As with most triathletes at this time of the year, Nick has concentrated on one sport, whilst maintaining the other two to a lesser extent. Being a strong runner, he elected to get some run miles in and has achieved some great results in various races including a half marathon, a 10 miler and cross country events. This has culminated in an invite to run for Essex. I think it would be fair to say that he will be running through the field this summer when he switches to the triathlon season…
Photograph courtesy of Jolekha Shasha
The off season is always a time for me to reflect on the year just gone and the challenges ahead for the next. My main aims in 2013 were to become a fully fledged triathlete and start enjoying multi-sport in the hotter months of the year (duathlon being largely a winter sport). I managed to win two triathlons outright and also qualified for, arguably, the most competitive World Champs in history, so setting new objectives for 2014 could be tricky!
I haven’t had too much time to ponder on all of this though, as I’ve kept busy with running races throughout the winter months. In October, I went over to Spain to compete in the Bilbao half-marathon. My aim was to win my age group and crack the top ten overall, both duly achieved, despite the onset of cramp at 11 miles (it was 25 degrees despite being run at night time!).
Closer to home and fast forwarding to November, my aim to get 10 Essex AAA county medals got a step closer with my 2nd overall in the Essex AAA 10 mile championships, which took me up to 9 county medals. A relatively quiet Christmas, with nothing but a low key 5k to keep me busy, led on in the new year to a foolish tiptoe into the world of cross-country.
Despite being part of the winning relay team at the Xterra England champs, I have never claimed to be an off-road or cross country specialist. I like to stay clean, so much so that I look forward to the indoor track season like a club runner looks forward to the cross country season! Nevertheless, I was persuaded to take part, so I rolled up at the Essex cross country champs in the 2nd week of January. After suffering in the slime for 7.5 miles, I managed to crack the top ten and be part of the silver medal winning team. This has boosted my county medal haul to 10 and also means that I might be eligible to run for Essex in the inter-county championships…and all I was supposed to do was finish the race!.
For the rest of 2014, I’ll be focussing on running races until the end of March (whilst cycling and swimming constantly) and am likely to compete in the Triathlon show 10k (slowly becoming a classic), the British Masters indoor championships, possibly the inter-county cross country championships (mud allergy pending) and last, but not least, the World Masters Half marathon championships in Budapest.
Come April and the triathlete switch moves to the ON position. The highlight of the mid-season will, no doubt, be the European triathlon championships in Kitzbuhel, Austria but I’ll also be racing up and down the country – watch this space!
As ever, thanks to the help of all our fantastic sponsors:
www.wilier.it – Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com – Race wheels
www.huubdesign.com – Wetsuits
www.zyro.co.uk/altura – Triathlon and cycle apparel
www.ismseat.com – Saddles
www.invisciddesign.com – Speedfil hydration systems
www.schwalbe.com – Cycle Tyres
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk – Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.amphibia-sport.com – Transition Bags
www.lezyne.com – Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
www.fenwicks.info – Lubrication
www.kapz.co.uk – Custom headsets
www.racewaredirect.co.uk – Chain catchers and phone cases
www.shimano.com – Groupsets
www.camelbak.com – Bottles
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk – Team PR
www.joolzedymond.com – Photography