Jun - Midsussex Sprint Tri
1:09:55 - 9/272, 4/51 AG
12 Jul - ETU Euro Champs, Geneva
2:22:39 - 47/79 AG
26 Jul - Worthing Standard
2:25:09 - 109/398, 16/54 AG
08 Aug - Triathlon Castro, Spain
16 Aug - Noja Aquathlon, Spain
22:15 - 18/41, 1/7 AG
13 Sep - Virgin Active Brighton Tri
1:21:39 - 7/133, 2/21 AG
20 Sep - Brighton Marina Tri
1:44:24 - 11/115, 5/44 AG
11 Oct - Jog Shop 20
2:45 - 13/110, 4/22 AG
07 Nov - Hermes Thames Half Mara
1:28:07 - 5/362, 1/55 AG
28 Dec - Phoenix Marathon
3:14:05 - 4/96
01 Feb: Pilgrims Challenge Day 1
30 Mar: Springtime Sportive 54m
05 Apr: SDW 50 Ultra
21 Apr: Thames Turbo Tri
1:04 22/347, 1/31 AG
04 May: Steyning Oly
1:46 15/111, 3/22 AG
11 May: Beacon Rouleur Sportive
31 May: City to Summit Tri
22 Jun: Sussex Triathlon Oly
2:37 21/93, 2/13 AG
19 Jul: Race To The Stones 100k
24 Aug: Triathlon du Mont Blanc
1:17:03 34/310, 8/82 AG
07 Sep: Bala Oly
2:11 118/560, 20/118 AG
14 Sep: Brighton Virgin Active Tri
21 Sep: Brighton Marina Tri
1:48 7/109, 4/28 AG
16 Nov: Brooks 10k
39:09 205/3196, 53/548 AG
07 Dec: Downland Devil 9
|The long haul up Alpe d'Huez
City To Summit Race Report
Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:14 pm iainm
The build up to the City To Summit wasn’t ideal. I picked up a chest infection as I went into taper and only finished my anti-biotics the day before the race. On the plus side this meant that my taper was a real taper. I might have been tempted to exercise, but the reality was that I couldn’t (without coughing my guts up). I thought back to when I ran the CCC in 2011 and a muscle tear meant I had two weeks off without running in the lead up. I’d done the work, the fitness wouldn’t go away.
So my build up focussed on keeping an eye on the weather, which looked very promising. So promising in fact that I decided to take my disc as the wind looked pretty low (although I had to decide six days in advance so it was a gamble). Then it was just a matter of packing up the bike: something I’d not done before with this bike. In Europe we drive, in Budapest I let the BTF take it out for me and in Australia I was on another bike. A friend lent me a Bike Box Alan – this is a superbly designed piece of kit – once I got the bike apart it was perfect. The problem was getting the saddle post out – it would not effing budge. Two days to go, fortunately the LBS sorted it out.
We left for Scotland on the Monday. It was half term so we’d decided to make it a family holiday. One of the reasons I’d entered the City To Summit was the location – my mother is from Scotland the bike went through her old area, so we’d booked a B&B in her home town, with the idea that I’d give the kids an insight into their family history.
I managed two 30 minute runs during the week, coughing all the way, and that was it. Otherwise, we toured the beautiful area, ate a full Scottish breakfast every day and enjoyed Scotland. On the Friday I travelled down to Edinburgh by train on a beautiful sunny day. As the train went over the Forth Rail Bridge, I saw the transition area and knew that ‘this is for real’.
Registration was remarkably simple. I dropped off my T2 bag, picked up my race pack and went off for a drink with Carlito (from this forum) and swapped notes on what makes us do these strange things – our conclusion – it’s not normal behaviour!
I stayed the night with a friend of mine from uni and woke early at 3am, rudely awakened by the milkman. ‘Eat’, I remembered and had an early breakfast, then lay back in bed until Martin woke up to give me a lift down to the start at 5am. I set up my kit, dropped my finish bag in the van and that was it – nothing else to do but race.
Swim (3.8km) – 1:17:47
Swimming in open water in Scotland in May – what’s the best you can expect? It can’t be much more than 11.7C – the official water temperature on the day. I’d been swimming in the Channel almost once a week since March – when it was 9C. So on race day, with neoprene hat, gloves and boots I really didn’t notice it being cold at all.
I’m not the strongest swimmer and I wasn’t in a rush. I’d budgeted 1:20 for the swim but was prepared for 1:30. My plan was to pick up a draft and take it easy, saving my juice for later in the day. Surprisingly it wasn’t until the first turn that I managed to find a draft and he/she then towed me to the first turn. I was feeling good – mentally reminding myself about the training I’d done, which included 4 x 3500m straight swims – and my draftee (?) was lagging, so I had a look around, spotted a suitable candidate and spend a few minutes of ‘long, strong strokes’ (my mantra was working well) getting on to their tail. They pulled me along to the final turn where, still feeling good, I went off on my own on the final run to home.
One pointer here for anyone thinking about this race is your route to the finish. I could see the slipway that we’d started from and headed straight to it. What I’d forgotten was you can only really access it from the left hand side and not from straight on, where the drop was too much to pull yourself up onto it. I only had to swim another 20m or so to my left, but when you think you’ve finished, it’s the last thing you need. Lesson – sight on the left end of the slipway.
T1 – 6:29
Not a particularly quick change, took it easy, made sure I had everything. Even though it was a warm day, I’d decided to put a long-sleeve cycling top over my tri suit. The main reason for this was not sun protection (although ironically it was useful for this), but to be able to use the pockets. I had a Bento box that I could fit 4 gels in, but I Rat Race had advised there would be no gels at the aid stations, so I was carrying all my nutrition for the entire bike (High 5 Isogels, alternating caffeine and non-caffeine, plus a couple of 9 Bars). Also stuffed in the pockets were a plastic bag with my phone, some cash and Ibuprofen. A rain jacket would also have been in there, had the forecast been more ‘Scottish’.
The first 30 minutes of the bike was slow, partly because I was consciously trying to take it easy, partly because there were numerous roundabouts and traffic lights, but also because I couldn’t get my poxy Garmin to pick up any satellites. I didn’t want to stuff up my race, by crashing while fiddling with a watch (confession – I have done this before), but in the end, I did what all good IT staff recommend and turned it on and turned it off again. That happened just after we left Dunfermline and hit our first serving of gorgeous scenery. Scotland truly is beautiful and more so when the weather is good. I was feeling comfortable and having sorted my technical issues, I could see my HR was low, so I decided I could easily pick the speed up and started moving up the field. With my nutrition plan, there was no need to stop at the first aid station at Gleneagles (you get a great view of this impressive building), so I took in the cheers, and kept smiling as I sped past, by now averaging about 29 kmh.
Shortly after I passed Gleneagles, I could feel my back aching. I’d lowered my saddle about ¾ cm from its usual, more aggressive position, as I didn’t want to overstress it with a tough marathon coming up. I had been trying to stay aero whenever possible, but it just wasn’t comfortable. I made a mental note to neck a couple of Ibuprofen at the aid station and decided to take a more conservative approach. Even then the speed was good, now averaging slightly over 30 kph. That took me into the Lochearnhead aid station about 30 minutes ahead of schedule and I wondered if Pip and the kids would even be there yet. I was really looking forward to seeing them. An Ironman race is not just a big day out for competitors, but also for supporters. I wanted them to share this race with me. Fortunately it wasn’t an issue, there they were and I took it easy, topping up with drink, grabbing a photo, passing on the crisps and generally poor spread on offer.
From Lochearnhead, there was a long, not very steep drag to start, and even more beautiful scenery to enjoy. Some of the roads were absolutely terrible, bone-jarring stuff. I actually shouted out loud with delight when one of those sections finished. I passed through the third bike aid station and just after there was a zig-zag up to even more stunning moorland. It really was a pleasure to cycle through this area, and even though there were more cars and coaches on the road, I found them all respectful and never felt endangered at all during the whole ride.
T2 – 12:11
There was a bit of headwind heading through Glen Coe, but compared to what we get on the south coast I barely noticed it and after I rolled into T2 on 6:21:58 for the bike (177km, +1943m) – half an hour ahead of schedule. The family were there to meet me again and I probably took too long, but I changed my kit completely before starting the marathon leg, effectively an ultra marathon in itself at 27 miles.
Garmin Bike Details (missing the first 35 mins)
T2 – Aid Station
The first 10k or so was on the road, but it was hot and hillier than I expected. I started slowly, but once my legs got used to running, I soon settled into my target pace of 5:30 min/km. I pulled in to the start of a short and steep 2.5km section bang on my plan. This was a tough climb of 450m, through boggy grassland. I overtook a couple of people and decided I was probably in 27th place, based on the kids telling me that 40 cyclists had come in ahead of me, and knowing that a few were probably just doing the duathlon.
The path remained undulating, at first rocky, but changing to a dirt track through woodland. I was going well and overtook another four people. After 3:38:36 for 28km, I pulled into the only aid station on the run. Again there wasn’t much on offer, but in retrospect I should have eaten some of those salty crisps and nuts.
Aid Station – Ben Nevis
I have to admit that I underestimated Ben Nevis. 1400m is not high by Alpine standards, and I’ve climbed many higher peaks, but this was steep. It started with rocky steps, not nice and easy steps either; much of it was just random rocks in ascending order! There was only one short section that I was able to run on and then it was back to rocks again, keeping your eye on every step. Two ro three guys overtook me. Eventually I reached the zig-zags. I wasn’t too sure how many there were – surely I must be near now? I passed a marshall who tried to cheer me up – ‘Well done. Only 20 minutes to go now!’ F88k I thought – still another 20 minutes!!! I was now out of the sun, walking through cloud and over snow, and I put my jacket on for the first time that day. Eventually, I dibbed my timing tag at the top after 2:31:23 since I left the aid station. It felt like much longer.
Ben Nevis – Finish
At least all I had to do now was get to the finish. Hurrah, downhill all the way. Simple? Wrong! The snowy section at the top was easy – sliding and skidding down, but back on the rocky trail again I was clunky and slow. I was overtaken by a couple of runners. Then it levelled out and I was able to run again. I was just about to catch up with one of the guys who went past, when I stumbled and then f**k, serious cramp in my left adductor (inside of the thigh). I stretched, but I couldn’t get rid of it and it bloody hurt. The thought did cross my mind that it would be very difficult to get down from here if I had to limp all the way. Fortunately I managed to get rid of it, and again five minutes later when it struck again even worse. From that point on, I was very cautious and – theme of the day – took it easy.
At last it levelled out onto a dirt track again. I could hear the PA at the finish line. Great, I’m going to finish. In a nice touch, the path joined the river on the opposite side to the finish, so Pip and the kids were able to see me and wave. That was the incentive I needed to shake off another runner who’d joined me and I put in a spurt and dropped him to get a clear run at the line.
This is my Strava details for the run
15 hours, 29 minutes, 17 seconds – 25th out of 123 starters (and faster than all but four of the 19 duathletes) – a 7:30 marathon (27 miles, +2078m) on the hottest day of the year in Scotland, in stunning scenery. My 100th triathlon and one I’ll always remember.
Tri blog | Follow my snowsports blog at Skipedia | Supported by Profeet Custom
~ Last edited by iainm on Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:49 am; edited 2 times in total
Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:21 pm The Iain
Congratulations Iain, looks like a great race, and definitely one that I fancy... even thought it's not normal behaviour!
Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:09 pm KP nut
well done. looks like a great race
"It always seems impossible, until it's done" (Nelson Mandela)
My Outlaw Race Report: http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=80246
Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:18 pm Wheezy
Great write up and pics. Well done. Looks like one for the bucket list.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
I'm a 50 year old triathlete and runner, competing since 1992. I have competed in 119 triathlons and 20 marathons (including 6 ultras). I am supported by Profeet - sports footwear and orthotics specialists.
- GFA time at VLM
- Qualify for World Triathlon Champs
- AG podium local tris
- Stay under 76kg