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25m Kick board 30s (03/10/12)
50m Kick board 1:04 (03/10/12)
50m 37 (01/03/13)
100m 1:20.5 (01/03/13)
200m 3:02 (04/04/12)
400m 6:18 (22/01/13)
500m 8:10 (27/03/13) (first 500 in 1500)
750m 12:22 (27/03/13) (first 750 in 1500)
1000m 16:23 (12/02/14) (first 1k of 1500)
1500m 24:51.8 (27/03/13) OW - 23:43 - 2010
1900m 33:58 (09/09/10)
3800m 1:11:20 (24/05/11) (1:06ish @ FM but time inc. T1 1:14)
Golf - 70 (39s / 31st) (**/08/15)
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100IM 1:50
50 fly 48

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40km 1:02:35 (22/06/14)
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10km 45:41
Half mara 1:46:44 (24/02/13) (Tunbridge Wells)
Marathon 4:09:11 (13/04/14) (VMLM)
30min TM - 6120m
5km TM 22:50 (25/04/12)

Tri's
(400/20/5) 1:11:33(Eton SS 2009)
Sprint 1:34:55(Blenheim 2008, only standard distance sprint!)
7oaks 1:48:14 (27/04/14)
Tonbridge 1:23:28 (May 2012)
Oly 2:18:31 (Dartford 2014)
70.3 5:34:55 (Midnightman 2012)
Iron 14:21:58 (Forestman 2011)
Me
 
In 2002 i ruptured my ACL and MCL playing football and was told i would not be having an op on the NHS and could never play again (along with many other things!)... After doing some freeride / downhill MTB'ing for a couple of years, I starting to swim again in August 07 and thought, i cycle, i swim...all i need to do is run a little..how about earning a little money for charity and sign up for the London Oly! I went on to enjoy my first season in tri so much I have done a 2nd, gone sub 2:30 for an Olympic distance got round an ironman and am still going!
When not training I can be seen at the Boleyn Ground being a long suffering season ticket holder at the 1966 World cup winners West Ham Rolling Eyes
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All about hammerer
 

hammerer
Joined: 19 Nov 2007
Location: Right Next Door To Hell

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Midnightman - 15/16th August 2015
Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:07 am hammerer
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2.4miles of swimming, 112miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running is tough, and doing it overnight around a grotty trading estate in Dartford just adds to that, but there was a pressure to succeed. I had DNFíd my last 2 Iron Distance races and I couldnít make it 3 on the trot. I was severely under trained and was lucky if Iíd managed 5hours average training a week this year. I had swam and run very little, 70km of swim and about 350km of run and all but about 200km of my 2100km of cycling had been on my fixie or in circles at the velodrome. A lot of high intensity efforts but very little distance. I did get one 70mile ride in and one of about 50 though. What could possibly go wrong? I was in a good place though, I ate well and felt good arriving at the venue. Iíd taken time pressures off and thought Iíd just have a nice leisurely swim in the sun, enjoy the bike at about 20min laps for a 6:40 and see what I had left for the run. In the water I positioned myself further back than usual due to the quarter and half distance as well as the aquabikers, but this proved a bit of a mistake as I ended up having to pass many, especially those who always go off way too quickly. I enjoyed the swim, first lap went well in 16:30, then went through half way in 33minutes odd. Problem was I then decided to bring up my lunch into the lake. Oh well!. After two laps the swim was lonely and I cruised into the end. When I went to climb out I immediately cramped in my right calf though and fell back into the lake! Pretty funny but meant I ended up sitting on the ledge for 2 minutes trying to stretch it out as I couldnít stand! No harm done and crossed the mat in 1:11. Very slow for me, but was nearer 1:09 really. In hindsight I got the 4th fastest swim of the day so mildly pleased and it looks that many Garmins marked the swim at over 4.2km with my friends at 4.35! This would fit with the kind of shape Iím in and the pacing I used. Also one of the canoeists commented that a buoy had drifted quite a bit during the day and with 4 laps and 2 buoys being double back turns then it wouldnít take much to increase the distance significantly. A steady T1 of 5mins putting on calf guards that id deliberately left off for the swim as Iíd cramped the last 2 times I wore them Laughing, and changing my tri top for a bike jersey due to the air temp being a little chilly meant Id also managed to get over the cramp, although I could feel a small knot still there. I jumped on the bike and set off first the first of 20 x 9km laps! There was a bit of wind on course but the first 2 laps I really soft pedaled and sat up a lot on my bars just taking it easy. I tried to get some food in me but my stomach wasnít happy so I held back. I was managing to drink the very weak High5 on offer though so this helped. 20min laps were ticking off nicely but on my 7th lap my saddle came loose and I had to stop. The faff of removing my saddle bag and putting it all back cost close to 10minutes but it didnít affect me at that point too much. On lap 8 I stopped for arm warmers as it was getting colder and then lap 9 another stop for a rubbing brake cost me a bit more time. This also meant I got colder still and at the end of lap 10 I was low and cold so stopped, put on a winter jersey over the summer one and arm warmers and set off. I was pretty happy again though and the next laps ticked off and at lap 15 I stopped for a bagel, ate that and settled in for the last 28miles. I didnít really notice at the time but my pace dropped off loads at this point and cost me quite a bit of time, probably due to the toilet stops, but I was still smiling, happy and most importantly feeling reasonably good. I rolled into T2 at about 3am and John was there to welcome me in saying you have 8hrs to finish the run. You can walk it now Laughing I did comment I would probably have to but I went through T2 conservatively and set off on lap 1 of 8. The course is quite good considering its around a trading estate. A small run to a junction then an out and back for a mile each way and then a little loop around the lake. This meant there was a lot of chance to see the limited number of people. Lap one flew by with the 3.25miles passing in 36 odd minutes. Not bad but I knew I wasnít going to keep this pace up. The aid station was next to the finish line at the end of each lap and I tapped laps 2 and 3 off with just coke and fizzy cola bottles as they went well, but my stomach wasnít happy. I focused on keeping the heart rate down and continuing my 9/1 run walk although I changed this to walk a certain 2 sections and run the rest. I was slowing though was keeping times to around the 40minute mark. Lap 4 was awful. I thought I was going to die at some points and needed to walk more to stop my stomach reacting than anything. At the end of lap 4 I ended up in an extended visit to the porta potty where I thought I was going to fall asleep! Lap 5 I spent much of yawning but was feeling a bit better but the lack of energy was starting to concern me so at the start of lap 6 I consciously decided to walk for 10mins, fast, whilst eating anything I could. This was nuts, chocolate, fizzy sweets and 2 big cups of coke. Although it made me feel terrible I could still walk 14min / miles and my body was slowly digesting the food and I was getting better! When the sun came up I instantly felt alive again, and the final two laps, although they hurt, were far more pleasant. I eventually rounded the housing estate one more time and ran for the line where John greeted me in 14:38:23 and a big smile! I had banished the Midnightman demons in a pathetic time, but seriously I didnít care. I got home in one piece and had the medal for El NiŮo! The highlight of my morning was when I got home and he said "Daddy, you did an Ironman triathlon all night" and seemed so proud! ďI want to be an IronkidĒ he said so I gave him my medal which he wore all day whilst running in the garden and riding his bike. If I take anything from what I do that isn't selfish its that I hope he realises that sport is enjoyable for all, regardless of ability and that all you have to do is try hard and listen to what youíre told! Swim 1:11:41 T1 5:53 Bike 7:41:06 T2 5:22 Run 5:34:21 Total 14:38:23
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The Clash of the Tritons - from the other side
Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:45 pm hammerer
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This is a race report with a difference!

It all started on a Thursday in late June. I met up with a guy named Mick from GLL to discuss the possibility of putting a race on at Charlton Lido. 10 weeks later on 14th September the idea had come to fruition and race day was upon us.

To say that 10 weeks was hard work would be a lie. To say the final 2 days was hard would be an understatement. That is the reality of race directing. Manic periods followed by days, weeks even of waiting. You are waiting for people to get back to you, waiting for the entries to roll in, waiting, lots of waiting. Patience is required but you also need tenacity. People arenít inherently lazy but, not always by choice, things get in the way. They have lives, jobs, families and in the case of triathletes 10 hours+ of training a week that comes first! Your race, thatís relying on them, comes a distance down the list that doesnít even register. You have to remember that just because you have chosen this path, to prioritise the club and the race above your own triathlon goals for the immediate future, others canít. This results in a need for tactful chasing of people, the people doing you a favour. They donít mean to be distant, they can have good intentions, but when you have tight deadlines you need action and sometimes itís not forthcoming. You run the risk of alienating them but you canít. You need them more than they need you! Itís a balance that is hard to get at times

We started off getting a date set and permission to use the centre. This was followed by application to the local authority to use the park. We couldnít gain this though until an application to TE went in to affiliate the race. This meant a risk assessment had to be produced for the parks people, the lido and TE. What you or I perceive as a risk is not what the authorities perceive in all cases. It had to be watertight, such risks as head on collisions in the pool, trip hazards on the course, people walking dogs, to serious risks of people getting lost or, heaven forbid, drowning! As part of this we had to get first aid cover so the order went in to St Johns Ambulance. Then we had a wait.

Whilst the wait for the above permissions went on we set up the rest. We found a timing company, the single most expensive part of putting a race on. The next time you put a chip on your ankle and think about the amount you paid for the event remember, thatís the majority of it going there! Most companies are in excess of £1000, even for a small event so imagine what it costs at the bigger events!

We set the website up both ours and entry central. Thankfully I had some good help there. Saved me a few hours! Then wait was over, permissions granted so game on. The websites went live and the entries were opened. We emailed every swim, athletics and tri club in the South East area, TriTalk and Runners World had posts, TE put a note out and leaflets were put up in GLL centres but the entries were slow coming in. This was going to be a problem. A race isnít much cop if no one races! End of the season lethargy and the fact we had not been backed by the London league meant our usual band of followers from Londonís tri clubs were not readily stepping forward. The London League is a guaranteed entry stream. We had to work harder!

Whilst doing this we were talking to local businesses, we needed help with prizes, money, anything. Thankfully Cycles UK of Greenwich stepped forward with some marvellous prizes as did a local pilot who offered 2 flights for 2 across the channel for the winners. GLL backed us with swim and gym memberships. Things were taking off....except the entries!
We decided to organise medals and goody bags but dropped the t-shirts this year. I felt they were a waste of money with them costing over £9 each! So a club branded swim hat and swim bag was ordered, still £7 a pop for a race that costs £12 and £18! We got some cheap medals. Everyone loves a medal Wink and trophies for the podium places. Still the entries struggle. With just a couple weeks to go we had 30 and were on a hiding to nothing. Time for a bigger push! Thankfully we had a flood of entries and ended up with over 50. still well down but enough to make a good morning out of it.

In the final weeks we agreed the course but boom, first major issue! The timing company had double booked. This was sorted at almost double the expense but a new company was found. We had a backup plan but even for a small aquathlon that costs £12 people expect these sorts of things.
As race day approached I was calm, relaxed even and things had generally fallen into place. Things had not been as difficult as expected. I wrote up the race pack for competitors and emailed that out and by Friday sent details off to the timing company of all entrants who would turn up at 6am on Sunday morning with the entry packs, including chip and numbers. This is going too smoothly.

On Saturday we arrived at the lido at 6pm to begin setting up the inside areas, transition, lane ropes, markings to be told they had Google in and we couldnít work that evening and no one had told us. 20 volunteers had shown for nothing! This wasnít great! So Mick and I agreed to meet earlier Sunday morning to get a head start.
Sunday 5am. Race Day.

This started by running the course with big km marker boards and my Garmin running. I handed this over after one lap showing people the course. We got marshals to mark out transition, mark out the finish shoot, and I took the run course marshals on a tour....Where are the timing company? 6:20 and they arenít here, registration had been open 20mins and we had no numbers and chips. Plan B, register them and give numbers out later. Thankfully they showed up shortly after...the starter worked with the timing company, and when my watch had 5mins to go I went to the referee to organise the race brief.........30secs to start the timing company called...WTF! its 5mins 30secs? ďNot by our systemĒ. This was a major mistake. All of us needed to sync our watches, not just the starters. The timing system was inflexible and we had to go on time or it will not work. OK quick decision, numbers 1-10 hurry I talk them through, luckily most were veterans of the sport and understood snake swim 750m get changed and run the course thatís marked...OK, panic over. I walk the course looking for any problems and I arrive back at finish just in time for the first lady to cross the line. I hand out the goody bag and medal, pleased with our efforts so far. Streams of people flood in and the time is ready for the shorter second race to go off. Things are running nicely now. A few minor issues I make mental notes of but happy when the final person crosses the line and the hard part is over. I go to prize giving and the team of marshals help to take everything down. Brilliant. We present the prizes of flights, running shoes and numerous vouchers plus a prize draw for the 6 month memberships of GLL UK premises! Everyone goes home happy!

I finished helping with the clearing up, made notes and went and have a well deserved coffee and cake in the lido cafe. All done by 8:30! I notice my Garmin is still running from 5am ....11.6km. Iíd gone further than if Iíd raced!

Post race feedback is brilliant, except one guy, in the £12 race who complained about the goody bag. £12 and he got 8.50ís worth of freebies and he wasnít happy. There is always one!

Without all the people involved it could never have happened. The marshals and various committee members who helped in the build up and on race day were all stars. The competitors who showed up raced with smiles and fairly. And GLL, especially Mick, who without we could never have put this on. Finally thanks to Cycles UK for coming along on the day, helping out when they didnít have to, and giving incredibly generous prizes. Role on next year!
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The Bastion - 13/07/2014
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:23 am hammerer
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3am, Itís dark, damp and Iím struggling to get any food inside me. Unusually Iím a little nervous and not really relishing whatís in front of me. Was it a mistake to recce 1 lap of the 3 lap bike course, or is it actually better to know that I have over 9000ft of climbing in 112 miles. That is near 2800m and one of the toughest Iron distance races in the country. At least I know how long it will take and how tough it is.

I arrived at Hever Castle in plenty of time, a stunning backdrop for a brutal day ahead. We entered the water from the Italian loggia and it was pretty cold and very dirty. It also wasnít much deeper than my waste! This could be messy. The gun went and we started the first of two laps. A beautiful venue involved a swim of around 700m up the lake before a double back and a turn into the river section. A very narrow river swim followed before turning off and back onto the lake. It was uneventful but the first lap took me 34minutes. Very slow for me on an accurate course, but I had my suspicions. The second lap I felt quite sick for and didnít enjoy at all. I even contemplated not starting the bike I felt so rough. The river was surprisingly congested this second time around and a lot of water was ingested. NOT GOOD! Still my relief came soon as I exited the lake in 1:11:28 ... a PW Ironman swim, but after chatting with 2 others it was nearer 4200m! Still the lead swimmer went 50 so no excuses, I swam badly.
After an eternity in T1....about 10 minutes, I headed out onto the bike course. It was raining, but quite warm and we were immediately met by the first hill. Then the second, then the third. See the pattern forming? The course was stunning but involved either going up or down. No middle ground. The miles ticked off slowly and after Hartfield, the home of Whinny the Pooh, the long slog up to Ashdown Forest started. This is around a 4mile climb. The views at the top were worth it. Stunning! We then had the long descent down to Maresfield, a short dual carriageway section and back up the 5miles to the top. Yep, back the way we came. ouch! Now the rest of the lap was up and down, including ďle col de GroombridgeĒ Wink its about a mile and half long topping out at 20%. It hurts, even with a 27 on the back! After that another descent a couple more climbs after Penhsurst and 2hrs 30minutes after setting off Im back at the start.....yep 2hrs 30mins and only one lap down. A quick calculation and the day is starting to look like a long one! The trip through Hartfield just before the second climb up to Ashdown was where i started getting my first low. Not only did I know what was coming but there is an adventure playground there and I started thinking, what a lovely day I could have been there with El NiŮo. Made me feel a bit selfish if Iím honest, but its all part of the mental battle. Small things become big things! The climb to Ashdown seemed to take forever and was beginning to hurt and now I was getting tired of hills. I just wanted some respite from it all. Well the low lasted quite some time as my back was starting to get pretty sore also. Not the usual being on a bike too long soreness but my lower back, which has given me minor problems on and off this year, was becoming unbearable.
I was eventually lapped by Fraser Cartmell towards the end of the second lap, which took me close to 2hrs 40mins...yep 10mins slower, and as I started the third I knew I was struggling and would be in pain when getting off the bike. I also knew that Id never had problems with running before and that any time Ive had any pain in the lower back, running has eased it within seconds of moving. ďIíll be fineĒ i thought. Lets get this bike over with first. Well the third lap was a battle of will. I was pretty low passing the playground this time as I thought about my motivation all again and actually thought then, Im not wasting a day off just to quit. It fired me up and I was soon over the bad spell, which had lasted a lot longer than any race previously. Still I rode slowly up and down hills and rolled into transition after 8hrs of cycling... a very slow time, showing not only my issues but how tough the course was!

I struggled to get off the bike such was the pain, and passed my bike to a helper and was bent double. In the tent I just sat down and contemplated my race. Do I want to risk long term health potentially, for a medal and tshirt? Hell yes Wink Itíll be fine I convinced myself and off I set. Yes I was in pain but surprising felt good apart from that. I ran out of the grounds and was ok. First hill i started to walk up it and thatís when I realised this wasnít going to be fine. Far from it, it was getting worse. Without the back I know I was in good shape to run a fairly decent marathon, but the back was there, and it wasnít a niggle that could be ignored. It was almost seized solid. I walked down the hill. I then jogged some flat ...felt not too bad but the next hill bang it got worse again. With the hills and the very muddy trail in places,this was going to take a toll on me. After about 7km and an hours ďrunningĒ I started to realise this was just pointless. Yes I could walk the marathon in 6.5hrs, yes I knew Iíd get round and get a medal, but really, at what price? at what sacrifice? Iíve proven myself before, I had nothing to prove by finishing and I had nothing more to say to myself. how do you convince yourself that it will all be ok when it clearly isn't. this was no normal, my legs hurt and I need to stop battle, but proper pain. In fact my sensible head was winning over the competitive one that would have me finish at all costs.
I came into the grounds of the castle. In agony I come around the finishing straight towards the end of my first lap of the run, 10.5k. I check the watch 1:29minutes. I know my day is over. I know I will not finish the Bastion this year and almost in tears I walk straight into the tent and sit down and just stay there thinking. You know if it had eased just 5% Id have got back up and walked out for another lap, but it wasnít going to happen and thankfully I didn't get that opportunity. Who knows what could have happened had I continued.

After the event I know there was nothing sensible I could have done differently on the day but I should have heeded the warning signs months ago and seen someone! The only bad DNF is one you donít learn from and I am learning from it. I immediately went to the gym and done some testing on my strength and conditioning to reveal a very weak lower back. I have bought some stretch cords and will do a load of body weight exercises to condition myself better. I will seek professional help and I will go back and beat this race in the future. I have the midnightman in August to look forward to also, and being a flat race I'm hoping it will not lead to any more problems, problems that disappeared the day after the race and havent returned I might add!. At least I can use it as a training day to swim and bike a bit and stop if thereís any reoccurrence!

As an aside if anyone wants to do a proper race in beautiful surroundings, this is the one. A scenic swim, stunning but brutal bike and a hard trail marathon. Early bird discount for next year makes it £224, a relative bargain also. I would recommend this to everyone. Just be prepared!
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2015 Schedule
 
15/16th Aug Midnightman Report
2014 Schedule
 
2nd Mar - Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon Report

13th Apr - VMLM Report

27th Apr - 7oaks tri Report

22nd Jun - Bridge Tri Report

13th July - The Bastion Report

Championship XC

25th Jan - Southern XC Champs Report
2013 Schedule
 
24th Feb - Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon Report
21st Apr - VLM
28th Apr - 7oaks Tri
23rd Jun - Bridge Tri Report
14th Jul - Cowman
21st Jul - National Lottery Run Report
27/28th Jul - Midnightman Report
22nd Sep - Tonbridge Half Mara Report

Championship XC

5th Jan - KCAA XC Champs Report
2012 Schedule
 
7th May - Tonbridge sprint
Report
17th Aug - Half Midnightman Report
23rd Sep - Tonbridge Half Marathon Report

Kent XC League

8th Oct - Race 1 - New Barn Park - Report

27th Oct - Race 2 - Tonbridge - Report

1st Dec - Race 4 - Danson Park -
Report

Championship XC

7th Jan KCAA XC Champs - Report

17th Nov London XC Champs - Parliament hill Report
2011 Schedule
 
29th Jan - SEAA XC Champs (15km) - Report
20th Feb Kentish Killer sportive 73miles - DNS
27th Feb Tunbridge wells half mara - DNS
10th Apr 7oaks tri - Report
17th Apr VLM Report
2nd May Tonbridge Sprint Report
26th Jun Forestman Report
7th Aug Hyde Park Oly Report
25th Sep Tonbridge Half Mara report

Kent XC league

8th October Race 1 - New Barn Park -report
29th October Race 2 - Tonbridge -report
2010 Schedule
 
21st Mar - Reading 1/2 mara - DNS
18th Apr - 7oaks sprint - Report
30th May - Austria 70.3 - Report
13th Jun - Windsor Oly - Report
27th Jun - Dartford Bridge Oly - Report
8th Aug - London Oly - DNS
26th Sep - Run to the beat 1/2 mara Report

Kent XC league

9th Oct - Round 1 West Wickham Report

23rd Oct - Round 2 Tonbridge Report
2009 Schedule
 
19 Apr - 7oaks - Report
17 May - Eton - Report
7 Jun - Blenheim - DNS
14 Jun - Windsor - Report
2 Aug - London - Report
16 Aug - Dextro Energy Tri -Report
20 Sep - 7Oaks - Report
2008 Schedule
 
18th May - Eton Sprint
Report

8th June - Blenheim Sprint
Report

20th July - Bananaman 3/4
Report

10th August - London Olympic
Report

14th September - Orca Classic Tri
Report

5th October - London HM
21km run - DNS Mad





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