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Dave was the only CPT member running the Bromley 5k parkrun this week. He says the event is getting more popular but there's free tea and coffee at the end now!
Report by Cathie Greasley, photos by Brian Morris
Team Crystal Palace got their track debut off to a flying start at the weekend by nipping down the M4 and across the Severn Bridge to Newport for an inaugural session at the Wales National Velodrome.
Designed by the man behind the Sydney Olympics, the £7.5m velodrome is the headquarters and jewel in the crown of Welsh cycling and is only the second facility of its kind in the country. Its circular bends have been graced by Welsh wonders Nicole Cooke and Gerraint Thomas, so what better place for a bunch of CPT novices to leave the road behind for the day?
We ‘carbo-loaded’ at a restaurant and the hotel bar the night before – athletes need to eat, hydrate and acclimatise of course. The Holiday Inn where we were staying seemed to come alive in the early hours and we all enjoyed the spectacle of gentlemen in tuxedos and ladies in cocktail dresses, even though it was a bit Gavin and Stacey-esque. Oh and Cathie's shoes provided some light-hearted entertainment. Dawn likened them to shoes a drag queen would wear. She then tried to sound less offensive by correcting this to those that a pole dancer would wear. Follow? Funnily enough, the taxi dropped us right outside a strip joint, so, all in all, the perfect choice of footwear! And a priceless gag!
On Sunday morning, we all arrived at the velodrome feeling somewhat apprehensive, but we soon limbered up and were kitted out with bikes and gear. Our coach for the day was John Capelin from Sports Coaching and his glamourous blonde (Glyn’s words) assistant soon made us feel at ease. Half of us had never ridden a fixed-wheel bike before, never mind on-a-state-of-the-art 250m indoor track. And for those of us who had, our experience was at the antiquated velodrome in Herne Hill, whose aging concrete facilities John likened to a road!
Track bikes differ from road bikes, as there’s just one single fixed gear and no brakes! Reassuring stuff, eh? So the rules were to keep pedalling and if you feel your back wheel going, stamp like mad on the pedals! And when riding in a pack, ride as you would drive on a motorway: mirror, signal, manoeuvre, and always check over your shoulder before moving. As the meerkat would say, simple.
After a quick overview and safety briefing, we were split into two groups and were riding around the track in no time, progressing fairly quickly from the black (at the foot of the track) to the yellow and blue lines (midway up) and then beyond. Soon we were all braving the bankings like pros. Woo hoo! It’s a real optical illusion because the bankings are no steeper at the top than the bottom – the only difference is that you have further to fall.
And fall we did, like dominoes – well Haydn did, breaking the first golden rule, which was to keep pedalling, and taking innocent Chris out at the bottom (and a few spokes on his bike, too). The pristine Siberian pine took a bit of a denting, as did Haydn’s Lycra – and pride. Ouch. Luckily, they were both OK, dusted themselves down and carried on. CPT soldiers they were.
Next, we were riding in formation, playing ‘follow my leader’ (well some of us were; a few of us – mentioning no names – were struggling to keep up with the pace) and doing some basic manoeuvres – zigzagging around the track and coming off the bankings at a diagonal angle to maximise the speed (and the thrill), before hitting the straight. Now the testosterone was sweeping around the track at a rate of knots, with the big boys all giving it some welly – you know who you are! Glyn, our very own powerhouse, was reminiscent of Chris Hoy blasting around the track, and Cathy, a blonde Victoria Pendleton. It makes you a bit dizzy after a while, going round and round and round, and it’s a weird sensation when you have someone literally hovering above and below you, so it all became a red and white blur.
Before returning to London we stopped off just outside Chippenham for lunch – and at every other Harry-Potter-sounding village along the way. Satnavs are reasonably priced these days, but it seemed that Brian Smith was the only person in possession of one of these ingenious contraptions and hence the only person able to find the pub he Googled earlier that day. For the rest of us, trying to find this quaint little pub, in a quaint little Wiltshire village, with quaint little maps, was like trying to find a needle in a blinking haystack.
Chris Hoy in his book Heroes, Villains and Velodromes celebrates the story of track cycling. In our very own Velodrome tale, our heroes were Dawn (accommodation), Brian Smith (organising restaurants) and Glyn (the whole shebang) – so thanks to them. Villains were Haydn for wiping out Chris and apparently Jim for talking all the way to Wales and back. Oh, except for when he nodded off. It was short, it was sweet, but it was bliss. Zzz…zzz…
All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, and there’s already chitchat of a further trip to the Manchester velodrome – and the purchase of nippy fixies. Track fans watch this space…
View the photos
Once again, it would be good to get as many entries as possible in the London League races to earn some points for CPT and hopefully give us a better finishing position! Here are the races:
05 Apr: Thames Turbo Sprint Triathlon Race 1
18 Apr: Dragon Slayer Duathlon
24 Apr: Ful-On Duathlon (new venue: Kempton Park)
09 May: Morden 6n6 Aquathlon
23-May: Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon (NB: all members required to marshal. Only members who joined since June 2009 are able to compete)
18 Jul: Hillingdon Sprint Triathlon Race 3
14 Aug: Clash of Tritons Aquathlon
31 Oct: Jekyll & Hyde Park Duathlon
These races, along with the Club Championship races, will also count for the Crystal Palace Triathletes League, more details to follow soon. But get your entries in!
Report by Ewan McKay
Saturday 23 January
I know we've already got a race report from last year but having completed the Box Hill Fell Race yesterday for the first time I felt I had to add my own comments. In short, it was absolutely brutal. Knowing that many of you within the Club are up for a challenge then you should put this bad boy on your agenda.
The start commences from the open, North-West facing flank of Box Hill. It's wide open and the gradient isn't too steep so you think that if you take your time and get into a rhythm then the ascent will be fine. Wrong. Instead, you commence laterally across the hill for about 150m and then take a 90 degree turn to the left which takes you up the hill at a much steeper point. The implications of this were that I desperately felt the need to walk instead of run when the race was only two minutes old. Very quickly my legs were packed with lactic acid and my lungs were turning themselves inside out. What I didn't know is that the entire race was going to feel like this. That's why the race is so brutal.
A guy at the start, who I realised later must have been some kind of joker, told me there were only three climbs on the course. After summitting the third uphill section I asked a racer next to me if that was the final climb and he replied in the negative. In hindsight we weren't even half-way at that point and there was plenty more uphill. By the third ascent though everyone was walking and that's pretty much how the ascents continued from then on as your legs never truly recover from that first onslaught.
This was my first fell run and for those who haven't tried one I can relay that it's really something else. "Health and Safety" must not have heard of fell running because the down hill sections have 'twisted ankle' written all over them. The first descent commences from the classic Box Hill view point towards the south and it really is very steep to run down. I didn't see any fallers on this section but I'd put money on it someone went down. Elsewhere the track is populated with major tree roots to trip the foot, downhills laiden with an uneven pebble-like surface to turn the ankle and even a massive fallen tree to climb under. Indeed I did take a tumble en route and when passing under said fallen tree cracked my knee on a stone which hurt loads.
So why wouldn't you want to do this race? I can't think of any decent reason. The views are outstanding throughout and I particularly enjoyed the valley section heading north away from Box Hill onto Headley Heath which is quite beautiful considering how close it is to London. Some of the pathways are single track with Fir tree covering and provide that great sensation of running in the countryside. The finish is symptomatic of the entire race as it's a crazy 250m sprint straight down the face of Box Hill to the point where we started from. You don't want to find yourself in a sprint to the line on this course as your legs will go out from under you. To conclude, if you like a big challenge then you should try this out for size.
Sancture-sportifs.com are offering Club members a discount on all standard bookings, all year round (subject to availability), as follows:
Welcome to new member Mairead Boland, who is hoping to complete her first triathlon once she's gained advice on kit and transitions etc.
Entries are now open for this year's Crystal Palace Triathlon and Junior Triathlon on Sunday 23 May.
All members are required to marshal. Only those who joined the Club since June 2009 are allowed to enter.
Welcome to new members Hans Geberbauer, Sam Blackie, Fiona Mullick and Lynn Loganathan.
Hans has run four marathons and now wants to do some duathlons and triathlons for a more rounded work-out.
Sam is hoping to complete his first triathlon in 2010 and is looking to improve his swimming and for some general motivation.
Fiona has done a few triathlons but is looking for some training advice.
Lynn is also new to triathlon and wants to finish her first triathlon this year.
This is a final reminder for any members who haven't renewed their membership for 2010 yet. You have until 31 January to renew, otherwise you will be classed as a new member and will have to pay the joining fee.
The main gates to the top car park are now going to be closed every night (while it’s dark) at 5pm – probably to stop the car park being used by boy racers! We therefore can’t get to our usual meeting point. Until the gates are open later in the evening, we will be meeting by the South Terrace Gates near to the mini roundabout.
Jon has put together a training schedule incorporating all Club training sessions until the end of March, for both adult and junior sessions, including some new combined junior/adult sessions.
The new combined junior/adult running session on Tuesdays, is most suitable for novice runners looking to improve their technique and speed without getting left behind on a longer road run! Please pay £3.10 entry at the main reception before going to the track. There will be an additional £2 to pay to the Club which is payable on the track. This session will be held on a Tuesday throughout the winter, until the velodrome at Herne Hill reopens in April.
Download the training schedule for January - March 2010.
Are you a pin-up in this year's 2010 calendar? Print a copy for your desk, a present for your Nan, to keep a record of your training or for the loo wall! You decide.
Welcome to new members, Richard Hamstead< and Cath Pert.
Richard has competed in triathlons but wants to improve his swimming. Mark Thomas introduced Richard to the Club and those who completed the Pirie 10 will recognise Richard.
Cath has also competed in triathlons but is looking for a friendly bunch of people to cycle with.
We are introducing another permanent training session to the Club's weekly calendar on Saturday mornings, largely based at Crystal Palace NSC and run by Jon H. A schedule for the next eight weeks is available so you can see what all the sessions are in advance, comprising turbo, running, core stability/circuits, race specific training etc and will progress your training forwards from Winter fitness through to peak race fitness. Cost will be £5 each per session.
Welcome to our first new member of the year, Dan Ilett. Dan is new to the sport and hopes to complete his first triathlon with the support and encouragement of CPT.
Apologies to anyone who turned up for the run on Wednesday evening. Due to poor conditions underfoot Carl felt the running session should be cancelled. A message was sent to the e-group and hopefully everyone got the message in time.
Carl obviously didn't feel quite the same way as Bernie did about last week's run (see article below) saying "Last week I ran round with Bernie but two old lunatics on the ice in the dark is probably something that shouldn't be repeated!".
Hopefully the weather will return and the run sessions will be back on schedule next week.
Inspired by last Wednesday night’s run session when only Bernie and Carl turned up for a run through a snow cloaked Crystal Palace Park and the postponement of the Tanners 20 on Sunday, Bernie put a message out on the Club e-group inviting members to join him for a cross country ramble on Sunday morning on Mitcham Common.
Enticed by a later than usual Sunday start (10am) and an alternative route for less speedy runners, Bernie was joined by four other Club members keen to avoid the fatal risk of road bikes on icy roads, and still get some training in during the present weather conditions.
One new member, James Ripley, enjoyed the run so much he wrote the following 'thank you' to Bernie that he would also like to share with other Club members.
It was a pleasure to meet you and the other members of CPT who made the effort to join you on this morning's Mitcham Common run. I have not been a member very long, and only joined because I have two children who both wanted to do triathlon. So I have been taking them to the Junior sessions since the middle of last October. It seemed a waste of my time to take them there and do nothing while I waited for them to finish, so I was both surprised and happy when I was encouraged to join in the sessions at the Crystal Palace track and to join the adult improvers at the Friday sessions at Dulwich Prep swim sessions.
It's a sign of how friendly CPT is when its members and coaches alike make newcomers to the sport and club feel so welcome and I soon decided to join.
When I read your open invite to a run on Mitcham Common, which is right on my doorstep, I was both excited and slightly anxious because I haven't done any adult sessions before and most of my training last year was in the gym on running machines. However I needn't have worried because having made the decision to come along, I was made to feel welcome and really enjoyed my first run of this year.
You didn't seem to mind that the pace was a little slow, and coped with one member's back spasm (which led to them having to return to their car for the rest of the session) with remarkable sympathy and confidence I thought. After some interesting "cross country" through snow covered scrub, nettle fields, and hills, not to mention the diversions across a couple of iced over ponds, and your attempt at sledging using the laundry basket you found, (funny) we made our way back to the car park and decided to go for a drink in the adjacent Harvester pub resturant.
I must thank you for buying us all drinks and a friendly chat, it really did Sunday special for me to have met some other members in what is, it seems to me, a great sport that attracts people from all walks of life but who so far all have the abilty to encourage and support each other. I'm now looking forward to doing my first triathlon with more confidence than before thanks to being a member of CPT.
Even after last year's experience, Dawn and Riaz are planning on doing the Surrey Rumble sportive again this year if anyone else fancies joining them?
Dawn says "We did it last year and it was a nice route...if you like hills!" This year they are planning on doing the shorter route. There are two options 57m and 77m.
The event takes place on 7th March and entries open soon. Dawn is confident it will have stopped snowing by then!
After many years in the cycle industry Peter Deussen hs started a new venture, offering triathletes and other serious cycle racers the opportunity to buy high quality bikes that are not commonly found here in the UK. He also has a ''blog style'' website that features relevant cycle based information. Peter's first triathlon bike brand is USA manufacturer Valdora Cycles.
For more information please visit the website at www.bikesales4u.com
A late result from the Bromley 5k parkrun on Saturday 2 January from Geoff Dillon.
All parkruns are free but you must register in advance. Once registered with parkrun, you can participate in any event at any time without. These runs are popular with CPT members at Banstead Woods, Bromley, Roundshaw Downs and Wimbledon Common.
Renewing members pay a £30 membership fee for 2010. This must be paid by 31 January otherwise you will be classed as a new member and will have to pay the £40 joining fee. Please select the Renewing Membership option on the link above. As long as you have selected the Renewing Membership option you will not be charged the £40 joining fee.
New members in 2010 pay a £40 joining fee plus the one-off amount below, depending on the month you first came along. Please select the New Membership option on the link above:
|£30 - January||£27.50 - February||£25 - March|
|£22.50 - April||£20 - May||£17.50 - June|
|£15 - July||£12.50 - August||£10 - September|
|£7.50 - October||£5 - November||£2.50 - December|
Training sessions are then paid for on a pay as you go basis.
The following events are popular with CPT members. Entries are now open for -
Bookham 10k - Sunday 7 February - This is a tough, hilly cross country 10k that has been supported by CPT members for the last couple of years and comes highly recommended if you aren't looking for a PB! Tea and cake available afterwards. Enter online.
Tonbridge Triathlon - Monday 3 May - Sprint event with a 400m pool swim, 20k hilly bike, 5k which usually takes place around the school playing field and finishes on the athletics track. Enter online.
The following event hasn't been tried and tested but Phil has entered, so if anyone wants to join him on his mad adventure entries are still open for this tough two-day ultra that scales the heights of the North Downs, covering 33 miles each day!
The Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Multistage Ultra - Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February. Enter online.
We are introducing another permanent training session to the Club's weekly calendar on Saturday mornings, largely based at Crystal Palace NSC and run by Jon H and Phil T. Jon is currently putting together a programme which will be added to the website next week so you can see what all the sessions are in advance but will comprise turbo, running, core stability/circuits, race specific training etc and will progress your training forwards from Winter fitness through to peak race fitness. Cost will be £5 each per session.
Saturday 9 January will be a coached (by Jon H) run session into Dulwich Woods. 9-10.30am, meet at top car park (as per Wednesday night runs) in Crystal Palace Park. Everyone welcome but you should be fit enough to run for an hour. Bring warm clothes, drink etc
Please support these sessions over the next few months - the Club and your racing season depends on it!
Marc thought those racing at IM Switzerland in 2010 (and maybe anyone else who needs motivation while it's so cold) might enjoy a video put together by a friend of his trip to IMCH in 2009.
Amazingly my brother and I finished the swim, bike and run together and we managed to beat our Dulwich Paragon rival, Ted.
Marc says "It was great fun and good luck to anybody racing there this year".
Swimming sessions start again on the following dates –
The Bridge – Thursday 7th January
Dulwich Prep – Friday 8th January
St Joseph’s – Tuesday 12th January
Quarterly swimmers pay £45 and can swim once a week at one session at any of the three swimming venues. You can pay for one quarter and then pay as you go for any other sessions. All quarterly fees should be paid by the first Thursday of each quarter (7th Jan, 1st April, 1st July, 1st October 2010).
As of January 2010 there is the option for members to pay an annual fee of £200 which allows you to swim as often as you like at any of the swim venues (St. Joseph's, The Bridge or Dulwich Prep). Annual fees should be paid before 31st January 2010.
14 CPT members (including one racing for Serpentine and one for Dulwich Runners!) completed the Tadworth 10 on Sunday 4 January. A warning email was sent out before the race to say that the course may have to be changed or postponed depending on the weather. Luckily there were no changes and the race went ahead on cold, bright sunny morning. The ground was frozen solid and there were some icy patches on the downhills but better conditions than some previous years!
There were no PBs this year but a few members competed for the first time. Audrey even asked 'Where was the big hill everyone goes on about?' when she finished!
Results can be found on the January results page. In the team placings Ewan, Keith and Selwyn came 17th, out of 41, with a combined time of 3:34:23, and for the ladies, Kirsten, Karen and Audrey also came 17th, out of 25, with a combined time of 4:50:22. The ladies would have come higher if everyone had entered their Club/team as CPT. For this reason, and not just to make my life easier when looking up results, please remember to put your Club name on all race entries.
Photographs by ProSportPhotos.
The Box Hill Knacker Cracker starts as it means to continue, with over 60m of climbing in the first kilometre! Add to this: muddy off-road trails, frost and ice, 500m of slippery descents complementing 500m of impossible ascents, 200 steps and, if the river is low enough, stepping stones; you have the perfect antidote for a new year’s day hangover. Just to add to the spectacle, fancy dress is encouraged and about half the field of about 250 made some attempt. Described as 'The UK's toughest 10K' it must also be one of the most enjoyable with times being about 50% slower than a flat on-road 10K. Just to add to the enjoyment the goody bag consisted of a technical top and a woolly hat followed by hot soup and rolls.
Fintan suggests that this race should replace the Tadworth 10 as the first run of the year. Perhaps we'll get a better CPT turnout in 2011?
You can read Jason's report from 2009 if you want to find out more.