Earlier this month Matthew Pears was back in action in another 70.3. Here is what Matt had to say.
“Crossing the finish line at Vietnam 70.3 was probably the best feeling I’ve ever felt crossing a finish line as on this day, I truly thought that it would never come. The day started well. Relatively calm sea for my first non wet suit swim. Started in the fastest pack and after some poor hasslehoff esq water entry running and some hustle and bustle I eventually found some clear water. Felt quite strong and despite not clocking a fast time I was out first in my AG in 27 min , quick run on the beach, through T1 with no issues and out onto the bike course.
Found the going quite tough to begin. The legs felt like they were gonna explode but some 30k in they began to come back. The bike was relatively flat with only one real ascent and that was only 1k in distance.
The bike leg was out to the furthest point then two loops of a 22k circuit then back to the start. These went well and I felt good. Taking on fluid and throwing it all over me as it was fast approaching the mid 30s. I turned and made my way to T2. On this stretch there was no one around me and the legs were starting to indicate I’d gone alittle hard. Made it to T2 after 2.19 on the bike. Race Timing splits indicating 2.22 but that included transition. Out onto the run and still in first place for my AG. (Obvs only knew this after the race ).
Got no further than 1km in and I was completely shot. Legs gone and my head just wanted to explode with the heat. Tried to work to the outwards 10k marker with another guy but literally 500m with him and I was walking again. Not to be defeated
and throw the towel in I decided to be content just walking and shuffling my way around the course. The aid stations and volunteers were outstanding. Never chewed on so much ice. Made it across the line after 2hrs 15 mins on the run. Later to find out that around a 1.50 may have taken the AG win. Ice cold beers the perfect recovery drink. Lessons learned and experience in the bank. A summer of run training and I’ll be back”.
Still in the East, Jackpot’s Ian Gilham was competing in Yokohama here is what Ian had to say.
“Tough race on Sunday – no rain (unlike Saturday for Tom and Jonnie) but strong winds and heavy currents with more than 150 swimmers pulled out by the lifeguards in various stages of drowning. Happy to be 4th (of 150) out of the water (3 minutes faster than last year despite the conditions.. and even happier to have avoided the jelly fish the size of hub-caps), lost a few places on the bike, regained a couple on the run to finish 6th.
Beer o’clock now and a few recovery days in Japan before back on it for kitzbuhel in a few weeks”.
Starting from Filey Brigg and finishing in Helmsley the Hardmoors 110 is a 112 mile continuous foot race, with 6000 metres of ascent, to be completed within 36 hours.
Neil Midgley and Peter Kidd toed the line at 8am Saturday 6th May looking forward to an epic day (and a half) out.
Plenty of training had taken place although Neil was concerned that he maybe hadn’t done enough long distance. A 3 day 85 mile training session had helped to build confidence.
The race can be broken down into 3 sections: the coastal path from Filey to Saltburn (54 Miles); Saltburn to Osmotherley (36 miles with most of the ascent); Osmotherley to Helmsley (22 miles).
The first section was fairly straightforward Neil completing that section in 12 hours and Peter in 12 hours 20 minutes. A planned stop for food, a change of clothes for the night section and then back on the trail.
A further 10 miles in Peter went hypothermic – disoriented and staggering and retired at Gribdale Terrace having completed 64 miles.
Neil got his race face on from Saltburn and started picking through the field. Having got through the worst section across Bloworth Crossing and with the sun starting to come up the determination to finish and get the best placing possible kicked in.
It was clear to Peter (now in a support role) & Valerie (Platinum Support Crew Leader) that Neil was getting serious and digging deep. At 91 miles he was continuing to move up through the field and was in sight of a sub 30 hour finish.
At the last support stop at Sutton Bank Neil polished off a Red Bull and pushed on through the cruel detour down to White Horse and back up the steep steps.
Onto the home stretch past Rievaulx Abbey, through Helmsley and out to the sports centre Neil ran into the finish in just over 29 hours (official times and places not yet out).
Congratulations Neil – an epic achievement perfectly executed.
Ian Gilham recently raced in the Beaconsfield 5-mile Cross-Country on Easter Monday. Decent weather for a change and despite having a couple of weeks off running with an ankle injury Iain managed a time of 33.40. Finishing over a minute and half faster than last year and coming in 40th overall and 3rd in the old boys age group. With a couple of days of rest and recuperation planned Ian’s next target is the Yokohama Tri next month this month.
A little further a field saw Gordon Kilroy compete in last weekend’s ETU European Duathlon Championship. Gordon reports
“As it should’ve been called the Anglo-Spanish Championship with a few guests(including Mexico?!?). Having seen snowy photos from the early arrivals, cold, wet and windy weather on race day was a slight improvement although still not for the faint hearted. The first 10k run was 4 laps through the park in Soria. In a stoke of luck i managed to time these perfectly by making it across the start line before the next wave started. I was also lucky enough to miss the barriers being blown across the course and being tangled up in the flying barrier tape which some poor athletes experienced.
That lucky phase was short lived as I came into T1 only to find that the flags that I was using to help find my place had blown away. This completely threw me and for the life of me, I couldn’t find my bike! Even a race official started to come over to check it hadn’t been stolen. After what seemed an eternity, I realised I gone down the wrong row! It didn’t get much better out on the bike course.
It was a 3 lap undulating out and back. Out was into a strong headwind that whipped the rain/hail into us. The back was 5 minutes faster which took us onto a Spanish motorway! Fortunately, I’d not taken a wrong turn. T2 was thankfully disaster free and out onto the run I finally managed to drop the Spaniard who I’d been constantly swapping places with on the bike ascents/descents. 2 short laps later and the finish line was in sight. With a strong finish, it was time to sample some recovery beers and the local pork scratching”.