Sunday, 21 June 2009

Busy week!


Been a busy week back home in Scotland. Arrived back from Windsor on Monday night to stay up most of the night with a little upset stomach (something from the Thames no doubt). Luckily I was feeling better on Wednesday and back to normal by the weekend.

Did all sorts of stuff like got new shoes :) and went out for a training ride with 2007 UK Ironman champ Scott Neyedli. Today was a cracking day with blue skies and sunshine all across Scotland, it was also Norwell's first year as event sponsor for the Knockburn Standard Triathlon.

Dad had entered a team for the race with himself running, me swimming and Fraser Cartmell on the bike, unfortunately Fraser was away winning the Dutch Long course title in Holland and his bro, my coach, Blair had just raced in the highland cross yesterday so was out of commission. This left me to do the swim/bike.

I took it out HARD even for my standards in the swim building up a lead of 2 minutes by the time I headed out onto the bike, with Neyedli in chase as well as the UK Ironman record holder and my TRI teammate Greame Stewart. I was convinced it would only be a matter of time before I saw them both steam past on their TT bikes (Scott's Scott Plasma and Greame's Yellow Ceepo Venom) but as the laps went by I seemed to be holding my own. I kept my head down, cadence up and by the time I knew it I was speeding back into transition to hand the rest of the day over to dad.

It took another 2.5 mins before Scott came in which meant I managed to put in another 30 seconds on them on the bike, first time I've managed to hold my own on a 42km non drafting bike course against the big boys so i was really pleased.

Dad then ran well crossing the line in 6th, 2.12 was our overall time...not bad for father and son! :) Great day though and now we're enjoying Dad's fathers day meal,

Enjoy the weeks pictures!


Shiny new Sidi Bike shoes (sunny days only)

my new BRIGHT Salomon speedcross XC racers - perfect for Whistler

On Friday Ironman Champ Scott Neyedli and I headed out for a spin ... it was wet!

Headed out for a course recce' with Dad in tow on Saturday

There are some cool ways to get your bikes to the course out there....

But in the back seat with it's seat belt on is the only proper way to make sure the frame gets there safe!

Overall winner and my teammate Greame Stewart crossing the line, 2.06...very quick on this course, new record.

After handing over the race to dad for the run he ran well to stay in the lead until 5km, a good fathers day present! Him in the finishing area chatting with Neyedli and Stewart

End of a good day and a busy week, myself, Stewart and Neyedli after the race.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Everyday life in pictures :)

The Scottish youth kids at Blenheim before the races
The tonnes and tonnes of kit I was lugging around for 2 weeks
Marky's cat snoozing on my bike bag!
S2 and P3 snuggled in the back of Yeoman's defender
Mark putting the machines back together for Windsor
Mark rebuilding his P3
First in Pro Transition
Bike all packed up to come home, two weeks on the go and a lot of miles covered

Sunday, 14 June 2009

1st out of the swim at Windsor

+ 1st out of the swim
+ 15th Overall

Great day today, smashed the swim out in front of the big boys which was great fun. The start was a bit insane (they might give that some coverage on Channel 4 when it shows next month) but basically nobody was behaving/getting behind the start line. I had my place firmly saved on the proper start line from around 10 minutes before the start but most of the guys desperately wanted to push the start line further forward so that caused some delays.

I quickly swam through the guys who had drifted further forward and got on Olly Freeman's feet with Stuart Hayes just to one side. For the first 300m or so I swam in 3rd then slowly picked it up moving past Hayes, then on Freeman's feet I settled into 2nd.

Once we hit the first bridge (500m) I had moved up along side Olly and was feeling great, picked it up a bit once we started moving towards the 600m mark and quickly moved into the lead. I'll know more once I've seen the video playback but I think I started opening up a gap once we reached the 800m turn around buoy. I got a good line into the turn around and started to kick it once I was heading back towards the exit.

Kept checking to see if Hayes was trying to sneak past down the middle (he did that to Stannard a few years back) but they were a ways back (not sure but I think around 15 seconds). Got to the exit with a good lead and held it all the way through the run to T1 and throughout T1. Sharp got out onto the bike about 1m ahead of me with Hayes in tow, that was the 1/2/3. Once we hit 5km 2004 Olympian and husband of the current woman's world champion Marc Jenkins came through with another 4 guys behind him, he was very strong along with Hayes but I managed to take quite a few turns (be it not all of them) at the front and stuck with the lead guys throughout the 42km.

Off onto the run with the lead pack, job done :)

The run was good, held technique but was far from blisteringly quick. That will come with time though. This time last year I came out of the water 3rd at Windsor and lasted about 20 minutes on the bike (falling quickly back through the pack the whole time), last weekend I just missed the lead guys but learnt a lot and this weekend it all came together.

There's still a long way to go before I'm near the leaders at the end but a top 15 in my first full Olympic distance Pro race and a solid lead out of the water is cracking,

A very happy triathlete this afternoon :)


PS. Time was 1.58.30

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Windsor lead up


Been down in Walton-on-Thames near London since Sunday, the sun showed itself today for the first time and it's nice to get out into the warmth again. Lots of stuff going on, exploring a new place being one of them.

Was successfully thrown out of the McLaren Technology Centre, home of the Formula 1 race team on Wednesday. Apparently it's not open to the public...and I just drove straight past the barriers on my Cervelo resulting in a short lived chase between the electric security golf cart and me. They took it in good humour though.

Today I was all over, headed over to the lake for an open water swim session and also to pick up my replacement V1 wetsuit from 2xU. Ran into the recently injured Richard Stannard and 10 minutes later the TV actor Robson Green, pretty cool. Spent the rest of the day visiting with my families oldest friends the Shinnies over in Gerrards Cross, outside of London. Was great to catch up with them and hopefully will see them at the race on Sunday.

Have also been spending some time looking into next year, as most of you know I have to finish my degree in Aberdeen next year but after I graduate would love to move back to Vancouver...the best place on earth ... or at least that's how they put it. Good news today though as the Canadian Immigration Agency got back to me with some encouraging information, let's hope it's an easy process.

Denise my cycling legend of a girlfriend has been racing like a nutter over the past two weeks. Started off two weekends ago with the UCI Montreal World Cup followed one day later with the 4 day Tour De Montreal. After few days off she started the 5 day Tour de PEI which is currently on it's last day, sitting in 8th in the GC too.

Here are some pics of the two of us at our respective races over the past 2 weeks:

Deni leading the break away on day 4 of the Tour de PEI - in black arm warmers with maple leaf jersey on

The sprint finish between myself and Bobby Oag at the Blenheim triathlon June 7th [I won :)]

Breakaway crashing on day 4 of the Tour de PEI, Denise on Right (black arm warmers)

Finishing line shot at Blenheim triathlon

Monday, 8 June 2009

Blenheim Triathlon

Raced yesterday in the cold and wet Blenheim Palace grounds down in Oxfordshire, England.

Some good guys showed up for my first drafting race of the year and it was a great race. Pushed about a bit in the swim and I couldn't quite get the start I wanted due to the cold but I still came out decently placed 10s back from 1st. A marathon 500m run to the bike later and off I went onto the bike course, still top 15.

In my mad dash to try and get onto the chase pack I didn't get my feet into my shoes so by the time we'd arrived at the hill I was about 20feet back and got dropped from the chase. After a lap fiddling with an annoying shoe strap I had found a group and began working through the rest of the 20km before heading out onto the run. The bike summed up the whole weekend for me, it would have been great if I had gotten onto the chase pack...and it was very close...and if the shoe strap hadn't mucked up then I could have maybe bridged up easier, but generally due to the fact that this was my first big race I just didn't know what to expect and was learning every second throughout the race.

The run was ok, trying my best to focus on technique and not come last! I overtook a few people and some overtook me, tried my best to hold technique and still enjoy the race. I do think it was an encouraging weekend though, I didn't blow up and it was a close one me not making the pack on the bike. I am firmly in the "learning" period of my triathlon life and that's definitely what I did yesterday.

Currently staying with great friends Mark and Lisa Yeoman in Walton-on-Thames near London until the Windsor triathlon next weekend. Both Mark and I are racing Elite on Sunday, looking forward to that little race!

Denise has been racing hard the last few weeks, making my race schedule look like a recovery weekend! She raced the Montreal World Cup last weekend followed by the Tour de Montreal during last week. Now she's racing the Tour de PEI on Price Edward Island, Canada from Yesterday until Thursday...the insane life of a cyclist.

We're definitely in the middle of race season now so good luck to everyone out there who's racing hard right now,


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Sun, Stirling and the Blenheim Triathlon

Hello all,

After my most recent post which spoke of the monsoon season here in Scotland the weather took offence and gave me 5 days of awesome sunshine. I now have fully fledged training tan lines and a timex watch permanently marked onto my wrist.

It's been a tough few weeks and now I'm back in Stirling with my coach getting ready for the trip down to Oxfordshire, England and the Blenheim Triathlon. We'll be driving down on Friday to be ready for the race on Sunday, my first drafting sprint race of the year. Quickly followed by my first drafting Olympic distance race the next weekend.

So far this week I've caught up on some much needed rest and so far so good for this weekend. I'll write a more complete pre race warm up post as we approach the race (currently trying not to think too much about it).

Some pictures from my journey on Monday down to Stirling on the train ...

Faaaaar too much kit with me
The coast just outside of Aberdeen