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2011 Results
 
OWS Aquathlon 1 - 2nd

Wedding Day Aquathlon - 2nd

Bolt Half Mara - 2nd

Clandon 10k - 3rd

Toughman - 5th

Iceman - DNF
2011 Races
 
?? X Country
?? Aquathlon
June - ADITL HIM
August - Norseman
AXTRI
2010 Results
 
Frimley 5k - 3rd

Mudman 10k - 7th

Wildman 15k - 5th

Pine Ridge 10k - 6th

Hankley Hustle 10m - 8th

Greensands Marathon - DNS

Bustinskin Middle - DNF

Tough Tracks 8k - 1st Very Happy

OWS Aquathlon Series - 1st Overall Very Happy

OWS Aquathlon 6 - 1st Very Happy

Half Iron Aquathlon - 4th

OWS Aquathlon 5 - 5th

Royal Windsor Aquathlon - 2nd

Surrey Summer Aquathlon Series - 2nd Overall

Norsk Dobbel - 1st non-Norwegian finisher

Norseman Xtreme Triathlon - 32nd

OWS Aquathlon 4 - 3rd

Surrey Summer Aquathlon 2- 1st Very Happy

OWS Aquathlon 3 - 2nd

Bergen Triathlon - 24th

Surrey Summer Aquathlon 1- 1st Very Happy

OWS Aquathlon 2 - 2nd

OWS Aquathlon 1 - 5th

Leith Hill Half Marathon - 6th

Wildman XC - 4th
 
Norseman to Olympicman (and back to racing)
Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:52 pm mrchopsaloty
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For the first time in a while, I didn't race a short aquathlon or something similar within a week or two of Norseman. I did run two days afterwards though.

Getting back to the UK late Monday night and the men's Olympic Triathlon on Tuesday, I stayed at my sister's and headed into Hyde park early to get a viewing place. Although I gave myself tons of time to get there masively early, I got a little lost (partly thanks to a pair of silly gamesmakers) so ended up running a mile or so in a panic that I wouldn't get a good spot.

I need not have worried and got a brilliant place right against the barriers a few hundred metres from the finish. Had an awesome time watching Ali claim Gold and Jonno get Bronze.

A couple of weeks later I managed to get a free ticket to the Paralympic Athletics. It was a morning session so not too many medals being contended but it was great to be in the stadium and awesome wandering round the park afterwards.

With the disappointing result at Norseman, I entered The Brutal iron distance tri in Snowdonia. Not having raced for 5 weeks I slipped in the Thorpe Aquathlon the week before to sharpen up. A good swim saw me 2nd out the water but with quite a lead to make up. Hitting the run hard, the two out-and-back course quickly showed that I'd be able to do it. Taking the lead at around 3km meant a reasonably comfortable win.


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Been a little busy...
Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:26 pm mrchopsaloty
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... buying a flat, qualifying as a Personal Trainer and Circuit Training instructor and, of course, racing.

With a rather hectic first half to 2012 I didn't race much early on. Indeed Clandon Park 10k (2nd), Thorpe Aquathlon (1st) and Surrey Summer Aquathlon (2nd) were my only races before Norseman in August.


Norseman 2011

This was my 5th Norseman, the Green Shirt was mine for the taking and I was expecting a pretty good result to go with it. A decent swim saw me out of the water in 13th and hold position till shortly after the start of the first climb. When the road started to kick up I changed into the small ring and the chain came off. No problem.

Get off, put chain back on, off we go. Except the chain came straight off again. Repeat half a dozen times. Problem.

Fiddled around to get the Di2 "control box" out of my Speed Concept stem and tried to adjust the tuning. Went to pull off again and this time the chain got stuck between the small ring and frame. Big problem.

Only once in the previous 4 races had I managed the final mountain climb without stopping and that was full range of gears. But to cut a long story short I ended up riding the entire Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in the big ring. All 5 mountain passes. Without stopping.

It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty and I didn't think I would be able to manage it till about 100m from the top of the final climb. It stuffed my legs for the marathon but I claimed back 30+ places lost at the side of the road to leave me just outside the top 100 coming out of T2. I was back in the hunt for the Green Shirt.

The Norseman marathon is never going to be an easy run. But this was by far the hardest and slowest of my 5 races. It got hard well before the end of the first "flat" 25km. Of course Zombie Hill was hard work but I managed to keep a half decent power walk going. The final 5km pile of rocks to the summit took what ever I had left.

I crossed the line in 99th place, a personal worst result with a personal worst time. In doing so, however, I became only the 3rd Brit to earn the Green Shirt and, after a little reflection, had the belief that I could achieve some top results in this sport if I gave it my everything. Riding the Norseman Xtreme in the big ring made me realise I was stronger than I thought. In October 2012 I started 9 months on a zero hour basis to allow me to train (nearly) full time. Watch out world, I'm coming to get you!
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3-2-1 the finale
Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:35 pm mrchopsaloty
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1.

A rare pool based swim is the scene of my next race. This aquathlon is 500m 5km and is run with a snake format swim. With fastest swimmers going last you get some indication of how you are doing but it's still a time trial. As the first of a three race series (and the only one I can make this year) it's also important to hit it as hard as possible.


Not far from the finish and looking ok.

The 50m lido is a nice change from the standard 25m pool. I can't tumble turn and loose a little time to those who can so half the number of turns is welcome. I didn't factor in the extra time it would take to do a quick 2 length warm up though and ended up starting after the two fastest swimmers.

The water was amazingly choppy and I managed to mess up several of the push-off-and-cross-under-the-lane-rope-in-one-go maneuvers by coming up directly into the lane rope. So the pool swim turned out to be much more like an open water race than I expected.

A decent swim and transition saw me heading off on the out and back run without too much time to make up on the two faster swimmers. The run starts with a shallow but long drag which is quite tough after swimming hard. It then turns a little rolling to the turn around. I caught one of my two suspected main rivals shortly after half way so thought another 2nd was at least safe.

The long slight down hill finishing straight was seriously hard work. I'd been pushing the pace pretty hard all the way and struggled to up the tempo. I saw the remaining faster swimmer a fair way ahead but wasn't sure if he'd started 1 or 2 places before me. With 20 seconds between starts and the lead he had it was definately going to be close.

I closed down on him slowly but there was no way I was going to catch him. He finished while I still had some 150m to go and I began to doubt if I'd done enough. With under 30 seconds of effort left I considered stopping, funny how the brain works. Of course I pushed on, crossing the line with that feeling of sickness that pretty much only comes from sprint events or intervals.


What must have been only a few seconds later and looking like death.

I finished 24 seconds after him. If he'd started one ahead of me I would have been beaten by 4 seconds. Fortunately he started two ahead so I won by 16 seconds Very Happy My first win for 2011 and a little quicker than my best time from two of the races last year.
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~   Last edited by mrchopsaloty on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
3-2-1, continued
Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:36 pm mrchopsaloty
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2.

A week later and I returned to the scene of my first open water triathlon. Hillingdon Tri is a sprint with a twist, it's a Swim Run Bike format. After major hassle getting my race bike road worthy and feeling pretty rubbish during the week, I wasn't sure how it would go.

It started off well. I found myself in the lead group. One individual swam over me as I attempted to move past him so I dropped back onto his feet and took it easy for a bit. Towards the rear of the group and feeling good, I went to move past him again he swam over me again. This time I didn't give way and put a small gap into him over the final 100m.

The run was hard work and a duathlete came past me fast early on. But I soon had the fast swimmer in my sights. He was going well though and I didn't catch him until after 2/3 of the run. The last section of the run is offroad and I'd decided to risk using my Newton racing shoes. A turn into the last straight saw me lose traction and fall quite hard. I didn't seem to have done any damage though so was straight back up and 1st triathlete into T2.

I lost the lead in the early stages of the bike. With light winds forecast I'd gone with my Xentis TT front wheel, but the British weather wasn't playing ball and it turned out pretty windy. I struggled a bit with the handling and spend a fair chunk of the time off the aero bars which obviously doesn't help. The first fast section was spoiled a little by a bus which tucked in behind the duathlete who I was rapidly catching.

Not too far from the end of the lap is a decent climb. I remember having a hard time of it racing before (I won the duathlon series here in 2006 or 2007) but didn't seem too bad this time. Prob mostly down to the compact chainset I'm running now but hopefully a sign of slightly improved climbing as well. The fast section second time around was clear and I comfortably help on to 2nd place.

Cycling home, into a headwind for the majority of the 25ish miles, made for a good cool down.

Looking at the splits I've improved in all three disciplines. The swim is to be expected as I'd not been swimming long when I did it back in 2008. But to improve the bike and run as well was very pleasing as I was training only for short-course races before and now 95% of my training is geared towards long distance.
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3-2-1
Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:28 pm mrchopsaloty
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3.

The next race in the series was just two weeks later. I'd arranged for a friend to give me a lift 2/3 the way there (he was swimming at another lake) and I'd cycle the rest and then cycle home. His van nearly caught fire outside my house so I had to ride all the way (not a big deal) but with less time than ideal.

I got there in time but was a bit rushed and didn't get as much of a warm up as I wished. Regardless, I had a decent swim and then set about chasing down a fair few fish who'd beaten me out of the water.

With a short out and back section on each of the three laps you get a decent idea of gaps. Around the start of the final lap I'd moved into third with series leader Deon in the lead and Mark Yeoman in 2nd. Coming into the final 2-300m I was quickly closing the gap on Mark. Sadly I ran out of time to catch him but the two second gap was much less than that in the Wedding Day Aquathlon.
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The other open water race...
Sat May 14, 2011 8:33 pm mrchopsaloty
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...was another aquathlon, this time with a bit of pressure as defending champion of the Open Water Swim series. A large que for race registration was a sign of a large field for the opening round.

The heavy storm the night before had dropped the water temperature quite a bit but it wasn't too bad and the air was much warmer than the first race last year which had been a very cold affair. The swim started off fine but annoyingly I didn't manage to get on anyones feet. There was no real bother at either of the two turn buoys and I gained a little on the small group infront during the second half of the swim.

Transition was again a little slack but a bit better than before. I quickly ran down the first couple of racers who'd beaten me out of the water and set about closing down on another two who were within sight. The 3 lap run is again 95% offroad and around 1/3 of the way around the lap is a short out and back along a peninsula. This gives you a good idea of how close, or not, other competitors are (although after the first lap it gets a bit tricky).

The first lap saw me catch around a handfull of guys. Coming into the peninsula for the second time I saw 2010 champion Deon with a narrow lead over another guy and another couple back to me. I figured I was likely in 5th and gaining on 3rd and 4th. Worringly 2009 champion Matt was catching me up though.

I think I moved into 2nd near the start of the 3rd lap. That little out and back section for the final time told me I was closing in on the leader but would likely run out of time for a catch. Similarly Matt was still catching me up but not as quickly as before and if I stayed strong I should be able to hold him off. So it proved. I could see Deon take the turn into the finishing funnel; close but not quite close enough. Similarly, I was still lying on the floor catching my breath when Matt came in for 3rd.

update on the wedding day race, fastest run split Very Happy
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Bergen Triathlon 2010
 
The 5th discipline; climbing.
Norseman 2009 finish line
 

Highest placed British finish in Norseman history (2nd highest after 2010 race).
Norseman 2008 bike
 

Snow still in places in background.





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