Another year of sport and another year older and what was potentially going to be a great year and an excellent winter training ended (nearly) with some mixed results and ups and downs.
February started with a crash caused by an idiotic car driver slamming on his brakes and reversing towards us resulting in evasive action and a fall on my shoulder. Innocuous at the time but the shoulder stiffened over the weeks and months and needed a steroid injection to free it up, and just in time for my first race at Wilmslow sprint tri in May where I finished 2nd overall. Great result in my eyes.
Onto Bala middle distance on a tough course but my form was good and despite leading the swim and onto the bike the course was abandoned to a fatality. A very sad situation.
Next up was Ironman UK and again the form was there running a PB the week before and swimming and biking was great. Again lead the age group for much of the bike course and a short distance at the start of the run before I started coughing up blood and struggled with breathing for still an unknown reason. Multiple chest X-rays and MRI's and scopes in my throat and nose have detected zilch. Race finish in 15th AG is a result but not the win I wanted and trained for.
Medical tests and rest then back to training just in time for Xterra UK to try something different. A great swim, but lost a few places on the tough muddy slippery bike course and ended up 4th in what was also the European Champs. I did get offered a roll down slot for the World Champs in Maui but expense could not allow this year. Maybe next year ;-)
A last minute entry to the Tameside XL off road tri a couple of weekend ago yielded another 4th place and this was disappointing. A good swim again, and a good run, but my inexperience on a MTB and lack of course knowledge probably cost me a podium postion. 2nd to 4th were within 50sec and the technical hilly bike cost me this I'm sure. The winner overtook me about 3miles into the bike and left me for dead downhill on the loose rocks. Another learning experience.Following the Rules n+1 was invoked and a new (2nd hand) addition was added to help on the MTB front.
So winter training is starting and the local pool is a couple of minutes walk away with coached sessions two nights per week and one early morning. Absolutely ideal and I am loving the structure so far.
Running speed is coming back again and next weekend I am doing the Worksop Half Marathon with my old training partner and superfit mate Daz Sharpe. I am sure we are both laughing at the prospect of a race off. Cant wait but a 1:20 will do and coincides that Sunday is my long run day. Happy all round.
Biking is mainly commutes with longer rides planned for Tuesday and Thursday evening and a long club ride on Saturday.
So the form was there but bad luck conspired against me but remaining positive that it can be repeated and bettered in 2016. With luck also Xterra Wetsuits UK will sponsor me again and hopefully my bio will be there (to be updated soon) if you want a look at my past results and achievements.
So, onto 2016......there was a time when you could enter races a week before but popularity means having cash (or a credit card) to enter a year in advance when the entry goes live. Luckily Ali and got entries to both the half and full Outlaw next year. My brother and mate Paul Breeze are also entered for the Outlaw.
Good luck and safe training everyone and see you on the start line
So races for 2016 are go
April Xterra Malta
May Wilmslow Sprint Tri
June Peninsula Sea Sprint Triathlon
August Xterra UK
September Tameside XL