Category Archives: Race Reports

Two week round up

Harlech Sprint Triathlon, 6th April
Harlech was my first triathlon of the year and after looking at the start sheet, I knew there was some fast competition. But all that was on my mind was to get the triathlon season off to a good start, with hopefully a podium finish. It was an early start for most but with having one of the fastest 400m swim times on the start list I was off in the last wave at 11:30, with the fast boys. The weather was really bad with a lot of rain and really strong gusts of wind, but it was the same for all of us.

Once the bike was racked, warmed up, briefed I was ready to go. I jumped into my lane which only had one swimmer left from the previous wave that would be soon exiting the water, all was looking good so far. I started strong with around a 1:08min first 100m. I kept the pace high and at 14 lengths I sighted on the way back to see if my lane counter was waiting with a board for 2 lengths to go… But no, he was facing the other way talking. I couldn’t get out after I thought I had finished because I would of got DQ’d so I had to hold it out until he realised, this turned out to be an extra 6 lengths later. So in total I had done 22lengths instead of 16… Not a good start.

This left me way down on time to the leaders, so it was all about trying to keep my head on and not let this get the better of me. I pushed the bike hard, struggling to keep both wheels on the ground with the wind and deep wheel combination. I rode the whole distance with a red mist, angry with my lane counters mistake. I did eventually start catching athletes, but these weren’t the ones who were competing for first place.

I got off the bike, still down on the leaders with a minimal chance of me catching them, I just pushed the run hard and used it as training. Closing down triathletes from earlier waves I reached the finish knowing I could not of run any harder, I was hurting. The final results were posted out and I had finished 11th overall in a big field and first under 20 by 14minutes. Later that week the organisers kindly amended my swim time and placed me in fourth position.

SCCA 10mile TT
One week after Harlech I had a back to back racing weekend, this consisted of a 10mile TT on the Saturday and then a short course duathlon (2.5mile/17mile/2.5mile) on the Sunday.

The time trial was hosted by my team (Revolutions Racing) so I knew I had to perform and do the team proud. After my usual 40minute warm up, the race wheels were on and it was time to go. With it being an out and back course the wind plays a big factor, and on Saturday it wasn’t the most help as it was a crosswind that only helped us slightly on the return. I started hard and held this effort the whole time, an average 202bpm heart rate was the zone I was in, it hurt. I pushed on and finished at a good pace in a time of 23:28minutes. I was happy with this time as it was my first solo 10 of the year, it placed me 6th overall and first junior by a minute.

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Hereford Duathlon
Following the time trial with tired legs I raced Hereford duathlon, this consisted of a 2.5mile run, 17mile bike and then a 2.5mile run.

After a warm up it was time to race a small field of duathletes. The first run did not go to plan, after a 5:40 first mile I was hit with really bad stitch, I kept running but not as fast as I wanted to be. The leader of my race was then getting further and further away. After about a mile of stitch I started to get my rhythm back and headed into T1. A quick shoe change, helmet on and I was gone about 30seconds down on the leader.

I knew it would be hard to close him down after racing him before in previous races, but I set out holding back slightly for the first mile to get my legs used to the unusual feeling of running before biking. After this I put the hammer down, I caught the leader at about the half way mark of the course. I didn’t hold back and powered past him, the great feeling of leading the race encouraged me to push on harder. I was quickly back into transition with the fastest bike split of the race and a 30second gap back to 2nd place.

I saw 2nd place as I set out on the final run, he was just entering transition but I knew this wasn’t enough to take it easy. I pushed on and didn’t suffer with stitch this time and finished strong opening the gap to second to 1minute 30.

After checking the results I found out I had also got a course record along with my 1st place!

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Down the finish shoot to take the win!

A big thank you to Pete Roche (www.petespowders.co.uk) for training me in the gym over the winter. And also to Muscle Mania gym and fitness ltd (www.musclemania.me) for letting me use their great facilities.
Thanks for your support!!

Thanks for reading.
Tom.

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Bala Standard – European Age Group Qualifier

What can I say…it’s one week away from the Worlds and I’m trying to qualify for an event in 2014.
This event was a qualifying race for next years European Age Group Championships in Austria, which I thought would be a great chance to race abroad.

On the morning of the race I had to get up at 5am to get everything loaded into the van and on the road for 6. I have a particular routine before I race, which meant I had to eat my breakfast whilst travelling to the venue.
On arrival at Bala the weather seemed quite calm with a mild SW wind, however there was a chill in the air. I walked to the registration to collect my number and chip and could see there were a lot of people who had made the journey to Bala to compete for the generous prize money that would be awarded to the top athletes in the race.
An hour before the start of the race I started drinking my Herbalife prepare and walked to the transition area to rack my bike. As I was number 2, I was racked next to the water exit.
As the start got closer, I was called into the holding pen along with all the other male under 40 year old competitors. This was a busy area with lots of eager and nervous athletes.
We were all called into the water to swim to the start point, the water was 16 degrees, but felt a lot colder. After a bit of jostling for position the hooter went off and it was everyone for themselves. I suffered quite a lot in the swim, finding myself in the middle of the pack meant I was trying to overtake bigger and stronger athletes, which left me with an occasional foot in my face and arms around my head. This caused me to swallow a lot of water which was going to come back and haunt me later in the race. Eventually I managed to get myself into some open water and concentrate on trying to bridge the gap to the swimmers ahead.
After 1500m, I exited the swim and quickly made my way to my bike. I slipped off my new project X 2XU wetsuit (ebay bargain) with no problems, got my helmet and shoes on and headed to the mount line to take on the 40k bike.
The SW wind had now started to pick up, that meant the first half of the bike section would be into a head wind. In the first couple of miles I was suffering with stitch, but I wasn’t going to let this stop me posting a good bike time. After 1hr,40k, a lot of stitch and some vomiting I was coming into transition and hoping to be able to keep off the athletes I had overtaken on the bike. Unfortunately after less than a mile I was vomiting in the verge and having to walk to try and get my stomach something like normal again. I started jogging and started to pick up the pace slowly, but this had lost the minutes I’d gained on the bike to the faster runners, having been overtaken by a 19 year old from my category. After the turn around point I was starting to feel normal again, but i could see athletes chasing that had beaten me in other races. I began pushing hard and managed to finish the race only 58sec behind 2nd place in my age.

On reflection, I have taken the positives from a very competitive race with some really talented athletes. I was the youngest athlete, finished in the top 10%, beat athletes that had beaten me earlier on in the season, got a PB and qualified to represent GBR at Austria in 2014.

After the race I had another Herbalife rebuild to help with my recovery along with a deep massage.

For more information on Herbalife products please contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com or Nadia on nadiactive@gmail.com , 07870684341 or http://herbal-nutrition.net/nadiafanta

Check back next week as I have the Age Group World Triathlon Championships in London which is an experience I plan on enjoying.

Thanks for reading
Tom

Looking for sponsors

25mile time trials

Over the past two weeks I have competed in two 25mile time trials.

Saturday 17th, Wrekinsport 25
The first 25 I competed in was the wrekinsport time trial. The conditions were really hard, with a seriously strong headwind on the outward leg and the chance of a heavy downpour!

Before the race I was drinking my Herbalife prepare whilst deciding on what front wheel to use in the conditions, I chose a 50mm rim because the wind was to strong for me to keep control of my 4 spoke. I jumped on the turbo to do my usual warm up, raising my heart rate to what I race at so it wasn’t a shock when I start the race. After 30minutes it was off the turbo, back wheel change and then a 1mile ride to the start.

I got to the start line and the wind was very strong so I knew I had to work very hard on the outward leg to gain time on some of the other riders. I did what I set out to do, I pushed hard catching a lot of riders that started in front of me, including a junior who started 8 minutes in front, I caught him within the first 10miles. I kept my effort high and turned at the roundabout at an average speed of 23.5mph. I now knew that I had the wind assisting me but still needed to work hard to break the hour. Coming back was so fast, I did the return leg at an average of around 27mph. But with around 6mile to go the road surface got really bad and rough and I snapped a bolt off my TT bars, which meant my tri bar was loose and bouncing around. But this didn’t stop me, I kept on pushing all the way to the line and finished with an average speed of 25.6mph, and a time of 58:36. This was a new PB by a minute, which I was over the moon with considering the conditions.

After the race I had my Herbalife rebuild to help with my recover. After this I went to look at the results board to find out I had finished 12th overall and 5th out of the shropshire riders.

Sunday 25th, NSW 25
Then after a good hard week of training I competed in my clubs 25mile TT, the conditions for this race were the opposite to last weeks with a tailwind on the outward leg but another strong headwind on the uphill return leg. I wanted another PB in this event.

Before the race I drank my Herbalife prepare whilst on the turbo doing my warm up. I felt good on the turbo and was able to get my heart rate up which meant, even after the week of hard training, I wasn’t that tired. After completing my warmup I got ready and started the 3mile ride to the start line.

I was then ready to ride. In this race I knew I couldn’t go off too hard as I wouldn’t have enough energy to push hard on the tough return leg. I felt strong and was going well, catching my 2minute man within the first 2 mile. I kept the pace high and got to the turn around point at an average speed of 27.5mph, but know I knew that return leg was going to be very tough and my average speed would drop, but it was the case of by how much, I knew that it couldn’t drop below 25.6mph if I had any chance of getting a new PB. I did what I set out to do, pushed hard on the way back catching more and more early starters. 2 mile to go to the finish, 25.6mph average, I dropped a gear and pushed hard. 100metres to go, I dropped another gear, got out the saddle and sprinted to the line and finished with an average speed of 25.8mph. This meant I had got another PB of 58:15!

After the race I had another Herbalife rebuild to help with my recovery. With no official results out yet I am unsure of my position but I know I got in the top 15 out of 100 riders.

For more information on Herbalife products please contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com or Nadia on nadiactive@gmail.com , 07870684341 or http://herbal-nutrition.net/nadiafanta

Check back next week as I have no time trials but I am competing in a local hill climb race.

Thanks for reading
Tom

Looking for sponsors or race teams!

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Another tri, another win!

Well I have had a really good week of racing and training this week. With some solid training sessions, and on Wednesday I went to my local clubs 10mile time trial. I have never broke 23minutes on this course and during my warm up I didn’t think that night I would either. But my legs did the opposite, and took me to an overall win, course PB, seasons best and a time that is only 4 seconds of my lifetime best that was set on a fast dual carriageway course. I won the race in a time of 22:25!

Sunday 11th. Oswestry sprint triathlon
On Sunday, I competed in my triathlon clubs sprint triathlon. The race consisted of a 400m pool swim, 16.5mile hilly bike, and a tough 3mile run on grass. The conditions were ok, with a pretty strong wind, but cool temperature and the chance of rain. Athletes were set off in 5minute waves starting with the slowest swimmers up to the fastest. I was in the second to last wave, the fastest swimmers and the athletes out for the win were behind me, this meant I didn’t know if I was leading or was down on time so it was a case of going hard from the start and wait anxiously at the end for the results. There was a very strong field in this years event, with athletes who have beaten me in previous events this year competing, I knew that this was going to be a tough race and the times at the top were going to be close.

Pre race
Before the race I was drinking my Herbalife prepare. Then I headed down to T1 to rack my bike, I saw a lot of familiar faces from all of the triathlons I had competed in this year. I was racked next to one of the race favourites, a Torq triathlete, he was in the wave after me! I then went to T2 to put my run shoes ready for the challenging run course, I couldn’t find a space anywhere, but after a bit some of the earlier finishers had removed their kit, and I put my shoes down. Still drinking my Herbalife prepare I did my usual warm up to raise my heart rate before heading down to the pool.

Swim and T1
There was five athletes in my swim wave, two of which were faster swimmers than me. I used this to my advantage and worked hard to keep next to them throughout the whole swim. I felt strong in the swim and before I knew it I had done my 20lengths. The 2 faster swimmers were already out of the pool and were heading out the door as I got out of the pool, I worked hard on the run to my bike and quickly got my shoes and helmet on, and I was out of T1 just seconds behind the two faster swimmers, by this time the last wave had already started and they were powering their way through the swim. I had finished the swim and got out of T1 in a time of 6 minutes and 18 seconds.

Bike and T2
After the swim I was feeling strong and was ready to push hard in my strongest discipline, the bike. It was a very hard bike course, with some very hard climbs and some technical descents with some very tight corners. I went off hard, as this was the only way I would have a chance of winning, and I caught the 2 faster swimmers of my wave within the first 100metres, I was now on my own. I worked hard on the up hills, staying in time trial position helped me to keep my speed up. I was then on to the technical descent and I knew I couldn’t hold anything back as this is where the more experienced athletes would make up time on me. I flew down the descent at around 40mph and was gaining time on the athletes from the wave before mine. After this descent we had a small bit of flat before heading back up again, I managed to catch the junior who started in the wave before me on the way back up hill, and I still felt strong. After this hill we had a 5mile flat section where I knew I needed to work hard and get some serious speed up. I flew down the valley at an average speed of 27mph and caught athletes that started 10minutes ahead of me, I was starting to feel confident and knew I hadn’t pushed to hard and had some left in the tank for the run. I climbed well up the final big climb, and then with only 3 mile to go on the bike I picked the pace back up and flew into T2, quickly whipped my run shoes on and took my helmet off and I was gone. I had the 3rd fastest bike and T2 split, only 20 seconds behind the fastest, I completed it in a time of 48:38!

The run
I was now onto the final discipline, knowing that last year I suffered badly with stitch and had to walk on the run, I had to prove I was back to race! Psychologically running 3 laps is always hard but with great support from family and friends I managed to run hard for all 3 laps and didn’t suffer. I got onto my second lap and when I was about half way round the athletes from the wave after me came onto the run. I could see them and kept the pace high and caught the torq athlete on my last lap, I picked the pace up and finished fast. I was done. I finished the run in a time of 17:43, this gave me the 4th fastest run split, I was very happy with this!

After the race I had my Herbalife rebuild and waited anxiously for the results, to see where I had finished.

I had won! In a total time of 1:12:39, with over a minute to second place! I was over the moon with my result, knocking 9minutes off last years time and beating all of the athletes that had beaten me in previous races.

For more information on Herbalife products please contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com or Nadia Fantastico on nadiactive@gmail.com , 07870684341 or http://herbal-nutrition.net/nadiafanta

Check back next weekend for my race reports as I have my local 10 mile TT and then a 25mile TT on Saturday!

Will post pictures when I get some!

Thanks for reading
Tom

Looking for sponsors or race teams!

Champions

On Wednesday 31st I travelled to Welshpool to compete in a 10mile TT. The conditions were tough with a pretty strong headwind on the outward leg, but it was quick on the way back. It was a rolling course with a tough little climb up to the turn around and up to the finish.

Before the race I drank my Herbalife prepare, to give me a good boost of energy before and during the event. After a solid warm up out on the road I was ready to race. As the race was only 10miles I knew I had to go out hard and be on the limit the whole of the race if I had any chance of beating a competitive 18 year old.

I went out hard and caught my one minute man at the 3 mile mark. I kept pushing hard and was gaining time on the rest of the field, over taking some of the other riders starting up to 5 minutes ahead of me. I was flying on the way back with the wind behind me I was travelling at nearly 30mph. I could then see the finish in the distance and the tough climb up to. I dropped some gears and pushed hard up to the top, finishing the race in 23:10.

After the race I had my Herbalife rebuild and went to see the results. I was delighted to find out I had finished joint second overall out of the shropshire riders. This meant that because I had beaten the other juniors by pretty big time margins, I had sealed the shropshire junior time trial champions for the second year in a row, with still 3 races left in the series!

Sunday 4th, SCCA 4up TTT championships
On Sunday I competed in a team time trial with 3 other riders from my club. The race was 50km of pain, it was an undulating T shaped course. The conditions did not look promising leading up to the event with horrendous downpours and strong gusty winds. But then about an hour before the start the rain had stopped and the wind died down.

During our warm up I was drinking my Herbalife prepare. We warmed up well and then had a little team talk about our change overs and our race plan. We had a target time of 1:10:00 and the hopes of getting a medal in the championship. There were 21 teams in the event some of which had travelled a fair distance to race, but that didn’t stop us. The teams were started off at 3 minute intervals and we were the 3rd from last off.

We made our way to the start line, had our picture taken and then it was time to inflict some pain and put our mark down on the 4up scene. We went off seriously fast, and we were all riding on the limit when it was our turn on the front. We were riding strong and after the first turn we could now start to see where our opposition was, and we had a team in our sights. We kept on working hard and caught the team at about 20mile. Before we knew it we were overtaking riders that had dropped off their team.

The paced stayed high for the hole distance and I was starting to feel better towards the end of the race, doing longer turns at a higher effort on the front of the train. We negotiated some tight turns and then it was the final push to the finish, with a big effort we crossed the line in a time of 1:09:03. We were all very happy with our time and were eager to see where we had finished overall. We finished 2nd overall but were the 1st SCCA team, meaning we took the trophy and are now the 2013 SCCA 4up champions!

After the race I had my Herbalife rebuild to help my recovery ahead of next weeks races.

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For more information on Herbalife products please contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com or Nadia Fantastico on nadiactive@gmail.com , 07870684341 or http://herbal-nutrition.net/nadiafanta

Check back next weekend, as I am competing in my clubs local triathlon.

Cheers Tom

Always looking for sponsors!

Cerist standard distance triathlon

On Sunday the 14th I travelled to Aberdovey on the welsh coast to take part in a standard distance triathlon. The race consisted of a 1500m sea swim, a 25mile challenging bike and then a 10k run the was 3mile up a steep hill and then 3mile back down. The weather played a huge part in the race, with a late start because of the tide, it started at 12:00pm so it was seriously hot and the temperature kept rising. There was a consistent breeze throughout the day as well, but one thing that was nice was the temperature of the sea, it was cool and fresh which in the heat was lovely. The transitions were in two different places, a fair distance apart which made it slightly difficult getting the times right Pre race.

Swim and T1
The swim started on the beach which meant I had to get to the front bunch so I could keep out of trouble when the competitors sprinted into the water. The swim went well, with the beginning being a bit of a jumble with arms flying everywhere and me getting bumped around next to last years winner. After the first 100metres the water settled and I found myself on my own with two swimmers up in the distance. By the end of the swim I came out in third place about 2minutes behind a relay team and the leading woman. I swam the 1500m in about 22:30 which I was very happy with. I then covered the long run along the beach and into T1 efficiently. I slipped my wetsuit off quickly and got my shoes and helmet on and I was off.

Me diving into the sea near the front of the race!

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Bike and T2
I was then out on to the undulating section of the bike course. I started off comfortably to get my legs warmed up and so that I didn’t use all of my energy at the beginning of the race. At around 4miles into the bike I was caught by last years winner, he came out of the water 30seconds behind me and went past me pretty quickly but I tried to keep him in my sights so I didn’t lose to much time to him. I then got into my rhythm and caught the relay team and the woman that led out of the water but then I was past by an experienced triathlete who has represented GB all over the world so I kept him in my sights. Then at about 15mile there was a short steep bank where I made up lost ground on both last years winner and I past the experienced Wrexham triathlete, I kept the pace high before the hardest section of the bike route, a 1.5mile really steep climb before a 7 mile nice steady descent into T2. I attacked the hill hard and put in more time to 3rd place and then by the next transition I was 1minute 15seconds behind the leader and had a 40second gap to 3rd place. I now knew that I was going to have to produce a solid run time I had any chance of keeping this position. I was in to T2 and u got my race shoes on, helmet off and I was gone. I had the 3rd fastest bike split overall.

Me heading into T2 in second place!

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The Run
I started the run strong and didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t been out to check the course so it was just a case of pushing hard all the time. At about 1mile there was a long straight stretch of road as it began to climb and I could see the leader about half a mile up the road, but when I looked behind I could see 3rd place very close. So I picked up the pace and closed the gap to the leader, there was no time to slow and see how he was running as it was just a case of running hard to keep away from those behind. Then before I knew it I was leading the race, not having a clue where I was going other then up the side of the huge hill in the soaring heat, I tried to get into the shade when possible but it wasn’t really helping. When I got to the top I looked behind and I couldn’t see anyone and I was feeling good so I kept the pace high and started to bomb it down the other side and back round to the finish. Then I was back onto the long stretch which we ran out on, so I knew there wasn’t far to go. It was a weird feeling leading the race and getting cheered on by runners who had just started the run as I was going into the finish. As I got closer to the finish I saw last years winner, the leader out on the bike, walking with no number on. He had pulled out due to not feeling well with stitch and cramp.

The Finish
Then the time flew by and I was into the finishing straight, still in first place! It was an awesome feeling and it was great, my mum and dad couldn’t believe it as they saw the pace the Wrexham triathlete went out on the run at! I finished first and had the fastest run split by over 1 and a half minutes. The supporters were shocked that I was only 16 and had just won the race, and so was I to be honest. I now know what it feels like to win, I want it some more!

My finishing time was 2:15:15 which was about 5 or 6minutes faster than my world qualification race on a harder course. I had won the race by just over 2minutes so I was really happy! After the race I had a Herbalife rebuild to help with my recovery.

For more information on Herbalife products please contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com or Nadia Fantastico on nadiactive@gmail.com , 07870684341 or http://herbal-nutrition.net/nadiafanta

This week I only have one time trial which is a hilly 19 on Wednesday where I hope to go well to keep high up in the overall standings over the Parker international series.

Tom.

Why you shouldn’t race too soon after illness

This week I was supposed to compete in a 10mile TT on Saturday and then a double sprint triathlon on the Sunday. But I managed to catch a stomach bug from somewhere, either last weeks race or maybe swimming during the week. So I decided not to race on Saturday so I don’t make myself even worse for Sunday, this helped but not fully. So I went to race the double sprint triathlon, distances of a 1500m open water swim, 54k bike and then a 10k run, but the swim had to be cancelled due to infections in the water, and it was changed to a duathlon, with distances of a 5k run, 54k bike and then the 10k run.

The run course was a 5k loop, mainly off road with a large hill in the middle. Whereas the bike was a 27k undulating loop. We didn’t arrive in enough time to go and take a look at the course so it was just down to taking it as it comes. Before the race I drank my Herbalife prepare and did a short warm up ahead of the 5k first run.

I went off hard for the first mile, and then began to go backwards when I got to the hill but I kept the pace high and got into T1 in the top 10. I got my bike shoes on and it was out on to the bike, it was a really unusual feeling biking after running but I gave myself a few miles to get in to my rhythm. I then raised the pace and began closing in on the competitors in front. After losing my water bottle with my Herbalife drink in half way around the first loop,I was just down to gels I hadn’t used before until I finished the first loop, where there was a drink station and they were handing out bottles of what I thought was water. It wasn’t it was a product from USN, so I didn’t know how my body was going to cope with using all of these different products but I kept on pushing and came into T2 in the top 5.

I then went out onto the run, already with an uncomfortable stomach but just to add to it products from 3 different companies and water in it too. As soon as I began running I was already being chased down by someone who came into T2 right behind me. But I kept running my own race and was caught by 3 runners in the first lap, I stayed close to the 3rd for a while but then when I got onto the second lap my stomach turned and it was seriously uncomfortable. I was heaving and throwing up a few times on that lap which wasn’t nice. I managed to finish just inside the top 10 which I was pleased with considering how I felt. As well as a top 10 finish I won the junior category.

I now know that I shouldn’t race so close after being ill and will be looking at changing my bottle cage so that I do not lose my Herbalife drink again.

For more information on Herbalife products please contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com or Nadia Fantastico on nadiactive@gmail.com , 07870684341 or http://herbal-nutrition.net/nadiafanta

Next week if I’m feeling good enough I will be competing in championship 25mile TT on Wednesday and then a 25mile TT on the Sunday.

Thanks for reading
Tom.