Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Mountain Mayhem race

Mountain Mayhem is a 24 hr Mountain Bike race, generally done in a team of 4. It has big corporate sponsorship and a decent prize fund. You don't get any sleep and it hurts like hell, but......
WE DID IT!!!! After racing this race 5 times and being on the podium every time, we finally won it! I was guesting on the BMC mixed elite team and we were always near the lead but never comfortable. Even after 21 hours of racing our lead was still only 3 minutes!
The support we received from Extra was fantastic, thankyou very much to Damion the mechanic and Kirsty (who did all the timings, woke us up, made food.....). Thanks to Fatface for supplying us with a masseur to use, Nic was brilliant.
Usual sponsors to thank. Schwalbe Nobby Nic mud tyres rule! USE exposure lights too! My Bell helmet survived countless crashes in the mud! Cannondale (and BMC) bikes were both great and no major mechanicals at all. Maximuscle Cyclone drink helped me recover between laps.
All the team rode superbly, thanks to Jamie Newall and Jodie Crawforth for inviting me to join them. Julie Dibens our team girly did the quickest womens laps of the day and we proved that a couple of triathletes can mix it with the top Mountain bikers in the country!
I'm off to catch up on some z'eds, before an attempt at gentle training, 3 days of no swimming Richard Stannard will tell me off! Promise you won't tell him. Laters, Sammy G.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Congratulations Dibster!

Well done Julie on your National Championships win. what a great season you're having this year, if i was British triathlon i'd give you loads of lottery money! Good luck for UK 70.3 this weekend but don't get too tired, Monday's going to be hard! Talking of British Triathlon, i'm still waiting for a reply to an email i sent last December to their performance program, not very impressed with how they treat/repond to their elite athletes! A reply to me would have taken 5 minutes saying 'You might have a little talent and high aspirations but you're not welcome at any high performance centres to improve your swimming' I'll check my mail again tomorrow, he laughs!

On Monday Julie Dibbens and myself are going to check out the Xterra UK bike course. This is partly for our own good and partly to find route for the official Xterra UK training weekend that we are running! So sign up for the course which runs on the 11th and 12th of August. Learn from the UK's top off road athletes and race a warm-up event on the Saturday on some of the same trails. We are also checking out other routes from the accomodation we have booked and then I might even buy Julie a congratulatory pint in the pub we plan to have dinner in on the training weekend (you've got to check these things out!).

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Winning weekend

This weekend I raced the 3rd round of the national mountain bike series held on a hilly course in Margham park in Wales. It was my first national event of the year and after not racing at all for 2 months due to injury and illness I was a little unsure of my form. I decided to race the Masters (30-40yrs) category, which is a similar speed to the Elite race (but a lap shorter), with many ex Elite riders such as myself in it. On the first lap I was struggling to stay with the pace at times, moving up from 12th to 4th as the lap progressed. I joined forces with Scot Forbes (ex top elite triathlete) at the start of the second lap and together we tried to catch the 2 leaders. Scot then suffered cramp and I continued my assult on my own, catching the leader Geof Beetham at the end of the second lap. The final 2 laps I rode on my own to a comfortable and vey satisfying win. My full suspension Cannondale Scalpel was faultless as ever, flying up the steep hills (thanks again Chelmer cycles for the servicing).. Racing Ralph and Smart Sam tyre choice from Schwalble was spot on too. Sundog eyewear kept the rays from my eyes on a great sunny day and I have now got a 100% win record in Bell Helmets (not that I'm superstitious).
One reason for racing was to test my form before Mountain Mayhem 24hr mountain bike race in 3 weeks time which has good prize money (always a good motivator!). This race is in a team of 4 and the other team members Jamie Newall got 3rd in Masters, Jodie Crawforth got 11th Elite and Julie Dibens is super fast this year so all is looking good for a pay day soon!
My swimming is coming on leaps and bounds with my altered technique, and I am meeting rep times I'd have never managed a year ago. There is still a long way to go, but at least it's headed in the right direction.
My physio has given me the go ahead to start running again on Monday which is good. I'll be taking it steady for the first few weeks, and getting used to my new orthotics which I am wearing now as I type. Still got lots of exercises to do, but we're heading the right direction I hope.
Roll on August European Xterra's again, i'll be fatser than ever at all 3 disciplines!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Racing again

Sorry for the delay in posting again. Things are looking up. My 100m rep swim time has come down by 4 seconds in the last couple of weeks, which is equivalent to a minute over 1500m, which I am very pleased with. If it carries on improving like this I might even do some elite drafting races if i'm going to make it out in one of the packs. I have just returned from the long bank holiday weekend spent in the Belgium Ardennes. It was a fantastic trip, open water swimming in the rivers, riding some of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege cycle route climbs. Some fantastic mountain biking and also a ride out into Luxembourg on a Tandem. Great food, a few cheeky belgium beers, good time all round. Tomorrow I am doing the 3rd round of the Mountain bike national points series in Margam park in Wales. This wil be a good tester, not having raced for 2 months, and will give me an idea of my form with the up coming Mountain Mayhem 24hr race and the Mountain bike National Champs. I was disapointed to not race the European Xterra champs in Italy last weekend, but the good news is my knee seems to be healing, my new orthotics have been made and fitted to my shoes. I have been told I can run again from next Monday. This gives me 12 weeks of running before the August European Xterra events, which should be enough to get fast again. Keep an eye on my site for details of the official Xterra UK training camp which will be a great chance to ride swim, bike and run on the actual courses to bew used in the race. All is on track, more news to follow soon. Sammy G.