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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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WCS Hyde Park, London 7th August 2011
Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:12 am hammerer
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I woke up at 5:30 am ready for pre race breakie of porridge and honey. The usual start to race day, and I was very excited about the morning ahead. I left at 6:30 and pared my car around Victoria and cycled the rest of the way to Hyde Park due to the road closures, and it was a nice little way to warm up.
After arriving I noticed that this looked a far better setup than 2 years previous, more professional and slick, theyíve definitely improved over 2 years and thatís pleasing to see! Something for this country to be proud of!

I registered, I racked and was next to Richard, H and a couple of club mates who were all off in the same wave, so smackdowntastic it should be fun.

I felt I was swimming well enough to get a 25 something swim, biking was strong so thought fast flat course 1:05 was on, although the stop start nature may slow the times, but my running was a concern with 2 weeks off post Forestman and week of 17km and then a fractured 5th metatarsal, although it wasnít too painful, it was there and mean t no real running for a long time. It could be painful. I wanted a pre race target of sub 2:30 but wasnít convinced Id get it, and was looking to just soak up the atmosphere and enjoy racing on the Olympic triathlon course.
Well start time approached and we made the long walk down to the pontoon where Daley Thompson greeted us. It was a great moment for me meeting my childhood hero. OK, I had heros like Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and Phil Parkes, but he was different, human and normal and who could ever forget him whistling along to the national anthem! He then said that he wanted to start the race...I was honoured. Strange but something that made my day!

Anyway we climbed into the water, as we werenít allowed to dive of the platform to start, but we had to get in position and hold the pontoon to start. The hooter went and we were off. I started well and noticed I was towards the front after 100m, I felt loose, comfortable and was swimming well. We got to the first turn buoy and I had dropped back which was understandable as Iím not a FOP swimmer. I rounded the 3 buoys and then it mustíve been a kilometre back down the Serpentine. Trouble was with the sun, and distance you had nothing to site off. It was a case of follow the person in front. Well I donít know what happened but this 1k took forever, and the group seemed to be weaving a little. Also I started to feel sick, and proceeded to release my stomach into the lake! I carried on and eventually could see the buoys and basically ended up alone with no feet to follow. I was swimming straight now though. We rounded the buoys and headed back to the rear of the pontoon for the exit ramp and I climbed up with my watch showing 30mins. Wow, what had happened, why was I so slow...there was a strong wind, the group had clearly zig zagged and I had been sick, but even so I literally canít swim that slow in the pool if I try! I crossed the timing mat in 31:03 for what must be close to a PW swim. It has since transpired that the swim indeed was very slow for most, but no one really knows why!

Transition was long. It wasnít very big but the run there and to exit was. I mounted the bike after a 4:27 T1 and started to get my feet into my shoes. I had just got one in when bang my aero bottle jettisoned from the bracket and ended up 100 meters down the road, so I had to stop and run back with one shoe on to retrieve it. Not a great start to the bike. After fiddling to get the velcro back in place, I was back on and putting the power down. The long straight from transition then joined the race for 4 laps of the loop. It started going round Hyde Park corner and then down constitution hill towards the Palace. It was fast along here and I flew around Buckingham Palace admiring the view and laughing at all the bemused tourists wondering who all these strange people were dressed in dodgy clothes riding bikes at 9 o clock in the morning! The lop then went back up constitution hill and through Wellington Arch an back into the Park for the ride up South Carriageway drive into a strong headwind. This was ok the first lap though and soon it was the far section which was very technical with ramps, a chicane and a tight turn to negotiate, before a long out and back at the top of the park. I was still flying t this point before we came to a dead turn and returned back down to South Carriageway drive and the start finish. I finished lap 1 in 19:19 so not too bad considering the stop I had to make. The wind really picked up for the rest of the bike, particularly the return from the palace and up S.C. Drive. This, coupled with the frequent braking and accelerating of the twisty course, made it feel quite difficult. Lap 2 ended in 18:01 with 3 and four coming in quite even also on 18:06 and 18:07 for a total bike time of 1:15:09 which I was initially disappointed with. It was only when checking the result and seeing a club mate only got a 1:06 who is a sub hr man usually that I realised this was no quick easy course!

Transition was a slightly more fluid affair second time round with a 2:33 before heading out for the four lap run around the serpentine. The first lap felt quite tough as usual and it took a good 2k to get going but I finished lap 1 in 13:14 before I got my legs and started to enjoy the course. Lap two came and went quite quickly in 13:22 and I was a little disappointed with my time at half way, but thought that the bike mustíve taken more out of me than I realised. Also I noticed that I didnít seem to have a 4th gear. I was running at a comfortable pace, but just couldnít go faster. I then finished lap 3 in 13:29 and thought I would just go all out for the last 2.5k. This was where my foot also started to hurt a bit so I thought that more pain elsewhere would hide that Wink I upped the pace and still felt good band started overtaking more people and enjoying it even more. I rounded the top of the lake and headed down to the elite transition area for the last time before doubling back to soak up the atmosphere of the finish shot and grandstands full of people. I crossed the line in 2:45:23 with a last lap of 12:09 and a total run of 52:15

In reflection Iím disappointed that my time was quite slow but when comparing to others a lot of people were down on usual times. Also Iím disappointed with my run of 52:15 especially as I ran the last lap nearly 90seconds quicker than the others but felt I could hold that pace. In hindsight that pace I couldíve held for the whole 10k but the lack of short course racing this year has meant Iím unaware of pacing for 10k at the moment so is something I will work on before me last Oly of the season in September. Also my swim was the real big issue this race. I donít know why, but I will get back in the pool and work hard on that to sort it out. Iím not sure it is my swim rather my OW swim that was the problem. I didnít swim well and the average pace was slower than at Forestman where I went 1:07 so comfortably held 1:45ís and here where it was 2mins over only 1.5k! Maybe the wind paid a part as others were slow but then Richard swam a 28 so I should at least have held him. I need to answer the question of why though before my next race where sub 2:30 and a 25 swim is again the goal!

As for the race, this is up there as one of my most enjoyable. I loved the course and enjoyed every minute of it, hence not being too down about my time. This race has gone from my worst ever experience to this in 2 years, and after next years Olympic race, and the proposed Worlds the following year, I hope that it stays for many years to come


Swim 31:03
T1 4:27
Bike 1:15:09
T2 2:33
Run 52:15
Total 2:45:23
Men - 568/818 AG MSEN4 - 162/225

Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:19 pm Sue
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sometimes times dont tell the story
and as you noted, times were slower then expected for swim n bike
so overall remeb the enjoyment Wink

Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:01 am Slacko
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Sounds like a cool race! Cool

Lack of a 4th gear is common when stepping down from IM distance to short course unless you do some serious speed work in training.
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29th Jan - SEAA XC Champs (15km) - Report
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Kent XC league

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2010 Schedule
21st Mar - Reading 1/2 mara - DNS
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2009 Schedule
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