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not-a-race report 2

On the same weekend that others were busy qualifying for some minor events like Kona and ITU World Champs, Chris Brown was busying himself closer to home qualifying for a free pint being given to all who completed the Total Warrior.

The event ran along pretty much standard lines: gym bunnies hurtle out of the blocks and blow up by the second obstacle. Lots of jumping over things, carrying logs, crawling through tunnels, being electrocuted and, of course, mud.  The difference with this event, though, was that it took place in lovely weather.  With temperatures of 28-degrees getting into the mud pits was quite refreshing.

Chris  had this to say following his second obstacle course race, “I’d still recommend these events to everyone as a refreshing change from swim/bike/run. Most take around 2hrs, so they are definitely an endurance event.  And, I did notice, that TW had a timed wave at the beginning.  Given that I started triathlon ‘for fun’ following a smashed wrist, I can see where all of this is going… ☹”.

Welldone Chris.

Post GDPR Report….

That’s right folks this is the first race report since the Greater Doncaster Prologue Race (GDPR). As some of you know unfortunately my training had been hampered by my key project in this year’s calendar, and after not gaining full consent from my girlfriend I had to withdraw from the GDPR and the Outlaw Half in Pursuit of Jackpot members east in the land of rising sun!

Gordon Kilroy, Nice rhythm

After a limited winter race calendar which forced the Clumber Park duathlon to be rescheduled, the spring season finally got under way.  The Ripon Hornblower duathlon took part on the grounds of  Ripon Grammar School which proudly educated Jackpot’s Martin Stoney would you believe!

The Sprint distance saw Tom Van Rossum take top spot,  Rich Knell-Moore arriving 13th overall and Tim Ashelford 21st and second in his age group.

Clumber park duathlon was rescheduled, and with Eddie Howarth tapering for IM Lanzarote it was David Barnett and Gordon Kilroy representing Jackpot. David finished 15th in his age group with a 10k PB and a time of 2:12. Gordon 10th in his age group 2:03 and qualifying for the ITU in Denmark.

 

Well done guys.

Temple Newsham Ten

While many of us were sniffling away trying to get rid of the several flu and cold epidemics, or icing a swollen ankle after trying to reenact ‘a Strictly showpiece’ a few Jackpotters donned there racing attire to give their lungs and legs a good thrashing around Temple Newsam Estate.

It was the Temple Newsam Ten, which follows 10 miles of beautiful off road terrain that visit parts of the Temple Newsam estate you didn’t know existed (unless you did it last year).

Notwithstanding the Jackpot dropouts (including myself ahem) Eddie Howarth managed to get him self to the start line after a a few shandies too many the night before, with some of the newer welcomed members of JR making an appearance Andy Jackson and David Barnett. But it was Kate Corcoran  and TVR who stole the show, here it was Kate had to say…

“I could think of a few better things to do on a cold Sunday morning… after queuing up to register, queueing up to go to the toilet, I headed to the start line. There was a good turn out- over 800 runners and nice to see lots of fellow Jacpot racers too! The race finally started and at last I could warm up. I realised early on I was in a good place with maybe 1 or 2 ladies in front of me…. but I can’t tell you much about the course as I failed to take in any of the sights, apparently we passed a golf course, Wood, lake, manor house?

I just tried to focus on where I was putting my feet and keeping my eyes on people in front. First 5 miles all good- I kept check of my pace trying not to get to excited and push too early, thankfully someone told me at the start that the hills were at the end. Advice noted and appreciated. After 5 miles the next bit seemed to turn muddier and as expected much hillier, Marshalls were shouting out I was first but I was in denial saying thank you and telling them I wasn’t- I hadn’t noticed passing any Ladies in front of me so they’d clearly got it wrong?

The final hill was a killer and I was pleased to see the finish line and a few other jackpot finishers. And then confirmation that I was indeed first! … I later found out that the lady in second had stopped for a toilet break and she couldn’t catch me up- clearly she’d been put off by the toilet queue. Final result 40th in 1:11:48.”

What a great result, well done Kate. Meanwhile as Kate’s race was unfolding Tom Van Rossum was testing his knee after significant time off after his shivery day out at IM Wales. Despite the lack of miles, and Tom’s plan to race easy over the challenging course, his competitive nature took over.  Remaining knee pain free throughout the race Tom finished second overall in a time of 1:03:35.

Welldone TVR.

A little further down the field Eddie Howarth finished in 1:12:02 and 42nd overall, David Barnett in 1:20:11 and Andy Jackson 1:27:54

Weldon Guys, great work.

TVR does Ironman Wales the sequel.

Ironman Wales took place on Sunday 10th September. Jackpot’s Tom Van Possum was showing fine form leading up to the event with a win at the half distance Steel Man.

Sequel’s are always  a difficult act to follow… Tom had previously done Ironman Wales in 2015 on what was a very eventful day. Here is how the story on his return unfolded …

An epic report for an epic day

With a return to injury free running and a new found love for swimming early this year, I decided to have another crack at Ironman racing, and return to Tenby. The tough bike and run courses play to my strengths, but really, I had unfinished business, and the lure of the scenery and local support around the town was too much to resist.

Race plan

Even Ironman races are won and lost by seconds, and I strived for the marginal gains to get me round the Tenby course as quickly as possible. I stacked the cards on the offensive side and went as light and aero as possible. On went the trip socks, shoe covers and non-flapping race number to improve aerodynamics. Bottles were left off the bike, and I rode with only half a bottle of super concentrated bottle of fluid nutrition, intending to pick up water bottles on the course. Vitally, I shed some weight and was 4 kg lighter than I’d raced at before.

The race

Wind was forecast for race day, not just a bit of breeze, but 45 mph constant winds and gusting faster. And rain. Rain was due to arrive at 1pm, just as I was expecting to finish the bike.

Every time I’ve recce’d the swim at Tenby conditions have been fantastic. This year, I felt confident in my swim and knew I could get round the distance and still feel fresh for the day ahead. I planned to follow feet and swim within myself. Sea conditions looked good as we stood on the beach waiting for the gun to go. It’s a rolling start and I started well, keeping the pace controlled and not racing off too fast. I did a lap of the swim course the day before to familiarize myself with the buoy locations and identify some landmarks for sighting the route. In the wash of race day, these landmarks were hard to sight, with pink swim hats bobbing up and down in front and I struggled to follow a straightline to the first buoy. The rest of the first lap was easy enough to navigate and I was doing a good job of following feet.

Onto the beach for the Aussie exit at the end of lap 1 and the clock said 30 minutes. Pleased with that. I did a much better job of sighting the first buoy on the second lap and swam a lot straighter. But after turning at the first buoy, swimming felt different, The wind had picked up and there was now some serious chop to get over on the long stretch to the second turn. Even though swimming got slower, I didn’t feel like I was having to swim harder and was still finding it easy to follow feet and nip round people when a faster swimmer came nearby. I swam 32 mins for the second lap, which indicates the slower conditions. My overall swim time was 62 mins, which is a PB for me in IM swims, for what felt like the least effort. Similarly paced people lost 3-5 minutes between the laps so with better navigation on lap 1, I would have been close to a 60 min swim.

Transition

They say transition is the 4th discipline of triathlon and this is even more so at Tenby. After exiting the swim, there is a steep uphill path to the road, followed by a 1km dash across the town to the transition area. Despite the increased wind, there was still no sign of the rain forecast for later in the day. Going back to my earlier comments about planning to race light and aero, this raised a dilemma. Light and aero aren’t terms that are associated with windproof or waterproof clothing. Despite having a pair of arm warmers in my transition bag, I shelled the idea of taking the extra clothing, believing the rain would hold off long enough for me to be off the bike in the dry, and even though it was windy, the temperature was fine.

Bike

Lap 1

Knowing that the hills at Tenby are stacked in the last 2/3rds of the ride, my plan for the first 1-2 hours was to ride steady and not push the power too much, intending to ride the final 2/3rd’s with a higher power than the first. The road to the first turnaround point is rolling but there are no major hills to note. The wind was blowing hard, which made for a stiff headwind going west to Angle. As the road dropped down to the beach at Freshwater West, the full force of the winds blowing from the Atlantic were slamming from the side and just holding the bike in a straight line was hard going. I was riding with a Zipp 404 on the front and an 808 on the back. I’ve got no idea how the guy near me with a disc and 808 on the front managed to stay upright. It was adbsurd.

After 2 hours I was still feeling really good, my power numbers were less than I’d planned but as I was constantly passing people I didn’t feel the need to push any harder. By the time we got to Tenby for the first time at about 110km, I’d passed 2 of the 4 female pro’s and a couple of the male pro’s. By now though, it had been raining for about an hour. And when it rains in Wales, it’s not a slight drizzle. It was lashing it down. Combined with the gale force winds, the conditions were some of the worst I’d ever ridden in. It was one of those days where you would b

e making alternative plans if you had intended to ride, and if you were riding you would be hiding in a cafe with a coffee and a scone. After it started raining, it wasn’t long before I started to get cold. After half an hour of being cold, I was shivering so badly that when descending holding the base bars, the front wheel was shifting side-to-side. As the road dropped in to Tenby and we passed transition, all I could think of was my arm warmers sitting in my bag. Damn. If only light and aero was also warm and dry. Into the headwind again from Tenby and I knew it would be about another 2 hours until I’d finish the bike leg and would be able to get a reprieve from the suffering. At times there was some brief rest bite fro

m the rain and it would ease of for short periods but just as I’d get dry, another downpour would start again. In fact, the greatest relief from the cold was the need to piss, but even this was short lived as the warm flow down my legs was quickly chilled again by the wind!!!

 

It was by far the grimmest experience of cycling I’ve ever endured and the idea of racing was out of my mind now, and it was just about surviving to get to the finish. A combination of the cold and nutritional errors caused by missing bottles and dropping food due to being cold and my energy was sapped. My legs had nothing to give and for the final 60km of the ride I averaged 170 watts, which is less than warm up effort! I was getting passed by back of the packers on their first lap and I was close to walking off the bike and pushing on the final climb out of Saundersfoot as my legs were cramping from the cold. On the final 5km downhill stretch to Tenby, I knew it wouldn’t be long to until I could off the bike but the idea of running was not something I was looking forwards to.

I knew that Bron and family waiting in Tenby would be concerned about what had happened with my pace and as I saw them as I entered transition and made it clear what was wrong. I’ve got to say that their support was absolutely fantastic and they had the best supporter’s banner for me in Tenby! Despite their feeling of comfort hiding onside the coffee shops around Tenby, I know their concern and anxiety from not knowing what had gone wrong was just as hard to deal with.

My total bike time was 5.58. It was slow. Slower than the recce ride I did 4 weeks previously in training gear. I lost 25 minutes in the final 65km’s to guys riding a similar pace to me in the first 115km’s (who also had the fastest AG bike splits.)

Run

Obviously, my biking legs were gone but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel running. I set off from transition at the pace I had planned to run at and didn’t feel comfortable, but it never is after riding 180km. After 2-3km the road starts to climb out of Tenby and I realised at this point my running legs were no better than my biking legs. I couldn’t hold the pace and as I tried to push, my legs didn’t fight back. It was time to start walking and try and get some energy back. At the next aid station, I stopped and drank as much coke and red bull as I could pick up and drink whilst walking through.

This wasn’t fun. It wasn’t the race I’d hoped or planned for. But the idea of giving in so soon didn’t seem right. Ironman isn’t supposed to be easy and I’ve got far more admiration for competitors taking 15 hours than those going sub 10 and chasing victory.

The run course is 4 laps of just over 10km, returning to Tenby at the end of each lap. As I approached Tenby at the end of the first lap, I had serious consideration to calling it a day. As I struggled through town and saw Bron and family, I stopped for a chat with them on the high street. It was clear to them that my day (in terms of placing) was done and we shared the sense of my disappointment that it wasn’t going to be the result that I wanted. I carried on and was still taking full advantage of the caffeinated and sugary refreshments at the aid stations to wash down the pro plus I was carrying. Laps 2 and 3 were not much better than the first lap. I’d got into a rhythm of walking through every-other aid station for a picnic and running the bits in between. I was able to run at a fairly decent pace but the uphill bits were still very hard. I don’t know if it was the fact it was only 10 km to go that i

t became mentally easier, but by the final lap, I was able to run the whole uphill from Tenby. At this point I spotted a familiar set of faces on the side of road, and crossed over to give the Coleman clan a hug and a thank you for their support. It was grim to be racing but it can’t have been much better to be supporting in such horrible weather. Again, a big thanks for making the journey down to Tenby and the support all day.

In the end, my split for the last 10km lap was 5 minutes faster than each of my previous 3 laps. I crossed the line with a marathon time of 3.35, my slowest at any Ironman. My overall time was 10.45, my slowest to date and my worst IM result, but one of the performances that I’m most pleased with. The conditions were widely described by people as being biblical, and some of the worst at any Ironman ever. On reflection, I should have dressed for the conditions, but I took a big risk chance  sticking to my plan. On another day, the rain would have held off and the dice would have landed in my favour. But that’s the beauty of racing and we get stron

 

ger from the mistakes we make.

Later that same evening, whilst re-feeding with fish and chips, we were looking for the next opportunity to race, but sadly both IM Italy and Barcelona were full for this year, so it looks like another season of IM training and racing for 2018. Roll on another iconic race and a holiday to Nice in June.

 

Welldone Tom, we all look forward to following you on your next Ironman.

 

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

 

Fernando, Dancing Queen, Take a chance on me.  Yes folks, Jackpotters were all playing the best of Abba while web pages refreshed to follow Richard Knell-Moore on his Ironman Sweden in Kalmar in August. Here is what Rich had to say.

“Coming of the back of 2 years consistent Ironman training and racing, I felt ready for the challenge at Kalmar although life has certainly been doing its best to disrupt my preparations along the way. I was hoping to build on the back of a good performance in Copenhagen last year, aiming to find 20mins in order to get under the 10hr threshold.

Having a few injury troubles meant that I didn’t know quite how I would go, but I decided to get on with it and enjoy the event.

If you haven’t been to Sweden, it is highly recommended. A beautiful place and they really love this IM event. Kalmar is a small town, with a great vibe. I’ll spare the tourist review, but there is a good reason why this event is so highly rated!

Tunnel Visioned Rich Knell-Moore

With a more subdued race start in Kalmar than other races, the rolling start swim sets off from the harbour, round and back up a canal, under some bridges with crowds right over you on the banks.  Under a last bridge and then fall into a very short transition. I came out with a respectable 58min swim, which considering some chop was pretty pleasing.

Now the bike was the primary reason for going to Sweden as it’s quite flat. The only risk is the wind. I settled into the bike quickly, heading out over the 6km long bridge to the neighbouring island, where you turn South and into some headwind for 40km, then bash across and back north with a healthy tailwind. I was getting pretty annoyed with a load of drafters, especially as we were flanked by officials that failed to act at all. I avoided it at first by intention, then by accident as my saddle moved as I hit a speed bump. (That’s what you get for tinkering with things a week before you go). On the plus side, I wasn’t getting irritated by the drafters any longer.

You then turn and head back towards Kalmar, climbing over the island and then over the bridge into what is now a fair headwind. The speed dropped from 38k to 26k. Trying to hold onto the speed with-out going to deep into the energy bank.

The second loop heads North and is a lot more sheltered on the main land. I picked up some food and pressed on, enjoying the ride. I then managed to pick off a number of the riders that had been drafting earlier.

Back into transition, a great feeling of being only a limited number of bikes already back after a satisfactory 5:03hr split. Despite being slightly down on what I had planned for, I felt pretty good leaving T2. The marathon was where I had planned to make the gains over 2016.

You head through the crowded town streets for 3k and then it is a 3x lap course. In-escapable crowd support, with “heja, heja, heja” ringing in your ears it’s almost impossible to not set off to fast.

Now, I’m not a fan of Powergel gels which caused some challenge as I couldn’t stomach them and I somehow lost the gels I had left in my race belt. Made it round the first lap with a nice pace, moving pretty well. Second lap felt long, and some more extended aid station walks trying to get energy consumed. An interesting choice of crisps, lemon slices and pickles weren’t much help and nor were pieces of bagel. Bloody impossible to eat!

Fabulous support from the family had me back on track, through the grandstand and out for the final lap. The suburbs you head through really do like a street party and there were some many going on, that it was a massive boost.

Managed to pull the run back into shape and ran the last 4k. Heading into town had me picking the pace up, enjoying the event, the crowds and support to cross the line in 3:57.

Despite being a tantalizing 5 mins over the 10hr mark, I was well pleased with the days work. Perhaps the ice bath wasn’t the best idea as I could not warm up at all; and felt dreadful for a while. Once warm though, fed and a couple of beers, the hero hour party was something else!

About that 5 mins – see you in 2018 Kalmar! Anyone?”

Fantastic effort and well done Rich.