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June/July 2013 Review

June saw the events coming think and fast. first up was the British Sprint Champs at Nottingham. A fun and fast sprint tri around a rowing lake. The swim was my first in my new wetsuit, which felt great. Being British Champs, and a qualifier for Worlds (being held in London on the 2012 Olympic Course) it was a stacked field, and after a strongish swim, I got absolutely smoked on the bike. I finished with a good (for me) run, managing to chase down a few people – including my first experience of actually “racing” someone in a tri – we were shoulder to shoulder (competing for almost last place and almost last place but one) from 2K to 4.5K when he surged to try and drop me. At which point I kicked for home and took him down. Oh for small victories :-)

A week later and it was another sprint tri. This time the BRAT sprint tri in Tamworth. A nice swim, a nice bike, but a horrible run course. I was happy with my time, and as this had a more “average” field, I was much happier with my overall placing :-)

Next up was a mid week race in Tintwistle, just across the valley from me – the second closest race to my front door, the start being around a mile away. I didn’t go as well as I would have like, but still managed to ratchet down my course PB by another couple of secs.

July saw 3 races in 5 days. First up was the Offerton 10K on the Wednesday. It is a tough course, involving three laps of Woodbank and Vernon parks, and therefore, three climbs up “the hill”. I never felt too comfortable in the race, and ended up finishing a minute down on my 2011 time.

Next was the British Standard Distance Champs in Liverpool on the Saturday. I ended up finishing 4 minutes slower than last time on this course in 2011. However, it wasn’t all bad. That included a 7 minute stop (I know, way too long, especially as I was using gas!) to fix puncture number one. Fortunately the second puncture happened literally just before I turned off the course to head into T2 – which led to me having a “moment” when going around said turn on a now rapidly deflating rear tire! My swim was 30secs quicker, my moving time on the bike was a minute quicker, and my run was 3 minutes quicker (over what was possibly a slightly short course). Over all I had a great day, and managed to take some great photos – which can be found here.

The third race was another 10K (I mentioned that it was 3 x 10Ks in 5 days didn’t I?), the “I love MCR 10K” around Man City’s Eastlands stadium, and the more scenic parts of east Manchester. I was thoroughly knackered by this point, and the hot weather contributed to a slightly poor time.

This was all followed up the following week with a 5K Sale Sizzler on the Thursday, and the Gravy 6 on the Sunday. The Sizzler was a nice hit out, but nothing spectacular. My PB or 20:37 was set at this Sizzler in 2012, so a 21:47, whilst solid and not surprising all things considered, was a touch disappointing. The Gravy 6 starts at the end of my road. Or at least, it used to. This year they moved the start to a field just off the Longdendale Trail. I understand the reasoning for the move, but I have to say I don’t like it, not least because the field is horrible to run round. Feeling the fatigue of a hard fortnight’s racing, I did little more than jog round the course.

My final athletic efforts of July all occurrred in Japan, whilst on a trip to the 16th Nippon Jamboree with some Explorer Scouts from Marple, Stockport and Bramhall. All that will be detailed in a later post – accompanied by photos, and videos – if I ever get the time. Suffice to say, if you ever get the opportunity to “climb” Mt Fuji, do it!

Posted in Triathlon.

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