This is what I got up to in the swimming/biking/running realm this year!
It’s been a busy 2016. I’ve trained harder this year than ever before (650 miles running, 2230 on the bike, 70 miles swimming … need to work on the swimming!), and I hit Ironman Wales in September feeling pretty good. Getting there involved some other great races, loads of fun — and very tough –– training with the splendid NEWT triathlon club, and of course, a few bits of new kit. There were more than a few wife’s-raised-eyebrow-at-yet-another-Wiggle-delivery moments.
Cirencester Duathlon was an off-road duathlon in February, cold and muddy and the only mountain bike race I did this year. Hard work! And very, very muddy. I loved it, and it took weeks to get all that mud out of the bike.
Bath Half marathon was one of the biggest races I’ve done, good fun but so many people that the roads felt clogged, and it made me realise how I really prefer smaller scale races.
Talking of which, the Titan Half-iron distance was a brutal race with excellent organisation, great tee shirt and medal, and a stunning course. 60 miles of proper hills on the bike (including Llangynydr), and the half-marathon was misleadingly tough. Didn’t really do as well as I’d hoped, but enjoyed every minute of it.
The Velothon was a fantastic closed-road bike race … well, they don’t call it a race, but it was! Very mixed terrain, thousands of participants, and a couple of killer hills, the second of which — Caerphilly Mountain — defeated me. I was pleased with my time, but disappointed with that 100 yard walk of shame, and because my main target for the year was Ironman Wales (which has one of the most notoriously hilly bike routes of any Ironman) I was also worried that the bike might be a problem. So I entered…
… the Iron Mountain sportive. Even harder and longer than the Velothon, it also put my mind at rest. A great day.
In May I also raced the May 4th Marathon, a mountain marathon in the Shropshire hills. Tough as hell, with beautiful scenery, it reinforced my love of trail running which will continue into 2017. Epic bling, too. It’s all about the bling.
The NEWT relays at the Cotswolds 113 was fantastic fun, as was the Cotswold Lake 62 Olympic distance. We also had a great time at the Back to the Trenches poppy run in November, 6 cold muddy miles with obstacles thrown in. Masses of mud, loads of fun with great friends.
…Ironman Wales. The biggie. It was one of the greatest days of my life, and you can read my in-depth race report here.
A fantastic year! And 2017 is going to be a fun year too. So far I’ve entered a trail half-marathon in February, the Cotswolds 113 (half ironman), the legendary Blaenafon Triathlon, the Velothon (again … can’t resist those closed roads), and in a year in which I’ve decided not to go full distance … my A race will be the Brutal Half, which includes the small matter of an ascent of Snowdon in it’s half-marathon run.
Hope to see you out there!