James is the Manager of TORQ's new Triathlon team. He's a keen triathlete, racing for Great Britain in both the 25-29 and 30-34 age groups. More recently he competed in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida in a time of 4 hours 25 mins and Challenge Roth Iron distance race in a time of 9 hours 44 mins.
You know when you are in form when you produce a 4 minute 37 sec mile (I shall only dream!); especially when it was not done on the track! Nick Shasha will be taking this excellent running form into the duathlon season in the hope of another World Championship medal…
The last in a 3 race series saw the Hillingdon duathlon series come to an end. Awful weather hampered me winning the last edition of this race where despite taking a big lead into the bike I rode with safety first and slipped to second just before the finish.
This time though the weather was perfect. Out onto the run and I quickly sped away from the start area and took as much out of the field on the tarmac part of the course as I could before the course turned cross-country for the last mile.
Out onto the bike and it was relatively wind free so I elected to use the F9R Fast Forward wheel at the front for the first time. As I’m fairly scrawny at 64kg I usually use the shallower F6R (equally awesome) at the front but when the weather is calm I get the even more bling wheels out! This seemed to make a difference and I managed to fly round the bike course and take the victory.
Yes, that isn’t a mistake, a first ever triathlon for the dedicated duathlete. I should say at the outset that my main focus has always been duathlon but this was just a bit of off-season fun (the duathlon season tends to grind to a halt when triathlon really takes off in summer). As a fairly local club, Epping triathlon have organised this pool based taster tri for many years and the distances are a sprintable 300m swim / 20k bike / 5k run.
First off the swim. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t glamorous and I sure got hot in the pool but I managed to escape with my dignity and my bike legs intact. Making a swift transition onto the bike I experienced what it was like to bike without running legs and it felt pretty good. So good in fact that I spent the entire bike and run swallowing up the field.
Although I managed to clinch the victory I’m sure a more competitive race would have provided a far tougher challenge so I might keep the goggles at bay for the time being. Would I do another tri? I really would need to develop my swimming and obviously try open water first. But it sure is fun!
I always make a beeline for Battersea park over the summer months to take part in the Monday night race series organised by the Run and Become chain of running shops. Various distances and formats are on offer but all the races offer the chance to race through one of central London’s most beautiful parks and unsurprisingly the races draw some of the best runners from across the capital.
First off at the start of July was a 2 mile race which despite being under distance for me is great speed work. My aim was to crack 10 minutes and get a PB. Unfortunately I just missed out on this with 10.01. This was good enough to snatch first place though the manner of my victory (gun to tape) may have made cracking 10 minutes all the bit harder as I couldn’t hear any footfall behind me after the first 600 metres and chasing times is always trickier when there is nobody to race!
Next up was the even shorter 3 x 1 mile relay race. In a somewhat last minute approach I decided to enter this only a few days beforehand. With a rapidly put together team talk (run fast guys!) My first team mate (Jeremy) did the first mile in 4.59, with Lee quickly taking over and bettering this with a time of 4.45. We started off the last leg with a tiny lead of around 1 second but I fortunately managed to extend this with a 4.37 mile. This was the fastest mile time of the night (form 150 runners) and some 3 seconds quicker than the amazing former 2.14 marathon runner Huw Lobb – I think I’ll be sticking to the shorter stuff myself!
All pro snaps courtesy of Jolekha Shasha
With thanks to our sponsors:
www.wilier.it - Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com - Aero Wheels
www.ritcheylogic.com - Aerobars, Saddles and Finishing Kit
www.cycleops.com - Power Meters
www.racezone3.com - Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com - Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk - Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com - Cables & Housing
www.scott-sports.com - Running Footwear
www.shimano.com - Groupsets
www.triathlonspecific.com/Sable/Sable.html - Swim Goggles (Sable Water Optic)
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk - Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com - Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com - Pumps, Tools
www.champ-sys.com - Custom Trisuits and Cycle Wear