This year’s 19th May Flyer Sportive sold out quickly, and as usual was a lovely lumpy course, well signed & very well-marshalled by SWRC. Two distances are available, 90k and 153k with many initially opting for the longer tougher route. Luckily that included all the young talented ones, even if several cut short at the moment of choice (and then in classic Sportive style didn’t tell the organisers that their unbelievable time was, er well, unbelievable). I had to be back home before I started, or I would be in trouble, again. I therefore sensibly entered the 90k ‘short’ route, but it is still no easy ‘Windsor’ ride. Continue reading
So, last year I decided to do a 70.3 , without any Triathlon experience.
I did it but it was nearly a disaster as I finished with literally (not joking) 1 second to cut off time. Good value for money tho, I’ve used all of my time! And then I knew it exactly what excites me and motivates me: fear! To do the impossible after being on a bike was really a wake up call : I can do this properly.
So I entered again and did a bit more training.
The run is always my biggest fear after a bad accident and being told I was never going to run. That was all I concentrated on, the bloody painful run. I started my training in January. Not that serious but with more respect- I was loving it and getting stronger and couldn’t believe I was waking up everyday at 5:30am to train. Continue reading
‘Final race of the season for me with no big expectations following 2 weeks on relaxing holidays and a preparation focussing on quality rather than quantity! I arrived in Weymouth on Saturday and the weather conditions were as predicted very wet and windy. The sea was very bad and if it had stayed like that for the race, it would have been a definite DNS for me. Sunday was a very different story and conditions were just ideal. Sea was very flat, and after a friendly rolling start and a good first 750m swim in 13mn I lost my rhythm and never found it again resulting in a much slower swim than I had hoped for. Being well behind my schedule, I decided that 1 or 2 more minutes wouldn’t change the overall result, and I used the facilities in T1 for a quick comfort break. Not sure how I did it, but I managed to cut my left thumb quite badly opening the toilet door and had to spend 10 minutes with the medics.
Me, my bike and my plaster were finally enjoying a fast few kilometres on beautiful roads when suddenly… my thumb decided to bleed again and never stopped until the last few kilometres of the bike course. No need to say that my bike, trisuit and I, looked pretty disgusting. Anyway, Weymouth is a tough bike course, with steep climbs, technical downhills and a nasty headwind. Second loop was mentally challenging but I managed to catch up few people and I was now much closer to the front of the race! Continue reading
After some coercion from a couple of Sprint Distance stars, I made my way down to Worthing on bank holiday weekend for a crack at the Olympic distance tri. As the final ETU qualifier for the year, the field seemed pretty strong. It was also an opportunity to don my Viceroys vest for the first time this year, after a big money mid season transfer from B2P.
Some swell and wind blown chop made the swim interesting with some fight club at the first turn bouy. Not my strongest discipline, and too much time in calm Shepperton lake saw me exit at the back pack after 25:41 minutes, which makes me think the course was generously short. A swift transition, I was out on the bike in 170th place.
Bike course was not as flat as I expected, more ‘rolling’, but with a couple of good opportunities to get into a rhythm and time trial it. Some light rain combined with the wind saw a few crashes, and the open roads resulted in some frustration for both cyclists and drivers as we got stuck behind some of the slower competitors. A good out and back course though, and a decent run in allows you to set up for T2 (52 seconds!), out onto the run in 147 place.
The run started off well, about 10-15 secs/ km inside my usual pace, on a 2 lap course. It became pretty clear at the first dead turn that my stunning outward pace was largely a result of a 15 mph tailwind, which was now a little less helpful. This is a the first footrace where I have actively drafted other competitors, pedestrians and beach furniture. I made the most of the final outward drag, then turned and hung on for the final 3km home, crossing the line in 2:25: all up, in 135 place, pretty much mid field.
After 4 years of training for long course, this was a pretty swift reminder what threshold feels like! Continue reading
As a bit of a back story, some of you may know that I competed at Ironman Nice last year, but failed to convert the long hours of training due to suffering from heat exhaustion and being pulled from the race, and rapidly attached to a saline bag (which actually made me feel very good afterwards!).
So, 2017 meant I had a score to settle. However, with a new baby arriving in the Shakir household in October, training for Nice in June was going to be a touch tricky. So Ironman Wales was selected, as it was far enough in the future to have time to train, close enough to home that we can drive with said baby in tow, and cool enough that I didn’t suffer at the hands of the heat gods again. What I didn’t take in to account, was that this is in fact (not necessarily factually correct), one of the hardest Ironman races on the European tour. Tidy.
Training started just after Christmas, dragging myself out of a warm, dry house into the wet and cold, where I imagined hearing the phrase ‘Jamal Shakir, you are an Ironman’ as motivation to get out the door. The first few months weren’t too taxiing, but when things stepped up a bit, the lack of sleep and losing a training partner due to injury meant I was really struggling to find motivation with riding on my own. This is when the good people of Viceroys took me under their wing!
Anyway, to race day. Continue reading
‘I’ve not raced at Dorney for a couple of years now. A mixture of apathy about the race venue coupled with qualifiers elsewhere kept me away from the iconic British Olympic rowing venue. However, I’d not been able to get a place at Liverpool and wanted to race – Diamond Triathlon at Dorney it was then!
I actually like racing at Dorney. The lake is always clean and since it’s a rowing lake, it’s quite easy to keep straight between the buoys. The bike course is flat and fast as is the run course. Yes, there is a degree of repetition (8 laps of the bike course, 4 of the run course, 2 of the swim course!), but it allows you to concentrate on the task at hand and really maximise your efforts in each discipline. Continue reading
Lance Kesson completed the London Triathlon and recounts his race:
‘The alarm went off 5:30, racked my bike. I had forgotten that I had set myself a personal challenge by signing up for the sub 2hrs30 wave. Was not so confident now on the morning of the event.
In the water at 8.55, claxon rings, off we go. Swim was good, no panic attack.
On to the bike, I was on the Westminster route. We headed up to Big Ben, fighting the head wind, exchanging some chat with a couple of other riders, while playing cat and mouse lead change with them.
Arriving back at the Excel centre, trainers on. Now the run, this is the part the I have traditionally found tough. I am trying to reframe what the run means to me. Part of this is listening to my body and not looking at my watch. Coupled with the negative chatter in my head and the temptation of looking at the thing on my wrist, I push on, enjoying the chill of head wind when I turn into it.
Finally the last lap I turn into finishing lane, where I pass Rachel who has been her amazing self all day supporting myself and any other competitors that look like they need their spirits lifted.
I cross the line, happy to get to the line feeling good, no idea what time I had done.
Rachel asks me do I want to know?
I had managed to complete the challenge I set myself, and grabbed my PB by 20 minutes.
Saw a couple other Viceroys, I hope they had equally good days – a wonderfully crazy big event.’
As raced and reported by Lance Kesson