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Welcome to new member Martin Thompson. Lots of you will know Martin as Audrey's partner and supporter. He's now decided to take up the challenge himself and will be concentrating on duathlons to start with until he improves his swimming!
Report by Lauren Whitmore
Even 36 hours on, race day is beginning to seem like a blur. In summary it was a really tough day, best described as ‘bloody hot’ (Aussie speak!) It got up to 44 degrees at one point – not ideal conditions for a ‘pom’, especially one as pale as me! Even making it to the finish was an achievement, with the highest drop out rate ever for this race; 12% of those who started pulled out somewhere along the way. I finished in 11.00.21, a massive PB from my last attempt in Austria, placing me 31st female (including pros) and 7th in my age group.
The swim is a simple out and back, around the jetty, which stretches 1.8km from the shore. The start wasn’t too rough, although there was a bit of congestion about 400m in where I had my goggles kicked off. Eventually the field started to spread out and I had enough space to swim without worrying about being whacked over the head every 5 seconds. The water was crystal clear and surprisingly calm for a sea swim. Towards the end of the jetty it got a bit choppy, but I was so glad to be turning round to head back to the beach it didn’t bother me. I even started to enjoy myself a bit! My official time for the swim was 55.03, nearly five minutes faster than Austria last year. I started to feel like this could be a good day!
In the transition tent, two volunteers helped me get my wetsuit off and covered me in sunscreen – they could obviously see I wasn’t used to the climate! Starting the bike leg, which consisted of 3 super flat, fast (hopefully!) laps, I settled into my rhythm, holding a steady pace but not pushing too hard. I was passed by a constant stream of disc wheels and aero helmets, but I tried to ignore them and concentrate on getting enough to drink and making sure I didn’t get carried away and take off too fast. My support crew, Roy and my Dad were waiting for me about 20 minutes in and gave me a massive cheer as I rode past. The first lap was fun, although it was frustrating to be passed so much (guess I’ll just have to get faster!) I held an average speed of just over 33kph to complete the first 60km in about 1hr 48, on track for my 5hr 30 target. The second lap was tougher, as the wind picked up and it started to get warm. In some ways the flat course is deceptively hard because you can sit in your TT position for the whole race, with no respite for your legs at all – you just have to keep hammering away!
Roy and my Dad popped up randomly along the course and seemed to get more excited every time I saw them. First my Dad ran along the road beside me, waving a massive Union Jack, the next time Roy was running along, screaming ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’, and coming back into town on the main highway they were driving along the other carriageway beeping the horn, hanging out the window and screaming encouragement. It was awesome to have such amazing support, and definitely made me dig a bit deeper as I started my last lap. By now, it was getting really hot, so as well as picking up energy drink from the aid stations, I started to grab water to chuck over my head and back, in an attempt to keep cool. One particular section through Port Geographe (sounds nice, but is really just an undeveloped swamp) felt like cycling head on into a hairdryer! I came off the bike in 5.37.34, nearly an hour faster than Austria!
Sitting down in the transition tent, the volunteers once again covered me in sunscreen. I chucked on my trainers and stood up, ready for the marathon. Or not. I started to run, and my legs felt like lead. I suddenly realized just how hot it was and slowed to a walk. I remembered something I’d read about Ironman being 90% mental and realized I needed to get my head together. I wasn’t here for a 42.2km death march! I decided that the best tactic would be to run/jog/shuffle between the aid stations, then walk through, making sure I picked up everything I wanted. I refined my aid station strategy as I went, until I had a polished routine; two cups of ice, one down the front of my top, one down the back; a cup of water to drink, another to dump on my head; a cup of cola; another water; and a final cup of ice which I emptied into my hands so I could rub it onto my arms, face and neck.
I didn’t see Roy and my Dad for quite a while, but they reappeared on the second lap, just at the right time. The locals get really into the race, and there was a lot of support around the course and Roy got them all shouting and cheering for me. He’d also picked up a pressure spray from somewhere and was enjoying himself spraying the competitors to keep them cool, telling those who were walking that they needed some of his magic ‘running juice’! It seemed to be getting even hotter, and waves of heat were radiating from the pavement. So many fit looking people were walking, several were vomiting by the side of the road, in other words complete carnage! All I could think about was getting to the next aid station to find some more ice. The kms ticked by, and somehow I made it to the 40km mark. I started to try to calculate how much time had elapsed since the start and somehow landed on about 11hr 15; if I was going to go under 11hr 30 I needed to get a move on! When I finally reached the finishing chute I looked up at the clock and was surprised to see a time staring with 10! I realized I was sprinting for sub-11hrs, rather than 11hr 30 as I’d thought. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite quick enough to bag my dream time of 10hr 59, but I was only 21 seconds short, 10hr+ will have to wait until next year!
Ironman WA is a great race, and Busselton (Roy’s home town) is a fantastic host. The swim in particular is really special and it’s a great course for those with an aversion to hills! I’ll definitely be going back next year and hoping for a slightly cooler day!
Dave wasn't put off by the snow and freezing temperatures and made his way to the Bromley 5k parkrun, where times were obviously slower due to the conditions underfoot!
I drove past Elmers End at 08:50 on Sunday morning but didn't see anyone waiting for the Club ride. Hopefully everyone left the bikes safely indoors and did something else instead!
Phil's photos from the Druid Challenge in November.
On behalf of the Committee, we would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2010.
Unfortunately the ElfYourself video clip has now expired.
Photographs from Saturday's Christmas party and awards celebration.
As well as the Awards presented for the Club Championship races, the Ridings Trophy was presented to Ron Yee for his help and sponsorship of the Junior club and the Coach's Award was presented to Richard Lewey for the big improvements he's made this year.
Jon also gave a number of fun prizes. Cathie was the first victim, receiving a pair of sunglasses to match her numerous cycling outfits displayed on the Club training camp in France. The Fray Bentos award went to James, who was given a tin of hot dogs as Jon was unable to get a steak and kidney pie. James ate seven of the eight hot dogs cold straight from the tin (not sure what happened to the 8th?!). Sara was presented with a tiny swimsuit in recognition of her change in shape since training with the Juniors. Dean was presented with a spectacular pair of sunglasses, but I can't remember what for?! I also have a picture of Jon putting something like an action man helmet on Richard's head, but again I've no idea what for?! (Jon has since reminded me that it was for being 'as hard as nails', out in any weather!). In return, Jon was presented with a counting toy so that he can count the correct number of laps at next year's Crystal Palace Triathlon! Last, but not least, Phil was presented with the 'Plank Award', for inappropriate or unkind comments he's made about fellow Committee members (and we thought he was our friend!).
Thanks to Suse, our social secretary, for organising another successful and fun event and thanks to everyone who helped with the catering, especially Fiona for a wonderful variety of homemade blinis. The presentations and food were followed by plenty of drinks and lots of dancing.
There were 10 of us out in the snow and sleet for Wednesday night's Santa Safari, with most people wearing Santa hats. Unfortunately the usual lights weren't switched on so Ruki took us on a longer run to Upper Elmers End Road to admire Thomas the Tank Engine and lights. Luckily the sleet had pretty much stopped by the time we got back to the car park at Crystal Palace so we were able to enjoy some mulled wine, mince pies and Nell's home-baked snowflake cookies.
Club championship races for 2010 have now been agreed.
In a change to the rules for 2010, Club kit must be worn for Sprint, Standard, Middle and Duathlon distances and during at least one leg of an Ironman.
Welcome to new member Tain Oliff.
Looks like the parkrun 5ks are going to be popular over the winter months with a number of local events (Bromley, Banstead Woods, Roundshaw Downs and Wimbledon Common) to choose from.
Jon is running some further technique training sessions in the New Year at Alleyn's School in Dulwich. Brief details listed below, for more info please open the attached pdf document.
3 progressive swim sessions, focusing on specific elements of your stroke in each of the sessions, with 3 coaches and video analysis
Dates: Sunday 10, 17 & 31 Jan
Cost: £96 per person for all 3 sessions
Swim and Run Technique, using video analysis for both sessions
Date: Sunday 7 Feb
Cost: £50 per person
An ideal present for Christmas!
The Thursday night swim at The Bridge on Thursday 17 December will be replaced by the annual CPT water polo match. Everyone is welcome to come along and play whatever your swimming ability and with absolutely no water polo experience necessary (in fact, it would be an advantage as we don't generally play to any rules...). Be prepared to explain to your other half the source of the scratch marks down your back (from the opposing team attempting to relieve the ball from your clutches by non-conventional methods). This is a fun event on the last swim before Xmas so come along, bonus points for reindeer antlers/santa hats (as long as they're colour-fast!).
Congratulations to Lauren on a fantastic time at Ironman Western Australia, especially considering she was unable to run for more than 30 minutes a couple of weeks ago! Lauren's time has been added to the Ironman Roll of Honour and she's now the Club's fastest long distance lady.
It was lovely weather for this year's Pirie 10, but there was still lots of mud! Dave was really pleased with his PB and Laura loved the run. My knees were hurting and as my preparation for Ironman Austria starts on Monday, decided to just do one lap (I didn't just drop out because I was last on the first lap, honestly!). We headed back to the Club house for a cup of tea and cake.
The weather was pretty dreadful on Sunday morning and put most people off the Club ride, but a few hardy members turned up. Jon & Richard went out on the improved ride, while Audrey, Dawn, Riaz, Mitch and Nell did one lap of the Downe route before heading for home! Some of us waited until later in the day and had a lovely ride in the sunshine with no showers, but a lot of wind!
Carl has put together the run schedule for December, January and February. See the running page for full details.