Stevenage Half Marathon - 3rd November 2002
Report by Karen Ayers
I was determined to beat my previous half marathon time of 2 hours 14 minutes, even though the Stevenage course was described as undulating, due to being held completely on the cycle paths. I did the first mile in 8:50 and panicked that I had gone much too fast and wouldn't be able to finish. I was still well under my ten minute mile marker at 3 miles, in just over 25 minutes and I was feeling really good. I was at 6 miles in 54:10, beating my previous 10k time. Between mile 7 and 8 it was mostly uphill and at 8.5 miles I started to get a migraine!
The weather forecast had been for very overcast with possible showers. I hadn't gone prepared for glorious blue skies and brilliant autumn sunshine so didn't have my sunglasses with me or any migraine pills, big mistake! I carried on running with 'flashing lights' in my eyes but still maintained my pace. At 11 miles the headache started to set in and I felt sick. I'm not sure what was worse, the migraine or the pain in my legs and feet everytime they hit the ground!!
At 12 miles I was still on target for 2 hours 4 minutes but that last mile, some of which was uphill, really took it's toll and I painfully crossed the finish line at just over 2 hours and 7 minutes, only dropping my pace in that last mile. My legs were so sore I couldn't even stretch. I sat down on the floor and demanded my husband massage my calfs and get me chocolate!!!
I was still really pleased with my time, having knocked 7 minutes off my previous half marathon time. A very long soak in the bath, another massage and a steam later on all helped but my legs really know they worked hard yesterday. I'll have a couple of days rest this week, just going to the gym to stretch my aching legs.
As I was running along I was thinking, if I was doing a full marathon I would have to do all that again and how on earth would I do that run at the end of a HIM. Perhaps I'll just stick to half marathons and spectate at the longer events!!! By the time the aches and pains have worn off I'll probably be setting ridiculous goals for next year!!
Nike 10k - 22nd September 2002
Report by Karen Ayers
I entered this event knowing that, with 20,000 runners, this wouldn't be the place for beating PBs. I thought it would be fun to enter a large event and soak up the atmosphere. It was great to see the mass of yellow t-shirts moving through the park but there wasn't a great atmosphere amongst the runners or from spectators around the course, except at the finish.
It was unfortunate that the race got off to a late start and that Harriet Scott (Heart DJ) had to 'entertain' for longer than she had obviously planned, she soon ran out of interesting things to say! The audio system was pretty poor and the sound was very distorted, perhaps I was just unlucky to get next to a 'dodgy' speaker. Some information about the elite runners participating would have helped to pass the time while we were waiting to start. Most runners probably didn't even know that Paula and other elites were actually there!
I think a lot of people taking part had never run a 10k before and therefore didn't know which group they should be in and were too embarrassed to call themselves 'beginners', therefore the bulk of entrants were clubbed together in the two 'intermediate' groups. I couldn't believe how many people had no idea of pacing and were already walking at the 2km mark!
The route wasn't as difficult as I'd anticipated (thanks to all those Tuesday night runs around Crystal Palace) but I was frustrated by the number of people stopping completely and not moving out of the way. After taking over six minutes to reach the start line, I managed to run the first 7k on the grass because the road was just too crowded and slowed down even more around the drinks stations. It was also very busy at the finish line and impossible for any finishing times to be recorded. I crossed the line at 1:03:30 but the time on my stopwatch, from when I actually crossed the start line was 57:03. A bit slower than I'd hoped but not bad, for me, under the circumstances!
After crossing the finishing line and collecting my medal, I bumped into an elusive CPT member, Dave Thomas, who had also run (in approx. 44 minutes). He had various excuses for not being seen at training for a while but assures me he will be returning soon!
Despite the above complaints I did enjoy the race but don't think I would do it again. I think the event is great for encouraging more people into running and a fitness regime but there are much better events, at local club level, for the more 'serious' runner and we should support them. I'll be at the Dulwich 10k in October!
Uckfield - 15th September 2002
Report by Karen Ayers
Six CPT members (+ Ruki) completed the Uckfield sprint triathlon on a bright September morning. The 500m swim was in a leisure pool but unfortunately we weren't allowed to use the flume to enter the water! The 20k cycle, once you had run about 200m out of transition to the road, was an out and back with several roundabouts and slightly hilly. This wasn't too much of a problem but the head on wind didn't allow us to make the most of the downhills. The cycle course finished with a nasty little hill taking you back up to transition. The 5k run was six laps around a grassy field, giving you the chance to see fellow CPT members on the way round. There were bananas and drinks at the end, followed by sandwiches and cakes before the presentations. This was a well run event and comes highly recommended for next year. I still haven't beaten Steve Palmer but the gap is shortening! Thank you to everyone who stayed to support Matthew and Ben in the children's Aquathon event and thanks to my sister, Helen, for her support and being 'official photographer'!.
|View CPT Uckfield results.
Llanberis Half Ironman - 8th September 2002
Report by Stuart Westgate
Possibly the UK's highest most hyped event and building confidently on it's success of the previous 'inaugural' year the Snowdonia based Half Iron Man UK was a slick operation from start to finish, and even the bad weather cleared just in time to greet finishers with glorious sunshine.
For the CPTers racing and the support team cheering them on, the start of the day was less inspiring. Gathering before 6AM in Llanberis Village during torrential rain was the start of the ordeal for competitors and supporters alike - just over one hour later the racers had exchanged their soaked clothes in so called 'dry bags' for race gear and were ready to launch into the relatively warm waters of Lake Padern and the commensurate Oggy, Oggy, Oggy.
Two waves separated by 15 minutes, each more than 600 Triathletes, quickly spread out over the 1.9Km course. All the CPTers started in the 2nd wave and after an out, round two buoys, and back course they were all back into T1 in just over 40 minutes. Rain was still coming down hard for most of the bike and reports suggest that a substantial number of the more than 200 DNFs dropped out with symptoms of hyperthermia in this phase. Despite the mountainous course, the bike leg was manageable and several long, fast descents made it quite a blast. And then there was the run ...
The out and back Run route to the top of Llanberis pass was gruelling. The grind up the hill to the high point was a teeth clencher but the relief at the top, the run back down and the knowledge of being on the 'home run' was fresh inspiration. The last few miles into Llanberis was generally agreed to have been a hard slog especially with the torture of passing near the finish post before a final circuit through the village and back across the finish line itself to the cheering supporters - elation.
Overall it was an awesome day. All enjoyed it, racers and spectators alike. Steve Bayliss and Phil Taylor took huge chunks off their times from last year, Stuart Westgate finished gratefully with a respectable performance and John Petrides put in an incredible race after having been hospitalised by illness only a fortnight before. Steve, Phil, John and Stuart would particularly like to extend their thanks to the keen supporters who suffered their own 'endurance challenge' waiting for more than 6 hours in the wind and rain of North Wales to welcome the guys home.
Sevenoaks - 8th September 2002
Report by Neil Atherton
It started out a promising day for a race: a late 9am start, the curtains opened to a dry and clear day. After a careful Saturday night of only a couple of beers and a couple more hours sleep than the previous weekend at Southwater optimism was high. However, Deacon Blue proved the wrong choice of stereo music, and, as I hit the M25, the first drops of what proved to be a damp and drizzly September morning arrived.
Athers in fast swim shocker
After a few wrong turns in Sevenoaks town centre (why didn't they put the address of where the event was taking place on the details sheets?) I finally found the venue 45 minutes before my start time. Seeing Andy and Carol also only having just arrived I thought I was in good time until Andy explained he was starting at 9.30am. Life however is very flexible down in Kent and the start proved to be a rolling, turn up when you want affair (why don't we have more of those?!) and I finally must have started the 400m swim around 9.20 finishing very promptly at 9.26 ish.
At this point I could either spout forth my claim to a place in the top lane at Thursday night swims or admit that the lovely young girl counting my lengths hadn't yet passed her GCSE Maths - but then I'd managed to lose count also. This however wasn't surprising after having had an automatic sliding door close on my foot whilst queuing up at the edge of the pool seconds earlier, then being told to start in a lane with only one other swimmer just at the point he was turning right next to me.
Those difficult transition decisions
Anyway, as explained, I was soon out into transition to don a seriously rain soaked vest and cycle shoes for the bike and counted my blessings as I considered how much wetter these would've been had I done the full swim length quota. Still this made up for those two extra lengths I was made to do at Tonbridge in 2000 and I was going to take full advantage. In one of my better moments of transition wisdom, I elected against my designer prescription sunglasses that fog up in the rain, going naked faced for the 'see first two yards ahead of me but nothing much else' approach. This was a tough decision as I don't really like to be recognised whilst on the bike, (it's too demoralising to see the realisation of glee when folk repass me on the run). However, considering the conditions and looking at the split times it didn't seem to hinder me too much, and I'm pleased to announce that only three people passed me on the run (rather than the usual three dozen) although I don't really count two of them as they were more likely than not off to warmer Mexican climes come November.
Yes, you can't make it to a race these days, without bumping into some old club member or two, especially now I've near on completed three whole seasons in the club. This time it was Phil Cranwell, halfway around the bike course, who was conducting two most criminal of triathlon sins (evidently not picked up from one of our training day sessions) - drafting a lady on the big climb is bad enough, but whilst wearing CPT club kit! Not wanting our image tarnished I obviously confronted him at the first opportunity in the showers later over the incident. In his defence he claimed that the extent of the hill had caught him unawares leaving him no option but to sit in tow. Still if you do insist on moving to Essex and starting a family, then you've only yourself to blame Phil!
The perils of racing
The dangerousness of the conditions came home to me when I nearly came off towards the end of the bike section at a sharp junction turn. Having only managed to get one hand off the tri bar in time, and still having no visibility of which way the marshal was trying to usher me, my back end skidded off to the right as I braked hard. Fortunately this worked out near perfect in the end for what I eventually saw to be a left hand turn and carried on only a couple of seconds down. Having realised the potential benefits of such on the edge racing (no damaged bikes, nasty grazes or embarrassingly slow bike times) I've marked down a few Sunday morning rides later on this autumn to ensure we're all fully practised for such recovery techniques for next season. So don't go switching to those winter tyres yet.
The kissing gate
Swiftly back into transition and on to the run. Spikes should have been order of the day here around Knowle Park as a grass based run and a couple of tricky descents had to be encountered. The first culminated in a rather lethal six foot high kissing gate contraption. Aptly named, with most runners coming perilously close to a painfully intimate encounter with the wrought ironwork after descending the slippery cobblestone and bark chippings path. As if this wasn't enough, then throw in at least two head down weary legged 'almost there' run finishers on their final assent and you can get the picture. Again this type of real life racing scenario merits a place on the Tuesday night run sessions. When you find yourself encountering such an uncontrollable situation you should always have your final finishing position at the back of your mind and ensure that you take out the most promising runners. When done correctly this has the added benefit of giving some of your fellow club members more chance of making the Worlds and usually means someone from Team Newline if you're racing locally, or Total Fitness and Asics Multisport further afield. Check out their websites so you're familiar with the exact colour of their kits or refer to Nigel's soon to be published Pre Race Tips Video. Anyway, next year, I'll be getting there half an hour before the race with toolbox in hand....
A race isn't a race without at least one CPT spectator in attendance (ref. BTA rulebook section 9.4, page 12) and I was beginning to think that this was going to be a non event. However, conditions must have improved significantly as the race went on, otherwise I can provide no logical explanation for nearly bumping into Carol running the wrong way through the wet grass with little Bob and the buggy in tow. Still a little vocal encouragement (big cheers for Carol and Bob) was much appreciated at such a moment 6.5km into the run and provided the necessary spur for me to complete the assent to the finish line not a moment too soon, well, 49 seconds too late to be precise. I can only speak for myself but wasn't it good fun?
|View CPT Sevenoaks results.
Southwater - 1st September 2002
Report by Brian Tinker
My heart was racing, I felt dizzy and I needed to visit the toilet urgently. Getting a wetsuit on is no easy matter! I was told by some old hands of CPT that no matter how many times you go, as soon as the wetsuit is on the toilet beckons and today was no exception.
This, my first triathlon, had come about a week earlier when I had joined my 'wife to be', Claire, on the CPT bank holiday bike ride to Brighton. It took Dean 30 minutes to recruit me for Southwater. I jumped at the chance (ok, I was forced into it, following a desperate plea and some story about people dropping out).
Race day came round quickly, and on arrival at the scenic Southwater Country Park I was introduced to Mick who immediately asked how much I weighed. About 17 stone. Great, you can be in the Clydesdale team. I looked puzzled. 'He means you are with the fat boys' I was told. Great welcome!
I elected to go first and brave the mass start. Five minutes to go and the toilet was calling. Off I went and found only two cubicles, both occupied and people waiting. My nerves were shot, the urinals looked tempting, but I remained disciplined.
One minute to go and I was hobbling barefoot across the gravel,. Shoe horned into my wetsuit and straight into the suprisingly warm water. I asked Claire what the route was and she pointed across the lake - I could see a blue buoy in the distance. No chance, that was halfway, I had to go round the orange buoys that were a speck on the horizon. 400 metres, not far I thought. After an eternity of dubious swimming, and drinking plenty of eau de Southwater, I was out and running up the slope to T1. I passed the CPT crowd who were shouting their support. Off came the wetsuit, on came the helmet, bike shoes and, to keep up with the elite, my shades! I pushed my trusty mountain bike onto the road, clipped in and straight on to a hill, great! My confidence grew as I began to overtake people along the 12 mile route, cycling was always my thing. Inevitably those I passed on the bike soon reappeared on the run - that's the thing about triathlon, being good at one sport is not enough!
I finally finished and tagged Steve so he could start the second leg and then joined the by now large and very vocal group of CPT supporters. I'll definitely be back next year…
London Triathlon 1999 to 2002- 11th August 2002
Report by Claire Dunton
The whole sorry saga began in 1999 when a friend and I thought that if we could swim, bike and run we could do the London Triathlon. Olympic distance - well in for a penny and all that, and as long as we didn't have to run in bikinis..
That first triathlon was the most terrifying day of my life, my main memory is of the marshal peeling my fingers off the pontoon and telling me to swim. My aim had been to finish in one piece and I did, in 3 hours and seven long minutes. I was disappointed when I realized the run was a kilometer short but I figured I had made up the distance on the swim with my unique zig zag swim technique. I swore I would be back but it took until 2002 and some 'proper' training with Crystal Palace Triathletes before I was ready to face the London docks again, secretly hoping to be quicker, and how could I not be - I could now swim a straight course, change gear on my bike without the chain coming off and lost a stone in weight to assist with my dismal running performance.
I had entered the open category in the misguided belief that I would be racing with my partner, Brian. But one look at the dock had been enough to make him reassess his dubious training regime, general lack of preparation and he backed out. Probably a wise move and now he could take the 'photos and join my sister in the official supporters role, which involves carrying everything and buying the coffees.
Well, the gleaming Excel centre with its vast array of facilities is a million miles away from the muddy field and tea van of 1999. I was suited up ready for the off when I encountered Mr. Petrides coming from the finish, he offered me many words of encouragement and the ominous warning that 'it seems to go on for ever'. Great. Thanks John. The swim course looked like an orienteering exercise and I had visions of getting lost but once underway actually proved quite simple. There was an awful lot of breast stroke going on in front of me and after receiving a fair few kicks to the chest and getting over my initial panic I managed to get away and actually enjoy it. I made it safely on to the bike and was congratulating myself on keeping my speed over 25mph when we turned back on ourselves up a steep slope and in to a strong headwind, speed now 7 mph. Oh well, nice while it lasted. Well, off the bike in one piece and on to the run. All started well until the steep downhill, 180 degree turn and uphill section…four laps? I'm guessing the person who designed this didn't actually run it. The crowd support was unrelenting and really helped me stagger round the sadistic course.
It took 24 hours for the text message (oh how times are changing) telling me
the good news..'2 hours 53 minutes', and the bit I liked best '4th female'. Well, I don't think it counts for much but I am going to enjoy it - and my non sporting friends don't need to know there was more than one category!
Ironman Austria - 7th July 2002
Report by Chris Reed
Ironman Austria 2002 took place in the picture postcard setting of Kärnten in southern Austria. Competitors and spectators alike were welcomed by the organisers and the towns people who did everything possible to make the event memorable for all involved.
After an early breakfast at 0430 the event began at 0700 with a mass swim start in the beautiful freshwater lake on which the town is situated. Amongst the 1800 competitors I jostled for position and completed the swim on schedule in around 90 minutes.
The bike route, described as fast, took the riders around the lake and into the surrounding hills. Unfortunately although I was within my predicted maximum time of around 7.5 hrs the 3 lap course included 6 climbs and I paid the price for my inexperience on the bike at this distance.
My legs were very tired from the start of the marathon and despite running better towards the end I did not achieve my target time of around 5 hrs.
A great day and my sincere thanks to Ruki, Alastair and Mary, Phil, Steve and Glynn for their help and fantastic support prior, during and after the event.
The race was won in incredible times of 8:16:44 for the first man and 8:51:22 for the first woman.
Chris Reed 15:20:01
3.8k Swim - 1:26:59
180k Bike - 7:24:20
42.2 Run - 6:10:24
(transition times not shown)