Nick Shasha’s Winter

Nick continues his racing throughout the winter, ready for the duathlon season, but alas with snow disruption, he’s had to settle for running events…

Photo 1: With Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu

With my last two duathlons cancelled due to snow, running has dominated procedings here. Two 5k’s and two 10k’s = 3 victories and 4 more TORQ podiums. First off back in December came the Andy Reading 10k in Bicester. A classy field of nearly 500 runners turned out on a freezing winter morning to tackle this PB busting flat and fast 10k. The first kilometre flew by in well under 3 minutes and I settled down into a comfortable pace just behind sub 31 minute man Scott Hazell. Chances of a PB were dashed due to strong winds and a damp course, but I managed to come through strongly to grab 2nd in 33.12, just 27 seconds down on first place.

Next up was a more local and low key affair; the Enfield and Haringey AC, Boxing Day 5k. Though a very small race, the course is super fast and always attracts top local talent in the form of Olympic GB Gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu who seems to do this every year for perhaps the same reason as me – to escape Boxing Day television! Anyway, knowing the course potential I put the hammer down from the gun and managed to record a new 5k PB of 15.30. Not bad after a huge Christmas dinner the day before.

Last year I started my season off with the Finsbury parkrun 5k. Parkruns are popular free to enter 5k races that are organised every Saturday morning all over England and are often used by elite athletes as a tough morning session rather than a serious race. In this spirit I swung round in a January edition of this race in a relatively pedestrian 16.48. Oh well, enough to grab another first place finish without breaking into a sweat (it was freezing).

Bushy 2011

Photo 2: 1 lap to go, Bushy park 10k

Well, winning is habit-forming and strangely addictive, so I decided to take my current run form into the Bushy park 10k in February. Having my last two duathlons cancelled due to lingering snow, I was gasping to get a race in my legs. The two lap course took place in a frozen and still snowy beautiful Royal park on a mixture of grassy trails and tarmac. It was so cold I had to run 1 lap before the race just to build up some body heat!  Sufficiently warmed up for the race I took out an early lead which I extended all the way to finish to win in 32.03, setting a new course record in the process!

All pro snaps courtesy of Jolekha Shasha

With thanks to our sponsors: – Wilier Triestina; Triathlon Frames – FFWD; aero wheels – Ritchey; Aerobars, saddles and finishing kit – CycleOps – PowerTap; Power meters – Zone 3; wetsuits – Limar; helmets & glasses – Lake; Cycling footwear – Jagwire; cables – Scott; running footwear – Shimano; Groupsets – Sable Water Optics; Swim goggles – Max Media; Team PR – Amphibia; transition bags – ChampionSystems; Custom Trisuits and Cycle wear