Friday, 24 August 2012

Cymmer Off Road & Tuska Tri (Welsh Sprint Championships)

Cymmer Off-Road Triathlon 

Right up the arse end of the A41...4..something...18...4? this small off-road tri is a gem in the rough. No, wait, a diamond in the polish. Fuck it, it’s a good event.

The 600m pool swim went well, bar the fact that I ate early then forgot about the hanging around involved in pool based tri’s. I then started hammering the gels like some form of High5 junkie. Nabbed the 2nd quickest swim of the day.

The bike route had changed before the event due to some pissy tree disease. So it was basically out on a road – climb up the forest – descend down the forest – back on the same road. Not the most exciting or technical routes, but a good climb would be able to separate the field slightly. Bar almost descending blind due to the amount of shite that was being thrown up into my eyes, it was pretty much straight forward. I genuinely can’t make this more excit...oh, I saw a fox. A ginger one.

Onto the run, we’d have to do 2 x 3k laps. It’s a great run; out on a cycle path, across a massive river (stream), then back on a dirt track where it got pretty tight with overtaking.

This really isn’t excit...oh, I saw a cat. A black one.

Anyway, finished 2nd overall and lost out to Simon Thornton. Who’s pretty handy.

Tuska Triathlon – Welsh Sprint Distance Championships

Wanted to give this event a real good crack.

My swimming had been going great towards the end of this season, so to feel like I couldn’t really get started on the morning was a disappointment.

Getting out the water in the second group, there was a gap of over 2 minutes already. Not ideal, but let’s face it, going out the wrong way of T1 didn’t help the matter either. Belated apologies to Lewys Winfield-Young and Richard Dando for taking them too...pretty sure I said this after the last race, but next season, actually listen to what the race briefing has to say. Tuh-wat.

The bike was a strange one. I felt pretty much shite the entire way round, but my time wasn’t *too* bad. I’ve neglected my cycling over the last couple months and it’s shown, but still, I was happy with how it went and made up a handful of places. And yeah, Tuska is not flat.

The run was going to be interesting as I came back into T2 with 3 others around the same time. Despite only being able to do one run a week for the last month or so, I’m surprised at how well I’m running these days. I was able to put a small gap into the guys around me and was starting to catch a couple guys in front, but simply ran out of k’s to bridge it. Again, I made up a couple positions on the run and gave pretty much all I had left. Finished 15th overall. *thumb up*

In terms of the field, that has to be the strongest sprint field I’ve raced against. It’s a good yard stick to measure myself with and with a solid winter under my belt, I’ll be looking forward to 2013...although I still don’t know what I’ll be doing (bar an attempt at a sub 2:10 Olympic time).

So, in terms of a comeback season. I’m fucking ecstatic. Considering I’ve been running once/twice a week since March and the fact I’m racing again, I really can’t complain. A big middle finger to the consultant who said to “give up running as you’re not built for it”.

5 races. 3 podiums. 36th at a European Championship and 15th at a National Championship. Pass me the beer.

Next up for me is a week in Greece with no trainers/bike then onto a ‘mystery trip’ to somewhere in Europe with 5 mates – guaranteed to hurt more than any race this year.

Oh....and an entry to Rother Valley Tri – an AG selection race for the ETU Sprint Champs in Turkey. Still undecided.

Last one, I also fell off a childs BMX on a night out with some mates.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

An application to become one of the Champions of the Earth

We all saw it, we all gasped at it, we all want it as a title to stick on out work desk...bedroom bonnet.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt to get myself into this organisation and put Ammanford on the map. John Williams - Champion of the Earth.

Dearest Champions of the Earth,

During the Olympic London 2012 Games Ceremony Opening (I’ve moved the words around to avoid copyright infringement and a personal visit from Seb Coe), I, like the other 30 trillion viewers, was left with my mouth firmly agape by the title of Champion of the Earth.

Intrigued by this title, I have put aside my ambitions of reaching the 2016 Olympics held in Rio, Brazil on the British Synchronised Diving team and now fully commit my sustainable self (thumbs up), to getting a seat on the Champions of the Earth table. I imagine it’s an oval table, constructed from Swamp Chestnut Oak, naturally fallen of course, with individual seats created using materials salvaged from a local recycling centre. None of this IKEA shi...rubbish. Along with this Swamp Chestnut Oak oval table and delightful, if not uncomfortable seating, I imagine there’s a coat stand placed near the entrance of the board room where selected members are able to hang their capes. If this isn’t the case, I propose as the newest member, that this should be installed along with a fireman’s pole. I’ll be more than happy to design and manufacture my own cape and fully utilise the ‘C’ grade I achieved in A-Level Art & Craft.

I’ve noticed that you have a selection policy, which I think is great. We don’t want any old lunatic in a suit joining our select team of Champions of the Earth *cough* Boris Johnson *cough*.

These are the points that you have detailed as criteria to be matched to be considered. I will continue to show how I have achieved and in some cases, surpassed these.

• Policy Leadership

• Science & Innovation

• Entrepreneurial Vision

• Inspiration & Action

Policy leadership.

During my sporting career, I have developed a distinctive leadership skill which has drawn many plaudits. A key moment that I can refer to involves the time I was selected as Captain to lead my town’s (excess of 6,000 inhabitants) rugby team. Known as the ‘crazy gang’, we’d often play with an obvious handicap in numbers and on times, were forced to pick Jason Senchall. A charismatic, yet often confused man, whom in his glory days was a prolific try scorer, but at the end of his career seemed happier to talk to the opposition and congratulate them on their success before starting the game. Taking over a ragtag group of men and turning them into league winners and cup finalists was no mean feat, but with a policy that included; no warming up, selecting a team during kick off, asking members of the public if they fancied a game and listening to Ashlee Simpson to ‘get the blood pumping’, we were and still are, fondly remembered as one of the most successful rugby teams of our generation.

Science & Innovation.

I once passed a physics test with a 99% pass rate* and witnessed a school colleague eat calcium permanganate. My favourite elements from the periodic table are Rubidium and Boron. In terms of innovation, you can agree that listening to Ashlee Simpson prior to a rugby game is pretty much on the cusp of an act of genius. I also once used a circular wooden curtain toggle as a conker during my school days. Obviously I painted the toggle in three shades of brown first, but it went on to become undefeated over an entire spring term.

Entrepreneurial Vision.

Have yet to appear on Dragons Den, but have built a TV/towel storage unit in GCSE Technology. Many slated this idea and claimed it was a big, wooden box with a lid, but they clearly lacked entrepreneurial vision.

Inspiration & Action.

The information detailed in “Policy leadership” clearly surpasses both these requirements. I once scored 26 points in one game of rugby; inspirational AND action. Apart from these points, every day I inspire local redheads as I step into the public eye. I laugh at the cheap jibes, the laughing, the coin throwing and general shouts of “oh look, someone’s put a polo shirt on a scotch egg” or “look! A day walker” and annually I venture to countries with temperatures well in excess of 13 degrees Fahrenheit despite advised not to by my local GP. Truly, truly inspirational.

I do have some requests prior to being selected onto the Champions of the Earth board:

• I want a red phone.

• Ammanford to be renamed “John Williams – Champion of the Earth”. Imagine it, “you are now entering John Williams – Champion of the Earth”. Beautiful.

• A cape.

• A selection of apples, a sharp knife and a bathtub full of balled melon.

• To carry the Olympic flag at the Olympic games in Rio, 2016. On horseback. Topless. Me, not the horse – preferably a cross-eyed Shetland Pony.

• To ignite the Olympic flame with a stunt involving a flammable suit, Chris Akabussi and a pommel horse.

• Every Friday afternoon off to trial the above stunt. For the next four years.

I hope you find the above requests fair, as I’ve had to curtail the list and omit items such sacrificing a reality TV personality every Wednesday, revising the national dish of the UK to apples, introducing the centurion (100 beer shots in 100 minutes) to the Olympics and the Thunderdome to be reintroduced with Sepp Blatter & Piers Morgan to be forced in first (this should really go back on the list).

If you require a passport photo, I’d be more than happy to provide one along with finger prints. I have no criminal record and hold a clean drivers license. I’m open to flying lessons too.

*I marked my own paper

Yours’ in all things Champion,

John Williams – Champion of the World