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Quality v Quantity
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Swim
25m Kick board 30s (03/10/12)
50m Kick board 1:04 (03/10/12)
50m 37 (01/03/13)
100m 1:20.5 (01/03/13)
200m 3:02 (04/04/12)
400m 6:18 (22/01/13)
500m 8:10 (27/03/13) (first 500 in 1500)
750m 12:22 (27/03/13) (first 750 in 1500)
1000m 16:23 (12/02/14) (first 1k of 1500)
1500m 24:51.8 (27/03/13) OW - 23:43 - 2010
1900m 33:58 (09/09/10)
3800m 1:11:20 (24/05/11) (1:06ish @ FM but time inc. T1 1:14)
Golf - 70 (39s / 31st) (**/08/15)
CSS test 6:20 / 3:06 = 1:37 (02/05/14)
CSS fastest splits - 6:18 / 3:03 = 1:38 (22/01/13)

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100IM 1:50
50 fly 48

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40km 1:02:35 (22/06/14)
90km 2:46:20 (18/08/12)

Run
5km 22:38 (07/05/12) (Tonbridge Tri)
10km 45:41
Half mara 1:46:44 (24/02/13) (Tunbridge Wells)
Marathon 4:09:11 (13/04/14) (VMLM)
30min TM - 6120m
5km TM 22:50 (25/04/12)

Tri's
(400/20/5) 1:11:33(Eton SS 2009)
Sprint 1:34:55(Blenheim 2008, only standard distance sprint!)
7oaks 1:48:14 (27/04/14)
Tonbridge 1:23:28 (May 2012)
Oly 2:18:31 (Dartford 2014)
70.3 5:34:55 (Midnightman 2012)
Iron 14:21:58 (Forestman 2011)
Me
 
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 little..how 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
 

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

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The Forestman 26/06/2011
Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:19 pm hammerer
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The Forestman

After a rather sleepless night in the Bed and Breakfast I finally got up at 2:30 AM and snuck into the bathroom, to start eating and preparing for the long day ahead. To say I was nervous is an understatement. I was more nervous of waking the baby and wife than the race though Wink Two bagels, a banana and a mule bar fuelled me and I set off for Sandy Balls at around 3:25 with a small bottle of electrolyte to keep me hydrated.
I arrived at Sandy Balls, and met up with Lou and Dan (Fuzzy Dunlop) and sat next to a Swedish guy who was also an Iron Virgin. To see people travelling across Europe to do this race as their first says volumes to the organisation of Race New Forest, The Forestman and the reputation this race is starting to get. We arrived at the lake and a quick chat with Steve (Slacko) and Richard Lou and Dan with lots of banter helped settle the nerves before finally starting the walk down to the lake. It was very misty and visibility was poor, and you could just about see the first buoy. It was said in the briefing that the kayakers had travelled the course and from each buoy you could see the next, and that the kayakers would help to lead us around.

So after a 10minute delay and a blessing from the local vicar, yep we were blessed all right and privileged to be racing in this part of the country, we were led into the lake where a 5 second countdown finished with the gun. We were off. It was a tame start as a 2.4 mile swim is a little different to the thrashing of a 1500m Olympic tri where you go hard. I settled quite well in the second pack and found some good feet and just sat there. We got to the turn at the end of the lake where I took a kick to the head which really knocked me scatty. I felt light headed, started to feel sick and was very disoriented. Hell, was my race over just 10mins in? I got a lot of negative thoughts at this point, and just kept turning the arms over whilst trying to follow feet. I was ready to climb out the lake at the end of the first lap but it seemed to just keep going on. When would this end, I still have another 2 after this, I feel sick, blurrgggghhh, out it came! I kept going thinking this is it I’ve had enough until I realised I was at the halfway point on the second lap. How had I got here, where was the jetty? You wouldn’t believe the lift this gave me, and I found some more feet and bang it was game on again.
I started swimming well and got my head up a bit, rotated well and upped my turnover. I found good feet but unfortunately these were a little slower than me, but I thought “there’s no group to catch so either I go out alone in front, or just sit here and take a ride home” I hitched the ride home and soon enough lap 3 was over and I climbed out of the lake to applause from the crowd that had gathered. I ran up the slope to transition past the crowd and then as I got past them I actually thought, “Why am I running?” so slowed it down and entered the change tent. A quick check of my watch showed 1:07 so a sub 1:10 swim which was pleasing.

I took my time in T2 drying my feet, putting on arm warmers, compression socks, and filling my pockets with gels, bars and nuun. A quick check in my bag. Oh my ibuprofen...how valuable would that last check become?

I exited the change tent grabbed my bike and crossed the timing matt in 1:14:46 and started the walk /jog with bike to the road and mount line. I see Rachel (MrsSlacko) and commented that I was now off for a gentle ride in the countryside.
The mount line was a couple minutes from the exit to T2 but soon I was on the bike and away.
The start of the ride is fairly flat and fast but I was conscious to “start as if I’m riding to the event”, a great bit of advice from Steve I’d had on Tritalk earlier in the week. I was spinning nicely and see and chatted to Aaron before he moved on at a rate of knots that I could have held but was trying not to. Ride your own race Carl, another sound bit of advice I’d received.
The was a minor rise at Bransgore which I dropped into the small ring for and then another minor lump up Thorney Hill before a right turn just after another cattle grid onto the plains. At the end here we took a left onto the A35 which was a Time Triallers dream. It was still thick fog and I had no rear light so I was a little nervous but got my head down and was powering along here. There’s a couple more rises along here but again nothing major but I was tending to drop into the small ring for anything longer than a roller, but unfortunately along here I forgot. I got carried away and it wasn’t until I turned left onto Ornamental Drive and caught someone and said “Sh!t I just TT’d that and got carried away, to which he laughed and replied “me too”.
Bolderwood was simply stunning, and the infamous Ornamental Drive was a longer climb, reasonably gentle to start but with a small sting of around 9% at the top. I went well along here and it seemed a little tougher than it should near the top, but once I crested the crown I went to go back into the big ring to power away and realised I’d been in it all along. Oh dear NumpT mistake number one, taking a hill in the big ring could come back and bite later. Still it didn’t hurt now and I was now on the open plains, unfortunately I couldn’t see anything due to the fog. This went quite well and I approached the first aid station at 23 miles. You have to stop and unclip in this race to be allowed aid, so I took time to stretch fill my bottles and then I was off. At the end here you turn right on the first lap and take in the Nomansland loop, which was quite pleasant although NumpT mistake number two and a dropped chain cost me a bit of time. Even though I checked my gears twice on Saturday, and Sunday morning, come race the indexing was out. It’s the second race on the trot this has happened and I think the index fairies must do something while I’m swimming! Anyway a passer by stopped to make sure I was OK and I remounted and got on my way for the toughest climb on the course. It’s a short but sweet climb and as I approached I see it and thought “bring it on, you ain’t got nothing I can’t handle”, I stood on the peddles and danced like Contador, without the Clenbuterol, up the hill, before it switches back with the nasty sting...a 16% section. Ouch! I got up with a couple wheel spins which was unnerving (must be all that power I put out Wink ). As I came over the top I actually said “Is that all you’ve got” and sat down and powered on happy with my days work so far.

The next section was a dream, a tail wind all the way back to Sandy Balls, where a crowd had started to amass and I passed to great cheers from everyone there. I went through here in 2hrs11, which essentially was lap one over due to the extra Nomansland loop which you do just once to make up the distances due to split transitions. You then continue down the hill and a double left hander before the climb up Frogham Hill which again is no worse than any climb I’ve come across before. I was riding next to a Saffa at this point and chatting about the day so far, but as we turned off here we started a descent and he was off as he was on the drops and I had my twitchy TT bike that I nervously caressed down the decline. A couple more small roads and we were back at Ellingham ready for the 2nd of 3 laps. It wasn’t long after here that I nearly come a cropper as a cow darted straight out in front of me. A quick slamming on of the brakes and a late swerve narrowly avoided a race threatening situation but left me a bit wobbly and cautious. I was feeling OK at this point and stopped at the next aid station which was at around 47miles.

It was after this at around the 50mile point on lap 2 I started to get some back pain from being down on the bars too much. I hadn’t got enough long rides and miles in on my TT bike and it was starting to cause an issue. Also I think mentally the scare with the cow had hit me. It doesn’t take a lot in long distance racing to send the mind into overtime. I spent the next 10miles sitting up trying to stretch out the back and then remembered the ibuprofen. A couple of these were washed down and I hoped that this would help.

The A35 this time was horrible. I hated it. The road had become very busy and most of the drivers were far too close for comfort racign past at at 50mph and it transpired that there was an accident or two along here! At the end I was struggling badly and I turned into ornamental drive and started the climb. It went quite well though and as I got to the top and out on to the plains again, the pills had kicked in and the sun was starting to shine...A lot! I perked up as the 67mile aid station approached and here I took time to dismount from the bike and stretch, eat and drink some water, and clean myself up a bit. I was back on and away, smiling, happy and with the head down.
The wind had picked up though making it quite tough in one direction along the plains but again as I turned for Sandy Balls and the top half of the loop, thankfully missing the Nomansland loop out this time, the wind was at my back and I was gone!
Caught Saffa again at this point and had another chat but it was here I dropped him at last and off I went for lap three, going past Sandy Balls to lots of cheers again and finishing lap 2 in time of 4:40ish. A slower lap but not concerned as the sun was shining, I was happy and enjoying every minute. Lap three was a great affair, with much of the same, a steady comfortable ride, in beautiful surroundings. Ornamental drive felt like the Alp d’huez this time around, but I managed OK and before long I was again approaching Sandy Balls. I turned right into the Race HQ and dismounted with a bike time of around 6:58. I handed the bike over and said to the helpful marshal take this thing from me, I never want to see it again!
I entered the change tent crossing the matt in 7:00:19. I changed my compression socks, hat on, sun cream, ate drank and generally faffed around for about 8minutes before using the portapotty and exiting for 26.2 miles of hot hilly hell!
The first mile and a bit is up the road and my legs weren’t quite there but I knew from experience that this was normal...Well it is in short course, but this was different. I got to the car park and turned in and helped myself to water before going off road for the next 24odd miles. The first thing to negotiate was a steep downhill to Ditchend Brook, before a large climb up which was walked by all but the few! You then continue along the tracks to the first aid station, the central point of the 3 loops of 6.5ish miles of the Hampton ridge) I stopped here and ate and drank before heading left into the forest. This was very hilly and to be honest much of it’s a blur now. I know I went down and up and up and up and down a bit and then a little up, crossing paths with Richard who must’ve been a mile or so in front of me by now. Eventually I got to the first turn point, and the Hiscocks hill turnaround (1.5miles from central aid 4.5miles into run). You then retrace your steps back to the central point, going up and down and up and down and up...actually it seemed mainly up and a lot of walking was already taking place as lots of the hills were literally unrunnable for me being a poor runner as it is. I crossed paths with Lou here who already had a red band so I said to him, “where did you find that red band, on the floor?). He hardly responded and was feeling the effects by now. I was hoping it would perk him up, but he told me how he couldn’t keep anything down and was worried now. I gave him some sound advice. If you need to be sick, do it out of sight of the marshals and medics. He thanked me and plodded on as did I. That was the last I saw of Lou as although he may have taken my advice, he was spotted and pulled from the race. Next year Lou, you will do it!
As I approached the central point I went past one of the best supporters of the day who deserves a special mention. Under the shade of a tree Serpie boy as I got to know him was immense in his motivation and really kept the spirits of everyone up. Without his shouts and encouragement I think many more may have perished. You are a star! All supporters were stars I must add but he just happened to pick a perfect spot!
At the aid station I stopped, ate and drank, and then it was to the next out and back to the aid station at Abbots Well ready to collect band one...The red one! I think it was around here I see Dan (FuzzyD) on his way with a blue band ready to turn for home. I high fived him and told him to get me a beer in Wink This was open though and very hot. Some minor ups and downs until you get to half a mile from aid and then is a very big down and a smaller up... turn eat drink, have a laugh with the marshals and then down and back up the massive hill, walking obviously! Until back on top of the ridge for the fairly flat section back to central aid station and lap one over! The second lap went ok but walking was now in the majority to running and I was struggling. The heat was getting to me, but I knew I had a lot of time in the bank, and by running I could jeopardise the race, but a controlled run/walk/plod would see me there. I had energy, I felt good mentally, and I was prepared for the long slog so bring it on. I put one foot in front of the other and before long I was back getting the white band. The marshals here were fantastic and said that I had the biggest smile and to keep it until the next time they see me...Where it will be even bigger. I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole race actually. Lap 3 was slower still and I see Richard on his way with a blue band and high fived him and sent him home as I plodded on. I got to the 18.5mile turn at Hiscocks hill and said I’m going home, this is the last time you see me, and the marshal said that he is surprised how well I was doing and how good I looked. OK he may be lying just a little but its things like this that helped. Back past centre and as I got close to the big down to the final turn of the day I caught a guy and girl and we helped each other along. Last aid, blue band and that's it, I was on my way home. All 3 of us power walked the final big hill and as we crested it we started a run, but the girl was too quick so we told her to go ,and me and the other guy kept chatting and continued to help. He needed to stop but I see the central aid and said, look over there let’s keep running till there and then we stop. He later thanked me for this in the car park but we arrived stopped, ate and drank and was off but I was too quick for him so plodded on. I rarely walked on the way back to the car park at the main road. I was running better than I had all day and I ran down at the big down to Ditchend Brook and stared the power walk back up to the car park where I caught “Police Tri girl” who had gone past me earlier looked pretty strong. She looked bad and I chatted to here and as we got to the top we knew it was 1.1miles back to Sandy Balls along the tarmac road. We commented how good solid footing felt, and we both run together before her strength and pace to finally took her away from me in the last few hundred yards. I continued along the road, the cattle grid was there and MrsM was waiting with a big high 5. It was a lame attempt by me but there was no hiding my delight, I turned into Sandy Balls to big cheers from the crowd gathered on the corner and I could see the line. I upped my pace, for a sprint/bimble finish, and crossed the line to cheers from the amassed TT’rs and crowd sitting in the restaurant. I was a Forestman.

I finished the run with a chip time of 6:06:52 but watch time was nearer 5:56 due to T2 being included. My final time was 14:21:58 to bring me home 90/125 starters (82/117 without relays) and 30th in my AG.

Splits
Swim +T1 1:14:46
Bike 7:00:19
Run+T2 6:06:52
Total 14:21:58 90/125 (inc. 8 relays so 82/117 non relays) 30th in AG

Just a note to add, big thanks to all involved in this race, the organisers Richard and Joanne who done everything possible to make this day special, the marshals who were more tired than us after the race, the supporters, and especially Serpie Boy, the aid station helpers who were simply awesome, Sandy Balls and Ellingham Waterski lake for making the race possible and also to anyone remotely connected to the New Forest for giving me the privilege to race in the most beautiful part of the world. I cannot put in words how much I appreciate everything that went into making this race so special. See you next year. Sub 13 for me Cool
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~   Last edited by hammerer on Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
Re: The Forestman 26/06/2011
Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:13 pm Toyota_Crown
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Quote:
See you next year. Sub 13 for me Cool
Dont worry, I'll remind you. Well done IronMan m8ey Cool - TC
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Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:43 pm Wheezy
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Gotta say mate, that was a top effort in those conditions considering your hampered preparation. Nice meeting you fella Smile
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