The last 2 weekends have been packed with races for DeZeiner Fitness team members which meant that I neither had time to update my blog nor could I add to the latest themes I had laid out. These will have to wait until this race update is out. Today we will have reports from high level racing at the European Triathlon Championships to members racing their first sprint with a broken rib.
We’ll start with that broken rib first:
I had 2 athletes compete at the Stirling Sprint Triathlon – Tracey Cameron and Louise Fraser. Louise has half Ironman and Ultra marathon plans coming up so this was just a little tester that went well, an improvement on previous encounters. I have also only recently started working with Louise.
Also a recent addition to the team is Tracey who is new to triathlon and I have worked with her on occasion to improve her swim. The one sport she has done most of in the past is running and with one thing and another Stirling started to feel like a monumental task. It wasn’t until Tracey had completed it – well a few hours later actually – that we realised how monumental the task had been. She had completed the race with a broken rib (!) probably sustained from falling off her bike a week earlier. Unsurprisingly the swim was rather painful but she enjoyed the bike and got round the run better than expected and with that she finished her first sprint triathlon.
Unfortunately she now has to rest until the rib heals.
2 days prior to this 3 of the team and a bunch of Harmeny Club mates and some Edinburgh Triathletes Club mates and some Newhaven Harbour Club mates made our way over to Fife, mostly by train to take part in the Black Rock 5 mostly beach run. This event takes place in Kinghorn and consists of mostly downhill start on a mile of road to the beach and then probably 2.5 miles of beach while to tide is out to the Black Rock, around it, and back, finishing up the same road again before a final very steep kicker to the finish line. It must be 10 years ago since I did it and it was good to be back as the atmosphere is great, the weather was good and the town came out to support on this Friday evening.
The event was well organised until we got to line up at the start as we gradually got squeezed over the start line. I believe it is the first time they used timing chips which may have made this a bit more problematic as everybody had to be behind the line to start with. Suspect it will be something they’ll look into for next year.
Although I had a decent warm up I could have done better but once I hit the beach I started moving through the field and got into a nice group working together into the wind on the return leg before we also splintered when we hit the road. The final hill was evil but I crossed the line in 29:58 inside the top 100 of over 1300 runners so I was pretty pleased with that.
Fiona unfortunately had stomach problems so trotted around and Carolyn had a solid run to finish in 40 min. She did try and leave something in the tank for the Strathclyde Park Sprint Triathlon that she was competing in the next morning. With that in mind she didn’t hang around for post race beers neither of the freely handed out variety nor of the purchasable in the race pub variety. We were on the 10pm train back home.
This leads me nicely onto Carolyn’s Strathclyde Park event and a number of European themed races.
This was going to be Carolyn’s 3rd race in 7 days and 2nd in 12 hours so some tiredness was to be expected especially with a 5am wake up call. There was no real target to this event as Carolyn was just planning to do it for a bit of fun with a friend. As it turned out even though the event had an open race and a qualifying race Carolyn could have qualified for next year’s sprint European Championships in Dusseldorf although she hadn’t intended to. Heart rate levels on bike and run were lower than usual and this can easily be attributed to the events, both race and non race of the past week.
Carolyn was in Lisbon only a few days earlier for the European AG Triathlon Championships competing in the Standard Distance.
This event was in a way Carolyn’s coming of age in triathlon as she emerged from also ran to podium contender. Having qualified in her age group at the Bala Standard distance triathlon in late summer 2015 this was nonetheless just a bit of fun on her way to her first Ironman later this year.
Preparation for Lisbon went well with some good results in local races. Carolyn mostly stayed away from the pre event madness that was going on but had family around in the final days pre event. Everything on the day went to plan especially with swim and bike. The pacing strategy Carolyn had on the run mostly didn’t work as the GPS was misbehaving with the athletes having to run in and out of a stadium building in regular intervals. It probably made her run harder than she would have. In the end she finished a comfortable 4th in her age group which also pre qualified her for next years European Championships in Kitzbuhel Austria.
At the same time that I had Carolyn racing in Lisbon there were 2 more of my athletes vying for qualifying spots for Kitzbuhel, Fiona and Lynn.
The qualifier was in Ellesmere, Shropshire, on a course that looked like it would suit both of them. On a bank holiday weekend where the weather couldn’t have been better they both gave it their best shot.
Fiona went into the event still nursing the back end of a cold which in the end may have affected both her swim and her run but a much improved bike saw her finish in 2:30 hrs and take the 4th qualifying spot.
Lynn having had up and down races in the run up to Shropshire dealt with her pre race nerves much better than she has previously and put together one of her best races with a strong swim, bike and run. Unfortunately she lost a bit of time in transition which as it appears cost her the final automatic qualifier from Shropshire. Even though disappointed it has been a while since I have heard her cross the finish line with the words: That was awesome!
There is more to come and a qualifying spot still on the cards with Liverpool yet to come.
Over that same weekend the Edinburgh Marathon festival took place. Andrew Kennedy who I’d worked with in the build up ran a very solid race beating his target by 8 minutes. He happily subscribed to my run/walk strategy and executed to perfection even splitting the marathon on the day.
Also on the start line that day was Julie Kealy who I helped on an advisory basis and she managed to achieve her target of running under 3:15 hrs. Finally Kathy Henly who I am helping with her swimming came home just outside 3:30 hrs which she will be delighted with.
Just to close out the event reporting. Gordon rode the tour de Forth Cycle Sportive, managed to pace it well at a time when cycling isn’t his main objective.