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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

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
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:24 pm Cobbie
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Hey Martin,

Your knee issue isn't a million miles off my ankle, it's about being careful as you say. I would be surprised if you couldn't build up little by little and learn how your body reacts. Maybe worth some bio-mechanical analysis to see whether you can alter position on the bike to alleviate pressure on the knee?

Hope it does settle and improve but as you say you've had a good innings on the endurance sport front and 90 mins is a lot better than nothing Smile
Almost back to being an athlete in 2016 Shocked

Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:34 am grennan
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Have you thought about other competitive sports? I have been out of tri for quite a few years due to a pain of a back injury, which made swimming near impossible. I have been doing other things; audax and gravel riding, which I imagine wouldn't be appropriate for you at this stage.

However I have also been doing bikejoring, competitive off-road bike racing with a sled dog pulling you (you have to work in unison and pedal with the dog). It's great fun, very competitive but the courses in the UK tend to be quite short (c 5km). You also have the challenge of training a dog to work with you.

Just wondered whether there are other sports that you can do, that are a little leftfield?

Just starting to return to Triathlons


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