2014 – Back on the Triathlon Scene

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by chriswilson


Inspired by friends and clients endeavors this year, it seemed appropriate to celebrate a ‘biggish’ birthday and my 20th year in Triathlon with a return to racing. I was able to catch the tail end of the 2014 season and loved (nearly) every minute of it.  I took advantage of the quieter time at Bodylab with summer holidays and the great weather, to increase training volume and try to prepare for the intensity of racing. 

I did of course jump in towards the deep end, my first race being the Cotswold Classic Half Ironman Distance Triathlon. Competing alongside 15/16 fellow Tri Londoners made the race into a fantastic day out.  The race went amazingly well, I felt strong and relaxed in the swim and then stunned myself on the bike leg, 56 miles in 2:21, 39th fastest of the day.  Once on the run, i paid the price, legs were heavy, feet ‘numb’ and little energy.  I was fortunate to have Annah and Sophie from Tri London, marshalling and cheering us all on.  They were about  1 KM  from the finish line, each time I past I was reminded to keep going, three laps 13.1 miles total, the Finish line couldn’t come soon enough.  I pushed on to the finish, the solid run led me to a to a top ten finish in my age group. ‘i’m back ‘-Job done.

Alas next time out, my lack of recent experience was exposed.  Although a relatively calm day (and very hot ), I had a torrid time in the Perranporth Surf Triathlon, an idyllic  setting, beautiful weather, great atmosphere, BUT being tossed and turned  in the sea, knocked me for 6!  It wasn’t the physical effort but the mental battle to carry on into the surf which I struggled with.  Finally, after the first bouy and around 1200metres to go, I got myself into race mode and started to work on all the time I had lost.  the swim was followed bya 1KM run ovwer the beach to the transition – ouch.   A hilly roller coaster of a bike section, tough on a Tri specific bike and slightly hampered by traffic on the road, I was happy to see the running shoes and tackle the 8.5km run along the sandy beach. It was really hot out there and running along the beach seemed to take an eternity, I was gasping by the end – I had a really tough day in the ‘office’, once again, having the camaraderie and support of my friends around had made it a truly brilliant day.  I later found I had come 5th in my age group so memory of any pain was quickly forgotten.

My finale for the year was Barcelona Olympic Distance Triathlon, a race with a draft legal bike leg, meaning we could work in packs and it could be potentially very fast.  The run course takes the competitors into the older parts of the city, crystal blue waters and a nice summers day, we were in for a treat.  We woke up to torrential electrical  storm.  For safety we had stay away from the bike racks for the chance of being struck by lightening, the area resembled a lake rather than a sports field!  So, we sat shivering in a sports hall, wondering if we were to race at all at this stage the temptation was to pack up and find a MacDonalds!  Alas,an hour later the storm blew over and an hour plus, after the official start times, we were on the start line.

It was a huge field, 4-500 athletes per wave, ready for a Sea Swim after Perranporth, the Med proved no problem, I swam well and weaved through the mass of swimmers…  Myself and the bike were standing in a few inches of water / mud, getting shoes on was messy and by the time I had pushed the bike to the mounting line, it looked in a sorry state.  It was great, the roads were still wet and slippery, so racing demanded 100% concentration.  I completed the course in 1:00:22 for the 40Km!  A complete c0ntrast to the rest of the day, the sun was out, phew – hot.  I focused on the tempo and that this race wasn’t as long or as hard as the previous two. It wasn’t long before I was back on the sea front and running to a 2:15 finish time – a top 5 in my age group and a great way to finish my 2014 race ‘season’.

 What made all of these events such memorable pleasures was sharing them with my friends from Tri London, visiting new places, having lots of laughs, moments of pain, occasional glory and always the satisfaction of finishing a race, roll on next year!!!

 Of course, there are many of you who are constantly taking on new challenges and racing regularly, please let us know how you get on in your races next year, join our Facebook community 

Two groups of friends entered two extreme Nordic challenges, a quite new concept of Swim /Run races, consisting of multiple swim legs separated by multi terrain runs.  These are ‘Ultra’ distance races with extremes of very cold water followed by undulating, rough run sections, whilst having to wear wetsuits.  Naomi Shinkins and Patricia Richardson completed the 65km (8km swim/57km run) Xterra Swim Run in Norway, winning the Women’s event. Mean while in Sweden, top friend and athlete, Amy Pritchard paired up with fellow Tri Londoner Olivier Tourre to take on the OtillO, the original race of this nature.  With water temperatures plummeting to 10 degrees and a sprained ankle to endure from the first hour, they overcame injury and near Hypothermia to complete the race.  Oustanding performances from both teams, inspirational, so much so, watch out for myself and Anthony Flick racing in the Swiss Alps (6km Swimming / 48km running) alongside Amy, Naomi and Patricia.


More recently long time regulars Dave Ball and Ian Jamieson flew out to South Africa to compete in this year’s Augrabies Ultra Marathon. The 7 day, 250km race runs along dried river beds and deserts in temperatures rising over  40 degrees in the day and almost freezing at night,  whilst runners must haul all their own equipment and nutrition for the duration of the event.  Dave is now something of an old hand at the event having competed in 2011 and 2013, for Ian this was his debut not on at this event but at this race distance and type, running about 6 marathons in 40+ degrees, he’d really taken on a challenge.  In doing so, he and Dave raised lots of funds for the Hope and Homes charity, (www.hopeandhomes.org) . A big well done to both, who knows what their next challenge will be!

Closer to home, after several weeks of searching for a second hand bike Bodylab Osteopath Andy Hodgson, jetted off to Italy to ride 400 miles from Venice to Rome in four days, after only 6 weeks training!  He completed the challenge comfortably and raised funds for the ‘place 2 be’ charity (www.place2be.org.uk).

Of course, I have barely touched the surface of my year of rides and runs OR of yours! Lots of you have raced from 100 metre sprints to 10km races, to Ultramarathon’s and Ironman’s.  Possibly you have achieved personal bests or personal goals, overcome injuries or simply taken the first steps to starting a new activity.  You are all an inspiration. Through Bodylab, I am here to help, regular massage, injury prevention or treatment, conditioning training and coaching.  I have a lifetime’s involvement in sport, my primary goal is to support you.