Scissett Triathlon

me.jpgToday I completed my favourite triathlon for the 3rd time, Scissett Triathlon organised by West Yorkshire Police Triathlon is a cool little event that just happens to be on my doorstep, well almost!

Like all British Triathlon events it is governed by the standard rules but its super relaxed and very friendly which I guess it’s why it attracts so many first-time triathletes.

Starting with a 412 meter pool swim then straight into the 18k bike leg which climbs up to the Emley Moor mast and then back to Scissett baths with 236m of climbing it’s a little hilly but good fun. Then into a 4.5k run half off-road on a good track then the second half on the road – Perfect!

This year I was 3 minutes slower on the bike leg which is a bit rubbish but it probably did not help having a 100k hilly bike ride yesterday. The run this year was a touch faster but not by much – At least I did not come last which is always my first aim when I enter a triathlon!

 It’s great to be part of the Wakefield Tri Club – the support is always fantastic, a bunch of great members just turned up to cheer people on. Thanks guys you are epic!

Strava Bike

Strava Run

Fish and Chips
Finishers Reward!

London to Paris in 24 hours on a bike.

What a great experience! In fact this ride was one of the favourite events I have done! Last October I ran the Lincoln Half Marathon, I ran with a friend of mine, supporting them run their first half marathon. What I enjoyed the most was the fact it was purely just for the fun of it. Paris in 24 hours was just the same!

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The event was organised by a bunch of guys from DBS data, and what a cracking job they did. There were 14 guys and 1 girl. Some of the guys could have jumped on their bikes and ridden straight back. For others among the group this really was the pinnacle of their cycling achievement. I rode with a group of 9, and what a great pleasure it was, a real “one for all” mentality. We amassed 9 punctures between us, I think one of the guys managed to get 4, I am not sure how that is possible but it was!!!

We left London at 4pm on a Friday – Not entirely sure this was the optimal time to do so; I have never seen road rage like it! One guys was held up for about 7 seconds and went hopping mad, unfortunately that same poor guys is likely to die 10 years prematurely because the self inflicted stress and anger he must live with. A bus driver taught me 4 new lewd hand gestures because I robbed 1 meter of road from him! Being a Yorkshire country lane cyclist London rush hour was an experience.

Fortunately it was not too long before we reached the open country. After nearly 5 hours of biking we reached the south coast, rolled onto a ferry and tried to get 2 hours sleep lying on the floor in the public area of the ferry. I picked a spot under the main stairs on the aft deck, closest I have come to feeling homeless curled up in a sleeping bag under a staircase.

We rolled off the boat into Normandy darkness with the goal of reaching Paris by 4pm. Riding a direct route to Paris you don’t end up on the most scenic of roads but as cycling is the French national sport the divers are far more understanding and to be fair it was still a great route.

As the hours and the miles rolled by I became increasingly impressed with the group of people I had the pleasure to ride with, smiling through the pain and enjoying the moment and their achievement. A few of the guys were riding for charity and it turns out more that £11,000 was raised, helmets off to you guys, you are a real inspiration.

The most painful part of the whole experience came at lunchtime, dreaming of fresh French bread, cheese and maybe some meat, unfortunately the consensus of opinion was lunch should be had at McDonalds!!!!! 14 days on I am beginning to feel the disappointment subside!

We made it to Paris. Paris made London feel like a small town, I am not sure if it was fatigue and 170 miles in the legs but Paris just felt mad!

As a die hard pro cycling fan it was fantastic to ride up the Champs-Elysees, a cycling experience I will never forget weaving between the traffic on the cobbles – crazy, crazy, crazy. I think my bike handling skills improved more than my fitness on this trip to Paris.

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Note to self because my mate Alun had driven over to Paris for a little jolly and to be as great a support as ever, having his range rover at the finish line I was able to dump my bike, get to the hotel and get a quick shower. This meant we made it to the celebration dinner one hour before everyone. 2 pints of beer on an utterly empty stomach felt like 6 or 7! I am not totally sure what I had to eat that night, but I am sure it was great!

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Strava Link UK  –  Strava Link France

Link to pre Paris blog

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Jumping Red Lights – in agony in Hamburg!

I was fortunate to find myself in Hamburg Germany for the Online Marketing Rockstars conference. I always pack my running gear, it’s the best way to get out and see a new city!

Ever since my Yorkshire 3 peaks attempt on Valentine’s Day (see blog post) my ankle is more painful than normal. I am basically always in low level pain with my ankle (read more). If I do some exercise or spend any length of time on my feet my ankle pain changes from a dull background pain to something like a throbbing head ache. The rule of thumb is for every 2 hours of exercise I do it results in 24 hours of more intense pain. I am generally able though to run it off unless its super cold. I remember getting told off by my PE teacher at school when we were on school camp in Snowdonia, we had just climbed Snowdon and I told the teacher my feet were done in – after running around in the evening I was accused of putting it on earlier!

The pain in my ankle has not eased up from the 14th of last month yet. I know that is partly to do with being FAT, I can always judge my weight by how quickly my ankle becomes painful. It must also have something to do with spending so long wearing my Salomon Ortholite Trail shoes, because of how cold it was the ground was pretty solid. I generally wear ON Cloud Runners with specially made orthotics for shorter road running or my trusty Hoka Ones (I go through a couple of pairs per year) which give me way the best support. In hindsight, I maybe have been better in the Hoka’s or even my walking boots on the 3 peaks.

So I have spent the best part of a month with what I can only describe as a throbbing head ache in my foot.

While running in Germany I experienced a whole new level of pain, which was akin to chronic tooth ache inside my ankle to the point I could not even put weight on it.

As a child, I used to see my surgeon a couple of time a year and was always told I could not damage my ankle further. In more recent years I have tried to get a medical opinion to no real avail, maybe I will go and see my GP again this week……….

Red Wine Route

Those of you that follow me on strava may have noticed that this is a reasonably regular running route of mine

Strava Link

I do love this short but remote route

You leave Langsett Barn carpark and run mainly downhill on a very well maintained footpath to the far end of the reservoir, you then start the route back by climbing up on to the moor and away from the water on a much rougher path, the top of the climb affords great views back down to the reservoir and the valley beyond. Arriving at the highest point the path sweeps downhill, a long and joyful descent back to the water’s edge. There’s a little kick up again and you are into the woods which are hugely muddy at this time of year, you burst out on to a farm track, pick up the road and finish by running over the dam itself and back to the car.

The other thing about this route is its super close to my best buddie’s house Alun & Jo. If I am running this route regularly it almost certainly means I am single. It seems to be the case that when I am single I go and stay at their house once a week and we have “fellowship group”, which always means a minimum of 2 bottles of red wine is drunk between us – so I have never actually run this route with a completely clear head. Maybe one day!

So, is it better to have a couple of glasses of wine and get a great night’s sleep? Or, is it better to not drink but sleep less well, or at least spend much longer trying to fall asleep? Before you pigeon hole me as being a functioning alcoholic this is purely a temporary state of mind and I am sure normal service will resume in a few months when I am back more in control!

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New home needed!

I have unfortunately come to the realisation I will never be able to do this bike justice, so it has to go and find a new home. This is a bike to be winning age group races on not fighting cut offs!!!

Boardman Elite Air Time Trial bike 9.4 with 11 speed Di2
Size Large (I am 6’3”)
Only covered about 1,000 km including 2 ironman races, last riden at the Barcelona event in 2015
In perfect condition!
The bike has a number of valuable upgrades:
• Dura-Ace break levers – meaning you can change gear in two positions – i.e. on the low profile bars and breaks
• Ultegra Bluetooth Stages power meter worth £600
• Zipp 404 firecrest wheels
• Double bottle cage mounted behind the seat
• XLab Torpedo Hydration System
• Ultegra Pendle’s

Link to the bike on eBay