News last added to this page: Sunday, 21 August 2005


Glyn's comeback

31 July 2005

After a break of a season and a half, Glyn Davies made his re-appearance on the K1 Triathlon league scene, managing a Short Course event on the 31st July 2005.

I had been out of Triathlon for so long due to various changes in my life in Cyprus, work commitments in the Republic and a number of niggling injuries to my legs. Scarred muscle tissue from running through cramps etc. which never seemed to heal properly and kept giving me Jip whenever I tried to go any great distance. Anyhow, I packed my Saucony Tri-bag the night before and I had already prepped the bike and done what I thought was enough miles to be able to cope with a super-sprint event at the K1 Triathlon Club. I awoke at 05:15 on the morning of the event, re-checked my kit, had some Breakfast, loaded up the RAV, got the drinks from the freezer and grabbed a few Nanas for later, setting off for Akrotiri at 6 o'clock-ish. The Club was as welcoming as ever, new and old faces, the usual good-natured chat and help going on in the transition area, whilst all set up their area for the races ahead. My £2 paid, and my letter clearly written on, I was ready! for the race. The brief was given at about 8 o'clock to the Boys and Girls assembled, with the emphasis being given to the Army (Cyprus) Athletes who would be competing to represent their Service in the Inter-services in September. The water was calm and not too chilly as we waded out to the start area, and then we were off. For me the race was quite uneventful, I tried to keep focused so as not to make any mistakes, especially in transition where putting on your helmet before putting on your shirt can lose you vital seconds. The bike leg has always been a source of concern for me, but 15km is not too far and there was the relaxing run to look forward to. I must say I was quite pleased with my performance, I lost a few places on the bike leg but managed to drag one back on the run, which started off slow, but the pace soon got better. My time, 54 min 2 sec, now I have something to improve on for the rest of the season. See you all on the 21st August when the RAF will be trying out for their selection.


Kev's off-road Time Trial excursion

Tuesday 26 July 2005

Hi folks,

I’ve just heard from Kev, and he says he’s fine, with a sore head, a bit of vertigo and a bit stiff, but generally OK. 

I’m not sure of the exact circumstances of the excursion into the bushes, but I heard that it may have involved a goat/sheep/or a goat herder or the like!

I believe there were a few cuts and bruises, and as a precaution Kev was taken to Limassol on a spine-board for x-rays. 

Thanks to those who stopped mid-Time Trial to help, especially Fiona who accompanied Kev to the Medical Centre and the assistance of the SBA/Military Police, Andy and Theo (aka Feggovos) who recovered Kev’s bike. (Now all we hope is that Fiona has recovered her bike!). 

From reports, it seems that Kev’s new TT helmet took the brunt of the impact, and all we can do, once again, is thank our lucky stars that helmets are compulsory for our events and rides. I don’t even want to think of the injuries if Kev was wearing his old TT helmet, which doesn’t comply with new safety regulations!

 We all wish Kev a speedy recovery



Haldane's Ironman Switzerland attempt

Sunday 17 July 2005

Without the proper training (3,8km/180km/42,2km)...

 I had a terrible build-up to the race. I was on track with my training to achieve a sub-12-hour. I'd sorted out my training, but just as I peaked, I damaged a knee ligament. Well, that's what the doctors said, and I had my knee in a brace for two weeks until two weeks before the race!!! I tried to rest completely, including  not swimming, as even twisting was hurting it. This happened just as I was supposed to be starting my tapering part of training! Then Siân, my daughter, came from Scotland to stay with me for the school holidays. I knew beforehand that this would seriously affect my training, but as I was supposed to be tapering, it shouldn't have been a problem! But, being behind in my mileage meant that I wouldn't be able to catch up! Then, just to make matters worse, one afternoon, about 10 days before the race, I was throwing her around in the swimming pool, and I pulled a muscle in my lower back!!!!

 When the knee injury occurred, I knew that I'd be in trouble for the IM, but as I'd already paid the entry fee, for flights and accommodation, it wasn't worth staying at home. I decided I would go, even if only as a spectator! (I was probably kidding myself, as I always intended to compete!)

 Come race day, I felt rough, but having cycled the course a few days before, felt that it was manageable. As far as the unseasonably hot weather was concerned, I though it wouldn't be a problem, as I'd been training in the heat in Cyprus.

 I misjudged my position on the beach amongst the 1500-or so competitors, as we had to all squeeze past the pontoons which were approximately 50 metres from the beach. This meant that water space was at a premium, and as a result I was kicked in the face twice, once incredibly hard, and I saw stars for a while, and thought my goggles had been pushed into my eye socket!!! Once I got into a rhythm, I took it completely easy, and drafted someone all the way. This meant that I came out of the water feeling fresh. My split for the swim was just less than 1:14. My exit time from T1 (swim and transition) was more than 10 minutes faster than my time from South Africa!

 I’d worked out how to speed up my transitions, having seen how much time I’d wasted in IM South Africa, and had the shoes clipped on the pedals, and intended to cycle and run in my Orca suit. I was initially afraid that the padding on the tri suit wasn’t going to be enough, as I’d hardly been in the saddle in the last month, but in the end it was OK. My Garmin Forerunner 201 GPS had packed up a few days before the race, but luckily I was able to borrow one for the race. I really need some form of motivation on the run, and having the GPS, and being able to check my running pace would be important.

 The first half of the lap on the cycle was fine, and I attacked the “Beast” with vengeance (it was a hill with an altitude gain of 200 metres in 4 km). One thing I did notice while cycling on the flat route around the lake was the large number of competitors drafting on the bikes, and wondered whether they realised that they were cheating! I managed the first hill without too much of a problem and hit the second hill, (a gain of 150 metres in just over 6 km) with heaps of energy. For some reason the organisers had moved the Aid Station from the top of the first hill, to the top of the second hill, which made hydration interesting, as one tends to bin excess weight at the bottom of hills. This would mean that we’d have been dry for some time once we reached the Aid Station. As in IM South Africa, I’d planned to fill my tri-bar mounted bottle with water, and keep a supplied bottle, filled with Powerade, in the cage on the downtube.

 The hills were soon behind us, and we were faced with a very fast downhill, which had us grabbing our brakes most of the way down. There were some interesting blind corners, and, as the roads were not completely closed to traffic, one had to stay alert. Entering the dark tunnel, which was about 100 m long and had a 90 degree corner in it, had its own challenges on the bright, sunny day!!! After riding past the crowds of spectators at the transition area, we still had to complete a short loop which included a hill of 77 metres altitude gain in less than 1 km. The crowds along this hill, called “Heartbreak Hill” resembled those on serious hill-climbs on the Tour de France, and the atmosphere alone helped the competitors to power up!

 At the beginning of the second loop, I began to feel the lack of preparation having effect, and I struggled up “The Beast”. By the time I’d arrived at the Aid Station, I was dehydrated. The third lap had me feeling nauseous and cramping badly, and I took a 15 minute break at the aid station, drinking undiluted Powerade, and cooling myself off with water. I almost decided to retire at the end of the Cycle leg, as I wasn’t feeling well at all, but on the downhill, I calculated that I would be able to practically walk the length of the marathon, and still complete the race within the 16 hour cut-off. I finished the cycle feeling rather depressed, and knew that it was a slow time: 7:11 for the 180 km.

 On the run I made a mistake of drenching myself with water, and aside from cooling me down, it meant that I was soon running in wet shoes. I’d not trained running without socks, so decided not to remove my socks during the race. In hindsight, I think this would have been a better idea, as by the end of my marathon, my feet were soft and tender from spending more than 6 hours in wet shoes, and I had huge blisters between my toes.

 I jogged and walked throughout the marathon, and my lap splits showed that I wasn’t exerting myself at all: 1:34, 1:43, 1:32, and 1:32. This meant that I completed the marathon in 6:22, more than an hour longer than my marathon in Ironman South Africa!!! (And with a negative split!!!) The negative split was achieved after an amazing coincidental meeting on the run. I was just starting the last 5 km of the run, when I was asked the time by another competitor. I'd already calculated that we would be able to walk the remainder of the course, and still finish well before the cut-off. When I mentioned this to him, I recalculated that I would be able to jog slowly and beat another target, of finishing before 15 hours, and after telling him that we would be able to finish to race by walking, I proceeded to jog away! This couldn't have left him feeling very confident in my assurance! As it turns out, the person was Howard Gilbert, someone who had trained with our Club in 2004, as part of his preparation for IM Lanzarote! I'd not met him at the time, but remember corresponding on email! I only realised that it might have been him who asked me the time, when I saw his name on the results sheet!

 The highlight of the race was being able to run across the finish line with my daughter! The atmosphere of the finish was electric, and despite finishing so late, there were heaps of spectators to cheer us on!

Although I was disappointed with my slow overall time, 14h54, I couldn’t have hoped for anything else, considering my preparation. After my broken wheel and two punctures in Ironman South Africa, I was hoping to get closer to my target of completing an IM in 12 hours. As it turned out IM Switzerland was not going to be the day!!!

The race was well organised, although there were a few problems, mainly because of language differences. I am able to converse in German, but many other competitors were frustrated by the Race Booklet being available only in German, and the advertised events at the venue which didn't happen for some days!!! And for the results sheets to be handed out at  one per table was very disappointing for most of us. One would imagine that for that entry fee, a small token like printing one per competitor wouldn't be too expensive? The goodie bag given out at registration was a great gift though!