Monday, 16 September 2013

Cymmer Afan Off-Road Triathlon - Round 3 of the Welsh GP Series

I’ve been a huge fan of this race since I won the National Cross Championships back in 2010. Strange that, eh?

The main reason being, it’s got a great, big, bloody big hill on the bike leg. It’s the off-road equivalent of Llandudno. Just replace the cast of Cocoon in tiger print with the kids from Lord of the Flies riding those fucking scooters within head butting range of your wing mirrors. This’ll be brief, as quite frankly, not much really happened.

My swim was slower than last year by ~10s, the bike went ok although my legs felt a bit flat and the run was good. Both bike and run were quicker than the previous year which is surprising as I’ve only been in the pool twice and run once since Llandudno...

Wales doesn’t have enough off-road triathlons.

I managed to grab my first win of the season – don’t get excited, it’s only a small race, and moved into 2nd overall for the Welsh GP Series standings. Although I’ve only done one event, so I’m not sure how much kudos that holds.


Swim Bike Run Overall
John Williams 09:50  38:50  18:40  01:08:46 1
Chris Lillywhite Cycleworks / Specilized 12:45  35:42  22:00  01:11:50 2
Simon Osbourne 12:02  39:14  20:46  01:12:49 3
Emily Iredale Cycleworks/Specialized 11:35  40:27  21:47  01:15:21 4
Nicholas Farnell 14:01  39:43  21:22  01:16:10 5

My next/last race of the season is in London on the 13th of September, The World AG Championships. That was my one goal for the season, getting there. Considering where I’ve come from two years ago, it’s slowly starting to sink in that I’ve actually qualified. Amazing where motivation comes from. In my case it was the consultant who told me to stop running back in 2011; “perhaps you’re not built for running”. I still have no idea what this means, but it did cost me £160. Cheers, mate.

In fairness, I have managed my running since the appointment. I started back with a load of time in the gym strengthening my arse/hips, stretching my hamstrings and generally playing around with the swiss ball and elastic bands. The running started months after the consultation; one run a week on a treadmill. First it was 5x30 seconds then I gently moved up to 4x1k. 4k is pretty much the most I run these days on the treadmill, just different variations. 10x400. 5x800. You can all do the math.

Cycling has pretty much been the consistent thing in my training. My swimming interests comes and goes, which is a shame considering I was faster over the bike/run than the overall winner in Llandudno this year. I’m still undecided with what I’m going to do next year in terms of sport. My knees have started to struggle towards the tail end of this year, so after taking 3 weeks off running, they’re fine again *touches head*.

My cycling has improved massively this year, especially when there are hills involved. I know that Strava isn’t exactly the beacon of accuracy for results, but it does give me a good idea of where I am in relation to other people who live around Carmarthenshire. We’ve got some seriously strong cyclists around here and I’m lucky enough to train alongside some of them. I’m sure they won’t mind me mentioning names but the likes of Matt Page (runner up at the World 24hr mtb Championships & former European Champion), Huw Thomas (current European 24hr mtb Champion), Scott Davies (Junior British time trialling Champion & 1st Welsh rider to win the Junior Tour of Wales (currently out in Italy on the “Baby Giro)) and then there’s the guys at the club rides, Tony, Owen, Matt and Brian.

A huge thanks to these guys for pushing me so hard during the rides. It’s clearly benefitted my running too. I’m toying with the idea of doing some road racing and time trials next year with some endurance mtb’ing over the winter. I’ll make my mind up after a good break post London. Although I’d love to go back and get a solid result at the European Cross Championships.

Anyway, I’ve got a World Championships to enjoy in just over a week. I’m started to get excited...

Here's some photos of what I've been up too.


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