Castle Triathlon Seires 2011 - 2nd Place in the Series

September 26, 2011
Once again this year my domestic season's racing has been focused around the fantastic Castle Triathlon Series; 4 races in 4 stunning locations....and quite a bit of prize money on hand too which was nice!

Cholmondeley Castle

The first event in Cholmondeley Castle near Crewe. This came the week after a middle distance event in China - needless to say, I was a little bit tired and sore. But the nature of the series competition was that it was your best 3 from 4 races to count for the series so I didn't want to miss an opportunity to race.

Sadly for me, (but good for the race...), word has gotten out about the series and it was now far more competitive. My old training partner Mark Threlfall was in the hunt for the series prize and I knew he was going to be hard to beat. And so it was, he lead from start to finish and I managed 4th place behind Steve Worthington and Luke Watson. Not a great start to the series but good to have some points on the board.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard is my 'home' castle event and a race I won last year. I didn't qui
te manage to jump on the feet of Mark and Dave Bishop and found myself a minute down. I wasn't feeling very strong on the bike and lost a couple of places which was rather worrying. Fortunately the run was much better and I regained those spots to finish 3rd.

Chateau Chantilly Swim Recce

Brian, the Race Director of the Castle Triathlon Series, was kind enough to take a group of us to France for the event launch. This would take the form of a 1,500m swim race in the rather prestigious looking lake infront of the Chateau - partly to showcase the event and partly to stimulate a little bit of French - English rivalry! It was a tight race but after accelerating hard out of every turn I managed to gap the other athletes to win the race. Luke was 2nd to give England a 1,2 and to show the French we meant business.....

Chateau Chantilly Triathlon

....Unfortunately, they might have over reacted and recruited too many top athletes to come for the triathlon. There was a fantastic 1000 euro prize for the winning team of 4 - however a very strong showing from the Beauvais Team meant that the team prize was very convincingly taken by the French. This race I felt much better in the swim, and the super flat bike course really suited me and I felt pretty good. Sadly biking is a bit of a speciality for the French and it wasn't good enough.

Hever Castle

After Chantilly I had taken pretty much a month off to set up my new business, Relish The Great Outdoors (events and web design business specialising in online entry management, incase you were wondering ;-) ). Racing the event was a bit of a last minute decision and only because I was looking for a nice weekend away did I end up going in truth - and it was definitely worth it.

The swim was incredibly, lining up in the water shrowded by mist with four ghost like figure in kayaks leading the way. The bike was very fun and challenging - the kind of roads you would love to rally drive on. And the run was on a really interesting off road trail; over wooden footbridges and around the lake. I finished the race in a rather lowly 7th but it was good to have a more relaxed approach to the race and then I could get on with playing on the inflatables....

I ended up finishing 2nd in the series behind Mark Threlfall who was a very deserving winner recording 1st, 1st, 2nd and 2nd in the series. It has been a great series; well organised, beautiful locations and great racing. I'll certainly be racing again next year which sees the addition of a Castle in Ireland, and there is a rumour that even more are being looked at....

Relish Running Races - Dyrham Park Series

August 7, 2011
Another wonderful day was enjoyed by all at the beautiful National Trust property Dyrham Park. With 10km, 3km, relay and 300m races there was fun for all levels of experience.

Runners set off up Neptune's Hill for the first time!

The 10km was run over a challenging yet stunning course, with winner Will Christofi leading the field in a rapid time of 37.50 minutes. Lead woman Georgia Wood defended her victory from the inaugural race by an impressive two minutes. The runners enjoyed breath...
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ITU Weihai - Part (i) The Race

June 17, 2011
Going to make this a two parter, one of the race, one about China.

40 minutes before the race I was all ready to go with my transition laid out so I thought I would top up my tyres with air. I saw the mechanic put on the valve of the pump and then the next second he had taken the wheel valves apart. My deep section front wheels has a couple of valve extenders which apparently intrigued him so he thought he would have a look. I couldn't get the threads to re-align, and he continued to take more...
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Always get your bike serviced 3 weeks before a big race.....

June 5, 2011
This is what I always tell all my athletes, and I do listen to own advice, thankfully...

Monday the bike goes in for a post winter service, no problems, just want it to be running in tip top (best) condition for China. That evening I have a voicemail, "Tom, I don't know how to say this, so I wont, you needed to come into the shop". A tad dramatic but this clearly is not good. To cut a long story short, and through many ups and downs, I was on the look out for a new bike with 2 weeks to go befo...
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Racing towards China

May 28, 2011
Over the last few weeks I have been packing in even more warm up races and it is really starting to come through in the results;

17th May - Corsham 5km. I arrived with less than 5mins before the least it made for a good brick session. My legs didn't feel super but I ran 17:13 on a hilly course to win the race

22nd May - Bradford on Avon Sprint Tri. I really enjoy this race. An open water swim in the Avon, a very hilly bike and fast and flat run. I was neck and neck with Paul Horsf...
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Early Season Racing

May 6, 2011
Over the last couple of weeks I have been getting in as much racing as possible. My weakness last season was run speed so I wanted to set about addressing this as soon as possible; by racing as many foot races between now and when my full triathlon season starts.

It has highlighted to me again just how useful these training races are as after each race my legs seemed to have found another gear;

April 19th - Frenchay 10km - 10th (or so) I didn't really check the results after this race. It was ...
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New ventures, exciting times, Relishing The Great Outdoors

April 30, 2011
I have been reflecting a lot recently about where I am going with my career - the one other than triathlon ;-)

I have been doing a lot of work with students with learning difficulties for the last few years and it has been very enjoyable work. However, the routes for progression are very limited. And much like my triathlon career, it is only worth doing if I feel like it is going somewhere.

The solution I have decided upon, is to amalgamate the two. Or rather, I have decided to expand the horiz...
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Great move from ICAN Triathlon

March 31, 2011
The new tirathlon organisation ICAN Triathlon which currently produces long distance races in Marbella and Malllorca ois offering a fanstastic service to athletes when out on the bike course - neutral service motor bikes providing wheel replacement for punctures.

Given that most athletes take part in triathlon for the challenge of competing rather than competing this small gesture will have a massive impact on those athletes unfortunate enough to puncture and at the same time extend a very po...
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Priorities - More on Season Planning

March 31, 2011
I felt good about the blog I wrote a while back about How to Plan a Season / The Problem with being SMART but when it came to plan my own season it became clear that I was missing something as much to my frustration I was struggling to enact my own philosophy;

S = Suffering
W = Wild Ambition
E = Exceeding Limits
A = Achievable
(still important, just not that important)
T = Time Frame
E = Exciting
D = Daring

I found that my own season plans were not exciting, nor daring and they did not strike me as a...
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Training Week 14th - 20th February

February 24, 2011

The first hard week in a 3 week block;


am - 1hr aerobic run
am - aerobic swim set, though I am swimming a little rubbish so it turned out to be a little harder than it shoudl have been;
400 off 6mins; 4x100 off 1:30
300 off 4:30; 3x100 off 1:25
200 off 3:00, 2x100 off 1:20 (went a little wrong around here)
2x100 off 1:20, 1:30; 200 off 3:00
3x100 off 1:25, 300 of 4:30
4x100 off 1:30, 400 off 6mins
Total 5.2km


am - 4.4km Strength Set
pm - 4x10min hill rep loop with uni club - Steady along th...

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