If you've competed in a race and want to write a report, even if it's only describing the course for people who might consider doing the event in future, please do.
You can e-mail your report to the webmaster for publication.
If you have any photographs to accompany your report you can e-mail electronic images or give Karen a CD at a training session.
Report - Karen Ayers
I set off for Sevenoaks and my first cyclosportive in plenty of time for Registration. As I was driving along the A21 I thought I recognised the cyclist in front of me, although he wasn't wearing any visible CPT kit. It was Rob, also on his way to Sevenoaks, so I stopped to pick him up.
Registration was quick and easy and everyone seemed very friendly. We chatted to the other CPT members we spotted in the car park. It was good to see Carole and Chris Heritage, although it looked as though Chris's day was over before it had even started. Not only had they forgotten their race numbers, but when he pumped his tyres up the rim on his front tyre popped off. He thought he was going to buy a newspaper and sit in the sunshine for five hours but Carole had other ideas! She managed to secure a wheel that the organisers were using to demonstrate how to fix the timing chip. It got Chris round but wasn't 100% true.
Rob, Glyn and I queued up to cross the start line, not joining Carl and Richard nearer the front. Then we were off. The roads were dry and the sun was shining, it was a little cold in the shade but otherwise perfect cycling weather. I had been warned not to go off too fast at the beginning but it's hard not to when your legs are feeling fresh and overtaking people is such a good feeling!
At about 24 miles we managed to tag onto a fairly large group of cyclists and stayed with them for about 10 miles. It made a big difference cycling in the group and we were averaging 22-23 mph. There were three feed stations, we stopped each time for cakes and water. I didn't want to stop for too long in case I couldn't get going again! Unfortunately Glyn and I lost Rob just after the second feed station. He got a puncture but we didn't hear him call out.
Glyn and I stuck together and managed to join a couple of other groups for a few miles at a time. According to the profile there were 10 climbs of note and these were counted down on the route, with the toughest, climb 10, right at the end - Carters Hill. I didn't notice some of the climbs so was surprised when the numbers were falling quicker than I'd expected.
After the stop at the third feed station, with an average speed of 18.3mph, my quads felt very wobbly and at 68 miles I told Glyn I'd had enough and wanted to go home! He kept encouraging me and we managed to maintain a good speed. As we passed the 10km sign I knew it was pretty much uphill the rest of the way and Carters Hill was approaching. I was determined I wasn't going to walk unless I absolutely had to. I was very pleased to have my granny ring and in my easiest gear I pushed right to the top, with encouragement from Glyn, passing lots of people pushing their bikes. It was a great feeling reaching the top and racing slightly downhill for the Finish.
I had hoped to finish between five hours and five hours fifteen so was absolutely thrilled to cross the Finish line in 4:45 with an average speed of 17.6mph. I managed to unclip without falling off and packed my bike away before tucking into a delicious lunch (soup, bagette and apple pie) provided by the organisers.
Rob crossed the Finish line less than 10 minutes after Glyn and I so made up really good time after his puncture and still managed to finish in under 5 hours. Well done to Carl Ferri, the only CPT member to get gold, finishing in under 4 hours.
I thought it was a great event and very well organised. I'm not sure I could beat my time but would like to go back again just for the lunch! Highly recommended and one for the calendar next year.
Thanks very much to Glyn for his encouragement, although he says I helped him as much as he helped me, as he hadn't gone to bed until 3am that morning!
Report - Haydn Whitmore
Back in June when Lauren and I qualified I had no concept of what the World Championships were going to be like. This was the first year that the Sprint Event was included and it provided a fantastic opportunity as the GBR team almost doubled in size. Frances and Stacey, both previous members of the team, qualified for the Olympic distance at Wakefield so that brought the total to four CPT members in Hamburg.
We arrived at the hotel in Hamburg on Thursday at midnight and from that point on it was non-stop till the race on Sunday. Familiarisation with the course (almost two hours to cycle the 22k bike - traffic lights every 30m), briefings, pasta party, watching the Elite races, checking out the Expo, light training and getting incredibly excited about the whole thing. This was one huge, brilliantly organised event that took over the centre of Hamburg for three days. The only niggle was the weather which was changeable by the minute from brilliant sunshine to torential downpours although miraculously most of the racing was in the dry.
The course for the Elite athletes was about as flat as you could get with both the run and bike on a very tight and technical course around the town centre. Part way through the swim they had to climb out, run around a barrier and dive back in again before completing a small loop to finish. The Age Group Olympic and Sprint courses were flat for the run and slightly undulating on the bike although it did get pretty windy. While we avoided climbing out half way through the swim the novel feature for us was a 700m run to the transition entrance which then stretched for another 500m along the side of the lake.
For the GBR Team, gold and silver in the Juniors, two fourth places in the under 23s, three in the top ten in the mens race along with 50 age group medals made for an impressive haul by any measure. The pride felt at the final age group party and medal ceremony was incredible and it brought home to me how strong the UK is in Triathlon.
No medals for the CPT contingent unfortunately. Lauren finished a brilliant 6th and the third placed Brit in 1:24:09 with the gold won in 1:19:09. Frances placed 48th in 3:04:53, Stacey (who sadly we never caught up with during the event) placed 73rd in 2:55.44. As for me, I came in 23rd and ninth of the Brits in a time of 1:21:27 having enjoyed every minute of the experience and determined that it won't be the last. The most amazing thing in the whole event was to see Charley French and Peggy Gudbrandsen collect their Olympic Distance Gold medals having finished in 3:12:29 and 5:49:05 ............in the 80-84 age group!
This has been a fantastic first year in Triathlon for me and I'd like to thank everyone in the club who has given advice and support freely and to Jon Horsman who provided the training plans that made this possible. OK so when's the next one?
Report - Phil Taylor
Tailored Tours presents
Getting Lost to Eastbourne
August Bank Holiday Monday arrives and ten keen CPTers, Greg, Suse, Fintan, Richard Lewey, Steve Wells, Audrey, Bernie, Jim, Rob Spurr and Phil met at Elmers End for the annual ride to the coast. This is the fifth year for this event; the first two were to Brighton but we had to change after the skulduggery on the Crazy Golf course, Eastbourne being the new destination.
Louise Wells was on hand to wave us all off. Changing the route this year we headed out towards Downe Village, continuing through the village and past Downe House. Where the road bears right into Jail Lane we turned left to Cudham, the idea was to miss the Cudham Tester which sort of worked except for another cheeky ascent that nature had placed in our path. At Cudham we saw Cathy putting in some secret training, we couldn’t hang around for Cathy and pushed on to Brasted. Here we started the climb up and over Toys Hill to Four Elms and on to Edenbridge. We had planned on a stop here but were too early for the tea rooms, everything was closed. The next few miles were undulating and without the cake fix we struggled towards Ivy Farm tea rooms just shy of Hartfield. Audrey and Fintan were glad for the pit stop.
Fuelled with tea and cake we pressed on through Hartfield and up another short climb through AshdownForest. At the top there are awesome views, but this is a bike ride and no time for tourism! Leaving AshdownForest behind us we pass through Maresfield and continue on towards Uckfield. Before leaving Uckfield we took a left and headed towards Framfield and Blackboys. To meet the B2192 where we turned left and took the first right to take us through Waldron and to our second stop of the day in a little Country pub with a huge garden, a good choice and much needed by Audrey and Fintan who aren’t so used to these long distances but were doing extremely well, so well Fintan treated himself to a pint of Harvey’s.
It was hard leaving this little retreat with the sun doing a fine job on the teams’ tans. With 15 miles to go we pushed on to Horam. We turned right on the A267 and followed the road round the bend taking the first left turning just out the other side of Horam. This quiet country lane took us onto Hailsham. Eight miles left and now it is all flat as we leave Hailsham and head on to meet the Cuckoo Trail, Route 21 on the National Cycle Network. Route 21 starts life in Deptford by the Thames and heads through Beckenham and onwards to Eastbourne.
On the Cuckoo Trail we follow this to its unusual conclusion on an industrial estate by a very busy road. From here it was follow the signs to Eastbourne which unfortunately kept us on very busy roads with bowel moving roundabouts, still we’d be at the sea soon.
All ten made it to the coast and we all stuck together for the whole route, 68 miles of delightful countryside. It was now time for a dip in the sea and this year it would not just be Greg braving the cold waters. Greg, Bernie, Suse, Richard Lewey and myself took the plunge. After a brief dip it was up to the pier to get our fish and chips followed by an ice cream.
Before leaving to catch the train back to East Croydon we soaked up some of the late afternoon sun, which gave the seagulls time to drop their load with a direct hit on Richard.
The day had gone very well with everyone enjoying the route and the stops.
Report - Carole Jackson
I had a good feel about the Birmingham triathlon on the 26th of August held at the NEC around Pendigo Lake. Our hotel was on the edge of the lake so I could walk to transition and see the lake all the time.
The 750m swim was in lovely flat water which although not the best colour in the world (that sort of dirty brown so popular with lakes!) it wasn’t really cold and the sun was shining. I had a great swim, I’m usually last out of the water so was surprised to see I was 3rd in my age group- usually when I get to transition there’s only my bike there.
The bike unfortunately was where things started to go wrong for the Birmingham Tri, the course was tricky and complex with one large lap and one small lap - sounds easy but the reality was that there was a cross over section of road that you had to pass 3 times. The marshals’ instructions were confusing as were the maps and there was just a little chaos and confusion.
On the plus side the roads were closed and the course was flat, I managed to actually complete the bike although others missed out the second loop. Into transition feeling good with only the run to go, I was again surprised but this time by the fact that people who hadn’t passed me on the bike were now out on the run. Onward ever onward I carried on, hot by now the sun was beating down but again the course was flat- so much more pleasant.
I finished in a good time for me in what is yet another comeback year - yes Nigel I know I’ve had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra! I can’t say what my position was, probably 4th maybe 3rd, the BTA are holding an enquiry into the results and the mass of complaints that came in. For my age group they have made a decision and I have qualified for the GB sprint team in Vancouver next year. Unfortunately the jury is still out for some of the other groups.
Report - John Petrides
Three words that would describe Sherbourne this year are, wind, rain and MUD (lots of it).
The start was delayed by 21 minutes as they weren’t allowing cars into the castle grounds. Therefore we had to park in the quagmire outside the castle grounds which still had vehicles stuck in there from the day before. The other reason for the delay was because Brian Rhodes' zip broke on his wetsuit and we had to wait for him to get another wetsuit.
My swim started well, half the swim completed in 33 minutes. With the extra 200m and the next loop I was on course for a sub 1:10 swim. When the 2nd loop started I got thumped on the back of the head, my goggles got knocked off and swallowed some of Sherbourne’s stagnant water. I spent the rest of the swim heaving trying to be sick. To top it off I had a migraine attack during the swim. My thoughts at this early stage were, it’s going to be one of those days. My sub 1:10 was now to survive the swim.
I went for my customary pee stop in T1, also spent a few minutes trying to throw up some of the Sherbourne lake which didn’t work, hence the long T1 split.
Best word that describes the bike is EVIL.
If over 7,000 feet of climbing wasn’t enough to contend with. We had torrential driving rain and very strong winds.
The route was lined with people repairing punctures, or nursing injuries after being blown off their bike. Many people were taken away in ambulances, with flashing blue lights and sirens lining the route all day. On one downhill section I managed 7mph. On another I was doing over 40mph approaching a narrow bridge and a motorbike was lying on its side with the rider still on it, I managed to get through with millimetres to spare. Every time we rode past a gap in a hedge the wind would blow us sideways, it was a lottery on who would survive the bike course. I did fall off once but that was my fault as I misjudged a curb. Big thanks to Matt Lawrence for his advice on how to use the bike gearing, it definitely helped.
T2 went smoothly. This time I tied my own laces.
The run was dry but the wind wouldn’t let up. I met an old friend (Jerry from Weymouth middle distance) and we encouraged each other along the route. The plan was to run/walk 15 minute miles. This would give us 25 minutes in hand for any problems. First half of marathon was completed in 3:32:25, I thought I was 10 minutes quicker, but who am I to argue. The second half was 3:04:09, I thought was 10 minutes slower. Whichever way round I managed a good negative split. There were no mile markers from mile 16 to mile 23 and the uncertainty obviously made us go quicker. The 24 mile marker was approx 200 metres past the 23 mile marker. There was no marker marking the turnaround point for the second loop on the A30. When the sun went down the temperature plummeted as it was still windy. Many of us including me were taken to the first aid tent suffering with hypothermia and poor blood circulation in our hands and feet caused by the hypothermia. My marathon time was 4 minutes quicker than Switzerland 7 weeks earlier, and with the Sherbourne run being more demanding has left me scratching my head wondering how this can be.
Final time 16:35:25.
Very difficult to put into words how much this means to me.
I got lots of support from White Oaks members, East London Triathletes and lots of other triathletes that have done our race, or those I met in Switzerland.
The Lanza dream is still alive, two parts of the trilogy have been completed.
Report and photos - Nigel Bailey
Going to triathlons in Dorset always seem to be great weekends away and Weymouth 2007 turned out to be one of the best.
As for the race itself, Concept Sport seem to put on good quality, but low key, events at both Swanage and Weymouth as well as the bigger Bournemouth International. Unlike us this year, Weymouth got the weather perfect for good race times too.
So with the stage set, we all set off on what should have been a relaxing drive down the A3 and the scenic route over the Hogs Back. There are traditional traffic problems to the West of Southampton. But this year a dead body (for real... but that’s another story) made things worse. In JP’s car we avoided the jams and started taking wrong turns around Salisbury instead!
Registration over, we went round the corner to the ‘Bates Hotel’ for our annual reunion with the proprietor who for four years has said she won’t be there in 12 months.
JP then announced why I’d been given a lift.... for all those who take their cars to his garage, be mindful that John himself is not mechanically minded. Paul then spotted an opportunity and I was left putting his bike together too. I then got into the mode of a bike mechanic by abusing Paul for not cleaning his bike (Dawn would have been horrified at its state).
Finding food for 16 people in a seaside town with a ferry terminal shouldn’t be a problem. In Weymouth it can be. This year we decided to go a little up market and headed for pre booked tables at Enzo’s on the seafront. How can I be diplomatic about this place? It had been a good find last year but, well, let’s put it this way – I think that over the winter the waiters graduated from the Basil Fawlty School of Customer Relations. Fintan and his wife Maria arrived last to be told there wasn’t enough room for them. The Maitre D’ said they could eat so long as they could do so in an hour. Could they do that?, he asked. Fintan replied that that would depend on the service. On that score they could have finished in 10 minutes!! The speed of service was more like McDonalds than an Italian restaraunt. The bill was thrown in front of us without being asked for and the next ‘customers’ were already being shown to our tables.
So next, like any finely tuned CPT athletes the night before a race, we went to a pub along with a few parties from hen nights, stag nights and kiss-me-quick hats (well, my straw hat actually). Ewan showed his youthfulness in the ways of a top tri squad by being a bit surprised by this. He quickly regained his composure by recognising the experience of his role models and said: “Well, if everyone’s doing it.... a pint of Stella please!”
Race Day. Everything was as it should be.... the sun is breaking through, JP had his standard pre race headache, the virgins kept looking out to sea (it was actually as flat as a pancake) wondering what the hell they were letting themselves in for and Greg was admitting to his usual pre race nerves and trips to the loo despite having done Weymouth three times before. Somethings never change.
It was time for the support crew to assert themselves on the rest of the crowd. When it was announced on the PA that CPT had one of the largest squads racing, Julie was quick to lead the cheers. Despite being the shy and retiring type she managed to get the attention of the commentator twice more even before the race started – once for her attention to detail of Matt’s rubber clad body and once for rather crudely climbing on my shoulders to retrieve a t-shirt thrown by Greg which got stuck on the top of the fencing. The commentator suggested to all and sundry that “this is why CPT took up triathlon – they’re useless at the throwing events”. Greg, already trying to deal with his nerves at this point squirmed as everyone looked round.
From looking at the accompanying pictures you can see how JP revealed his true identity as the Crazy Frog and Fintan said he wanted to be known as WetSuit Man from now on but he hadn’t decided whether his alter ego was a super hero or villain.
Everyone got off on the swim OK. Matt showed he was up for it before Nick, Glyn and Greg all came out of the water within literally a few strides of each other. Unfortunately for Nick, the order had reversed as they exited transition.
Fintan and Paul battled for who could have the longest transition. Maria was very pleased with Fintan’s technique as she watched him fold his wet suit up and carefully place it in his bag and then proudly announced: “I’ve got him well trained”.
With everyone out on the bikes it was time for the support crew to refuel with some well deserved breakfast. Nick’s wife Lynn was going to take this middle distance supporting seriously and paced herself carefully through a full English breakfast without a hint of guilt – a natural or what!
Suse however, had other ideas and had gone out on the bike course to ride the 51 miles herself. When it was suggested that much of her riding was done in the vaccinity of Glyn eye-brows were raised. However, Glyn’s protests that he hadn’t been drafting were quickly believed on the grounds that he wouldn’t have been able to keep up wih Suse anyway.
And so to the run. Matt was out of T2 like a man who knew the shops were about to open and Julie had his credit card (what was that she’d said about getting a new bike?). With Matt out of sight Greg was aware his target was now a PB and Glyn immediately began to hear Nick’s footsteps behind him. David and Brian were next with battles of their own before Fintan went out looking relaxed and Paul headed off determined to beat the cut off.
Shortly after, Matt was home in 21st place!
The weather cooled off a little for the run but it was still warm. Nick was either going to have a very good run or blow up. He overtook Glyn half way round the two lap course. Glyn kept a steady pace. Nick slowed, but not by a lot.
Greg came home, pleased with a big drop in his PB and a negative run split between laps one and two.
Nick arrived back in an excellent virgin time. Shortly after Glyn was in sight after a steady if painful run. Note from Glyn’s badly blistered feet : Always wear socks for longer races.
Slowly but surely, the hard core support crew counted them all out, and counted them back in.
So with the race over most headed back to their accommodation for a nap. The racers were almost as tired as the support crew too!
Brian had inserted an important piece into his race prepartion – researching the venue for the post race meal! We headed in to town and over the river to discover a very nice venue where the quality of the food matched the tales of daring do. An excellent choice and an excellent end to a really good weekend away – this is what the sport of triathlon is really all about.
(Note from webmaster: More photos to follow when I have time)