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It was good whilst it lasted ....

4 x Ironman UK (Sherborne, 3 x Bolton)
2 x Parbold Hilly Duathlon
2 x Vitruvian (HIM) Triathlon
2 x Keswick Mountain Triathlon
2 x Horwich Race to the Pike Triathlon
2 x Chester Olympic Triathlon
2 x Lytham St Annes Spring Triathlon
2 x Oulton Park Duathlon
1 x Ballbuster Winter Duathlon
1 x Day in the Lakes (HIM) Triathlon
1 x Trentham Half Ironman
1 x Challenge Henley Bike Course (IM)
1 x Great North Run (HM)
1 x Lakeland Loop Sportive
1 x Cumbrian Cracker Sportive
1 x Tour de Bolton Sportive
1 x Manchester-Blackpool-Manchester bike ride
1 x Manchester - Blackpool Night Ride
A few NW Cyclocross Races
1600km - Lands End to John O'Groats

2015 RACES

Distance: 103km
Completed Smile

2014 RACES

17/08/2014 - SALFORD TRIATHLON (1500m/40k/10k)
Result: DNF puncture (lap 4 of 6)
Swim: 34.54
T1: 3.49
Bike: 50.38 (26.41km)

06.09.2014 NWCCA Series - Round 1 Cyclocross
Hoghton Tower, Preston
Finished - 3 laps down
3 crashes, 0 mechanicals
88/100 the crashes cost me in the end

2013 RACES

Bolton Bash 100km Sportive

Finish Time: 4:32:56
Moving Time: 4:27:21
Result: 101/264 Very Happy
98km - 1589m (5400ft)

Manchester-Blackpool 83km Night Ride

No Timing Chips
Garmin Time: 02:48:54 Very Happy
Ave Speed: 29.3 km/h

NWCCA Series - Round 7 Cyclocross

Finished - 2 laps down Smile
3 crashes, 2 mechanicals
104/108 learning experience Smile

Cumbrian Cracker Sportive 100km

Moving Time: 4:15.00
92km - (5600ft) Smile

NWCCA Series - Round 9 Cyclocross

Finished - 2 laps down Smile
0 crashes, 0 mechanicals
82/95 the learning continues Smile

The Orrell OMG Festival of Running

Half Marathon completed
Time: 02:15:15 Smile
paced as full distance

2012 RACES

23/03/2012 - Gin Pit Off Road Marathon
DNF - injured at mile 18 Sad

24/06/2012 - Cotswold113 (half ironman)
DNF - half way into bike course - chest infection Sad

22/07/2012 - IRONMAN UK
Finished: 16hrs 20mins (completed as support with TTS) Smile

16/09/2012 - CHALLENGE HENLEY (112 mile bike only)
Finished: 6hrs 55mins (completed as support with TTS) Smile

Manchester XC League - Race 1
(Heaton Park)
-- Time: 52.51 (315/351) Rolling Eyes Smile


01/10/2011 - Rivington Trail Half Marathon
completed - 2hrs 08mins (196/356) Smile

31/07 - IRONMAN UK
Swim (3.8km): 01.19.24
T1: 00.09.22
Bike (180km): 08.13.18 (ridden with TTS handbike)
T2: 00.09.28
Run (42.2km): 05.27.54
Total Time: 15.19.24
Race Report:

112km very very hilly sportif
ridden as support rider for the event

Run1 - 5 km: 22.28
T1: 1.11
Bike - 27 km: 01.01.06
T2: 1.13
Run2 - 5 km: 24.56
Total Time: 01.50.54 (55/108)
Race Report:


10km Very Hilly Off Road Pennine Fell Race
Total Time: 01:09:14 Pos:239/281
Race Report:

1900m Swim: 00.43.24
T1: 00:03:06
85km Bike: 02.40:50
T2: 00:02:17
21.00km Run: 02:17:53
Total Time: 05.47.32 (592nd) (AG: 130th)
Race Report:

1400m Swim + Long Run to T1: 00.29.15
T1: 00:02:33
42km Hilly Bike: 01.41:16
T2: 00:01:07
9.2km off Road Run: 00:56:09
Total Time: 03.10.21 (58/65) (AG: 12/15)
Race Report:

750m Swim + Run to T1: 00.18.12 (203/306)
36km Bike + Run to T2: 01.17.26 (121/306)
DNF - achilles and compressed sciatic nerve prevented run
Total Time: DNF Mad Crying or Very sad

800m Swim + T1: 00.17.33
40km Bike + T2: 01.22.06
11km Run: 01.13.52
Total Time: 02.53.32 (105/200)
Race Report:

Run1 - 5 km: 22.05
T1: 53.20
Bike - 27 km: 01.06.27
T2: 50.15
Run2 - 5 km: 24.30
Total Time: 01.54.46 (96/122) Crying or Very sad


16/05 - Keswick Mountain Triathlon
Swim: 16.15 (144/300)
Bike: 01.20.20 (121/300)
Run: 01.08.32 (199/300)
Total Time: 02.45.07 (162/300)
Keswick Mountain Triathlon Race Report

07/06 - Rossendale Triathlon
Swim: 7.29 (58/188)
Bike: 47.09 (35/188)
Run: 24.26 (55/188)
Total Time: 01.19.04 (39/188)
Rossendale Sprint Triathlon Race Report

28/06 - A Day in the Lakes - Half Ironman
Swim: 37.42
Bike: 03.25.12
Run: 02.56.21
Total Time: 07.03.14 (252/330)
A Day in the Lakes - Half Ironman Race Report

02/08 - IRONMAN UK - Bolton
Swim: 01.31
Bike: 07.30
Run: 05.42
Total Time: 15.06.22
(finishing it was excellent - but the time was rubbish)
IRONMAN UK Race Report

27/09 - Fleetwood Sprint
Swim and T1: 9.05
Bike: 33.29
Run: 22.51
Total Time: 01.06.10 (30/242)
Fleetwood Sprint Race Report

04/10 - Oulton Park Duathlon
Run 1: 8.57km : 40mins 18secs
T1: 1min 16secs
Bike: 38.61 km : 1hr 09mins 05secs
T2: 1min 15secs
Run 2: 4.15 km : 21mins 19secs
Total Time: 2hrs 13mins 16secs (92/232)
Oulton Park Duathlon NR Series Race Report


2008 Great North West Half Marathon Race Report
Time: 1hr 35mins - 263//1138

NW Duathlon Championships Race Report
Time: 1hr 41mins - 28/86

Horwich Triathlon Race Report
Time: 2hr 40mins 45/106

Lytham St Annes Sprint Race Report
Time: 1hr 05mins - 17/160

Tatton Olympic Race Report
Time: 2hr 37mins

Chester Olympic Race Report
Time: 2hr 27mins

Trentham Half Ironman Race Report
Time: 5hrs 37mins

Ironman UK Race Report
Time: DNF (illness forced retirement at 65km on bike)

MCH Half Marathon Race Report
Time: 1hr 46mins

Great North Run
Time: completed with Mrs Wiganer

Oulton Park Duathlon
Time: 1hr 25mins

The Ballbuster Duathlon
Time: 3hrs 55mins


IMUK 2007 Wiganers Race Report
Time: 13hrs 01min

The Vitruvian Race Report
Time: 5hrs 50mins

Aegon St Annes Sprint Race Report
Time: 1hr 05mins

Chirk Sprint Race Report
Time: 1hr 12mins

Chester Olympic Race Report
Time: 2hrs 32mins

Great North West Half Marathon Race Report
Time: 1hr 41mins Smile
Personal Bests

SWIM - Pool
400m - 7mins 02secs
1500m - 28mins 30secs
1900m - 37mins 55sec (Cotswold113 2012)
3800m - 1hr 15mins (IMUK 2007)


BIKE - Races
10TT - 24.34 (2009)
Half Ironman: 2.40.50 (Vitruvian 2010)
Ironman: 06.44.45 (IMUK 2007 Sherborne)


5km - 21mins 05 secs
10km - 45mins 27 secs
Half Marathon - 1hr 35mins 42secs
IMUK Marathon - 4hr 44mins


Sprint: 1hr 05mins (St Annes)
Olympic: 2hrs 27mins (Chester)
Half Ironman: 5hrs 37mins (Trentham)
Ironman: 13hrs 01min (IMUK)
10TT: 24.34 (D10/1)


Heart Rates
Resting HR - 42
Bike MHR - 170
Run MHR - 175

I did triathlons once
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:34 pm wiganer
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Well actually the title is a bit misleading, I did triathlons more than once. I actually did quite a few but those times seem like a millions years ago, back when TT was an active and vibrant website, rather than what we have now.

I haven't posted on the blog for almost a year which is a bit rubbish, but I do pop along to read TT every once in a while.

My post last year was basically an end to my competitive racing days and nothing has changed in that regard, but one thing that has changed is my overall fitness. The knee surgery worked an absolute treat and I can now walk around and ride comfortably, something that was such a bind before. I have also lost 11kg in weight which again is quite incredible .... oohhh and I grew a full on beard. It's a bit father xmas but I like it.

My cycling tattoo collection got bigger with my candy skull and red roses added to my arm this year, can you see the chains and jockey wheels ... very pleased with all my ink

I am riding about 50-80km a week at the moment and really enjoying it, new chainset on the bike, new Mavic wheels and tubeless set up means great relaxed fun around the local lanes.

On the business front, I have set up two brand new business ventures, a catering business and a media company both of which are growing nice and steadily - I like to challenge myself and try new things, so becoming part of the catering industry was great fun .... trained and accredited myself into being able to work with my wife on her mobile crepe stall has been incredible.

The photography is still such a great thing as well for me and I am always out there shooting - I have an exhibition planned shortly on some non-sport related stuff but I will always yearn to shoot bike racing ... on the spur of the moment I drove out last night to cover the local time trial ... definitely a lucky night for me to be in the right place at the right time to grab the moment the rider caught his minute man:

Much more positive than this time last year, lots to look forward to and loads of time to do it
Martin Holden Images

The End of an Era
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:48 pm wiganer
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It's been over 18 months since I updated a blog on TT, which is odd really seeing as I used to post daily, but then again things move on.

So what has happened, well quite a bit really, lets start with the bad news.

I suppose somewhere down the line, it was always going to happen, but when you are finally presented with the facts then it’s sometimes quite hard to process them.

Over the last couple of months, I have been in contact with my surgeon and had another meeting with him recently to review my knee and the operation that I had back in February. He was really pleased with the way the operation went and in terms of general mobility and day-to-day life then we are pretty much back to normal, albeit still with a little swelling and discomfort as the wounds heal up fully – all to be expected and I am very grateful for that.

However, in terms of “sporting activities” it’s not such great news – actually that is not quite correct, I should say in terms of “competitive” sports the news isn’t great – I can still ride my bike and exercise but with caution.

With meniscus injuries they grade the damage one to four with four being the worst level of injury. Yesterday, the surgeon took me through the whole process showing my the x-rays done before the op and how it looked during the process.

Effectively I had lost all my cartilage at the front of my knee, simply gone – there was then a Grade 4 tear which needed a fair amount of work to trim it up – the remainder of the injury was assessed as Grade 2 – in his words “very traumatic”.

Although the damaged areas were repaired, there is still no cartilage at the front of my knee and that means we have a bone-on-bone scenario, which means the potential for pain and swelling is huge for any long periods of exercise, or for regular hard efforts – basically what I would have called “training” so the advice is to back it all off and just go out and “ride” my bike for the enjoyment of it, but limit the rides to around 90 mins to help protect the joint.

Running is completely out of the window and to be fair the surgeon said that from day one when he first got all the scans back, so I guess he kinda knew what the future was for me at that point.

I have to say the news hit me quite hard really – no more competition, no more long bike rides – well, I obviously still can do those kind of things, but it will lead to days of swelling and pain and future damage that could affect day to day life so what’s the point in that.

I sat in the car park as the news processed in my mind and I thought, well, that’s that then and I then started to think of all that achieved, and do you know what – I have done alright …

1988 – Toured Australia with Wigan Colleges playing 7 matches out there winning four and losing three
1989-1993 – played at the highest level in amateur rugby league, played for Wigan, Lancashire county and Great Britain, toured France and won there.
1993-1995 – played professional rugby league for Oldham RLFC at the same level as today’s “Super League”
1994 – Rode the length of Britain – John O’Groats to Lands End – covered over 1000 miles in just 9 days on a mountain bike raising over £8,000 for Wigan Hospice.
1995-1997 – transferred for £10,000 to Chorley RLFC playing a difficult couple of years as a major back injury took its toll (more later on this)
2006 – started to train for Ironman which is a triathlon with a 3.8km open water swim, a 180km bike ride and then a marathon at the end to finish
2007 – completed Ironman UK in Sherborne in Dorset in a time of 13hrs and 01mins
2008-2012 – completed 3 more Ironman UK events, this time close to home in Bolton, working with “Team True Spirit” (I was part of the original team that formed the organisation) – we raised over £50,000 for service charities and transformed one veteran into a Paralympian.

When I sit there and look at that list, I have to be happy don’t I – I have to be really proud and pleased with the levels I reached and the things I managed to do.

But then I can also draw up a list of injuries from the rugby days:

1988 – Major concussion, lost a full days memory and still cannot remember a thing
1990-1997 – the original injury was landing on a wooden square corner flag as I was twisting over to score – I couldn’t walk for 3 days and missed the whole of the next season – I struggled lots with it over the next few years, eventually retiring in 1997 – the x-ray showed the discs twisted 9mm one way and leaning over 5mm another way
1993 – hairline fracture of my jaw, very minor but the jaw clicks to this day
1994 – broken and dislocated middle finger (put back in place in the tunnel during the match) – basically top half of the finger was pointing back at me as I looked at it.
1994 – torn and frayed groin/pelvic muscles, requiring minor surgery to correct
1995 – big broken nose (I had suffered two minor breaks previously) – this one was a real smash in the face – again put back into place in the dressing room at half time – lots of blood and tears on that one
1995 – clash of heads and a gaping cut over my eye – eight stitches by the doctor in the medical room in the tunnel at Oldham, bandage on and back on to the field to finish the match off. (as they did back then).
1993-1995 – both left and right ankle ligaments torn, both requiring periods of about 6-8 weeks on the sideline.

When you look at the list of injuries, then really I have done well to do all the bike riding and triathlon stuff at all – it’s fair to say that my 48 year old body has been put through the rigours along its sporting career.

So, where does that leave me now? Well it leaves me to enjoy short local bike rides I guess, lots of lovely Lancashire lanes for me to trundle around and it will allow me more time to focus on the photography which at the moment is going really well and the business continues to grow.

A little bit of me is sad and disappointed, but it is what it is and we need to move on and into the next exciting chapter probably with a Canon piece of kit in my hand rather than a pair of carbon wheels, but that is still pretty exciting for me.

As the gloom lifted, I grabbed my kit bag and headed out in the evening sunshine to bury myself deep in a hedge and photograph the local Southport 10 mile time trial and as the sun shone down, I allowed myself a little wry smile – you know what, life is good and whilst it is the end of an era, there is another one ahead, just as good.
Martin Holden Images

~   Last edited by wiganer on Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
Time to Think ...
Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:38 pm wiganer
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This last month hasn't been great for running .... niggles, strains and general body reactions against any form of running has left me thinking only one thing. Stuff It.

I’m pretty much coming to the conclusion that my running dream won’t actually come to anything ….. running isn’t good for my joints these days ….. sore knees and sore ankles make it hard to get out there consistently …. but none of these afflictions affect my cycling.

Maybe that is my body telling me that I am a cyclist, always have been a cyclist and I should remain a cyclist …. I love cycling and I don’t have that passion for running … I am never happier than when out riding.

This weekend has really been quite pivotal in terms of what I will do in 2016 …. no junior football due to my lad being full of a cold meant two clear days when I could ride and out I went …

Saturday saw a ride south out to Culcheth in Warrington with a loop back around Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton and it was my longest ride for quite some time and with the last 10km all uphill it was a tough way to finish …. I rode quite well but the route was interspersed with traffic, so my overall speed was dented.

In previous years after a ride like this I would be really uncomfortable at night, my back injury would send pain all down my legs into my calves and it would be a night of twitching around to get settled …. pleased to say none of that was there this time …. just tired legs really. After a few beers and the rugby league Grand Final I was ready for my bed that’s for sure.

I woke this morning feeling fresh and the legs felt good too … it was dry outside, so it was on with the new kit and out the door again, this time heading north to the lanes around Leyland and its surrounding villages.

I rode well, there was a fair bit of wind knocking round in parts and the open fields exposed that, so some lanes were brilliant with a tail wind and others were just difficult as you battled the headwind.

Two very different and brilliant rides in their own right and over 100km completed for the weekend which is a first for me and it really has made me sit down and think about what I could do in 2016.

I have a time trial bike and two very nice aero wheels sat there looking at me right now and I am thinking that maybe I should devote some training time to that part of cycling – my 10TT best time is 24.32 which was set about 7 years ago when I was Ironman training and I would love to be able to beat that.

I need to do some research into what sort of training I need to do over winter and then see if I can schedule the time to commit to it, but I think that it should be possible.

Other than that, I will look to see what sportives look interesting … I don’t mind a bit of climbing … long gradual climbs are fine with me, rolling terrain is fine with me, but short 25% stuff isn’t for me … no fun at all so those kinds of rides are not really the ones that I look to get involved with.

I also quite like the idea of one of the organised 24hr things … maybe as part of a team, they look like a challenge that I might really enjoy ….

mmmmm lots to ponder.
Martin Holden Images

Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:25 pm wiganer
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I have to say that I am really pleased that I took the time to rest over the last weekend … the remnants of the cold were still flushing about my system and it would have been easy to be tempted to go out …. I feel so much better today and that has to come down to the rest that I took.

Now that I am feeling more like myself, I can start the next phase of the conditioning work … I have spent a month just getting back to running, building up the distances and frequencies to a state that I am happy with.

My real running training starts on the 1st December with my marathon plan although at this stage, I am starting to wonder if I should just make it little easier on myself and enter a road marathon instead, but then again, I will always have the Gin Pit on my back …. maybe I could do both ?

That will be something to look at and contemplate I think for now …. but onwards to the next phase which will be a month of trying to do at least 20-30 mins every day wherever possible. This next phase will also see a return to the gym now that all my bike crash injuries have sorted themselves out.

So that means 20-30 mins running every day with a longer effort at the weekend … I realise that I won’t achieve this every day, there will be days when work and life get in the way but having that to focus on will help with the weight loss that is happening now … I will also factor in the opportunity to replace a run with a bike ride every week if I am feeling it …. it will also help to keep the variety there.

Tonight will see a very gentle return to my running and that will kick off this next phase very nicely.
Martin Holden Images

The Sugar Rush ...
Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:39 pm wiganer
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This week was a pretty big week in our house, it was the 20th anniversary of my wife and I’s first meeting and also our 17th wedding anniversary, so with something to celebrate we went away for a few days alone in the sunshine and it was a great little break to really kick back and relax. No training was done but we ate well and had a great time just thinking of nothing and letting the world go by.

BUT, one of the big things to come out of the week and quite accidentally too, was that I seemed to have kicked the sugar habit ….. hopefully for good, but I went the full week without any sugar in my coffee’s which for me is something big …. I had managed to cut down during the course of this year to the point where I was only putting in about half a teaspoon but now I think I can manage easily without any at all.

Again, its only a small change, but its a significant one … all the small changes to your diet do make a difference and I am really pleased to have done this now. I will keep it up and make sure I don’t slip back into sugar mode, but I am really pleased they had no sugar for that first cup of coffee I had on holiday … that was the starting point.

Next weekend sees the Wigan 10km race and my first running race for about 4 years, so I go into it with no real expectations other than a nice hour run around closed streets in my home town, so not much that doesn’t work there is there? I will be aiming to get around in under an hour which I should be able to do … a week without running needs some attention and I will probably go for a little easy paced run later today or tomorrow once I have caught up on enough sleep …
Martin Holden Images

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