TORQ’s British Champ

TORQ’s very talented Nick Shasha now has another title to add to his extensive racing CV – British Masters Indoor Champion…

The last few races of my early season before making the full switch to multi-sport have gone particularly well for me this year and I’ve broadened my racing experience by representing Great Britain on both the indoor track and at cross country running.

Before flying out to Spain for the Europeans though I had the British Masters indoor championships to contend with.  These are held every year, usually in the jewel in the crown that is the Lee Valley Athletics centre.  Built only a few years ago and pretty much the home base of half our track and field Olympians, this became the venue for the 30th British Masters champs and for two days Masters athletes from across Great Britain came to compete for titles and along the way numerous European and World records were set.

My race was the 3,000 metres and once the gun went off I took the lead immediately though kept the pace reasonable coasting round in just outside of my usual 3 minute per kilometre pace.  I was convinced that as a cagey championship race it would come down to the last 200 metres so I wanted to keep plenty in reserve.  At about the half way point I noticed that I could no longer here footfall and I became aware that I had already built a multiple second lead over the rest of the field.  I should have been happy with this but it wasn’t on the cards.  Nevertheless I kept my pace constant and realising that this lead wasn’t it became a waiting game of deciding when to put the hammer down.

With 3 laps to go (600 metres) I went all out and thankfully managed to extend my lead further taking the victory in 9.04, some 7 seconds clear of 2nd placed former Commonwealth Games athlete Christopher Symonds.

British Masters champion at first attempt.  That’ll do for a Sunday afternoon!  Closely following the British champs were the European Masters championships in San Sebastian, Spain.  These are held every two years and around 2,500 athletes featured in a week of track and field events. I competed again in the 3,000 metres and the 5k cross country.  Suffice to say the competition at European level was a giant leap higher and although I managed to qualify for the fastest 3,000 metre “A” race (there was an A, B and C race) I finished in 12th position, lower down than I had hoped but pleased that I managed to race with the fastest guys in Europe and stay on the track!   Next up was the 5k cross country.  There was no seeding in this race so a much larger group of athletes lined up and I faired somewhat better finishing 19th from a field of 67.

Since coming back from Spain I’ve run the Essex county championships 5 mile race which I won in a personal best time of 26.18 and completed my first pool based aquathon as part of my conversion to triathlete. The Kingfisher aquathon had around 170 competitors and I was one of the top 10 (9th) that completed the 400 metre swim / 9 k trail run course in under 40 minutes. A reasonable start that I hope to build on as the tri season develops.

I’m hoping to carry this momentum and success through the whole of 2013 with the help of all our fantastic sponsors:

All pro snaps courtesy of Jolekha Shasha – Triathlon Frames – Wetsuits – Helmets & Glasses – Cycling Footwear – Cables & Housing – Groupsets – Team PR – Transition Bags – Tyres – Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages – Lubrication – Chamois cream, clothing – Swim Goggles (Sable Water Optic)