Slateman Sprint Triathlon race report - Tom Nesham


Junior triathlete Tom Nesham raced the Always Aim High Slateman Sprint Triathlon on Saturday, let's hear how his race went.

I felt good in the week leading up to the race, had a relatively easy week, especially towards the start and had the Friday off! We travelled up on the Friday which is always good as it gives you a chance to stretch out before and check out the course (we drove the course). Lasagne was the pre-race meal of choice the night before, which is nice and easy to eat and relatively safe. 

The following morning (race day) I had porridge before the race and also fruit loaf and I made sure I kept hydrated. The weather was pretty rubbish, so I was keen to keep warm and dry (thanks PedalCover for the use of their tent!) before stretching and going for a short warm up jog to get the blood flowing.

Swim: The water was extremely cold so I didn’t do much of a swim warm up, just a short sharp effort from the edge of the lake to the start line. I felt relaxed and fresh in the water and was ready to go! It was a very quick start and I was surrounded by a couple of very quick boys who also pushed the pace throughout the whole swim, I sat on the feet of the lead athlete and felt strong throughout the swim; my shoulders felt flexible and comfortable throughout and I put in a pretty quick swim time. I had a quick smooth exit from the water which gave me a short lead over the second place competitor (Ironman pro Paul Hawkins) and gave me room for a quick and smooth T1.

FullSizeRender 13

Bike: As I got out onto the bike I only had a short lead and knew it wasn’t going to be easy to hold, my legs felt good but I wasn’t sure how they were going to last over the very hilly 20km bike ride. Over the first 3km 2nd place was gaining on me (he was on a TT bike, I was on my Giant Propel) and over a short distance took the lead; however I felt strong and determined going up and over the first major climb and pulled a good lead on the second climb. I now had a gap on 2nd and increased my lead and pulled away over the last 10km coming into T2 with a 30 second lead.

Run: T2 was quick and smooth with no problems and I was out on the run 30 seconds ahead of Paul (still in 2nd place). At this point my legs felt a bit wobbly and tired, I was not feeling overly confident going into the run however I gritted my teeth and pushed on and as I stretched out the legs I began to feel light on my feet and was able to pick up the pace! Towards the end I felt very quick over the ground and really started to push myself.

Crossing the finish line with a minute and a half lead felt absolutely amazing! I’ve had a few ‘off’ seasons and this win reminded me why I do it! I’m now I’m very excited to get back into training and racing properly and really see what I can achieve!!

Llanelli Sprint Triathlon race report - James Grandfield

FullSizeRender 9

Coached athete James Grandfield raced the Llanelli Sprint Triathlon 2 weeks ago, lets hear what he has to say about his race!  

The best swimming coach I've ever had is a guy in Cardiff called Andy Lane, Dr Lane actually. Technique was priority and he managed to get me close to my old swim times on only 2hrs per week. However he also had a keen vision of the whole life balance thing, and he once told me about the bath.

The volume of water in the bath is how much you can handle and depending how many taps are flowing and filling the bath obviously dictates how full it gets. When water is pouring over the top of the bath something has to give, or it all suffers. This past fortnight my bathroom floor has been sodden. Husband, Dad, dentist (unless you are a dentist you have no idea how mentally stressful and draining our days are) and wanna be triathlete was taking it's toll. 

As I write this I have the feeling that it may come across slightly negative, but honestly this was the most enjoyable race I've had in ages. Waking up at 0445 on Sunday morning for the hour drive to Llanelli I was shattered, spurred on by picking up Craig and Loz (top spectators) I threw myself into the prepacked car and we all enjoyed some pre race chat, podcast reviewing and general 5am chat! 

The start list was pretty 'stacked' for a local race and I really wanted to see how fast the fast guys were compared to me. I know I'm a nobody in running terms, but like to consider myself a keen swiker (Swim-Biker). I was disappointed that the waves were mixed and not in ability so again not really clued up on who was where, but looking out our wave we had some fast guys. 

Swimming in the open water, the only thing better for me is to be in the choppy ocean. My plan was to find Liam Lloyds feet and cling on, problem was I didn't know what he looked like. Luckily I found my old swim pal Kieran and a youth Nathaniel who I knew was fast from racing a couple of times. Jeeez did we go off fast! The first 100m was covered in 59s, I hadn't been that fast in a while, and I was super happy with my new wetsuit, not that I get anything from Orca I've always worn their wetsuits and can't fault them. Liam and Kieron continued their blistering pace, and I settled into a rhythm with Nathaniel and who I now know is Alex John. I said this last time in sprint Tri you've really got to turn up mentally, and today I wasn't there. I think I finished at about 1:25/100m, no where near fast enough. But it was great fun to swim in a group of competitive people and 4th out the water was more than rewarding for the effort. An uneventful T1 saw us onto the bike. 

Read more: Llanelli Sprint Triathlon race report - James Grandfield

London Marathon race report - Tom Foster

Screen Shot 2017 05 22 at 15.14.19

Coached athlete Tom Foster raced the London Marathon in April, he was after a super fast time and a PB, here's what happened!

London Marathon is a strange beast, firstly getting in is a challenge in itself. If you have in the past 2 years run a sub 75 min half marathon or 2:45 marathon then Championship entry is available, or if you have a sub 3:05 marathon you can qualify on good for age, this is a ballot but does offer a much higher chance of getting a slot, after this its public ballot which is basically a snowball in hell. However there is a 4th way, if you are a member of a British Athletics registered running club your club may have entries that you apply for in your club ballot.

My last/only previous standalone marathon was Amsterdam marathon in 2012 where I managed a 2:54, which in context considering I didn’t have a clue about training, no coach and no running club, was not bad. Nevertheless, this wasn’t a credential that was going to allow me to get in. So I set myself the challenge of running a sub 75 half marathon at Cardiff in October 2016. Despite running a strong race at Cardiff the wheels came off close to the end and I shipped about a minute off target. Fortunately, being a member of Micky Morris Race Team, that is packed full of incredible runners, has the upshot of most people having qualified by one of the other routes so I was able to leverage this and obtain the club spot.

Read more: London Marathon race report - Tom Foster

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 13th & 14th May 2017

 We had lots of WhittleFit athletes and friends of WhittleFit racing this weekend, lets see what happened:2017 05 14 PHOTO 00000468

  • Llanelli Sprint Triathlon - Lots of WhittleFit athletes and friends kicked off their season at Llanelli, great work all round on a stunning day, with James Grandfield grabbing a 10th place, well done all.
  • Ironman 70.3 Pays d'Aix - Geraint Jones backed up after his Ironman 70.3 in St Croix with Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix and produced a solid display, great job racing back to back 70.3 races!
  • Ironman 70.3 Mallorca - Garry Shepherd raced Ironman 70.3 Mallorca, having a very good day by knocking 21mins off his PB with a time of 5:23:18, well done Garry!
  • Dorney Lake Sprint Triathlon - Unfortunately Darren Goswell DNF'd at the Dorney Lake Sprint Triathlon, but he'll be back to fight another day!  
  • Immortal Half Triathlon - Great racing at the Immortal half distance triathlon with a PB for Paul Fairclough and a great result for coach Lawrence with a 5th place finish! Well done guys!
  • Cotswolds Olympic Triathlon - Mixed fortunes for Cath, Lowri and Emma at the Cotswolds Olympic race, with mechanical issues but well done all, first race done and dusted!

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 6th & 7th May 2017

Screen Shot 2017 05 07 at 16.28.06

We had lots of WhittleFit athletes and friends of WhittleFit racing this weekend, from west Wales to the US Virgin Islands, lets see how they got on:

  • Carten – the Carten (cycling Cardiff to Tenby) is getting bigger each year and this year saw many, many WhittleFit coached athletes and friends complete the 100 mile cycle. Well done to all you!  
  • Beale Beastie – Stuart Fraser raced the Beale Beastie this weekend and came home in 3rd place overall, well done Stu!
  • Campau Caron Sprint Triathlon – Despite a crash on the bike, Gareth Hodgson managed to win the Campau Caron Sprint Triathlon on Sunday. Well done Gareth, this bodes well for the Slateman in a fortnight!
  • Cotswolds Super Sprint – Andrew Martin and Trevor Batey raced the Cotswolds Super Sprint Triathon yesterday, with Andrew coming 7th overall and 2nd in his age group and Trevor coming 15th overall and 3rd in his age group, great racing guys!
  • Legend Continuous Double Ironman – Mathew Pritchard did the incredible/crazy/stupid continuous double Ironman at Avon Tyrrell this weekend, where he swam 7.6km, then cycled 360km and ran a double marathon! Mathew did amazingly well, battling mechanical failures, sleep deprivation and obvious fatigue to come home in 4th place overall, very well done!
  • Crymych Super Sprint Triathlon – Guto Griffiths completed his first ever triathlon this weekend, the Crymych Super Sprint Triathlon; well done Guto, onwards and upwards towards the Llanelli Triathlon next weekend!
  • Ironman 70.3 St Croix – Geraint Jones raced the Ironman 70.3 in St Croix this weekend on what proved to be a very tough course; well done Geraint for finishing 17th in your age group, that was one hell of a race!