It’s been 2 years since I have been out to our place in France and riding the mountains, and it was so good to be back! A week of cycling mountains, lake swimming and running, you can’t get much better than that!
Izzy, Eric, Salam, Becky U, Becky G, Emma, Ben, Nick, Annie and Olly (and of course Max and Fin!) joined us for the training week, for many it was the first time riding up and down mountains, and it did not take them long to get used to it! Both Ade and I were really impressed with everyone’s attitude at overcoming fears and pushing their bodies to their limits throughout the week. Lots gained to take into the up and coming race season (except for the sprained ankle / ligaments on the last evening for Becky – hopefully no lasting damage and the race schedule can stay on track!)
Whilst we were training, Liam lined up for Hamburg IM and despite a very dodgy stomach and sickness towards the end absolutely smashed it, finishing just under 12 hours. Sean also raced for the first time in quite a while, at Cotswolds 113, and despite using it as a training race, put in a great performance, finishing 1st in his AG 12th overall. Brian lined up at Edinburgh marathon, and despite a rocky road with running leading up to it, which meant we did not quite get the block in as intended, his approach, discipline and execution was spot on for the event, and no injuries moving forward, so a well deserved holiday now before cracking on with the next block!
George took on a slightly different challenge, which was a week’s mountain biking basically going up and down mountains on dodgy tracks in an incredibly high standard of racing. Unfortunately he did crash a few times and it looks like further surgery will be needed on his shoulder . That said, it did not stop him from finishing the event, placing 14th in his category. Now its wait and see as to the treatment and rehab plan for his shoulder.
Fast forward to this weekend, and Izzy was racing at Staffordshire 70.3, Pete was taking on the Slateman middle, Ade and I were in Belgium to take on the cobbles and the 19% Muur in Challenge Geraardsbergen, Mike was at the Eastbourne sprint qualifiers and Salam at ITU Leeds racing the olympic distance. The Slateman legend triathlon is anything but flat, and great prep for Bolton Ironman in a few weeks for Pete, who put in a strong race throughout finishing 19th in his AG. Salam showed courage and mental toughness at Leeds after a really stressful week and on a course that does not suit her strengths, but despite this, finished 9th in her Age group in a super strong field in her second race post surgery! I have to say Salam’s attitude and determination to face her fears on her TT bike post crash is incredibly inspiring.
Mike got in some great speed work in the Eastbourne sprint with particularly quick bike and run splits and a finish time that was quick enough for a qualification but not in the top 4 in a super high quality field.
Izzy yet again put in stella performance at IM Staffordshire. Still pretty new to 703 racing, she is absolutely smashing it, and as ever, always with a smile on her face. Another podium finish, sub 5 hour, 2nd in AG and 4th female home overall.
Finally, we took a little trip to Belgium for Challenge Geraardsbergen, another race that we entered in 2019, but has rolled over and rolled over! Ades first race of the year, and with a start time of 11.30, also meant he could still have a lie in. So he dusted off his TT bike, and found his trisuit in the back of the cupboard, and lined up to see how the training has gone so far this year. An overall finish time of 5.30 is not too shabby for the first race of the year, on what I would say was a tough bike course with the challenges of the wind, cobbles and ascent, matched in the run profile as well. Now its time to start training properly for the World Champs in Slovakia this August!
My race, again was all about that process, see how the hip held out, especially after a week cycling mountains. With a training today score of 0.1 going into the race, I knew it was going to be a toughie, so the focus was all about nutrition, making it up the cobbles in one piece, and seeing how the hip would hold out on the run. I have to say I finished really positive, it was another massive step forwards in terms of being able to run, the tightness / mobility is definitely improving, and another 10mins knocked off the run split. Plus absolutely no issues post race. Very happy with that! Oh and I managed to come home with a massive lump of rock, finishing 1st in my AG and 13th female overall. It’s all about that process!
So, what’s next!? Well we have 24hour enduro running for Mark, Sandbanks Sprint for Will, Cardiff Middle for other Will, Montreal AG Champs for Katie, Becky and Laura and of course IM Bolton for Elissa, Adam and Pete!