Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ironman France Race Report

Ironman France break-down: came into the race off the back of 2 consecutive half IM distance races. I’d raced hard at Wimbleball and still feeling a bit tender. Had no real expectations, just gain experience and check out the course.

The swim was a brutal nightmare from start to finish, after only about 200m i stopped in panic, had a look around( terrifying) but realized that despite my upright, non swimming stance; i seemed to still be moving at the same rate at the mass, and since there was no way out, put my head down and continued with the beating. both eyes were kicked in, then i lost my hat. the f*ckers started pulling my hair!! it was a hateful angry experience, trying to see and breathe through a mass of tangley hair (L'Oreal Paris never did get back to me about the "I’m worth it” campaign) I exited the water angry and ready to give up on the race, but was pleasantly surprised that my time not as dire as expected, that there were SEVERAL bikes remaining in the Pro ladies' rack. It was a nice day with an awesome bike route to be explored ahead. getting warmed up along the flat 20km at the start of the course there were a couple of girls to chase, keeping the pace and HR up. I'd been warned to expect a lot of drafting, which there certainly was, and with a 7m zone front to front, it really was a case of judging the legality of one's position of a pretty crowded stretch of the course. This works for me, paranoid about getting in trouble it means that i never really settle and keep pushing to pass riders rather than tick along at a safe distance behind them. When the climbing starts, it really does so in style - the steepest hill on the course is the first one that we encounter - its something like a 15% - anyway, requires riding out of the saddle. The day was hotting up, and i was hoping for an aid station soon. trialing another adaption to my nutrition, i had the gel mix up front(this time 6x strawberry and banana + 3x vanilla Powerbar gels in a 750 bottle, topped up with water, so more dense than last time) and a red bull + water mix in the rear holder for a caffeine boost. but a little oversight in that left me with no room to carry a drink of water, so i was reliant on drinking at aid stations on my way through. these were placed about each 30km, so i just about got away with it but not ideal as it did mean i had to slow at each one.
Feeling strong and riding well on the climbs which make up the first half or maybe 2/3rds of the course, i'd ridden into 7th position by the 'top'. Feeling great (thanks to the RedBull!) i was beginning to visualize running into the top 5 and prize money. The descending was fun, i thought i was being brave and trying to be smart by following the lines of riders ahead. there were a lot of local club riders out on the course (not participating) which was getting me p*ssed off until this point, but here they could prove to be a good guide through the descents, knowing the roads as they do. if only i could stay with them....like those other girls who flew by me. i was gutted ! all that work and they just sail past - i simply do not have the nerve, skills or experience to descend like that. so i did the best i could, determined to make up for it on the run, and get in some more practice at this!
the long down hill gave my legs a chance to recover; hitting the final, flat 20km home, head down and hard. the same stretch of road as the start offered more opportunity to pace off a group, but i found i was riding away off the front of the guys around me. they didn't seem to mind, in fact i think they were loving it, and occasionally one of them would ride by and give me a brief break from setting the pace. then i took a wrong turn at the last RAB, had to dismount to turn (doh!) before heading off back after them and to the finish.

into transition with another FPro, but with my feet still in shreds from the previous weekend’s race i'd determined to take my time and get my socks and shoes on properly. i would even have used a toilet - if there had been one! anyway i was pretty sure i'd catch her soon enough. perhaps a bit blasé, but i started the run feeling relaxed and running fast. at 5km mark i checked my pace - just under 4:24/km and it felt great. lost about a minute over the next 10k but still thinking wow - this is gonna be an awesome run split! i thought i just need to keep this up and i saw the potential of a run PB on this flat 4 lap out and back course. Of course by about half way through, i was beggining to wonder about this, but still running well despite the heat, had passed the woman from T2 (took longer than expected)and had a posse fro, Taunton cheering me each time i passed, which was nice because i am here all on my tod and so had no one to cheer me on. about 18km in the blisters that i'd picked up at HIM UK, and had been gradually re birthing inside my shoes, burst painfully bringing me to an instant stop whilst the searing pain courses though my body. ohF*ckohf*ckohf*ck i didn't know what to do; i sure as hell couldn't run on it, but walking would be equally as painful - and take much longer. i tried hobbling in a way that didn't hurt , but there wasn't one, and that'd brought the risk of injury with it too. i reckoned if i could somehow draw energy from the pain i could think of it like a sort of rush or stimulation rather than a negative thing and get me through. that worked and it became less noticeable, i was able to run and bear it but my pace didn't ever recover, i felt terrible and just wanted to get to the damn line as soon as possible. which really is what everyone wants, of course. in fact its the whole point of doing this which struck me suddenly as odd, and i began to feel sad that it would soon be over. that when i knew i was loosing the plot, needed several gels, drinks and to get out of this damn heat!

10hr 07, put me in 8th place. i felt i raced well, but failed on technical grounds to achieve the potential position that my performance on the day deserved. luckily these are things that can be addressed. For a start those foot screwing, piss-reeking shoes (i had been blaming my sibling's cats for the stench in my bike box!! sorry fat cat and skinny cat)are now in a bin on Boulvd D'Anglais, and i eagerly await the arrival of my new Saucony runners. and look forward to a trip out here to ride some of these type of descents in the future before having another stab at this one.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Nice_ prelude

the french riviara - c'est magnifique! with Cannes and Monaco just down the coast, its hard to tell but Nice is teh scrfuuy cousin. It all looks pretty grand to me, a real smooth euro vibe. i'm in the lovely old town, but to say its a lovely hotel would be a lie. there's a dog barking next door and teh sheets are pre-stained. a 5 euro breakfast consists of a coffee, croissant, bread roll and jam. (actually, i discover that's what the french eat for breakfast, and 5E is relativley cheap. suffice to say, i'm getting through a lot of powerbar!)but the proprietors are so freindly and typically french (think Allo Allo meets faulty Towers)and since its just me in teh t_iny room i have no complaionts or cats ineed to swing. dont know how they manage with that dog though....

spent a very pleasant day on thursday riding part of the bike course with Kevin McKinnon from Ironman.com;. We headed out over teh Col de Vence in order to pick up the last 60km of the bike route - i wanted to see the fast descent. Glad i did though now i'm proper feared up. we did go a little further than i'd planned, not sure of teh wisdom of that but it was such a beautiful ride, and the last 40km were al down hill. kevin had a bee fly into his pants coming down off teh Col. Hilarious - but potentially fatal, so i guess i shouldn't laugh. he agreed it'd make a cool obiturary column. A true gent, to save my legs , he offered me his rear wheel on the last stretch back into town along the esturay. turns out that this is how a lot of them race it on race day. there's sudenlya lot of talk about drafting in this race. I guess i'm contributing to that now! surprises me with all teh hills, but i suppose that they're not so steep and being in a bunch maybe makes the desecnts easier...
gonna make it tough for me to make any ground back up on the bike if that's true- but there's nothing that worring about that can help.

likewise the swim start, or teh state of my running legs after last weekend - all i can do is go rack my bike, go through my pre race prep and then get out there and do it!

allez allez

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ironman 70,3 UK report

Swim 1.9km 29.40
Bike 56mi 3:02.20
Run 13.1mi 1:33.27
Total 5:09.21

Position – 5th professional female (6th overall)

Midsummers weekend meant that when we left home at 4:30am, it was light .We were treaded to a beautiful peach coloured sky as we rattled through the Somerset lanes towards Wimbleball Lake, which had a fluffy white mist hovering over it at that time. Alex pointed out that meant the water had to be warmer than the air – and I should hope so. It was a chilly morning – the entire two hours between our early arrival and the start of the race were spent shivering!

20 min before kick off, we were allowed to walk down to the lake, which despite having grown up in the area, I’d never actually seem before. A deep water start, with the professional athletes arranged at the front, attempting a little bit of a swim warm up whilst we were corralled back to the line by the canoeists paddled. Everyone was shivering and so relieved when it was time to go. This format of start is god for me – soon after the froth of the pro start has disappeared, there is a feew minutes ( probably just tens of seconds, actually) of absolute chaos whilst the fast age group swimmers swim over me. As long as I keep my head down, keep cool and keep swimming as hard as I can, the pace of the surge reduces to a speed at which I can latch onto some feet belonging to someone who swims at a pace that I have to keep working to hold. A perfectly paced draft. Of course what frequently happens is that those feet will slow down after a while, but there’ll be other in the vicinity that I can cross to. On this occaision I soon became very dubious of my tow’s ability to swim in a straight line, but I was swimming too hard to take much of a look to the bouys and the low early morning sun just glared at me anyway…so I just kept checking for bodies each side.
I was pretty pleased to be dragging myself out of the muddy shallows in under 30 min, and sprinted up the start of the ramp to T1. The gradient of this exit route pretty soon put a stop to my sprinting, but I ran at full tilt, as I planned to be for much of the day ;o)

I grew up in this area, and often stay with my mother down here. I’d ridden the bike route a few times this year, and knew full well what was ahead as we raced up the first long climb out of transition. Rather a contrast to last weekend’s race on unfamiliar roads and riding solo for much of the time, I was totally prepared for what was to come, planned how i was going to approach each section and could see who was riding near me at all times. I’d fitted drops to the CD.01 the day before, really in preparation for IM Nice, but thought they’d give me a little extra confidence on this course too. The brakes weren’t working great, but being able to get in a more stable position for cornering does make a difference.

After a week of very minimal training, I was feeling fresh and excited by the challenge ahead on a course that I knew should suit me now that the wet part was out of the way.
I was trialling a different nutritional strategy - one 750ml bottle with 6 Powerbar gels (3 x caffeinated green apple+ 3 x lemon lime) diluted with water which I would swig at the top of each climb. I was also using the HR monitor again this time - I felt that the lack of guidance in Zarautz contributed to a loss of focus – as means of checking my max on the climbs (not too much above LT ,for too long) and keeping the intensity up on the rolling sections which actually make up about the first 35mi of each loop.
There was plenty of company out on the course all the way round to keep me pushing along, and being a home race I knew so many of them it was great! Before reachingthe hilly last section of my first lap I saw a familiar female rider, Yvette who had passed me on the run at Lanzarote to finish one place ahead in that race. I’d been kicking myself for letting her go by me ever since then, so I was seeing this race as a chance to redeem myself in that department! I worked to catch and pass her, and turned my focus to putting as much distance between us as I could, pushing the hills as hard as I could, and not letting up in between. I had a bit of a clumsy transit through an aid station (on my wrong side in the UK!!) and she managed to snael past again. That wasn’t in the plan! She was clearlt riding well over this terrain. I pushed on past again, but was conscious that she was not far off at any time.
As I began the second lap, down on the aero bars along the rolling main road, there was suddenly significant increase in number of people passing by. Where did they all come from? It was quite a large group and I, along with the other 3 or 4 blokes that I’d been riding near to for the first lap, got sucked up in a bit of a peloton for a few miles .There was an age group girl in there too – in the same predicament. Although it initially appeared that she’d come along with this ’bunch’ to be fair, she was making an obvious effort to get away too. I kept her in sight but in the end we just resigned ourselves to easing off a bit, hanging back, and rolling at the same pace as the crowd. When the hills came, we finally managed to get some space, but she got a bit more than me and I saw her disappear over the top of the Morebath hill away from me .Yvette meanwhile had made up more ground and in those last cruel climbs to the finish, she passed. I realised that I’d been lagging a bit -the men who I’d been with for most of the ride were now ahead and my Hr was getting a bit low at times. I really had to focus and remind myself to keep pushing. I drained the last of my gel-juice and gave chase, thankful that there really were only 4 miles and two of them were downhill (mostly). At just over 3 ½ hr elapsed race time I’d calculated that if I wanted to get under 5hrs now I’d have to run a sub 1:30 half. My pb is 1:24 - that was a rolling course though, nothing compared to what I’d been warned was ahead. However I knew I’d have someone who was sure to break 1:30 to pace me round so

As I ran into transition, the announcer was naming me as the fifth professional woman. With Yvette already in the change tent I made a very rapid change to run shoes to catch her as she so made her exit onto the run course together. I felt pretty confident that I could hold her pace, but knew it would not be easy. I had several concerns at the back of my mind already -one of which being that I needed to pee, the other that I needed to get some drink and a gel in soon, but resolved to put those to bay for the first lap and focus on holding this pace .The going was far from easy – steep banks and hills over varied surfaces meant lots of change of pace and stride – just how I like to run and clearly this suited Yvette too as she made the transitions between up and down hill smoothly. Both of our boyfriends were out on the course, which was brilliantly designed for spectators with all of its out and back ,dog legs and cross-overs (albeit totally disorientating for the frazzled athlete!) and they were giving us both huge support . It seemed that I knew a lot of people who had turned out to watch the race today and the encouragement I received was awesome. There were a few mile markers out in place which I used to get some pace splits – though on the terrain it didn’t make a lot of sense, I knew that at least we’d repeat the same lap 3 times. We ran the first mile in about 6:40 and the second under 7. The pace was manageable but painful. Out on the damn(the one flat section on the entire course!) there was a turn around with an aid station. We ran through too fast to grab a drink. I slowed a bit to take some water – it was hot – and a small gap formed .it was a small gap, but having eased off just momentarily, I just could seem to pick the pace enough to catch her again. That split second was enough for me to decide to back it off to a pace that I was more comfortable with, and that would allow me to use the aid stations. I was petty sure Yvette would ease up too once I was off her shoulder, though she’d still run faster than me. The way that we’d hit those first hills had sapped my legs and I could feel that the underside of my feet were blistered from moving in my shoes. Throbbing head from the sun and heavy legs, I was in a bad place – but still moving past people, still resembling someone in a race at least. It was just a matter of holding my pace, or rather effort since the terrain did not make for a consistent pace and getting to the finish .i was aware of the race time – I’d not break 5hrs…and depending on how fast the winner had gone had to get there as soon as I could if I wanted to take prize money.

I finished in 5:09 ,20 minutes off Bella, who won, and in 5th position. Admittedly I was initially very disappointed to have failed to stay with Yvette as was my goal,and visisted some pretty angry places during the last 6 miles of the race, in retrospect I did race as hard as I could have done all through the day. It was my best effort, I enjoyed giving it (well, that’s not strictly true when I think about that run!) and as ever I’m learning things along the way.

Post race I was looked after superbly by Aurelie of the TriTouch who was working the massage tent and had a chance to catch up with TBC Sportaid teammates Tristan (who came 10th, well done!) and Ryan whilst we waited for the awards. It would have been nice if these could be presented a little earlier in the day, but at least the sun was shining so the 5hour wait was pleasant – and there were no queues to leave the carpark by the time the prize winners were able to go home!

Back in Taunton I had a late curry and a beer with Steven. A huge blister on the sole of my foot throbbed all night and I ache so much that I hardly slept – but at least I did not have to get up and train! Today I’ve just been on a nice easy ride on the Blackdowns and now I’m packing my case for a trip to the south of France…..

Friday, 18 June 2010

TriGrandPrix _ Zarautz Race Report

TriGrandPrix Middle Distance Triathlon, Zarautz.

Swim 2.5km 46:45
Bike 82.5km 2:40.51
Run 20km 1:24.02
Total 4:50.50

Position – 9th female.

I’ve now raced twice on mainland Spain and had a both occasions were crazy, chaotic, charismatic and highly enjoyable experiences. A little unnerving for those of us accustomed to the highly efficient and regulated handling that we receive in the UK or at an Ironman branded event, but totally refreshing. The enthusiasm that the lovely town of Zarautz and surrounding mountain villages raised for race day was absolutely awesome. The experience of climbing ‘the wall’ at km 70 of the route as the crowd of noisy bystanders parting to allow my slow grinding pursuit of the crest of the 25% incline, literally shouting in my face ‘Animo Animo’, banging drums and creating large plumes of cigarette smoke left a huge smile on my face and reminded me how much fun it is to race…like wise the hundreds of children that populated the town square with palms held out as we ran by.

I arrived two days prior to race day, Basque country, in the rain. I’m welcomed to Zarau by Dan and Jose, TriGrandPrix’s athlete care team who looked after us superbly through the event. A leisurely recce of 2/3rd of the bike course revealed a pretty hilly profile for the most part – with a nice ‘treat’ in the form of a 2km climb, referred to as ‘the wall’, with a gradient of about 25% in places. Having done NO research on this course, this was my first surprise. I was riding the new QR TT bike, with 808 wheels and a 39/25. It was the first time I’d ridden on the deep wheels kindly lent by my mate Kevin, and as we rode that afternoon the winds of an approaching storm picked up and scared the living shit out of me. That and the hairpin descents on wet roads. This clearly was a course that would favour the brave….with low gears!

My second surprise was to discover that the swim was a 2.5km point to point around from the next town .not that this had been kept a secret from me in any way. I just hadn’t read up much on the race. I practiced the course with Martina (Dogana) and Edith (Neiderfringer) the following morning. It took a while, but I was swimming easy and there’s something really appealing to me about point to point swims. The rest of the day was spent in my hotel room resting, looking out the widow at the rain, hoping that it’d clear up for the following day, eating ‘flan’ and generally worrying about stuff. However, I felt confident that I was recovered form Lanzarote and had a good race in me and that I’d overcome my fears and worries and just get down to it on race day. As long as I just ate enough flan.

Race morning came, and with a 1:45pm race start there was time for a full size breakfast, attend the long (and mostly superfluous) mandatory race briefing in the town hall, assemble race kit and wander down to rack in transition before being transported to the race start in the town of Getaria 3km up the coast. In true Spanish style, the buses arrived a half hour late, and in true Spanish style, no one really seemed that concerned. Of course, we got there with plenty of time to seek pre race toilet opportunities – no portaloos so the visiting female pro athletes each selected one of the vaults at the rear of the beach for their business before zipping up and warm up swim. We didn’t see hundreds of locals disappearing into the vaults, so either they knew something we didn’t about provision of facilities, or the Spanish have different pre race needs to the rest of us!

The ladies race started 15 minutes before the men, a beach start we lined up behind a tape and on the hooter sprinted to the water, dove in, and swam hard. There were probably not more than 60 girls in the race – and I’d guess that 20 of us wore the red caps of professionals. Of that 20 most would be within a few minutes of Leander Cave, who lead the swim as predicted, and a good handful of minutes clear of me and the competitive age groupers. This distribution meant for a pretty civilised start, and very conflict free swim, though the relatively wide gaps between groups combined with the sea swell obscuring the view ahead did make it unlikely to catch a faster group of feet ahead. I found myself catching 3 swimmers (2 green, one red hat) who were not quite fast enough to draft off, pushing the pace through and we dropped one. We swam together for most of the swim, each pushing the pace a bit now and then but not really wishing to swim on front until we sighted other swimmers (red cap) ahead. The fact that I was gaining ground on bodies at least encouraged me to keep working hard, though all hard work and no finesse was evident from the very bare looking bike rack that greeted my arrival into T1 (after an rather public and difficult exit through the surf!). Hey Ho…time to go!

The start of the bike route is up a pretty decent hill. Not a steep gradient, but certainly enough to get the lungs working over the first few km. It took me most of that climb to get my feet inside my shoes (not slick!) and I was on the descent before I was properly strapped up. The weather was holding and the roads were drying out fortunately so, aside from large piles of dung that the local police were out in force to warn us of on one of the switch-backs, the descents were pretty safe. I’m sure that someone lost it though – I came close a few times and I was riding pretty sensible! With the front of the ladies race going on some way ahead, and none of those behind likely to catch me, it was a pure time trial. Difficult for me to judge the effort levels here, having ditched my HRM as part of my ruthless packing protocol, and no-one in sight for reference – fortunately there were plenty of climbs to keep me focused. Aid stations were handing water in standard screw cap 33cl bottles – which don’t stay in my bottle cage, so by the second ( of 3) lap I was dry and pretty preoccupied with picking up fluids so that I could get a gels down. Near the end of the lap I was experiencing the light headedness, dissociation and ‘sparkly’ vision that I associate with hyperglycemia…and was becoming a bit concerned about being able to see the road well enough to avoid pot holes etc. I know that this sensation can pass and decided the best thing to do was to increase intensity and push through it, getting sugars in as soon as possible. The back of my mind was wondering if it were possible to pass out and lucky for me at that point someone called Lizel rode past me. That gave me a jolt – I didn’t want any age groupers kicking my butt, so I gave chase matched her pace and keeping her in my sight. She was a bit bigger than me and knowing the steep climbs were ahead, I felt sure that I’d pass her as long as I did not loose sight ( and got to the next aid station) before the ‘wall’. That got me along the flat coast roads back through the crowded and rowdy town of Zarautz and out the other side for our third lap. Having picked up some drink in a useable bottle, we began our acsent of ‘The Wall’. With standard gearing the only way up was a sort of zig zag up the road, which was lined on both sides by spectators with drums, mucic and plenty of cheering. I chased and passed my target – to discover that Lizel is a bloke- and worked to pick off the next rider ahead. After the triple summated climb, there’s just one more to the highest point, the town of Aia, and the 11km down to the finish. A good way to take on last gels and drinks and spin the legs for the run.

I joined the run course just before Miranda Cafree was making the turn at the end of her first lap (of 3) - this was brilliant fro me since it gave me a couple hundred meters to get my legs moving before she came along and showed me some pace. We ran together for about a km, just about the right level for me to maintain for a good run. On a small incline she picked it up just a little - enough though that I was not going to match it early in my race – and made some distance on me. However I focused on the 4:10 pace that she’d pulled me up to, knowing that was something I could maintain for 20km and more. The course was nice and varied -taking us a winding route through town, out along the estuary, over a rough timber boardwalk, along the promenade back to transition and finally into the town square past the finish for the start of the next lap. With so many tight turns, underpasses and uneven surfaces the course was a little slower than it might have been, but it was absolutely dead flat and with so much variety it was easy to keep focused. I enjoyed this part of the race most of all – I was running well and felt at last that I was involved in the competition, as I am sure everyone was made to feel by the tremendous enthusiasm of the supporting crowds.

With a variety of snacks and ice baths available after the race I soon felt refreshed, collected my bike and wandered back to the hotel for a clean up and chill out before the awards dinner later that evening. Also in the hotel were a host of big-name pro triathletes and it was fun to hang out a bit with these guys before, and after the race. It made for a superb quality field, some inspiring racing and although my top 10 finish speaks of an unremarkable race it was against a world class feild. It was also equivalent to an age group win - which i'd have been overjoyed at last year...and the prize that i picked up for that cheered me up a little :o)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

team TBCSportaid

its been a little while since my last post - that period immediatly after a race being typically both manically busy- lots of catching up to do on our return to the uk, with plenty of inter-county travel and relocation, preceeding a tentative return to training last week. It was good for me to get back to mum's in taunton and spend a bit of quiet time down there after a manic couple of days in london and able to focus on some solitary post race training. ot to mention unwrap several boxes off gear that had arrived from new sponsors of The Team Formely Known as ActiveInstinct in my absence. I'm all kitted out with Powebar bars and gels, plus an array of branded gear (including a powerbar washbag!), For Goodness Shakes recovery drinks and powder (that stuff is The Business!), a new Polar does-everything wrist-worn training computer, and a Sailfish wetsuit. Mum's loft rafters are groaning and she's havig nightmares about waking in her bed with half a ton of sports nutrition having fallen through the ceiling and smothered her!

Sunday evening, after a glorious weekend in somerset, which included a fast-paced preveiw of the IM UK course (pretty gnarly), it was back on the intercity to meet my new team mates in west london in advance of Monday's Press Launch. We arrived and discovered yet more packages of kit - it was like multiple christmas's all at once! - from Saucony and the team TBC Sportaid kit race/training kit.

The Team is currently going under the name of TBC SportAid in teh absence of title sponsor. Ryan has done an awsome job for us in drawing up sponsorship from all of the product sponsors named above, as well as from Profeet who will be providing us with their very advanced biomechanical shoe and bike fittings, prologo saddles, in a very difficult economic environment. The team concept works well for sponsors, with the diversity offered by the athletes on teh team, they get exposure spread wide across the range of triathlon, from sprint, itu to ironman. There'll always be one of us out racing, and hopefully many sucesses reported amongst the team this year.
However, the tough finiancial times really hit home when the main (cash) sponsor that had been in on the team had to backout of the agreement due to budget review shortly before the team launch. Negotiations had gone far along, and Ryan had obviously done a great job in securing sufficient finiancial commitemnt upfront to enable the launch to go ahead. So, until a new big sponsor comes along, we are TBC!

The launch day was great fun - from getting to know my new team-mates, which was really interesting to learn a bit about the world of ITU racing and life as a young up and coming triathlete, and meet the other long distance guys who i've known of from the ironman scene for the last year or two, we spent the morning in photo shoots, had a pub lunch and then in the afternoon had teh oppurtunity to speak toreps form our sponsors and the tritahlon press. you'll be able to read all about it in the next few weeks, i'm sure.

It was a fabulous expereince for me and after more than a year of working towards this with regular bombardment of Ryan's in-box amongst my other emailing,letter writing and exposure of my tri career thanks largely to the support of at Tri247, i finally feel like things are all happening for me....this is a large step in the direction of making a sustainable living out of being a triathlete.

so, now i just got to get out there and justify it!
better pack - my great mate Kev is gving me a lift to Stanstead for fligt to Zarautz at 4am tommoro....and unior apprentice is on tv.
im soooo torn.

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