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5k = 19:21 (as a split in 2009 Manchester 10k)
5M = 33:xx (Wolverton 2008)
10k = 39:59 (silverstone 2009)
HM = 1:28:55 (EtonDorneyWindsor 2009)
Marathon = 3:25 (Rome 2008)
Longest Continuous run = 61 miles (ONER 2009)
No. Marathons to date = 10
No. Ultras to date= 4

70.3 = 4:59 (Antwerp 2008)
IM = 12:45 (IMUK 2008)
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All about MoJon

Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Location: Back in MojoTown

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Antwerp 70.3 2008 Race Report
Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:31 am MoJon
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Well you thought you'd read epics from me before, this one could top them all though! It may ramble at times, it has all the excitement and suspense of a incest storyline in Eastenders Wink

So Antwerp 70.3 was the goal. I decided back last year that this would be a good target for me, a flat course, the complete antithesis to Wimbleball and a good 6 weeks after. That was all fine until IMUK was thrown into the mix; still 5 weeks out, thats doable I thought so in my entry went. It wasn't until earlier this year I found out Doug was going to be racing as well, originally heading out with a couple of others, by the time the race got closer it became Doug and Jon do Antwerp!

I elected to go by Eurostar, mainly becuase it is so much nicer than flying and you don't have to deal with airport parking and all the worry about bikes being used for catch practice by baggage handlers. So on Saturday at 4:30am the alarms went off and two bleary eyesd athletes headed for the station armed with Coffees. Getting to euston was simple and even the 5 minute walk to St. Pancras with heavy bike bags didn't hurt too much (or not yet anyway!).

We checked in and grabbed a crossaint and another coffee before boarding the train. 2 hours later arriving in Brussels we then jumped on a local train to Antwerp. We must have found the smallest train ever because we ended up in a door way balancing the bags on their ends and at one point the door decided it wanted to eat my bag - cue a minor panic that my wheel might have been damaged - luckily it only caught the padding in the bag though.

Once we arrived in Antwerp, the hotel looked only about a mile from the station so we decided to be tight and walk it.... About an hour later with red raw hands and biceps that felt like they were going to explode, we arrived at the hotel. A quick build of the bikes and we threw our running kit on for a 'short' run to wake up the legs - short however turned into a total of 3 hours running and shuffling round Antwerp to see the run course, swim start, transitions and then to register before heading back to the hotel.

The goody bag I have to say was one of the highlights of the event; a sports bag, bottle of wine, tyre levers, DVD of To walk again - Mark Herremens story, a lanyard, finishers T-shirt and 2 bottle of sports drink oh and a water bottle. All for a measly 125 euro entry fee (UK organisers take note!)

By this time we were shattered but felt we needed to take the bikes out for a spin. Somehow we ended up on a motorway (which is actually used in the race) however I don't think we were meant to be riding on it at that time due to the reactions of the drivers! still we both commented on how awesome the road was and headed back to the hotel.

We then headed out Pre race dinner of the usual Pasta variety in a nice little restaurant followed by some profiteroles - carb loading in style! We got a touch lost on the way back to the hotel and ended up walking through the red light district which was an experience and there seemed to be a large 'variety' on offer - needeles to say we retreated quite quickly Wink

The nice thing about the race was the 11am start meaning no stupidly early morning, so the alarm went off at 8am when we headed down for the usual pre race breakfast of 3 gallons of coffee and museli before doing a final kit check and heading to race office to drop off run and post race bags and then cycling up to T1 to rack bikes. Unoftuneatly for one athlete, this was not as simple as it shounds, his swim back jammed in his front wheel sending him flying and ripping the leg off his wetsuit right in front of us! Shocked The tranistion was very long and i was right near the bike out end which was perfect but meant I would need to employ the strip wetsuit at swim exit and then run strategy - something that later would lead to memories Wink

After we racked, we headed out to a quiet area to loosen off shoulders and chill. I then decided it was time for one last visit to the loo so headed to the queue whilst Doug said farewell and headed to the Pro startline. It was a race against the clock to get in, empty and get suited up before the swim started - It came right down to the wire with having a german zip me up as we were walking down the steps into the water Rolling Eyes

The Swim; well lets just say British events are much more civilised! this was WWE sytle swimming - I have a fair few tussles and had my goggles filled with water several times. The water was very murky and seeing was a luxury, still it was warm and the light was bright enough that the lights didn't go out like at the beaver. the plan was a 35 minute swim and official split to the top of the stairs was 34:22. My shoulder was a bit tender from about 1500m again though so I think that given a bit more R&R there is still some more to give in the swim as I was keeping it steady to not aggrevate things.

At the top of the stairs (yes the huge flight in the picture!) I began my wetsuit strip strategy, all going well until I hear click, click; looking up I see several telephoto lenses pointed at me which then threw me off a bit, it later turns out that the photo below made it onto the belgium press agency website! The rest of T1 went smooth as clockwork, run to bike, helmet, glasses, garmin, shoes all on, run witrh bike, mount and go - 3:04 which was 4 seconds off target Rolling Eyes still at least I didn't make any tea Wink

Out on the bike and I knew it was going to be fast, especiually throught the underpass where I span out on a 53-12 Very Happy unfortuneatly my garmin was set wrong and it was in run mode so I never bothered starting it for the bike as I didn't want to waste time. The bike was awesome and for the first time ever I started passing people! not just one or two but in the 10's, some impressive kit as well! every disc wheel I passed just fueled me more. I have really been working hard on my biking so i felt I needed to do it justice. I'm not sure of my exact splits, there were timing mats but I can't find a link to them. I do remember hitting the 40km marker at 1:08 though! I could hardly believe it, Seeing as the fastest i've ever ridden in a race was Greece and I managed a 1:15 on a 40k bike leg! Still this fueld me even more and were it not for the building wind my mind was even contemplating a sub 2:30 bike split. The wind however was building and the rain started falling, I had a moment of 'why does this always happen when I race' which instantly turned into 'Every thraining ride has been like this - your used to it now use it' at which point I again started picking off scalps like they were going out of fashion. There was a lot of drafting but the referees where good and the results reflected it - 20 DQ's and a lot mkore penalties. The group in front of me were even running a blatent team time trial - never mind the got dropped by me soon enough on the run Wink

So coming back down after the second lap, the wind was really picking up and the speed dropped but I kept plugging away, being cautious on the wet tram tracks that people were coming off on and powering out of them keeping the pace as fast as I could. I ended up rolling into T2 in 2:40:20 accorind to the results.

T2 was a bit of a drama given that they had put security fences for racking but no obvious way to rack on them so after a few seconds consideration, the bike got propped against it and then followed a silky smooth transition as practiced. again the area was long and this was reflected in the 2:08 split. 8 seconds slower than planned but not sure I could have shaved many more seconds off here to be honest.

Now out onto the run and I knew I had to do a sub 1:40 run to hit my target of sub 5. As I was planning a 1:35 run spit I thought it should be easy and to start with it was. The run is awesome, 3 and a bit laps round Antwerp city centre, each time going through the finish area in the town squarte with a grandstand and big video screen. I had the garmin on by then and the first 5k I hit in 22:09 - perfect, 21 seconds under target, 10k at 45:41, ok 41 seconds behind now but thats ok... Somewhere around this point I passed Doug who was clearly having a bad day and walking - I checked he was ok and got the response 'crack on i'mn still expecting you to go sub 5!' so that i did, by 15k the wheels were starting to fall off though - 1:09:51 - hmmm i';m slowing up here, 2:21 behind - it's ok though I had 5 minutes in hand right?! 16k - oh b*llox this is silly, i'm slowing to long run pace, but there is coke at 17k - just run to there then you can walk for a bit.. so I grabbed a coke, downed it and cracked back on hitting 20k at 1:34:31- looking at the watch it said 4:54 and a few seconds which in my mind meant I needed to do a sub 5 minute kilometer to go under 5 hours, by this point all I could think was how gutted i would be if I lost out on a few seconds and how much explaining i'd have to do so I climbed into the hurt box and dug deep, 500m to go I saw people ahead and was trying to pick them off one by one, as I went into the chute I knew I was going to make it so pushed up to a sprint to cross the line in 4:59:22 - sub 5 by the skin of my teeth! Clap

The medal weighed a ton (it's literally coaster sized!) and it was all i could do to get in a tent and collapse on the floor with a drink. I chatted to a few athletes before going to grab my dry clothes and to try and find Doug; I didn't know what lap he was on when I passed him but his bag was still in the tent so I went back to the finishing area to wait for him, cheering a fair few on in the process. There is a saying on several Ironman DVD's - 'You can quit and no one will care but you will always know' and I am so proud of Doug for taking that spirt and embodying it. Most pros would have thrown it in if they were having a bad day but he walked most of the run right to the finish and full respect for him for doing that.

After he had picked himself up, we headed back to transition to grab the bikes where we met up with bfd who offered to take out bags back to the hotel by car whilst we cycled which was much appreciated. We took a very scenic route and riding a tt bikes with flip flops on cycle paths is certainly an experience Wink

A quick shower and we headed out to the rolldown, I knew i was well out of it to be honest with a 56th place in my age group ( crazy isn't it that last year that time would have bagged me 36th place and a slot in my AG as it rolled down past this in 2007) This time all the slots had gone by 17th (4:22:16) Shocked

I know though that there are improvements to be made, i'm still not a good cyclist by any means and the next couple of years should see some gains there. I really needed this race to stoke the mojo; ok so Clearwater was not to be this year but If I focus and keep the trainign consistent I reckon there's a qualifying race in me somewhere down the line.

After the rolldown we headed out for a mixed grill and beer before meeting up with the Jamesons for a Drink and I finally got a chance to have my well earned cider! QWe didn't make it much further than 2 drinks by which time we were ready for a long walk back to the hotel and to call it a day.

Travelling back on the Monday was always going to be hard, we made it easier by getting a taxi to the station though! still dragging bags across stations was quite enough work, especially when you get off the train at the wrong stop in Brussels and have to get back on another one Rolling Eyes At Brussels we stopped in a cafe for a waffle and ice cream - yes it did have mnore calories than we burned on Sunday but who cares it was good Wink

After a cross london obstacle course with the bike bags and one final train journey we arrived back in Milton Keynes weary but content that we'd had a fun weekend even if we didn't both meet our goals. Doug I think feels he has some unfinished business and I would love to race that course again so who knows, maybe we'll go back one year- I have just found out however the European Long Distance Champs are on 8th August in Prague and my sub 5 hours would get me a slot on the team so maybe that would be the preferred option in 2009... who knows!

For now a little bit of rest, some light training then back to the plan come Wednesday.

all the other photos are here: for some reason the tritalk uploader was playing up this morning so apologies for those without facebook access

Thanks guys for all your messages and yes I did cut it fine but you wanted a cliffhanger didn't you Wink
_________________ //


~   Last edited by MoJon on Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:43 am Sue
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very well done
--under your target, and had a few secs spare to make tea in T2 Very Happy
although T2 with no racking sounded a bit panicky Shocked
good race, looked nice weather from pic
goal achieved
--r&r until as long as wednesday Rolling Eyes wow

Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:41 am Helen
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Congratulations Jon - great result! Clap

Love the photo, unfortunately can't see the others.

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2011 plans
August 27th - Little Woody
2011 Goals
Get fit again!

Cross the finish line of the Little Woody
2008 Goals
Sub 3:30 Marathon - achieved 16/3 3:25 @ Rome Very Happy
Sub 5:30 70.3 - achieved 3/8 4:59 @ Antwerp
Qualify for Clearwater - missed but tried my best
Qualify for Duathlon Worlds/Europeans - achieved
Complete IMUK in one piece - achieved

well 4 out of 5 ain't bad - time to reflect and raise the barre for 2009!
2009 Races
26/12 - Aylesbury boxing Day 5k - 19:53 PB 55th/200
18/2 - Olney Runners 'hotlap' (2.4 miles) - 14:38 PB
1/3 - Wellingborough 5k - 19:51 PB 6th/90 5th Senior Man Very Happy
10/3 - LaSanta Half Marathon - 1:35:33 12th (1st 25-29 Wink )
26/4 - Stratford Marathon - 3:33:00 179th/864 (44th SM)
5/5 - Silverstone 10k - 39:59 PB 102nd/805 (60th SM)
13/5 - Olney Runners hot lap - 10:16 PB 19th in handicap (3rd fastest)
17/5 - Great Manchester Run (10k) - 40:38 343rd/30,000 (227th SM)
30/5 - underround - 6:56:47 8th finisher to date...
7/6 - EtonDorneyWindsor Half Marathon - 1:28:55 PB 26th (25th Male)
19/6 - Colworth Marathon Challenge 3:12:53 34th (14th MOpen)
27/6 - GSRR (33.4 miles) - far too long! (7:33) 16th
30/6 - MK 10k - 42:22 104th/385
4/7 - Black Country half 1:37 48th/661 (13th 20-29 M)
19/7 - FVS 26.2 Challenge - 5:33
1/8 - ONER - broke at 17:30 60ish miles in. couldn't stay awake
22/8 - Classic Crossings (34 mile ultra) - 8:29:32
6/9 - Kent Coastal Marathon - 3:57:22 113th/236 42nd SM
20/9 - OR handicap race
4/10 - Survival of the fittest - Cardiff 1:20 171st/1224
25/10 - Great South Run - 1:10:12 403/13661 205th SM PB Very Happy

28/11- Wolverton 5
2008 Events


13/1 - Wellingborough 15k round 1
45th @ 1h11min
20/1 - Wendover 5 mile MT
97/295 @ 40min27sec
3/2 - Wellingborough 15k round 2
41st @1h09min
24/2 - Wellingborough 15k round 3
29th @ 1h05min
overall series placing 32/516 Clap
2/3 - MK half
199/2091 @1h32min PB Very Happy
8/3 - Clumber Park Duathlon
2:14 197/273 - 21st in AG
16/3 - Rome Marathon
3h25min PB Clap Very Happy - 1546/14500

29/3 - Votwo Jurassic coast Challenge - Day 2
27.6 miles! 5:12 11/91
6/4 - Swindon Duathlon - DNF Sad
13/4 - MK Duathlon - DNS (injured)
3/5 - TT Man 70.3
6:03 - 1st Half IM
24/5 - ETU Duathlon Champs - Serres, Greece
2:26:20 9th 25-29 68/83 Sad but Very Happy
31/5 - Trifest 08
AQ - 38:24 (13:51/24:31)
1k OW 18:35
10k run 43:51
OW sprint 1:18:53 (14:15/37:34/24:24)
15/6 - UK Ironman 70.3
6:23 W00t 404/897 - 77th in AG

12/7 - Beaver Middle Distance
5:37 67/119 10th in AG Very Happy
13/7 - Votwo Long Swim @ Box End
1:07:55 30/60
3/8 - Antwerp Ironman 70.3 4:59 W00t 388/908 - 56th in AG
23/8 - PnM Man 70.3 - 5:25
7/9 - Ironman UK - 12:45 552/1293 - 53rd in AG
27/9- ITU Duathlon World Champs - Rimini - A long season!

'A' races in Red!
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