May Update – let the racing begin!

Around the time consuming processes of finishing my dissertation and revising for final exams I managed to fit in a couple of races in May and was glad to finally be on the start line after a long few months!

The first of these was at the DeltaSimons Lincoln Aquathlon series first round on 16th May – an 800m open water swim + 3km run around the lake. I came out of the water in 3rd place, swimming ~30s faster than I have done there previously, and took the lead nearing the end of the first of three run laps, holding this to the end of the race! Thank you to DeltaSimons for supporting Emily and I for this race series 🙂

Next up was Southport standard distance triathlon on 20th May. Although maybe not in the best shape after some very disjointed training around uni work, I was excited to race and see what sort of condition I’m in leading up to bigger races over the coming months.

I had a reasonable start with the usual fighting for position etc. but turning at the first buoy when I was comfortably in the front group of 8 or so people with a couple just off the front I got dunked by one person and pulled back by the ankle by another… helpful! This shoved me right out of the back of the lead group and it took me another 500m or so to get back into it – not ideal but hey ho, some people seem to like interfering with other peoples races, I never will understand that. I eventually came out of the water in 19.01, 7th in the wave and 9th fastest time overall.

Onto the bike and I overtook a few of the others in the first km before pressing on and about 5km into the cycle I was in the lead with a couple of others hanging on (a little too close behind…). I stayed fighting for the lead for the rest of the bike until with about 8km to go another rider pressed on and I couldn’t stay with them. Into T2 and I was in 2nd overall (59.22 bike, 6th fastest overall), lets see what the legs have in them for the run!

It was a painful start to the 10km run, my legs have definitely what it feels like to run off the bike over winter! I settled into a comfortable enough pace and was overtaken by a few others but wasn’t falling too far back. I knew the run would let me down a bit as this has been lacking over winter due to some minor injuries etc. I finished the run in 39.00 (31st fastest… oh dear) with an overall time of 2.00.27, 6th overall and 1st M20-24. A reasonable time and placing but I know I could have gone a lot faster had my running been up to scratch – things to work on!

Since that training has been even more sporadic with revision for final exams so we’ll have to see how the next few races go. I have a uni exam this afternoon, race Deva triathlon on Sunday before my final 2 uni exams ever next week, Leeds on Sunday 10th June and my dissertation Viva on 12th June – I can’t wait to finally be finished after many years of education!!!

That’s all for this blog – hopefully I’ll have more to write about in a couple of weeks post Deva and Leeds 🙂 Thanks for reading 🙂

March Update

Just a quick blog update for this month as not very much has been going on other than a bit of training! No races this month but I’ve been glad to finally get some reasonable hours of training in both in the pool and on the bike/turbo. Running has lacked a bit as I’ve had a few back problems which have affected my running most, but hopefully this can catch up over April ready to start racing in May 🙂 We even managed to get out cycling in the sun for the first time in a while last Monday which was nice!!

We haven’t completely finished sorting out which races we’re doing this year but we need to get on with booking some as it’s getting close to race season! Hopefully in my next update I’ll be able to share a little more with our plans for this year 🙂

Thanks for reading, Angus 😀

A quick February update

So, it’s nearly March, 5 months since I last posted on here and I thought it was time for a quick update as to what’s been going on over the last few months and plans for this year. Following on from my last blog which was about the World Champs in Rotterdam, both Emily and I raced at the National standard distance duathlon champs (Oulton Park, October), both picking up a bronze medals with pretty much 0 training post worlds, and then raced the DBMax Chilly Duathlon in November at Castle Combe Circuit, where I placed 19th overall.

Following on from those 2 races we had an extended end of season break which, other than a few swims, lasted until mid-January. Being in the final year of 5 years at uni, work pretty much took over leaving not much spare time, so training took the hit. We’ve now gradually started getting back into training, mainly swimming currently as we’ve joined Nottingham Leander Masters Swim Club which is really helping push us and make us remember what training is again, with 11,000m swam last week and more on the cards for this week. We’re still doing bits and bobs with running and cycling, especially with the recent weather not making it easy, but as we’ve got a relatively late start to this season’s races hopefully this won’t affect us too much.

The main bit of news from the last few months, as I’m sure many of you will have seen from our social media, is the creation of Team Emgus. Emily and I have decided to promote ourselves as a couple rather than individual athletes, as we believe it is unique and will help our progression in the triathlon world. We have setup our social media accounts (links below) and will shortly be announcing our new website where we will share our journey together. Please follow the accounts below for updates and giveaways over the coming weeks! We’ve got some great sponsors on board and we’re very grateful to them for their kind support!

Twitter: @teamemgus

Instagram: @teamemgus


For this year, our main big race is the European Sprint Champs in Glasgow in August. Around that we’ll be racing at several British/National Champs events and also looking to qualify for the GB AG Team again for 2019!

So, that’s about it for this blog. Sorry it wasn’t the usual essay (or maybe that’s a good thing 😉 ) but with the race season getting underway and more training coming up I’ll have a bit more to talk about in the next month, so keep an eye out for my next blogs 🙂

Thanks for reading, Angus.

World Champs 2017 – September Update

So, September has been and gone and with it the biggest race of the season – World Champs in Rotterdam. We’d been looking forward to Rotterdam for the whole season having booked accommodation and paid for travel etc early this year so it was exiting (and a little bit nervous!) for it to finally be here!

Firstly was the small matter of a ‘warm-up’ race a couple of weeks before to check we could remember how to race and to get a good session in the bank. Neither Emily nor I had raced a triathlon since National Champs in early July, so we hoped we hadn’t got too rusty on the technical aspects of racing. For this race we chose Harborough Sprint Triathlon in Market Harborough on 3rd September. It was a pool sprint and the course looked fun enough with a 2-lap hilly 23km bike and 2-lap 5km run. We were in the last wave to start at a very leisurely 3.34pm, so had a lie in that morning before getting our kit ready and heading to Market Harborough to arrive at about 2pm.

We quickly registered, listened to the race brief, setup transition and got everything ready to race. It was a pretty windy day which would make the bike interesting, but luckily the rain was holding off for now! Soon enough we headed down to the swim start and got ready to race.

The starter counted down the last 10s and we were off. I set off at a fairly steady pace and was keeping level with Emily until after the first 100m when I started coughing uncontrollably which made me lose focus and slow down a bit. I’ve had symptoms of a chest infection for about a month before this race but a course of antibiotics did nothing for it and the doctor’s aren’t sure what it is – more on this later though. I was coughing for pretty much the whole of the rest of the swim and came out of the pool about 15s down on Emily and about 30s down on the leader of the wave.

A not-so-speedy transition later and I was onto the bike course. There was a headwind for the first half of the course, which was also where all of the uphill sections of the course were, and then tailwind for the remainder, which made some of the downhill sections nice and fast! I soon overtook the leader of the wave and pushed on to put as much time into my rivals as possible as I knew some fast athletes had started in the wave before. The rest of the bike was pretty uneventful and I came back into transition with a bike time of 38.07 (23km), the fastest of the day by 2 minutes.

As I left T2 (fastest T2 split of the day too!!) I was just behind an athlete from the wave before, so I used him to pace me on the first lap of the run and knew that as long as I finished within 2 mins of him then I should be able to win overall. I stuck the same distance behind for the first lap and although he opened up the gap slightly over the second lap I knew I should be safe. I put on a bit of a sprint down the finishing straight and crossed the line in 1hr 2 mins 14secs.

I had to wait a little while to find if anyone in the previous waves had beaten me but eventually found that I had won overall by 1.5 mins, result!! This was my first overall tri win and what a time to get it just 2 weeks out from worlds 🙂 Emily had a great race too, coming 2nd female overall to ensure we were both on the podium for the day!

The following week composed of a few tough sessions but mainly aerobic sessions to keep us in form for Rotterdam. I had another doctor’s appointment on the Friday and was referred for some blood tests and a chest x-ray, but annoyingly I wouldn’t be able to fit these in until after we were back from worlds. The day after we did our local Parkrun where I got a PB of 17.37 and was feeling good!

We went to Function Jigsaw in Wigston near Leicester for some massages on the following Monday to keep our legs loose and then travelled out to Rotterdam on the ferry from Harwich early on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday – Saturday were some quite annoying days as we wanted to train but it was very windy and wet the whole time. We managed to get a bike course recce done on Friday when the sun came out for an hour or so and did a couple of runs to keep us going – not ideal but we had to do what the conditions allowed! We also did the swim recce on Thursday morning and went for a swim in the open water pool on Friday. Other than that we registered, had our briefings etc and then racked our bikes in T1 on Saturday afternoon ready for the race on Sunday Morning.

Race day was upon us. A 3.30am alarm got us up and the porridge was soon ready to be eaten. I was starting at 7.35am and Emily at 7.44am so we had to get up early to make sure breakfast had settled ready to race. We headed down to T2 in the dark to put our shoes and run visors there before getting on the boat ferry across the river to T1. The transitions were split which made logistics tricky but we’d both had this at races before so it wasn’t too much of an issue. T1 sorted and we headed to the swim start to meet up with Emily’s family who’d come out to support us 🙂

We got our Zone3 Vanquish wetsuits on and had a quick hug before I had to get into my start pen… or so they told us! 10mins later and getting close to my start time they announced there was a 15min delay to all waves… great! I’d already had my High5 Xtreme Isogel, which I usually have about 15mins before starting, so this timing had gone out of the window! It was also pretty chilly as the sun hadn’t come up yet, so I went out of the pen to get my jacket back on.

Eventually the wave before me was set off and the M20-24 wave was called down onto the pontoon. We jumped in with a minute or so to go and before long the horn sounded and the race was on!

I felt a bit sluggish for the first 200m but soon my arms woke up and I was swimming okay. I was just off the back of a group in front so picked it up a bit and caught this round the first turn buoy. I then sat in for a while to save some energy before pushing on past the group as we neared the end of the swim. Out of the water, up the ramp and onto the ~500m run to T1. I was 13th out of the water and overtook a couple of others on this run to T1.

Soon I was out onto the bike and onto the technical(ish) 2-lap course. It was a mix of roads and cycle paths which had seen a lot of complaints from other competitors over the weeks leading up to the race but didn’t seem too bad when actually riding the course. There were some technical twisty sections where I would lose some places to others around me (TT bike vs Road bike…) but also some longer open sections where I would make these places up again and put time into others. I was enjoying a race within a race against a Belgian athlete on a road bike who would fly past me in the technical sections but I would gradually catch him on the open sections, we exchanged a few words during some of the overtakes which made the race a bit more fun! Eventually he won this race towards the end of the second lap and he put a bit of time into me heading into T2. All in all I had a pretty average bike, not as fast as I’d have liked and others put time into me that I wasn’t expecting to, but I was glad to have finished safely without any mechanicals and get onto the run.

Through the muddy & long T2 and onto the run and I was feeling the effects of missing a few training sessions over the last couple of weeks. My legs didn’t feel bad but they didn’t feel great. I knew I was already out of medal contention so that incentive to push on wasn’t there and I was now just racing to get round and finish. I was overtaken by a few others on the run and ended up in a sprint finish for the last 100m with South African athlete! Luckily I won this to salvage something from the day and finished in 2hrs 1min 16secs, 14th M20-24 in the World.

I then went through the post race recovery area before finding Emily’s family to get some warm clothing and heading to the run course to see Emily who had set off in the wave after mine. She also ended up in a sprint finish to the line and won this too! We then got our kit out of T2 and headed back to the apartment to have a shower and relax for a bit.

After this we watched the sprint races later in the afternoon and had a relatively early night – it had been a long day! We did some touristy things in Rotterdam on Monday before heading back home on the ferry on Tuesday afternoon – back to reality and a house that needs some more DIY doing!

Looking back on the race and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. In my head my minimum goal was to get in the top 10 – this was 50secs away from me. I was secretly hoping for a podium but that was ~4.5mins away from me. I didn’t bike as well as I should have done and all round I just felt a bit flat. It’s been a long season and a fair bit of fatigue had built up in the massive block of racing we did through May/June/July but I was hoping this wouldn’t affect Rotterdam as it was over 2 months after this block. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t, but I know for sure that this has made me a lot more motivated and hungry for the next time we go to a world champs. I guess 14th in the world isn’t so bad, I was just hoping for a lot more.

Since we got back from Rotterdam we’ve had a 2 week break with no training to allow us to focus on house work and getting ready for going back to uni. I’ve also had my X-ray and blood tests and am currently waiting to hear the results from these! We’re starting back training again this week and have a few XC races and duathlon’s lined up over winter to keep us sharp and hopefully lead into a great 2018 season.

Thank you to all of our sponsors who have helped us this year and over the last few years – Pedal Potential, Zone3, High5, BounceUK, SES OS Club, Function Jigsaw, Raceskin & Racecheck. Your support is key in our racing & training and we really wouldn’t be able to race the races we do without it, so thank you.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has offered their good luck’s and wishes on social media in the lead up to Rotterdam, we really appreciate your support 🙂

That’s it; World Champs 2017 is done and dusted! Who knows what 2018 may bring… we’re planning! My next blog post will probably be a round up/review of my 2017 season so keep an eye out for that over the next few weeks!

Until then, happy training/racing/off season rest! 😀


August update – the build up to worlds

Well this month has gone pretty quickly! It’s been a quiet month for us racing wise with no triathlons or anything, just a couple of single sport races to check how we’re getting on amongst lots of training, DIY on our house and other things 🙂

First of these was the Alford Wheelers 10 mile TT on 10th August. It was a sunny night with little wind so should have been fast conditions – Myself, Emily, Rob and Tory (Emily’s brother and sister) all went along to have a go and see what times we could do. Rob and Tory set great time’s of 32.34 and 36.16 in their first TT’s, definitely some potential there as they’re only 12 and 14! Emily did a good ride to set a time of 28.18, a 42s PB and on tired legs from a hard run the day before and a 1.5hr cycle that morning. From the first mile I knew it was going to be tough to beat my time from a few weeks ago (22.21), even though the conditions were faster tonight. My legs were suffering a bit from the run session and my power was down on what it should be. I kept pushing as much as my legs had in them and crossed the line in 22.30, a pretty disappointing 9s slower than last time. I had been hoping to go under 22 minutes but unfortunately my legs just weren’t up to it on the night! Hopefully next time we go there I can make amends 😀

The second ‘race’ of the month was our local Park run on Saturday 26th August. It was our first Park run so we weren’t sure what to expect but turned up with our barcodes to find a lot of people getting ready to start. We did a little warmup before lining up just behind those on the front line. In hind sight we should have been on the front line as as soon as we started I was held up and dodging around people for the first km or so – now I know for next time! After about 1km I managed to take the lead of the race, pulling away from everyone that I could see. I lead for the rest of the race until about 4.2km when a guy that had be slowly catching me for the last km came along side me on a small uphill section and then pulled away on the downhill that followed to take the win by 10s with me coming in 2nd. I was a bit slower than I’d hoped to be with 18.02 my official time, but we haven’t done much longer tempo running just yet so the speed should come in time for worlds. Emily had a mixed race, with a fair bit of unexpected pushing & shoving, but still set a great time of 21.45.

We’ve also been swimming fairly well recently – I set an unexpected new 100m free PB in the middle of a 3600m VO2 max set last week and we’ve both been setting some good times in the threshold sessions that we’ve been doing. All in all training is going fairly well and with just over 2 weeks until worlds we are in a good place currently. Just need to focus for these next 2 weeks to get to the start line in the best shape possible 🙂

So that’s about it for this blog – much shorter than usual but there’s only so much to say about a month of training! My next blog will be a lot more interesting with hopefully a good race report from the World Champs in Rotterdam 🙂

A final thank you to all of our lovely sponsors for keeping us fit & healthy, well recovered and well dressed when training over the last month and for all of this season, we really do appreciate your support and hope to do your support justice at Worlds 🙂

That’s all for now – happy training / racing 😀



National Standard Distance Champs – July 2017

As mentioned at the end of my last blog, our long run of racing every weekend (and midweek too!) was coming to an end and July was going to be a quieter month for us. The first half of the season was pretty much done and dusted and it was time for a bit of R&R before building up again for August & September.

As it happens, we have only done one race in July – the National Standard Distance Triathlon Champs at Ripon on 2nd July. This was the final race in a block of 14 races in 6 weeks for me which started on May 20th – my body was definitely ready for a rest!! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for a podium at this race as I’d been in good form over the few weeks before and I knew I should be able to.

We decided to drive up to Ripon on the morning of the race as it was only a couple of hours away and it would save us a bit of money not needing a hotel etc. We arrived in plenty of time in some nice bright sunshine and got registered before setting up everything in transition and getting ready to race. I was off first in the first wave at 1pm and Emily was setting off 14mins later. Soon the first wave was called to the start and were in the lake ready to go! The water was nice and clear but had lots of weeds fairly close to the surface that a lot of people were getting caught up in even before the start…

The horn went and it was the usual washing machine for the first 100m before it settled down with a big(ish) group ahead of me. I worked hard on the first leg up the lake and managed to catch a few others but my arms didn’t feel great on the way back down the lake so I settled in with the group that I’d caught – annoying as I’d have liked to keep pushing on and make time back on those still ahead.

I came out of the swim in 21.03 – a minute or so slower that I was hoping for and 6th in AG, around a minute down on the AG leader. Work to do!

Onto the bike and I knew this was where I needed to work hard if I was going to get anywhere near the podium. I picked off a fair few riders in the first 10km and was slowly gaining on those I could see up the road. As we made the turn at the halfway point (the course was out and back) I was in 8th place overall and 5th AG. I soon overtook two that I knew were 20-24 (onto the podium) and as I came back into transition I was just a couple of seconds behind the athlete currently in 2nd AG and 4th overall. My bike time was 59.19, 6th fastest split overall and fastest in the 20-24 AG.

Out onto the run and I caught the athlete 2nd in AG within 600m and couldn’t see anyone ahead. The run was a mix of tarmac, gravel and grass tracks which kept it interesting but hurt the legs a lot! There was a small out and back halfway through the run and as I ran up to that point I confirmed that I was 4th overall and 2nd 20-24 with a good lead over 3rd 20-24. However, the leaders were a little bit too far ahead for me to be able to catch annoyingly. I still pushed on and was overtaken by a couple of other athletes in other AG’s near the end of the run but managed to hold on and crossed the line 2nd 20-24 and 6th in the wave! My overall time was 2hrs 17s, so close to another sub 2-hour finish! Someone in a later wave managed to just beat my time so I ended up 7th overall, still a good result at National Champs 🙂

After Emily had finished and we’d packed all our kit into the car there was a long long long wait (Circa 2.5hrs…) until they’d finalised results and were able to do the championship presentations.

Overall I’ve got to be pleased with getting a podium at National Champs, especially after such a busy and draining last 6 weeks, but I was a bit disappointed not to win and with my splits being a bit slower than I’d hoped – maybe all the racing was catching up with me after all.

Following this race we’ve had a couple of weeks almost completely off training with just the odd swim or run if we felt like it. We’ve now started building up the training again with one goal in mind – World Champs in Rotterdam on 17th September. This is the only race we’ve got booked for the rest of the year, although we’ll probably end up entering one or two local races to use for training and to see how we’re doing between now and worlds.

That’s all for this blog – much shorter than usual but that’s due to it only being about one race! We’ve had a pretty good year so far with some good results which we wouldn’t have been able to do without the kind support from our sponsors, so thank you very much to everyone that helps us along the way 🙂

Thanks for reading and happy training/racing 😀


Races, Races and more Races!

Picking up where my last blog left off, the last week of May and June up until now has been very busy, with races every weekend and some mid week races too. It’s been a tiring month but the end of this big block of racing is now in sight. This blog is a brief (compared so some of my race reports!) report of all 11 races I have done since my last blog. Enjoy!

May 24th – Overst League Plungar 35 mile cycling race

I went into this race feeling a bit fatigued from the last weekend’s racing (Nottingham Sprint Tri on Saturday (4th Overall) and the Uni of Nottingham GP on sunday (4th) so was just hoping to get round, stay safe and maybe have a go in the sprint. I was pretty much at the back for the whole race and couldn’t really move up at all coming into the finish but managed to weasel my way through to finish around 12th I think, not a bad result and I was glad to finish safely with some big races to come!

May 27th – British Sprint Triathlon Championships, Strathclyde – 2018 ETU Qualifier

Having travelled up to Strathclyde on Friday afternoon and had a quick look around the race venue it looked to be a good course for strong cyclists as there were a few hills on every lap and the run was fairly flat. Come race day and the weather was looking good, if not a little warm. On arriving at the race venue there was already a long queue for registration and it was growing fast! It took about 30 mins to register and by the time I’d managed to register the queue had stretched the whole way around the car park… not great! The delays in registration meant all waves were delayed but they didn’t tell us by how much…

Transition sorted and everything ready meant it was just a waiting game to see when we would be able to race! I got my Zone3 Vanquish suit on when there was what we thought was about 15mins until the start and they called us across next to the pontoon. They then told us there would be at least a 20min delay until the start – already getting a bit too warm wrapped in neoprene in the now baking hot, this wasn’t ideal. Luckily they eventually agreed to let us go into the lake to cool down.

A few more delays later and we were eventually ready to start. The swim was a 2-lap, 750m swim with the first turn buoy about 100m from the start – this was going to be chaos! As soon as the horn went I sprinted to try and get a good position for the first buoy and ended up on the inside of a couple of others just off the back of the front group. The rest of the swim was fairly uneventful and I managed to push on in the second lap to catch the front group and come out of the water in 8th place in the wave.

Through transition and onto the 4-lap, 20km bike course and I knew if I was going to get a result today I was going to have to work hard. I soon overtook a few competitors in the first lap but onto the rest of the laps it was hard to tell who was a lap behind and who was ahead. I could see I was biking away from a few guys that I knew were in my age cat as the course was an out and back, and with half a lap to go I caught the current race leader. The rest of the way back to transition 4 of us were all within about 100m of each other with one just up the road a tiny bit. I came off the bike into T2 in second overall and ran out onto the 2 lap, out & back 5km run in 4th place close behind 2nd & 3rd. This was as close as I got as those ahead were soon running away from me 😦 All of us were in the 20-24AG so I knew that hopes of a podium and a British Triathlon medal were now out of the picture, but I just kept pushing and was happy to eventually cross the line to finish 5th M20-24 and 9th overall.

I was initially pretty disappointed to miss out on the podium but I had a fairly good race with plenty of positives, especially as I have tended to be less competitive at sprint distance races in the past, and another top 10 overall was a good result. A few days later I found that the result had qualified me for the 2018 European Sprint Distance Champs which is to be held at the same venue in Strathclyde – the long journey was worth it!

June 4th – Deva Standard Distance Triathlon – 2017 ITU Qualifier

This years version of the Deva standard distance triathlon was my 4th consecutive year racing in Chester – a testament to how well organised the race is! I’m happy to say this year was no exception and Chester Tri put on another great event. This year had about twice as many people as last year’s race due to the fact it was a qualifier for World Champs later this year in Rotterdam. Emily had already pre-qualified as a result of being British Champion, so I had to make sure I qualify so we can both go!

We travelled across to Chester on race morning, about a 2hr journey on nice quiet roads at 4am. It was looking like it would be a nice day weather wise with the sun coming up as we got close to Chester, with a small breeze hopefully making fast conditions. Soon enough we’d registered, racked and set up transitions and were down at the start ready to jump in and race.

A short warm up swim in the river later and we were off, the first 850m of the swim being upstream where we spun round and did the remaining 650m downstream. I’d got a bit out of position at the start and couldn’t get across into the front group. However, as we turned at the 850m mark I broke away from the chase group and by the time we got the exit ramp I was on the feet of the front group.

An uphill run to transition later, wetsuit off and helmet on and I was out onto the single lap, 40km bike course. I knew there were a few people ahead of me so I pushed on straight away, passing a few and I could see a couple more up the road, including the 20-24 leader. I was holding a fairly constant distance to him and soon we had passed everyone else, meaning I was into 2nd overall. This stayed the same for the rest of the bike and I was back into transition with a bike time of 58.47, a PB for me over the distance! Just the 10km run to go…

My legs were a bit sleepy heading onto the run and the first lap was fairly slow and I was overtaken by one other competitor. However, I managed to pick it up a bit and with the support from Emily’s family who had come to spectate I had a great negative split over the 3 lap 10km. I held my position and crossed the line in 3rd place in a time of 1.58.31, a standard distance tri PB for me. Now I just had to wait around and see who finished where in the next wave. Unfortunately two competitors managed to beat my time so I ended up in 5th overall and 2nd M20-24, qualifying for World Champs! Job done 😀 I even got some High5 goodies for my age-group placing 😛

June 10th – National Aquathlon Championships, Leeds

Next up was the National Aquathlon Champs in Leeds, a race that Emily and I had entered fairly last minute and not really expecting too much other than a good training session and some race prep. It was a pretty damp day which was going to make the partially off-road run interesting! A quick summary: the 750m swim went reasonably well in 10.16, the long, uphill run to transition wasn’t very fun and the 2-lap 5km run was a bit too hilly for my liking – my quads ended up hurting more post race than after some cycling races… When results were posted I finished 6th overall and 5th M20-24… work to be done but a good training session.

June 14th – Lincoln Aquathlon Series Round 2

A few days after Leeds we raced at the Lincoln Aquathlon series, an 800m open-water swim and 3km run. I came out of the swim in 4th, exited transition in 3rd and finished 2nd overall, swimming ~30s faster than last year’s attempts at the race and beating my overall times from last year – another good training session. Emily and I both finished 2nd overall so got some new door-wedges for our house 😛 Thanks to Deltasimons & 100% Swimming for another good event.

June 15th – Alford Wheelers 10m TT

We hadn’t planned to do this and just decided on the morning to go and see how it went, myself having not done a TT for 3 years and Emily having never done one! We were staying at Emily’s parents until after Woodhall Tri the coming Sunday so this TT was only a short drive from us. It was a pretty windy night so not great conditions for it but I managed a time of 22.21, fastest by 45s on the night and a 10m TT PB of over 1.5mins 🙂 Emily set a great time of 29.00! We’re hoping to do a few more TT’s over the summer as they’re good fun and great training for tri’s.

June 18th – Woodhall Spa Sprint Triathlon

This was my second year racing at Woodhall Spa and I was hoping to go a bit better than I had last year, although the baking hot weather might have an influence on that as I don’t tend to deal with heat very well. The 400m swim was in an outdoor pool and I was in the last wave of 5 competitors. I came out of the pool last, but this was expected and through transition I overtook 2 others.

Onto the 24km bike course and I pushed on hard as I knew there were 2 other fast competitors up the road that I’d need to put some time into if I was going to beat them. After about 11km I caught one of these and the current leader of the 20-24AG, so I pushed on to put as much time into him as possible. I could see the other rider up the road but couldn’t put any time into him, so was currently in 2nd place overall.

Just the 5km run left and I was getting pretty warm by now – luckily Emily’s brother and sister had brought their water-guns to spray us with and halfway round the course some kind residents had brought their hosepipes out and were showering competitors to cool them down, very much appreciated!

I looked back a couple of times and could see that 3rd place was closing me down gradually, but thought I could do enough to hold him off. That was until in the last km I started getting a bit dizzy due to the heat, and with only ~200m left he came past me and crossed the line just 5s ahead… damn!

That meant that I’d finished 2nd in the M20-24 AG and 3rd overall, my first overall tri podium of the year. I’d also managed to beat my time from last year by over 3 minutes, a great improvement. The result also meant that I’d won the M20-24 midlands sprint series (Southwell tri, Nottingham tri & Woodhall Spa tri) and also won the series overall, another one of my season’s aims ticked off.

After getting back to Emily’s parents’ house and having some food we headed to the beach to make the most of the lovely hot weather!

June 21st – VBCC Thoroton 3/4 40mile cycling race

My first cycling race for a month and as with the last one at Plungar, I went into it pretty fatigued and with no expectations. I stayed in the bunch for the whole race, moving to the front a couple of times but my legs just felt flat as expected. Coming into the sprint to the line I moved up a few places but then someone decided to wipe out in front of me… I managed to avoid him, as did everyone else luckily with some doing some impressive cyclocross on the verge, but it meant we were now far too far back and we just rolled over the line. All in all a good training session to flush the legs out ready for another upcoming weekend of racing!

June 25th – Cholmondeley Castle Standard Triathlon

I’d been looking forward to racing at Cholmondeley Castle for a while now as it was to be my first Castle Series race and I’d heard great things about them! It was a damp morning and as we were racking our bikes it started to rain – it didn’t stop until we were packing the car away post race!

We got our Zone3 Vanquish wetsuits on fairly early to try and keep warm and had our High5 X’treme gels about 15mins before race start. The swim was in a pretty murky and muddy lake with shin deep silt to stand in at the start – lovely! It was a 2-lap, 1500m swim with a long ‘aussie-exit’ (~150m run) to start the second lap. Once we were off I thought I’d managed to get into the front group but unfortunately the guy who’s feet I was on had drifted back off the group slightly and a gap was now opening up… damn! I came around him and tried to bridge across to the front group as we were coming back down the lake to complete lap 1. I think I was about 30s behind going onto lap 2 but I thought they were still within catching distance, so I pushed on for the whole of the second lap, still not quite able to catch them. I came out of the swim in 5th place overall with some work to do on the bike.

A swift-ish transition later and I was onto the 2 lap, 44km rolling bike course. Within about 5km I was up into 3rd place on the road and after about 7km I made the pass to go into 2nd place. I could see one rider behind who was making a bit of ground on me and a few km’s later Tim Lynch came past, who I knew was a strong rider from Deva. I upped the pace a little and stuck (legally: ~15m) behind him before overtaking him as we were heading back into Cholmondeley Park to start the second lap. We stayed pretty close to each other for the rest of the bike, putting over 5mins into 4th place and catching the leader as he was now in sight. Unfortunately with about 4km to go a car passed me way too close and pushed me into a ~8cm deep pothole with a crunch. My front tub went down within about 10m and that was game over, I wasn’t carrying any puncture repair stuff. I was pretty annoyed as I knew that I was easily on for an overall podium finish, but there wasn’t much I could do and I was now getting cold as it was still raining. I walked to the nearest marshall point, with 4th place eventually coming past me (we really did have a big lead!) and after waiting there getting pretty cold for ~15mins I got picked up and taken back to transition.

Getting back there the race organisers said I could continue the race if I wanted to so I went into transition, racked my bike, got my run shoes on and headed out onto the 2-lap, 10km run. My legs had got pretty cold and tight standing around, so they took most of the first lap to loosen up and by the finish they were pretty achey. I managed to get the 7th fastest run split of the day to still finish in 20th overall… Looking at the results and I’m fairly certain that I would have been on the overall podium had I not had the puncture. Very annoying to miss out like that but there was nothing I could do and I’ll just have to put the frustration to use in training and my next race. Overall the race at Cholmondeley Castle was a great event (even if Emily and I both had bad races) and Castle Series do seem to organise it pretty well – hopefully I can come back next year and do a little better 🙂

June 27th – Harvey Hadden 3/4 Cycling Race

I wasn’t planning on racing this but my legs didn’t feel too bad on the day so Emily and I cycled to Harvey Hadden and I entered on the line along with about 25 others. The race was 20 laps and got off to a fairly fast start with a few attacks straight from the line. A couple of riders got away and nearly lapped the bunch and another rider got off solo to take 3rd place. I did quite a bit of work in the race, attacking several times but none of these came to anything annoyingly. I think I need to focus my efforts on one or two bigger attacks and need to learn when’s best to attack! I got a bit out of position coming round the final hairpin leaving myself a bit too much work to do to get into the top 10 but sprinted to 12th place. Hopefully this wouldn’t have hurt my legs too much for tomorrow’s race at Plungar!

June 28th – Overst League Plungar 35 mile cycling race

My 3rd race in 4 days and my legs were feeling a little bit tired but I went into the race as with the last few road races just hoping to get round safely. It was rubbish conditions for racing with spitting rain and some gusty winds so we’d all have to be alert to ensure it would be a safe race. It took me a couple of laps sitting close to the back to get warmed up but midway round the 3rd lap (of 5) I moved up towards the front just as 3 riders had attacked off the front, including one team mate from Beeston CC. I then rolled to the front and as we went onto the 4th lap a couple of riders attacked and I got straight onto their wheels. I looked back to make sure I wasn’t dragging the bunch along and there was a group of 6 others on my wheel, not too many! I pushed on and we started working together to catch the 3 riders in front. Unfortunately one of these riders wiped out on a tight corner and soon we had all come together as a group of 10 at the front of the race.

Soon we started working well, chaingang’ing for the next 1.5laps or so and putting over a minute into the main bunch. It then started to break up a little with about 4km to go with a few riders missing turns and thinking about the finish. In hindsight I probably should have attacked at this point and tried to TT to the finish, but I sat in the wheels and coming up the hill to the finish I managed to sprint past a couple of riders and bagged 6th place on the line. A good result and a few more points on a night that I would have been happy to just get round! I was also pleased that I managed to have the legs to get in the break and work hard to keep us away from the chasing main bunch. It was some great experience and I’m looking forward to my next cycling races already 🙂

Next month’s plans:

So, that’s all caught up to date with my many races from the last month! We have one race left in this big block of racing before Emily and I have a small break and some time for relaxing and planning the rest of our season! My plans are as follows:

July 1st – National Standard Distance Triathlon Champs, Ripon

Break for recovery!

July 19th – VBCC Thoroton 3/4 40mile cycling race

July 23rd – Castle Howard Standard Distance Triathlon

July 26th – Overst League Plungar 3/4 35 mile cycling race

After this we don’t have any more races planned until Rotterdam in mid-September, but we’ll look to fit in a few local triathlons and other races as and when we can in August to ensure we’re in the best shape possible come World Champs 😀

Thank you to all of our sponsors for keeping us going in this busy block of racing and to all of you reading this and on our social media platforms for your support and encouragement – it really is appreciated.

That’s all for now, thank you for reading and happy racing/training 😀


May Update – Crits, Road Races, Crashes and Tri’s…

Hi everyone – time to write a blog of what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks since my last post in April ( It’s been a busy month filled with racing, uni coursework, revision and more! So…

First up was the Overst Road Race League 35mile road race on the evening of wednesday 3rd May at Plungar – the second round of the East Midlands Development League and having recce’d the circuit a couple of days before I knew it should be a fairly fast race. The roads were pretty open on either side and there was quite a wind blowing which was going to make it interesting with a cross headwind down the straight to the finish. It was a pretty overcast day so the race had to be shortened to 4 7 mile laps rather than 5 due to the light fading. The finish line was about 40m over the crest of a short but sharp climb up and over a canal bridge so gear selection was going to be key coming into the sprint.

I rolled around the first couple of laps in the bunch with not too much happening until a break tried to go heading onto the penultimate lap. I shot out of the bunch to try and bridge across to the break of 4/5 and got within about 10m but just ran out of legs so had to sit up and drop back into the bunch. Luckily some others were chasing on the front and the break were brought back soon enough, meaning it was heading for a bunch sprint.

Onto the final time down the straight to the finish and everyone was sitting up not wanting to take the lead, meaning we were spread right across the road and no one could move up – I was stuck about 4 rows of riders back from the front annoyingly! It stayed like this the whole way until about 200m to the bottom of the climb to the finish with a lot of us behind getting very annoyed that everyone at the front was just blocking! As we hit the climb it split up a bit and a gap opened in front of me so I went for it, starting in about 25th position! Nearing the crest of the hill and a rider dropping back on my right pulled into my line, knocking my handlebars and taking my rear derailleur into another rider’s front wheel behind. I just about managed to stay upright and sprinted over the top to take 10th place. I was hoping for a higher placing and a few more points but happy with managing to get into the top 10 having started so far back.

On the spin back to the carpark after the race I found out the hard way that the knock to my rear derailleur in the sprint had bent the hanger – when I changed gear it took the derailleur into my rear wheel snapping it clean off, twisting the derailleur, breaking the pulley cage in half and snapping a spoke… great!

Pretty annoyed about this I headed home and quickly got searching online to order some new parts – I was supposed to be racing again on Sunday and my bike was in pieces!! Luckily I managed to get it all fixed up and just about working again, although with the derailleur slightly twisted still the shifting just wasn’t as crisp as it used to be and what I’ve become used to with Di2 😦

Anyway, onto Sunday’s race – another round in the East Mids Dev. League at Thoroton – a 7 lap, 40 mile affair. It was a sunny(ish) day with a swirling wind and the course was pretty flat with some sections of horrible road surface – hopefully people would be calling out the potholes!

The race was neutralised from the HQ until we got to the finish line on the circuit and then the flag dropped and immediately a teammate from Beeston CC went for it, getting a small gap on the group which immediately strung it out. I sat mid bunch for a few laps to see what my legs were doing and to get used to the circuit and was chatting with Phil (LRC rider who I know from uni) to see how he was doing – we decided to have a go halfway round the lap with 1.5 laps to go and see if we could get away. Things were going well leading up to the corner we were going to attack out of, we were moving up when suddenly a rider cut in front of me, pushing me into the group and stopping me moving up. Round the corner and Phil attacked, quickly getting a good gap on the bunch, albeit thinking I was with him. I managed to get out of the group about mid pack and sprinted off the front to bridge over to Phil (and a group of 3 that were chasing) and I got to about 5m off the back of them and a good gap on the bunch until again my legs faded and I had to sit up, slipping back into the bunch… If only I had been with Phil when we’d planned to attack!

Anyway, the main bunch soon caught the breakaway and we were heading for another bunch sprint when with 1km to go a tractor in the road forced the commies to stop the race as we couldn’t overtake safely. Very annoying as I was moving up in about 8th wheel and was ready to empty my legs and see what they could do. We then turned round, rolled back about 500m to the second last corner on the lap and the race was re-started from there. Adding another lap would have been the best solution but unfortunately they couldn’t as marshalls had already left the corners they were posted on.

We self-neutralised the race for 100m or so to ensure everyone was clipped in and ready and then it got strung out again. I was in a similar place to before but there was a rider on my outside, meaning it was going to be more difficult to move up. Into the last corner onto the finishing straight (with about 500m to go) and the rider in front just stopped pedalling and sat up, pushing me back through the group as I had nowhere to go – very annoying! This meant I started the sprint in ~25th place, doing it the hard way! I managed to get my legs going and was overtaking all the way to the line, ending up just out of the points in 12th place. I was pretty annoyed with this, not only as I was in a good place to get a top 10 finish but also as I proved my legs were sprinting well with how I did manage to finish. However, I learnt a lot from this race and know that I need to work on holding my top end power for a little bit longer to allow me to get away/bridge gaps etc. as this is something I’m not so good at currently coming from a constant effort tt’ing background!

5 days after and I was racing again at the Lincoln Criterium 3/4, a city centre crit on a tight 1km circuit including a cobbled climb. I was pretty nervous having never raced on cobbles or in a field so big in a crit – over 70 riders were down to start. Then add into the matter heavy rain all day leading up to the race making the roads very greasy! There was a fair bit of confusion at the start as to whether we were going to get a warm up lap or not but in the end we didn’t and I ended up starting pretty much dead last – definitely not what you want on a tight circuit with limited opportunities to move up.

As soon as we were started someone in front decided it was a good idea to not move anywhere, blocking the whole of the right hand side… guess which side I was on!? After about 30s I finally managed to get over the start line and was on my way, by which time the front group was long gone. I pushed hard straight away and was catching people for the whole of the 50 minute race. I was getting time updates to the front group from Emily and it was coming down fast after being around a minute back a couple of laps in. With about 3 laps to go I had got to about 10s off the back and was in about 13th place – one final effort and I could make my way into the top 10 and get some points.

That was until on the fastest corner of the circuit with 1.5 laps to go, going about 28mph, I had to go slightly off the dry line that was forming when lapping another rider and I lost both wheels, coming down hard and sliding across the road. I stood up, got out of the way of other riders coming round and bent my shifters back straight so I could carry on riding. I got back on and got back up to speed but I couldn’t change gear – one of the connections on the Di2 must have come loose. Faffing around with this coming over the cobbles going onto the last lap I hit the leg of one of the barriers, sending me over the handlebars and onto the road once again! That meant it was race over as I couldn’t get going again and I could now feel a fair bit of pain coming from my left side.

After finding Emily and telling her I was okay, I headed over to the St. John’s Ambulance trailer to get my road rash cleaned up and bandaged – I got away pretty lightly to just have road rash and no broken bones, I must bounce well! After that we stayed around to watch the women’s and men’s elite races before heading to the local hospital to see Emily’s brother, Rob, who had unfortunately crashed on the same corner as me in his race earlier and had fractured his wrist 😦 A couple of hours later we set off back to Nottingham and finally got home way past midnight – a long and stressful day!

I definitely didn’t get much sleep at all that night so the next couple of days were spent being pretty drowsy – not ideal with lots of uni coursework to complete and revision to do. On the upside (from uni’s perspective anyway), the injuries meant that I couldn’t train so had a lot more time for work… dammit!

One major concern on the injury side of things was that I was supposed to be racing the coming Saturday at Nottingham sprint triathlon – my first open water tri of the year, the open water bit being the concern with open wounds. I spent a bit of time researching how to get the wounds to heal as fast as possible and also was very grateful to have a sister who’s a nurse, brother-in-law who’s a doctor and for lots of advice from Emily’s relatives. I managed to get some waterproof dressings from my sister so would be able to use those and some other tape etc. to keep the largest wounds safe enough from the water on Saturday. I was going to wait and decide on Friday whether to race or not, but at least I now had the tools to do so 🙂

The rest of the week consisted of just two training sessions – a short 4km run on Tuesday which was all I could manage before it got too painful, and a 1hr bike on Thursday which wasn’t too bad – I was glad to be training again so was happy to push through the pain.

Come Friday and all of the smaller wounds had healed, leaving just the deep one on the front of my knee and the large one on the front of my calf, both of which looked to be healing well. After a lot of umm’ing and aah’ing I decided to race and wrap the wounds up as well as I could – I couldn’t miss our home race at the location that Emily and I got engaged now could I??? 😀

Onto Saturday morning and it was the usual big bowl of porridge before getting our kit packed up and heading off on the long 10 minute drive to Holme Pierrepont in some lovely sunshine. Emily’s wave was at 11am and mine at 1.30pm so when we got there we registered and sorted Emily’s kit out so she could go and set up her transitions before getting into her Zone3 Vanquish wetsuit and heading down to the start.

Emily had a great race, coming out of the swim 3rd overall, even after being frozen and hardly able to move for the first 500m. She managed to bike well in the windy conditions and the rain coming down on the last 2 laps that made everything a little bit slippy! And then managed to run her fastest 5km for a long time to finish 7th overall female and 2nd F20-24 – another good result to start the season and to build on over the next races.

Then it was my turn to get ready and on checking my bike over before heading down to transition I found that my disc wheel tub had a puncture… great! Luckily I carry a spare tub and tape with me to every race so I quickly got it changed and pumped up ready to race. Having sorted out my transitions and got my Zone3 Vanquish wetsuit on I headed to the swim start and was first person into the water.

A few minutes of warming up and jostling for position on the front line the horn went and I was immediately sandwiched by the two athletes either side of me. Why they decided to swim across my line when there was plenty of space around I have no idea, but I pushed on and settled down into 4th place, with 2 people swimming off the front. Round the final turn buoy with 300m to go I pushed on into 3rd place and stayed there till I got out of the water in a time of 10.32 for the 750m – pretty pleased with that having not swum for 10 days!

I had a bit of a shocking transition as I couldn’t get my wetsuit over the massive timing chip, but I was eventually out onto the 4 lap bike course and knew this was where I was going to have to work hard. Although it had now stopped raining, the rain during Emily’s race had meant the surface was a bit greasy and having lost a bit of confidence cornering in the wet from the crash a week ago I took the corners pretty easy. I was passing people for the whole bike and made my way up into 2nd in the wave on the last lap, overtaking Joe Ricciardi who was leading the 20-24 AG up until then. I managed to put about 10s into Joe on the last half a lap so coming into T2 I knew I had some work to do on the bike to hold him off on the 5km run. My bike time was 29.22 for the 20km, a bit slower than I did at Nottingham a couple of years ago but the conditions were worse today with the wind.

Out of T2 and onto the mind-numbing 1 lap run around the lake where the end feels like its not getting any closer… I had maintained the ~10s lead on Joe through transition and told myself to just keep running and not look back. Rounding the top end of the lake with 2.5km to go I had a quick glance and saw that the gap to Joe was still the same – now just to hold onto it for the next 2.5km! Coming into the last km and I still had the gap so knew that I should be able to hold it and that I did, coming into the finish 2nd in the wave (to a flying Luke Pollard who ran 15.41…) and 1st M20-24 – result!!!

When the results were posted later I was also 4th overall, just missing out on the overall podium by 14 seconds with my overall time being 59.58. I was pretty happy with that result after a frustrating week of not being able to train and also with racing all bandaged up, but had to focus on getting recovered quickly as I was racing again the following morning!

Once back home we sorted out the mucky kit and I sat down to write an essay that was due in on Monday – nothing like last minute work! My legs were feeling pretty tired so I knew that racing in the morning was going to be tough.

I woke up and my legs were very stiff and took a bit of getting moving so I hobbled downstairs to make some porridge and get my kit ready – I was racing at the Uni of Nottingaham GP 20 mile cycling race which was due to start at 9am. Thankfully the sun was out drying the damp roads – I wasn’t going to race if it was wet as I couldn’t risk coming off again with so many tri’s lined up in the next few weeks. The course was 10 x 2mile laps with short, sharp climbs halfway round and at the end of the lap which should make things interesting for the finish.

I headed to the race, signed on and went for a warm up around the course. It was pretty much all dry except for two tight 90 degree corners which were renowned for crashes over the last few years. I knew I was going to need to take these easy as my confidence was still a bit down after Lincoln. Soon we lined up and had the race briefing before being set off neutralised behind the commies car for the first km. As soon as the flag dropped it kicked off and I was soon at the back, my legs just didn’t want to wake up. After 1.5 laps I was about 20m off the back of the group and had to put a big effort in to get back on. After this my legs showed some signs of life and I managed to stick in the group and recover a bit.

A few laps later an attack with 3 riders went and I tried to bridge over to them – by the time I’d got to them the bunch had picked up the pace and caught us all a few moments later. I then decided to just sit in the group for the next few laps and that I’d have to go for it in the sprint. Onto the last lap and I moved into about 6th wheel and then coming up the hill with half a lap to go I found myself rolling into the race lead so I just went for it down the hill and got a small 5m gap. I knew I had to go for it as if I eased up I’d just be swallowed by the group and end up out of position for the sprint, so emptied the tank going up the final climb. I crested the hill in first but ended up leading everyone out for the sprint to the line which was about 300m after the crest.

Two riders came round me but I carried on pushing hard and just got pipped on the line for 3rd place by about 10cm, finishing 4th. I was annoyed to miss out on the podium as I felt I should have been on it, but I’ve got to be pleased to even finish the race after nearly pulling out after a couple of laps. I’m also pretty pleased to have finally got enough points to get my 3rd cat 😀

After the race Emily and I headed home and went out for a short spin in the sun before coming back home to do some uni work – I still needed to finish off two bits of coursework that were in in 16 hours time!

Overall I’ve had a pretty good month, despite the crash at Lincoln and uni work having to take over our lives a little bit – it’ll soon be over and we can focus on training over summer 🙂 I’ve accomplished one of my season goals to get my 3rd cat BC license, have raced pretty well at Nottingham Sprint and am also learning a lot in all of the cycling races that I’m doing. Over the next month or so I’ve got a pretty packed schedule, with uni exams included! See below for my plans:

May 24th – Overst League Plungar 35 mile cycling race

May 27th – British Sprint Triathlon Championships, Strathclyde

June 1st – Mallory 3rd Cat Cycling Race

June 4th – Deva Standard Distance Triathlon – ITU Qualifier

June 6th – Harvey Hadden Circuit Race League (Cycling) – 1st Round

June 10th – National Aquathlon Championships, Leeds

June 17th – Harvey Hadden Circuit Race League – 2nd Round

June 18th – Woodhall Spa Sprint Triathlon

June 24th – Cholmondeley Castle Sprint Plus Triathlon (800m OW, 44km, 8km)

June 27th – Harvey Hadden Circuit Race League – 4th Round

Finally, to end this massively long blog, I’d like to thank everyone who supports me in my racing and training – I wouldn’t be able to do it without the kind support from my sponsors and also from Emily and everyone else supporting me at races – I appreciate all the shouts of encouragement 😀

Into summer (June 6th and beyond after final uni exam!) and I hope to have more regular race reports on here to avoid massive long blogs like this one, so keep an eye out for those.

Until then – happy training 😀

April update – racing has begun :D

Hello again! Time to get caught up on the last month or so of what I’ve been up to in the sporting world. Firstly, I’ll pick up from where my last blog ended – Clumber Duathlon on 18th March.

This was my first race of this year and first since the European Middle Distance Champs many moons ago in September. I’d spectated last year as Emily was racing, but decided to give it a go this year so I entered myself into the standard distance race. Emily was again racing the sprint distance event which was starting an hour or so before my wave.

An early start and big bowl of porridge each started our day before getting the bikes and kit packed into the car and setting off to Clumber. Once there, we registered, racked our bikes and reminded ourselves what we needed to put in transition having not done a duathlon for nearly a year! It was then time for Emily’s start so I went to the start line with her and took a few photos as she raced off into the distance before going back to transition to check everything was fine, do some stretching, have my usual pre-race High5 Isogel X-Treme and get ready to start.

Before I knew it we were being called to the start line and the gun went. Cue everyone sprinting as per usual – although it was necessary on this course as the road soon narrows and it gets difficult to pass others. The run was an out and back rolling course which we took on twice for the first 10km. I went out hard(ish) but not too hard as we haven’t done too much speed work in training yet – we have bigger targets later in the season! I soon settled the pace down and came into T1 with a first run time of around 40 mins – slower than usual but this was a training race after all!

I was soon out onto the two lap bike course and passing people ahead of me who were slightly faster runners. The bike was pretty uneventful, overtaking lots of people and only being overtaken by one person so not too bad! I came back into T2 with a bike time of around 59mins, not too bad even if the course was a tiny bit short.

Finally onto the second 5km run and my legs were definitely a bit confused now as they haven’t done this for a while! “We’ve already ran 10km, do we really have to keep going?”. I managed to pull them round the out and back run and over the finish line with a run time of around 20mins and an overall race time of  2hrs 1min exactly – a standard distance duathlon PB (my second one…) and a good enough for 5th M20-24 and 20th overall. Not a bad start to the season and something to build on coming into tri season over the next few months.

Emily also had a great race finishing 6th F20-24 and also getting a duathlon PB in the process. From these results we have both qualified for the 2018 ETU European Duathlon Championships next spring – hopefully it doesn’t clash with Uni exams for us both!!

After Clumber I had decided to enter some local cycling road races so joined a local club (Beeston CC) and had my first race on 9th April at Sutton Bonnington – a 40mile cat 3/4. It was a baking hot day and I wasn’t quite ready for the chaos for the first few laps and ended up getting dropped and held up behind a crash after a lap and a half… not ideal! I did however manage to work with a couple of other athletes to get back into the main bunch and finished in 20th place – no points but a pretty good first race and I knew I had more to give.

The following Thursday I was racing again at the Mallory Park cat 4 circuit race. I had a good race, chasing down moves and trying to get away on a couple of occasions but not being able to make anything stick. This meant it came down to a bunch sprint and I finished 5th and got my first BC points – yeeha!

Easter Monday (17th April) was my next race at Yarborough 3/4 crit in Lincoln. This was a tricky circuit with 6 90 degree bends every lap and a chicane thrown in for good measure! The tarmac was a bit damp and mossy and I could feel my wheels sliding a tiny bit on the warm up laps. Sure enough, 3 laps into the race and there was a crash on the tightest corner which most of the field got held up behind including myself. This meant the next 4 laps or so were spent riding hard to chase back on to those who had got away as a result of the crash. I spent the rest of the race keeping in the first 5/6 wheels to try and avoid any further crashes (luckily there weren’t any) and with 1.5 laps to go I made my move around the chicane. I got a gap of about 10m but my legs just didn’t have enough to keep it up for the last lap and I was caught going onto the last lap. I kept close to the front and managed 9th in the final sprint, claiming another BC point – 6 down 6 to get to get to 3rd cat.

I raced again the following Thursday at Mallory again but I was a bit naive and spent the first 40mins at/on the front of the group chasing down moves and also trying to get away myself. This meant come the last few laps my legs didn’t have much left in them and I tried to force them to sprint off the final bend but it was no use. I sat up about 100m from the line and rolled across to finish ~20th. Not the result I had hoped for so I was pretty annoyed at the time. Looking back on it it’s all experience and I’m learning all the time having only just started racing – there’s more to come!

I also raced at Mallory on Thursday 27th April (Thursday just gone) where I sat in the pack a bit more but found myself out of position coming onto the climb to the finish line and although I was catching people in the sprint I just ran out of road and ended up 13th. Again, a little bit annoyed but some more lessons learnt! 

I’m enjoying the bike racing quite a lot and hope to carry on fitting races in around my multisport racing when possible. I feel that it’s benefitting my bike strength a lot and should ensure I can put down some good bike splits at my triathlons this year! I am also hoping to get up to 3rd cat pretty soon and if I can fit enough races in, possibly try and get my 2nd cat license this year. Who knows what might happen!

3 days after the bike race at Mallory, Emily and I were taking on our first tri of the season at OSB Events’ Southwell Sprint – fairly local to us and an 11.26am start for emily and 11.48am for me meant the race morning didn’t have to begin as early as most. We had the usual porridge, packed everything up and got to Southwell with a couple of hours to spare before Emily’s start. Like with the duathlon, we had to remind ourselves what we needed to do in transition and what kit we would need – it’s been a while! Once we were both set up we went for a little walk around the event area and relaxed for a bit.

It was soon time for Emily’s start so we headed to the pool and I saw her off and cheered her on after her swim before I got my race kit on, had my gel and went to start myself. The race was a 400m pool swim, 17.5km bike and 4.6km run, so it should be a fast time for a sprint if all goes well. I was in the second last wave, and came out of the swim 3rd in the wave (out of 5) but close behind those in front. I think I swam around 5.15, although the long run to transition is included in the swim time which was 6.08 on the results.

Through transition and I was onto the bike where I hoped to make up some time and try and give myself a buffer on other athletes going onto the run. The course is out and back with the turn point around a roundabout on a fairly busy road. I managed to catch and pass the two athletes ahead of me from my wave within a couple of kms and wanted to push on and put as much time into them as possible as I knew one of the was a faster runner than me. Come the turnaround I had ~20/25 seconds on him and couldn’t see the other athlete which was good news. However, I got stuck at the roundabout as there was loads of cars coming from the right, so had to stop and wait. When I got going again and round the roundabout the athlete had caught me up again and was right behind me. Now I knew I had to do even more work on the way back to T2 in order to get a gap on him. I managed to do this but I didn’t think I’d managed to get enough – we’d have to wait and see on the run. My bike time was 26.09 (including the stop) which was good enough for 4th fastest split of the day.

Back into transition and I was soon onto the run – a 2 lap out and back with a nasty little hill at the start of each lap. I’d soon get to see how much of a gap I had to those in my wave. I managed to hold the lead in my wave until the second time up the hill when I was overtaken by the faster runner – I hadn’t managed to take enough time out of him on the bike 😦 I tried to pick my legs up but they were having none of it so I pulled them round and managed a small sprint across the line. My run time was 16.41 for the 4.6km (equivalent to ~18.10 5km) and I was pleased enough with that given the lack of run speed training so far this season. My overall finish time was 50.09, 2nd M20-24 and 4th overall – a good result for the first tri of the season.

Emily also raced well and also came 2nd F20-24 in just over an hour but with some positive splits for our first tri this year. Definitely a good race to build on for us both with a busy schedule over the next few months and uni exams to think of as well!

My race plans for May are as follows:

May 3rd – 35 mile cycling 3/4 road race

May 7th – 40 mile cycling 3/4 road race

May 12th – Lincoln Criterium 1hr 3/4 cycling race

May 20th – Nottingham Sprint Triathlon

May 21st – UON GP Crit cycling race

May 24th – 35 mile cycling 3/4 road race

May 27th – British Sprint Triathlon Championships – Strathclyde, Glasgow.

May 29th – GT Ellingworth 50mile cycling 3/4 road race

So it’s going to be a busy month of racing and training! You’ll be able to keep up with my progress through the month on Twitter/Instagram and I’ll post a roundup of all the results in about a month’s time! Please get in contact with me through twitter etc if you have any feedback on my blogs or anything that you’d like advice on, I’d love to hear from you.

Emily and I love training together – It’s amazing to be able to do what you love with the person that you love and it’s something that we’ll always be able to do together. It’s how we met, we got engaged at Holme Pierrepont (location of the Nottingham Triathlon), it’s a massive part of our lives and we enjoy (nearly) every minute that we get to train together.  We’ve been putting some hard training in over the last few months and here’s a few photos from along the way 🙂

Thank you for reading and for your support and a final thank you to all of my amazing sponsors – I wouldn’t be able to afford to do all that I do without your kind support, so thank you very much.

Until next time, happy racing & training 😀


ETU Middle Champs Report & March Update

My last blog post back in January finished by mentioning my race at the European Championships in Austria, many many moons ago in September. I was going to write a full race report from this but it was a long time ago, so decided to write a relatively short piece (by my standards!) on it and include it in this blog, along with an update on my winter training and a bit about the races I’m going to be doing for the first few months of this season! So…

The final race of my season was the European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships in Walchsee, Austria. Walchsee is an amazing place to be and the scenery there is beautiful, although I wouldn’t be taking much of it in whilst racing hard! The race was on Sunday 4th September and Emily and I headed out to Walchsee a week before to get used to the area and get some training in out there before the race. Here are a selection of photos from this week:

Race morning soon came around and it was a foggy morning, but about an hour before the race began the sun came out and it was baking hot, not something I usually deal with very well – I’m far too used to English weather!

The race began as a rolling start with waves of 8 athletes let into the water every 5 seconds, which reduces the chaos associated with a mass start when hundreds of athletes all start at once. I had a pretty good swim in 26 minutes, and got through transition and onto my bike without any issues. The bike was a pretty hilly 2 lap course and I felt pretty good after the first 30 mins so pushed on a bit.

I probably should have held myself back as onto the second 45km lap my legs were feeling it a bit. There was a long climb in the last 15km of each lap and the second time onto this my legs were definitely shouting at me and weren’t feeling like carrying on, but I managed to keep going and got back into transition with a bike time of 2hrs 24mins. Just the run to go!

Onto the 4 lap run around the lake and the sun was now out in full force as it was about midday. I was suffering in the heat and my legs were not feeling good at all, but I just had to plod around and get finished – I wasn’t having another DNF after 70.3 Aix En Provence in May. I chucked cold water over myself at every aid station and was making sure I was drinking plenty of it too to avoid dehydration and finally managed to get to the finish line with a run time of 1hr 44mins – my slowest middle distance run to date. My overall time was 4hrs 39mins, a lot slower than I was hoping for but I think the heat really got to me. I finished 16th in the M20-24 age group and had some good sunburn – that’ll teach me to forget the sun cream! 

After the race Emily and I stayed in Walchsee for another week to have some R&R time after a busy season and before we had to head back to uni in October. We spent the week swimming in the lake, walking in the local hills and doing some sunbathing!

When we got back to England and the next few weeks we decided to have a break from training. This eventually turned into ~3.5months of no training as DIY on our house and Uni took over any time that we had – we had a kitchen to fit and a lot of other work to do!! In other news (and as I’m sure many of you know!), Emily and I got engaged on 19th October at Holme Pierrepont – how exciting :D:D:D

We started training again in December with a few short runs and swims, and cycling started again in January. It was a slow start to all 3 sports and we wanted to build up gradually to avoid injury problems that have plagued us both for the past few seasons. Coming into February and we were building up the training to ~6/7hrs a week – a lot less than most people would be doing but we didn’t want to overdo it having had such a long break.

Up to the current time and we’ve built up to some 13/14hr weeks in the last month and training has been going fairly well. We both had our first race of the season yesterday (18th March) at Clumber Park Duathlon where I did the standard distance race – I hope to have my race report up from that within a couple of weeks – I have a lot of uni coursework on at the moment!!

My plans for this season are a mix of sprint, standard and middle distance racing. My first tri of the season will probably be at Southwell Sprint at the end of April before a busy May & June of racing with Strathclyde Park Sprint (British Champs), Deva Standard (2017 Worlds Qualifier) and Cholmondeley Castle Series races among quite a few others! I’ll also be racing at Castle Howard at the end of July but I haven’t quite finalised the second half of the season yet. I’m also doing a bit of road and circuit cycle racing this year to see how that goes, I can’t wait to give it a try and see what happens!

I’m also very excited to announce that Raceskin are sponsoring me for this season – I will be racing in their trisuits which look amazing (Of course Emily and I had to be matching!):

I hope to see some of you on the start line at some races soon – please do come and have a chat if you see me 🙂 As mentioned, I’ll hopefully have my race report up on here about Clumber Duathlon pretty soon so keep an eye out.

Thank you for reading 😀


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