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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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ITU Dextro Energy Triathlon - Hyde Park 16/08/2009
Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:31 am hammerer
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The race from hell, everything that could go wrong did and if you are of a nervous disposition or in a bad place then turn away now!

With an 11:45 start I didnít need to get up too early and found myself leaving home at 9:15 after cereal, toast and sipping the usual weak Go electrolyte drink. Getting to Hyde Park was easy enough and thanks to Scoobers we had somewhere to park. Set up and got myself ready and had plenty of time which got my mind into a good place and thinking of a great race. Conditions were windy but quite warm so I was conscious that I would need to get plenty of fluids on during the bike and run. We entered the water and had a longish swim back around the pontoon to a start back near the shore. Strange as the distance was billed at 1560m, and there we were cramped in a small area with a turn in less than 100m. Why we didnít just start by the pontoon I will never know!

The claxon went off and immediately it was rough. There were far too many people in too confined space, so I was being kicked at the front, hit from the side and grabbed from the back. I was almost towing the people behind they had hold of my legs so long. I was starting to get a bit agitated at this point and kicked a bit harder to try and break free but being held up in front meant that it was having a concertina effect. This was a turning into a nightmare, and the splash all around whilst being hit at all angles was making breathing almost impossible.

As we approached the first turn it got worse, I was making hardly any progress while swimming due to everything around me and with that I took a whack on the back of the head followed by a kick to the face whilst someone tried to drag me under from behind. I couldnít get a breath and took a lung full of water. I then missed my next two breaths, and although I didnít panic, I had to roll over to get some air. This was a bad move also as I then got pushed under again! I see a canoeist to my left notice this and he started to paddle towards me, and believe me, I was close to thinking, s0d this Iím out, but I regained my composure and got on my way. Luckily the few seconds break had given me some clear water and I was able to start swimming again. The rest of the first lap went reasonably well, although I had definitely gone anaerobic for the first 300 odd meters due to everything going on around me, and knew I needed to settle down. The second lap again wasnít too bad, with some biff but I was thinking I was so far back that everyone was already out of the water. I got out of the water and noticed that it was still only 28mins something. Shocked, yes but also very disappointed as I should have been faster. Time was actually 28:17 which is an OW P.B. and over 1560m also. Shocked Still I am a lot faster than this and know it!
It was a long run into T1 and I got the suit down and was in quickly getting suit off, helmet on and out. I exited T1 with a disabled athlete with a prosthetic leg, and it was quite a run to the mount. We were running side by side down a narrow path that was lined by barriers, with the legs sticking inwards. With that some idiot decides he wants to run through the middle of us. Realising at the last minute that there was no room and the guy on the right was a paratriathlete he decides to push me and my bike into the barriers. I caught my bare foot on one of the legs, hit them and went straight over the top with the bike coming down on top of me. Someone else stopped to make sure I was OK, whilst the idiot ran on ignoring what heíd done. Whoever you are that stopped, I wasnít calling you those nasty words and thanks!
I realised I had a nasty gash to my left knee and my foot hurt like hell, but I was more concerned that my bottle had ejected sticky energy drink all over me. I was ready to stop then and there but thought, Iím gonna chase him down. I picked myself up and got back onto the course and carried on.

I started riding and the leg hurt but the foot was worse. I was struggling to put any pressure on it. I had no fluids in 25 degree heat, and then realised Iíd lost my 2 gels also. I thought there was no way I was going to do anything now. No energy and no fluids, my race was over.
I carried on with the ride and first 2 laps went well. 11 mins each and on for a good sub 1:10 but I knew in the back of my head there was no way I would hold this pace for an hour with no nutrition or fluids.

I see countless accidents on the course. There were too many people and not enough room. The drafting is the worst I've ever experienced, and one time I thought it was a team TT when a group of three all wearing GB adidas kit went past inches from each others wheels..."YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED AND DONT DESERVE TO REPRESENT YOUR COUNTRY, CHEATS!"
There were some very inconsiderate people out on the course, and I had a number of close shaves. This was not a race in the usual spirit of triathlon which came to fruition on my fourth lap. A cyclist took a left hander quickly and lost control. He hit the feet of the barriers and was launched head first into them. I was behind with another cyclist, and both of us slowed up. Well my race was over anyway and this guy was in trouble. With that we got a barrage of abuse from someone who had been sucking my wheel unannounced for not concentrating so yelled that he was a fíing cheat and that someone was hurt! Luckily as I slowed a marshal was running there and confident that all was going to be sorted I went on my way again.

I was in a foul mood now. My race had been ruined and I was surrounded by people that shouldnít be on a tri course. Itís a friendly sport and we maybe competitors but we are all in it together, a big team on the course, and thatís how Iíd like it to stay.

As I started my fifth lap I was beginning to suffer, dehydration, lack of energy and pain were all taking their toll, I wasnít enjoying myself and I again considered pulling into Transition and calling it a day. I again pushed them thoughts aside and carried on. I noticed the guy was back on his feet as I passed the crash site, so that cheered me a little and I thought Iím gonna do this. Iím going to get through that finish shoot, even if I have to walk the 10 odd km. I finally finished lap 6 slowly with what has turned out to be 1:13:40, a good 5 minutes down on what I expected. As I dismounted I nearly got clobbered again and started the longish push into T2, but was struggling. Every footstep was sheer pain and I had nothing in my legs either. I exited T2 in 1:49 and started 5 laps of hell.

There was a water stop about 500m after transition so I took on 2 cups of water in the hope it may help. It didnít and I was low on energy at this point too. The sun was belting down, I was doing a kind of limp shuffle and the thought of 5 laps of this was torture. Again it was a battle of wills, and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other as people flew past me. Lap 2 came and as I yelled water, I was given a drink! Oh dear, one mouthful and I realised it was some sickly energy drink. I threw the rest of this away but the damage was done. Five minutes later I get a stomach cramp. Luckily it passed after a kilometre or so as I hadnít taken much on, but it meant no fluids that lap again! Due to my strange running style I also developed a blister on the arch of my left foot, just another thing causing me problems. Eventually it was lap 5 and I was just glad I could turn off the course and into the finish straight. Oh great, it wasnít around the corner but not far short of a kilometre further. I plodded on and entered the blue carpeted stadium area, and didnít even muster a sprint. The 10.5k run / limp took me 56:28 for a total time of 2:44:23.

I am so disappointed, and with the pain Iím in today, with hindsite I should have stopped at T1. Even T2 and to continue has gained me nothing. Well I suppose its proved I can tough it out, and mental strength is a major factor in long distance racing, and OK I finished and got another medal, but in a poor time and I got no satisfaction or enjoyment from the race and may have even affected my chances of a good display in 2 weeks at Dorney. Although I suppose I got a P.B. in the swim again.

All in all a bad day at the office!

Thoughts of the race were, well organised as youíd expect, but the course was too cramped for the number of athletes. The bike course dead turns didnít give enough room and were potentially waiting for an incident. The road surface was very poor in places, and the ply covering the speed humps wasnít great. Transition entrances and exits were too narrow and the swim was started in the wrong place. Also there wasnít enough room in transition. I struggled to find a space to re-rack my bike in T2! I am a little disappointed with the experience that should have been a memorable occasion, but for the right reasons. I doubt if I will do this one again!

Swim 28:17
T1 4:11
Bike 1:13:40
T2 1:49
Run 56:28
Total 2:44:23
AG Ė 46/70
Total - 188/294

~   Last edited by hammerer on Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total
Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:49 am savaloy
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I reckon you should see this race a good test of your mental strength which will certainly put you in good stead for going longer. You need to make sure you recover well before Dorney which hopefully shouldn't be so congested. Chin up big man Smile
Swim smart, Bike strong, Run tough

Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:52 am Dirty Davey
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Sounds like a tough race, it's all too easy to look back and know what the sensible option was but when you're racing you never want to pull out.

Take it easy and give yourself a good rest.

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2018 schedule
4th March - The Big Half Report
2015 Schedule
15/16th Aug Midnightman Report
2014 Schedule
2nd Mar - Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon Report

13th Apr - VMLM Report

27th Apr - 7oaks tri Report

22nd Jun - Bridge Tri Report

13th July - The Bastion Report

Championship XC

25th Jan - Southern XC Champs Report
2013 Schedule
24th Feb - Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon Report
21st Apr - VLM
28th Apr - 7oaks Tri
23rd Jun - Bridge Tri Report
14th Jul - Cowman
21st Jul - National Lottery Run Report
27/28th Jul - Midnightman Report
22nd Sep - Tonbridge Half Mara Report

Championship XC

5th Jan - KCAA XC Champs Report
2012 Schedule
7th May - Tonbridge sprint
17th Aug - Half Midnightman Report
23rd Sep - Tonbridge Half Marathon Report

Kent XC League

8th Oct - Race 1 - New Barn Park - Report

27th Oct - Race 2 - Tonbridge - Report

1st Dec - Race 4 - Danson Park -

Championship XC

7th Jan KCAA XC Champs - Report

17th Nov London XC Champs - Parliament hill Report
2011 Schedule
29th Jan - SEAA XC Champs (15km) - Report
20th Feb Kentish Killer sportive 73miles - DNS
27th Feb Tunbridge wells half mara - DNS
10th Apr 7oaks tri - Report
17th Apr VLM Report
2nd May Tonbridge Sprint Report
26th Jun Forestman Report
7th Aug Hyde Park Oly Report
25th Sep Tonbridge Half Mara report

Kent XC league

8th October Race 1 - New Barn Park -report
29th October Race 2 - Tonbridge -report
2010 Schedule
21st Mar - Reading 1/2 mara - DNS
18th Apr - 7oaks sprint - Report
30th May - Austria 70.3 - Report
13th Jun - Windsor Oly - Report
27th Jun - Dartford Bridge Oly - Report
8th Aug - London Oly - DNS
26th Sep - Run to the beat 1/2 mara Report

Kent XC league

9th Oct - Round 1 West Wickham Report

23rd Oct - Round 2 Tonbridge Report
2009 Schedule
19 Apr - 7oaks - Report
17 May - Eton - Report
7 Jun - Blenheim - DNS
14 Jun - Windsor - Report
2 Aug - London - Report
16 Aug - Dextro Energy Tri -Report
20 Sep - 7Oaks - Report
2008 Schedule
18th May - Eton Sprint

8th June - Blenheim Sprint

20th July - Bananaman 3/4

10th August - London Olympic

14th September - Orca Classic Tri

5th October - London HM
21km run - DNS Mad

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