Monday, 14 September 2015

Anglesey Sandman Triathlon 2015

Yep, we were the geeky ones who racked
first. Far too excited.
Sandman, the only slate coaster missing from my coffee table. There was a reason it was the last one of the Welsh Always Aim High triathlon series I'd signed up for, two in fact, it was a sea swim and a flat bike course. Those two reasons however, were the magic words needed to get Lizzie to come with me. It wasn't until she was all paid up and entered that I had to confess there would also be a 10km trail run on mostly sand (her fault really, she hadn't even questioned the name).

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Canterbury Sprint Triathlon 2015

Having attended a wedding yesterday of friends who have just completed Ironman Austria, it seemed fitting to blast out the post-wedding fuzz with a very conveniently located local triathlon, the Velocity Events Canterbury Sprint Tri.

We sat smugly drinking coffee with plenty of time to spare even with the horrendous unisex toilet queue of doom. The race had changed venues at fairly shirt notice  and it looked like access to loos might have been overlooked. However, what the event lacked in facilities it made up for in organisation; registration was super swift and simple, there was a well-stocked kit stand which is always a bonus at a small event and a good but not overwhelming selection of cakes (very rarely am I overwhelmed by cake but we were a little more fragile than usual).

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Midnight Mountain Marathon

As I drove to the Brecon Beacons for an evening marathon I was scarily under-trained for, it occurred to me how bonkers my whole plan was. I'd left at 6am for a 5:30pm race, why? Obviously it was so I could bosh out a parkrun first. More specifically, the brand new Penallta parkrun which - hilariously - is described as "mostly flat" on the website. The Welsh do crack me up. I wouldn't say it was hilly but it definitely wasn't flat.

I have an ongoing love affair with all things hilly so I didn't mind the undulations one bit. My love for hills is why I was on this crazy journey in the first place. I had entered the Midnight Mountain Marathon and was far too excited about it to put my sensible head on. My knees had been duff and I hadn't run more than one 5k a week since the end of April, so I knew full well that a very challenging marathon was a bit silly but my heart was in it and I just hoped the body would follow.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Salisbury parkrun: The Map Guide

Salisbury parkrun isn't the easiest course to navigate. Visitors and bloggers alike have rightly described it as having many twists and turns. There's a lead biker, a tail runner, loads of marshals and more arrows than most marathon courses, but there's still always at least one who manages to go the wrong way.

If you've run our course and are still confused or are planning a journey to our shiny, new parkrun, look no further. Follow this guide and you should make it around Salisbury parkrun without navigational disaster. Just remember to run three laps!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

New Forest Drivers

Having regained my cycling confidence on gloriously quiet Dorset roads, a ride in the New Forest brought back the inner panic. What is it that makes drivers in the New Forest so much more angry and rubbish at driving than anywhere else?! The New Forest is such a beautiful place to cycle and it is a terrible shame that motor vehicles and man-powered ones can't live in harmony.

If it wasn’t a coach ploughing down the Forest’s “main roads” with no idea of their own size, it was aggressive, impatient drivers who refuse to wait until it is actually safe to overtake, or who wait for the right moment but then choose to squeeze past you anyway.

Three New Forest Rangers passed by throughout the ride in their big off-roaders; they all managed to overtake like normal, safe drivers – excellent. Perhaps they could start delivering a course, a quick driving course for anyone entering the New Forest?.. They could get drivers to demonstrate a safe overtake of a cyclist and a horse, then they could get a little flag to display on their left wing mirror that allows them to drive around. If at any point a pedestrian, cyclist or rider can remove the flag whilst the car is in motion then that driver is banned. Simple?

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Back on the Bike

For a chunk of time that seemed like a forever, I was convinced I would never get back on a bike again. The panic attacks, the flashbacks and the still-visible injuries from my double-hit disaster last year had made me completely ride-phobic and I couldn't even begin to imagine finding cycling enjoyable ever again. I came close to selling the beautiful replacement bike that had been sitting unridden in the garage.

It wasn't until a group trip to the Brecon Beacons in March that I felt a teeny pang of jealously that the crew on roadies had found some bonkers hill to ride up; for the first time in over seven months, I wanted to ride my bike.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Salisbury Does (Unofficial) Parkrun

Running is a great way to bring a whole community together and parkrun epitomises the very essence of community. Salisbury is already blessed with several very active groups and it was brilliant to see representatives from the Athletics and Running Club (CoSARC), Salisbury Tri Club and local women's running group, Sarum Sisters all showing their support.

If you search for parkrun events, there is a very obvious Salisbury-shaped gap that needs filling. Thanks to a few very hard-working and dedicated people, the dream of getting a parkrun in Salisbury is starting to become a reality.

Over 40 runners turned up at Churchill Gardens this morning to recce the proposed course, and nearly 20 showing up to offer their assistance as marshals and helpers. Getting enough volunteers on a regular basis can be the make or break of parkrun success, so it was brilliant to see so many local folk offering support.

After a thorough briefing from future Run Director, Liz, the keen crowd gathered at the south west side of the park. At my estimation there was an age range of about 60 years, people running with dogs, buggies, people who were striving to push themselves for a 5k personal best, people who just wanted to attempt the distance and everything in between.

The mixed-terrain course has something to suit everybody and the back and forth nature of the route is great for keeping an eye out for fellow participants (read: your competition). Photographer Alex Mills had some sort of ninja skills, it seemed he was everywhere on the course, snapping away!

CoSARC runner Ben Brewster stormed through as fastest male, creating a speedy course record of 16:00. Ben Carter and Steve Brett were not far behind, coming second and third respectively.

Ruth Thom took the first female spot, made even more impressive by the fact that she managed to go the wrong way, obviously way too in the zone to look out for the excellent marshals! Olivia Roderick and Katie Clements were the second and third female finishers.

Unfortunately parkrun doesn't register dogs separately but whilst we are still unofficial we can recognise Flea, our first dog finisher who came through in 25:50.

The trial was a brilliant success and I hope the amount of support continues to grow. There is another practise run on the 28th February. Do join the facebook group "Bring Parkrun to Salisbury" and get involved. Even if you don't want to run, come along and help out, I promise you'll have just as much fun!