A great start to the season from Jo Baker, after a solid winters training Jo was looking forward to the Duathlon to start her season off, she has done this event several times and was confident with the conditions and the route. Jo was first in her age catergoy, Jo commented on how much stronger she felt on the bike route and how her power had improved, this was a great start to the season. Peak Life Sports offer some great local race, Karl Webster welcomes begininer and advanced athletes to his events, making them have a great atmophere.
Diane’s Race reports
This year I decided to take the plunge into Professional racing in the Xterra Triathlons . The Xterra is a 1500m sea swim / 30k mtb / 10k run, Malta was the first event of the season, I arrived in Malta to lovely warm weather and got straight out to practice the mtb route. The route was very dry and rocky, with some very technical aspects. There was one area of the course I was a little nervous about, but focused on the tips Aline Coaching had provided me with just the week before I went out to Malta. JP the owner of Aline, provides one to one and group coaching for all areas of MTB.
The trail run was brutal with seriously steep ups and downs and it made for very fast run course, if you like downhills. I walked the run course 2 days before the race so I knew exactly what to expect.
The morning of the race I was super nervous, I just wanted to get on with it. I am not sure if being in the Pro Category made me more nervous or not, it was totally a different experience and I had so much to prove and so little to prove , if that makes sense. I have such wonderful support from my team, Cannondale Girls and their sponsorship is incredible and I so wanted to make them super proud. I ride the best XC bike on the market, the Cannondale FSI is so light and race specific, I just wanted to give a little back to my sponsors. I have always wanted to reach and race at Pro level, so I guess today was my day and I had waited for it and worked for it for a long time. However I was aware that I was really taking my game up putting myself out there with the Pro field, I knew there would be people better than me, I knew where my strengths and weaknesses were and I just needed to make sure I did my very best at all aspects, I was determined to give my first Pro race my everything. The weather conditions were warm but a 30mph wind was going to make the race particularly testing, especially as the Mtb and run route were high up on exposed cliff tops.
So the gun went, I mixed myself in with the Pro males, to try to get a good swim, it was a two lap loop, I worked hard on the first lap and gained a good lead and maintained a comfortable lead on the second lap. I came out of the swim first female by a lead of around 1 minute, I wear the Blueseventy Helix wetsuit to swim in, it’s a super flexible suit and very comfortable, which was a good job as there was a 400m run to transition, which include a very long set of steps, as I ran up I could hear my Coach Gary McCaffery encouraging me, I reached transition legs burning from the sandy run and steps. A quick transition and I was out on the bike course, I struggled to find my rhytym in the first lap and dropped a few positions; I felt I improved on my second lap and began to read the lines better and make steady progress. Coming off the bike into the second transition I was now in 5th. The run proved tough for me, but I stuck at it and finished 6th overall. The experience was great and I feel I have learnt a lot. I now plan to train ever more specifically and look to my next major race Xterra Belgium. Thank you so much to all that support me.
Pam Oliver is a pretty incrediable lady, last year it was Pam’s first year in triathlon and her talent was very clear from the start and she won all her events she targeted. Over the winter she put in some high quality training, focusing on her specific areas she knew she wanted to development, Pam increassed her confidence on the bike, gained experience on the road and practiced with different wheels for different conditions. Pam is in the over 65 catergory and to learn how not just to ride a road bike is pretty impressive but to be able to completely kill the bike section of the triathlon has been great to see and something we are very proud of. This year Pam focused on 3 sprint triathlons, which she has gained the series win. The other main event was Chatworth triathlon, here on home turf at the Peak District Pam sealed a qualification place for the ETU Sprint Distance European Championship in Dusseldorf 2017, where she will represent Great Britain. With the support of her very excited family Pam has accepted the place and will race in her first international triathlon next year. Pam inspires us everyday with her ability to stay positive, the training is tailored specifically to her, RFS help ensure she peaks at the right time and ensures Pam doesnt pick up any niggles or injuries. Massive Congratulation Pam.
Probably the nuttest client we have Kenny Skelton, came to us with a pretty big challenge, he contacted us with the goal he wanted to swim the challenge as part of a relay team. Kenny contacted us about 3 month before the challenge, saying he wasnt very good at swimming can we help. Odviously with a ambition goal we were very keen to help, he arrived on poolside with a pair of baggy shorts and no goggles. We asked Kenny to swim 4 lenghts (80m) after 2 I think he would be the first to abmit he was nearly drowning. However the determination of this man has been outstanding, none has grasped a challenge like Kenny. We got him kitted out properly with Blueseventy, than focused on how to improve his technique with regualar one to one lessons. Kenny than went away and had session plans and swam every day, he swam in a 50m pool in the middle as he decided that this was his best chance of learning quickly. Kenny put in hours of practice on his own with the general mind set of sink or swim. He came back for a one to one lesson and suddly the goal become doable, his stroke was better, body position greatly improved and endurance and determination at a full on high. To be honest we were god smacked by the results he had made in such a short time phase. So now it was down to the swim test, Kenny had to swim a particular standard for 2 hours in open water with no wetsuit to be accepted for the channel swim. Proudly he sent us his certificate saying he was in. Last month Kenny completed the channel in a relay team of 4. A fabulous result and you would have thought that was enough, but no this crazy cookie has just entered Ironman Bolton and asked for us to help with his coaching. Again nothing like a extreame challege, before last week, his longest bike ride was 15miles, bring on a exciting year and we have no doubts in Kenny because his mental ability and determination is probably one of the most interesting and incredable we have ever worked with. (he just sent us a GPS route of his training in the shape of his name). Never a dull moment.
Diane Lee and Helen Thornhill both competed in the Big Swim at Holmes Peirpoint last weekend, both achieving podium positions. Diane 2nd and Helen 5th. Lucie Wainwright has also upped her usual distance in open water swimming to the 3.8k and achieved personal best performances in the Epic Event Swim Series.
Dave Patmore Hill, has a range of race experience now and continues to progress in every disipline, Dave takes advantage of RFS e plans, this year Dave has several 70.3 Ironman events, he did Outlaw Holkham as a training race and was just 43 seconds off the podium. Dave came 4th in his age group in 4 hour 55mins, his next target now is Ironman Croatia in September, from now until then he will be training hard and training smart.