Monday 9 December 2013

Fritton Lake XC Duathlon Round 1 2nd Place (50th second place!....)

       A gloriously sunny day on the Norfolk Broads saw me yesterday come 2nd for the 50th time! this was a fact that really did leave me thinking about all those 2nd places and what I could have learnt from them as a coach and an athlete.  For the second week in a row I was beaten by a better man on the day and this time it was a very young man. Finn Barnes ran and ride a superb race and also put his cross bike to good use on the bone dry course. In the end we were still very close but he did look comfortable and he is without doubt a class act and one to watch in the future. Well done Finn. Good race! 

 It got me thinking on the drive home about which 2nd places I was most proud of and which I learnt the most from. Without doubt, my second in the Geel City Duathlon in Belgium was my most proud moment because of the way the race had unfolded and all the constant attacking from the Belgians and Dutch on the bike. It was a great day. 
It also left me wondering who I have come 2nd to the most times and it's probably between two good buddies of mine, Phil Moseley and Joel Jameson strangely enough. Still,  I couldn't lose to two nicer guys.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Rempstone Roast Cross Duathlon. 2nd place

             Sunday was a great excuse for me to get back to the Purbeck Hills and enjoy the Rempstone Estate near Corfe Castle.  I love it around there and have never done one of the long running Rempstone Roast races organised by Results Triathlon.

I figured that Gregg Shrosbree would be racing and also saw that a mate of mine, Steve Ferguson holds the course record so I knew it would be fast.  I had got to know Gregg in 2011/12  when I helped him find a place in a French cycling team and its been fascinating to see him now making a strong move into Pro Xterra racing and building on his background as a triathlete.  His swim is really string and he' s an Elite mountain biker too so his 5th place at last years Xterra England was, although a significant breakthrough, no surprise to me.  

I had of course figured that in order to beat Gregg i'd need to get rid of him on the run. Once the two of us were shoulder to shoulder I tried a couple of times but actually we were running pretty evenly and so we came into T2 together. Things stayed pretty close for the first half of the bike with Gregg maintaining a gap on me with he took out of T1 but then he extended to enter T2 with just over a minute over me. I clawed this back to 60 seconds by the finish and it was a well earned win by Gregg who took Steve's course record by 12 seconds in the bargain too.

We pushed each other on and both had a great race as a result. I'm looking forward to seeing Gregg develop in his first year as a pro and wish him all the best. The ladies race was won by the evergreen  Helen Dyke who must by now have won more races in the UK than me by now. Well done Helen and well done to the Results Triathlon team for serving up a Christmassy Dorset treat.