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In 2002 i ruptured my ACL and MCL playing football and was told i would not be having an op on the NHS and could never play again (along with many other things!)... After doing some freeride / downhill MTB'ing for a couple of years, I starting to swim again in August 07 and thought, i cycle, i swim...all i need to do is run a about earning a little money for charity and sign up for the London Oly! I went on to enjoy my first season in tri so much I have done a 2nd, gone sub 2:30 for an Olympic distance got round an ironman and am still going!
When not training I can be seen at the Boleyn Ground being a long suffering season ticket holder at the 1966 World cup winners West Ham Rolling Eyes
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All about hammerer

Joined: 19 Nov 2007
Location: Right Next Door To Hell

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Nokia Windsor Triathlon 14/06/2009
Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:13 pm hammerer
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The weekend started on Saturday with the drive to register. It felt strange going to an event without having to prepare to race, so much that I didn’t check I had everything and 15minutes into the journey had to turn around to go fetch my helmet Rolling Eyes . At least it wasn’t race day as this would have been unnecessary stress. Got to the race site registered, racked and had a look around Windsor. Walked along the river, for what was a nice relaxing stroll, but really was a course reconnaissance for me Wink found some suitable markers for the turn into T1 and also for a sighting point to aim on for the dash across the river at the start. We then decided to walk into town to see the castle and my first ever site of the famous hill. It was hard enough to walk up it Shocked
I was starting to get butterflies now and was really looking forward to the race as running around Windsor looked like a dream course. There is so much to look at to try and forget about the world of pain I would be in.
Afterwards we drove to a friends in Farnborough for a pre race BBQ and I took the scenic route which coincidentally followed a large portion of the bike course and again I thought to myself, what a lovely ride this will be. The scene was set and nice early morning dip followed by a beautiful ride in some excellent countryside followed by a “gentle” run around the town of Windsor. It doesn’t get much better than this Very Happy

Race morning

The alarm went off at 4am and I was wide wake. I got straight up and got ready with the obligatory bowl of porridge with honey and a big mug of tea. I also had a coconut powerbar caffeinated to try and give me a bit of a kick to get me wide awake. The drive is just over an hour to Windsor and along the way I sipped at water and some Go electrolyte at about 8%. Arriving in plenty of time I made my way to Transition where I realised that it had rained over night, so I dried my helmet and bits of my bike, put some air in the tyres and checked that the bike gremlins hadn’t been at work. They had Mad as my STI’s weren’t smooth. As it would go through all gears I didn’t risk changing anything which maybe could have stopped it entering either the big or small cogs on the cassette and just left it. Not a massive problem in the scheme of things.
I had a gel about 15minuites before the start at 7:45 and then slowly walked to the swim. The river looked very unpleasant but was nice and warm at 18 degrees. I got in and warmed up a bit more with some swimming and then it was time to go. I had no problems with the usual biff-a-thon at the start and got across the river quite well. I had a high turnover but didn’t need to sprint away and when I got to the other side where the flow was almost non-existent I settled into a nice relaxed stroke. Much of the swim was uneventful except one part where a boat was parked pretty inconsiderately and I had to swim out to get around it. About 100m from the turn buoy and not far past the first bridge I hit my hand on concrete, which was a bit of a shock. I realised that there must be a step or something. I moved out a little and found some deeper water again. This was the only incident in the first 900m before I turned the buoy, again without incident, and headed back in the centre of the river for the 600m return. I stayed long and smooth during the return but couldn’t see a thing. The low sun was blinding and made it almost impossible to sight. I knew I had to get past the bridge and then there were two long boats and the entrance was between those. What I hadn’t bargained for was seeing another long boat. I moved across the river but then realised I was too early. I carried on and turned OK and climbed the steps out of the water. I crossed the road and down the steps into the Park, which was very slippery so I took it easy and then it was a 200m run into T1. The timing mat was at the entrance of T1, and I clocked 30:11 to get into here which was quite pleasing.
T1 went well and I was soon out onto the bike. I got the feet into the shoes quite easily and was soon into my race pace without problem. Before I even got to the first roundabout I hit a massive pot hole as I was concentrating on the race and everything else. The aero bottle decided to launch Go electrolyte all over me Mad Not pleasant but something I had to deal with later. I was worried about the tubs but they appeared to be fine.
The first stretch of about 5miles is just a long straight road. Slightly uphill for some of it though. I put the power down and stayed aero. I was pushing well and was hitting 21mph + for most of this easily. The road conditions weren’t great but I’ve ridden worse and it was still good enough to get some serious speed. After the first turn though I seemed to lose a bit of speed for a while and had to push harder to try and keep it up. There was no noticeable wind and it didn’t seem to be uphill, but it may have just been deceiving me. I was passing a lot of people, with just one P3C whirring past me like I was stood still. Another P3C went past me but couldn’t make it stick and when I overtook him it was very nice. I didn’t see him again and maybe he blew up. I don’t know! The next turn signalled another burst of speed and I felt really strong again. I was flying down here until we turned into Drift Road. Again this felt fast even the uphill sections, which was a shock and made me think that there must have been some wind about that I just couldn’t notice. After spending the best part of 10 miles hardly seeing a bike there was literally 100’s around. No wonder this is known as “Draft Road”, and it was inevitable getting a bit of help at times. Here was where on two occasions I got held up both caused by motor vehicles. They over took me then got stuck behind riders that where slower than me meaning i had to sit up and spin for a bit before they could pass the other riders. This probably cost me a minute, but maybe gave me some recovery to really push. I got to the turn and headed for home and was pushing hard, knowing there was about 10miles left. Again I felt it hard to get any speed although I was overtaking people and felt strong. It was at this point I had my first GO gel to give me a boost. I was sure at this point it must be a secret wind as I couldn’t feel one. It was the return down Drift road that I broke my duck and became a proper triathlete by completing the goal of “peeing” on the bike. I was desperate, and knew it would upset my stomach running so I stood up on the peddles and let it go. Instant relief Wink The rest of Drift Road was pretty uneventful gradually passing people and then it was a left turn and into the Great Park. As we entered the park I noticed that there was a strong cross wind, and realised the reason for the two slower sections. At one point I had to come off the tri bars as it caught my PX 50, and this was when the spilled drink came back to haunt me. My left arm was stuck to the pad so as I went to move it to come up onto the hoods, it sent the bike to the right a bit. Noting major but gave me a little fright Shocked The rest of the ride through the Great Park was amazing. Hitting 25 to 30 mph all the way through with amazing countryside either side. As we entered back into Windsor I was almost disappointed that the ride was coming to an end. I wanted to do another lap as I had enjoyed it so much! I removed my feet from my shoes before the last roundabout and there were three of us that looked like we were racing at this point. Looked good for the crowds and I overtook one on the approach road and then as we turned into the Alexandra Park I got the other on the road. This meant I had a clear dismount and got into T2 smoothly. An excellent ride and a time of 1:14:18 ave 21 mph Very Happy . I had drunk the aero bottle ful lof 8% go electrolyte during the ride. As I slipped my runners on and put a hat on I noticed my watch showing 1:48. So a 42min 10k would be enough for a 2:30 and 52 for a 2:40. I knew 42 was well beyond me but thought if I work hard the 2:40 is on. I had planned on 45 mins and worked out the timings to cross certain points, but that was worked out before I had seen the course. It was tough. I went out well, and hit the hill up to the castle, but found it hard. The downhill run was just as tough but then it is a nice straight section out and back to take the lap to about 1.5k at that point. I turned to head over the river and up to Eton College in 8 mins so though that this was gonna be close. The drag up to the college is uphill and again quite tough and I turned for the return, but was close to a stitch and had to really concentrate on my breathing technique. I finished the first lap with my watch showing 2:05:**. The second lap was a mental game. The hill to the castle seemed harder and longer this lap, and really was energy sapping. The stitch was still threatening to come on but I had to be focussed on my breathing. I had planned on a gel after the 2nd climb but I made a decision to wait, as it may cause a problem and I wasn’t low on energy. As I headed out to the 2nd turn I noticed a man on the edge of the grass on all fours in a bad way. A girl was with him so I called “you OK” but got no response. The marshal was only a hundred meters or so further so as I approached I slowed sown and asked if he had a radio and told him about the man. I then headed off on my way and back to the drag up to the college. As I approached the end of lap two I checked my watch and knew I needed about a 16min lap to beat 2:40 so upped the pace and off I went. The castle hill near killed me this time. My legs were crying in pain but I pushed and headed back down the hill. As I went up to the 2nd turn I noticed the “sick” man was no longer there so thought that he must be OK and had a little smile to myself, and pushed a bit more. I got to the bottom of the hill to head towards Eton College and noticed I had about 8 mins to get up and back. This was going to be close. I pushed and pushed until my lungs and legs were screaming for me to stop, but I kept on. As I turned the corner to enter the final straight and the finish shoot I knew I was close but didn’t look at my watch. I sprinted so hard I forgot to soak up the atmosphere. As I crossed the line, without even smiling for the camera I just dropped to the floor in a world of pain and delight. I checked my watch to see 2:40:10. Had I done it, I knew it had been a few seconds before I checked my watch and I couldn’t wait to find out. I picked myself up and struggled to walk back to transition. I had nothing left in my tank. I had given everything and thought to myself, no matter what, I got a p.b. and could not have given anything else. The time turned out to be 2:40:03 with a run of 52:18. A slow run for me time wise, but it was at the same perceived effort compared to the 5km I did at Eton a few weeks back, which should give me a 48ish at worst, so I know it was a hard course. I should be disappointed that I missed my target by just 3 seconds, but I knew I gave everything. There was not one thing I could have done to go any faster. Transitions were perfectly executed, I pushed hard on the bike, and the run left me literally finished. If the van and car had not got in the way, I would have done it, but this was out of my control, and also I slowed to talk to the marshal, but again no race or time is more important than the well being of a sick athlete. What I do know is that I was happy with my performance and I know that this bodes well for a sub 2:30 at London as a 3.5km shorter bike, and a shorter and also pan flat run should see me meet my goals.


Swim 30:11
T1 2:01
Bike 1:14:18
T2 1:15
Run 52:18 (lap 1 16:59, lap 2 17:48 lap 3 16:52...finish shoot 39 secs)
Total 2:40:03 (663 / 1618)

Replies :-
Slacko - cheers mate, went well for me!
Sav - shame we didnt catch up again, weather was perfect Cool
Sue - best race I have ever done, scenic and A1 organisation as usual from human Race.
putt putt - Getting there and Londons sub 2:30 is the goal now, weell a new born first and then london!
Paul, cheers mate, hoping training carries on after the big day when the little fella arrives Very Happy

~   Last edited by hammerer on Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:42 pm Wheezy
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Nice report matey Smile Shame about those three seconds, but like you say, there's more important things than that. Gives you a goal for next time too Smile
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
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Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:43 pm Carlito
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well done hammerer. Nice report Smile
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