Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Next Fell Race

Fell racing fun tomorrow night to be had!

The next race is upon us and this one is perfect for anyone who wants try one for the first time, it's dead easy and well marshalled so no chance of getting lost.
So if you want a tuff training run or fancy racing hard or just want to plod around and enjoy the view then this is the race for you!

Details as follows

Wed 27th May 2015 – Harrock Hill 1 (R)

Race details

  • Date & time: Wed 27th May 2015 at 19:30
  • Country: England
  • Region: South/West Pennines
  • Category: BS
  • Distance: 8.4km / 5.2m
  • Climb: 275m / 902ft
  • Venue: 800m from Farmers Arms, Bispham Green, nr Parbold, L40 3SL.
  • Grid ref: 497130
  • Skills & experience: PM
  • Minimum age: 17

Entry information

  • Entry on day? Entry on day allowed
  • Entry on day fee: £4.00
  • Pre-entry Pre-entry not allowed
  • Entry info:
    £12 for series of 4 races.

    I might be there but I am still suffering from my Italian exploits so I will make my decision tomorrow?
    See you on the fells

Monday, 18 May 2015


Last night at the meeting, it was mentioned that there's quite a few people who would like a hoodie but don't know where to get one from. We get the hoodies from Neil Hodgson, who then prints them for us with A&T badge on the front and Astley & Tyldesley RR on back. If you would like TRI adding on back, or a name or nickname on your hoody, Neil can do that too! The hoodies are £15 regardless of what you have printed on them.
I am now taking orders ...for hoodies, we have decided to do a group order so you need to let me know if you would like one. I need to know what size (they are unisex S/M/L/XL) and what printing you would like on it. All hoodies come with badge and club name so only need to tell me if you would like TRI or your own name/nickname on them.
I am going to place the order with Neil asap - so let me know as soon as you can. You can contact me via facebook or email me Please spread the word.
Re: payment - we are going to sort this out at a later date once I have group order in.

A&T Beginners group - get fit and have fun!

We now have leaflets ready to give out to anyone interested in joining our beginner group at Leigh Sports Village from Monday 1st June 2015.

This is a 10 week programme aimed at non runners or anyone wanting to get back into jogging/running.

The sessions will be run by qualified coaches and lead up to a 1 mile fun run where everyone received a medal and certificate plus an option to join Astley & Tyldesley club. New members moving on to full membership from this programme will receive a free club vest.

The sessions run every Monday 6.30-7.15pm and are free of charge.

More information available by email on or 07706 162068.

Please spread the word... everyone is welcome.

Chester Half Marathon by Nicola Young

Chester Half Marathon
Sunday May 17th 2015

Yesterday 10 A&T members took on the challenge of Chester Half Marathon, each with their targets to meet for their morning’s work.  On checking the weather forecast on the run up to the event, a cloudy day with a fairly strong breeze was predicted.  It felt quite chilly as we assembled at Chester Race Course on the morning but a few glimpses of sunshine stopped all runners from getting too cold and the strong winds held off for us.  Pretty much perfect conditions really.  The bag drop was in close proximity to the start, meaning that we could all hold onto our things until the last minute!  There were portaloos-a-plenty, meaning that athletes could pay as many visits as they liked before we lined up for the start. 
This was a fairly big event, with around 7,000 runners registered, but runners weren’t placed in waves or allocated different start times.  Instead, they were invited to position themselves around their predicted finish times at the start of the course.  I went in front of the 2 hour markers, as I wanted to get a head start ahead of my target time.  As soon as we had assembled, the Mayor of Chester made his announcements and the faster runners were away.  It took about 4 minutes from the gum for me to make it through the start  line which, triggered my first automated Facebook alert of the day. 
I have limited experiences of half-marathons, however I would say that the run did feel as congested as the Great North Run, which has lots more runners.  I would also suggest that this was not the flat course which it had been sold as!  I had been advised by many a fellow runner that there was “a hill at the end”, however there were quite a few hills throughout the course.  Although most of them were soon over with and didn’t feel too taxing, “THE hill” at the end was certainly unwelcome as it was fairly steep and came at the point when one’s breakfast had been well and truly used up!  Overall, the course was a nice route and there was a real buzz near the finish line in the centre of Chester.  Nice medal, t-shirt and a carrier bag with lots of new varieties of Squashies to try.
With regards to club member results, first over the line for team A&T was Stephen Coleman with a super quick time of 1:26:23.  Stephen came 10th in his age category .  Second for the team was Ian Joslin with a PB of 1:27:18.  First lady home was Susan Fletcher with a time of 1:39:50 and 16th in her category.  Next were Louise Simpson and Chris Bennett.  Louise managed a PB time of 1:45:16, supported by Chris.  There is no stopping the dynamic duo right now!  Paul Basnett had a hard week of racing and after realising the course wasn’t the easiest, he decided to treat it as a “fast training run” and achieved a time of 1:49:43.  The next finisher was Rachel Haslam who achieved a time of 1:54:08, reducing her PB by a huge 5 minutes.  I was next in 1:55:45.  This was a PB of around 6 minutes and I learned that half marathons are still not easy but they are a whole lot easier if you haven’t got a massive blood blister under foot……  Abbie Eckersley completed the course next for the girls in 1:57:34, in spite of declaring that she hadn’t done any training for the event at all!  Jason Revill came home in 2:09:48.
A walk back then to the race course to collect our bags and to congratulate friends and runners before returning home with our new bit of bling and boring our non-running nearest and dearest with the stat’s of the day!

Interclub - Location address and update on teams...

Teams are now in 4's as below. Could really do with another 2 runners if possible to make up 8 full teams.

Look forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday 20th May at Worsley Woods Parkrun venue.  Address can be found on the Parkrun website link below... 

The venue afterwards for the presentation and food is at Swinton's HQ at Swinton Football Club at the address below.

Swinton Football Club
Barton Road
M27 5LJ

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Race Report - Haigh Hall 13th May

On another lovely sunny Wednesday evening 32 Blue vests and 1 wearing my hi-vis T (we must sort your kit out soon Tom Fletcher) donned their official race numbers for the fifth race of our club champs road calendar at picturesque Haigh Hall.  Carol Mills & Louise Hampton were there willing and ready to run for the cause but sadly, due to the race being oversubscribed no more race numbers were given or the race licence insurance limit would've been affected. So in reality we had 35 club runners out on the course..... HOLD IT.... just go back and read that again... Yep 35!!!

In 2014 we had 28 runners made up of 20 men and 8 ladies
This year our 35 comprised of 18 men and 17 ladies.... WOW!!  Sadly there were a few of our regular club runners missing due to injury, Coach Shaun, Soozy-G, Steve (blackfoot) Coleman and Neil (dodgy knees) Hughes or missing coz they've just gone AWOL - anyone seen Ian Newcombe?
We had a few of our injured there to offer support too; Emma, Jane, Jon & Cath - thanks for the shout outs - great to see you all.  Lets hope you can all get back to racing soon.

It was also super-lovely to have some of our newer club members racing for the first time, some seriously impressive times and abilities in the shape of Tom Fletcher (hot on the heels of Turbo-Tim), Rob Lawson and Jamie Marsden - a massive welcome to the club from us all, its great to have you with us.

So the evening began with a photo-call at 7:20pm, as usual, we didn't manage to get everyone on the shot, but, having said that, its a great photo and will be used to promote the club locally in hard copy and online.  Well done to us all for looking fabulous!!

The race began slightly after 7:30pm with 305 runners stampeding through the park, up the rocky trail up to the road for over a mile and heading back into the Park down the ramp and back through the park to complete 2 loops of the course.  
First back for A&T was Tim 23:13, closely followed by Tom 23:19 and 3rd Simon Ford 23:30 - well done guys.  First lady back was Josie 25:59, followed by Jackie 27:49 and 3rd lady Louise Simpson 29:56 - great running ladies.

It was a very different field of A&T runners this year compared to last year so comparing times and performances difficult. However, want to say well done to everyone who improved on their 2014 time: Gary Stevens, Simon Ford, Chris Bennett, James Bentall AND ME!!! (Sorry but I knocked 37 seconds off my time so I'm having a moment - ok I'm done...)

All things considered runner of the day prize is a difficult one for this race because so many of you did brilliantly - however, choose I must, and this time the prize goes to one of our newer members, Rob Lawson who had a storming run finishing in 27:24. Rob has recently ran the Manchester Marathon and is a regular at the Wednesday efforts sessions. Well done Rob, you will receive a bottle of wine on the club!

At the end of the race I had an opportunity to catch up with some other winners to hand over prizes from previous races (the rest I can hand over at Sunday's meeting)
Congratulations to Tracey & Lynn who shared Runner of the day for Radcliffe 10, Baconmon who won V60 at our Gin Pit Half, and Simon Ford who bagged 3rd place prize...

Finally, I hung around for the presentations and managed to pick up even more prizes for two of our guys Tim - 1st V40 and Simon - 2nd V40
Well done again!!!

If you've not seen the results check out the blog or facebook page.
The latest club standings are complete and have been sent to James for posting on the web.

Looking forward to seeing another great turn out at Race 6 - Horwich 5 miler on 17th June, more details nearer the time. Until then if you're doing interclub, thats our next team rendezvous!

over and out
Barbs xx
#TeamA&T <3

Interclub Challenge - Here are the teams...

OK so I'm not even letting you bask in the glow of a fabulous club race last night at Haigh Hall and I'm on one again...  it's INTERCLUB challenge next Wednesday 20th May!!

Teams are looking good so this is the last call really so I can submit numbers to Swinton tomorrow to help them plan.  If you're not on the teamsheet and you would like to be, please let me know today or tomorrow latest if possible.

In reality things happen last minute and we may have to juggle teams, it'll all be fine on the night.

So here's how we are looking...

Reminder of where we are going below ...

The event is being hosted by Swinton but the venue has changed from Clifton Marina to the Worsley Woods Parkrun site. 

Start time: 7.30pm

Location: Monton (Worsley Woods Parkrun). The run starts the run halfway up the path (0.7m) to use the top part of the park run course (we will be briefed by Swinton). Refreshments afterwards at 'the club', I'll confirm where this is with Steve and let everyone know.

Distance: The relay will be 4 x 1.8m legs, with the A teams competing against each other, the B teams against each other and so on. Teams will score 3 points for a win, 2 points for 2nd and 1 point for 3rd.

Please wear your club vest/T-Shirt.
Any questions, please give me a shout.
Thanks all
Barbs x
#TeamA&T <3

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A&T Club meeting Sunday 17 May – reminder

Meeting starts at 8pm with Committee only pre-meeting at 7:45 pm

Please come along and support your Club

Monday, 11 May 2015

Haigh Hall - Race 5 - Wednesday 13th May

Don't forget that this Wednesday is Race 5 in our club champs road calendar.  The venue is gorgeous Haigh Hall for 4 miles of glorious trail running. Looking forward to seeing a sea of blue vests post marathon season and we need to update our team photo with all the lovely new faces who've joined the club. (James you can still be goalie and fit Dave you may resume the same pose if you wish or try a new one for the portfolio?)
The new photo will be going on our club poster and flyers to promote the club in the community too #fifteenminutesoffame

Details of venue, start time etc below. Its a CLGP race so pay on the night is fine.

See you all there #TeamA&T<3

Interclub Challenge - UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Interclub challenge time again so here's the latest update. The event is being hosted by Swinton but the venue has changed from Clifton Marina to the Worsley Woods Parkrun site.

Start time: 7.30pm

Location: Monton (Worsley Woods Parkrun). The run starts the run halfway up the path (0.7m) to use the top part of the parkrun course (we will be briefed by Swinton). Refreshments afterwards at 'the club', I'll confirm where this is with Steve and let everyone know.

Distance: The relay will be 4 x 1.8m legs, with the A teams competing against each other, the B teams against each other and so on. Teams will score 3 points for a win, 2 points for 2nd and 1 point for 3rd.

Here is the running list so far, still need more runners please before can make up the teams.
Please contact me or Emma #A&Tneedsyou <3

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Greater Manchester 10k by Gary Stevens

Arrived in Manchester bright and early to get organized for this years Manchester 10k. Jane Eccleston had kindly given me a free entry so I had to go to the Convention Center to collect it. The first person I saw was Mark Riches who was working and offered nice words of encouragement. I was given a “fast pace” number as I was expecting to run around 38 minutes. With the “fast pace” number you get the experience of warming up with the elites. As I did my little 1 mile warm up I passed a few Kenyans and Jo Pavey, I bet they were thinking who the hell is this idiot warming up with us wearing a A&T hoodie with “Wiz” on the back. I was also celebrity spotting. As well as seeing Jo Pavey I saw 3 Olympic gold medalist in Denise Lewis, Jonathan Edwards and Greg Rutherford. Boxer Anthony Crolla was stood near by on the start line.

I have mixed feelings about the race itself. As a former race organizer I feel it is vastly over priced at £38.00 but people year on year support it and raise millions for charity. For the majority of the people in this race a 10k is a challenge, and it is great to see so many people raising their arms crossing the line, where as I am trying not to make a fool of myself on TV and not be sick!

The race is a pretty fast course but today there was a swirling gusty wind which was stronger in the Second half of the race. There were a few cheers along the course but I was zoned out by this point and couldn't respond, but thanks anyway whoever you were.

I went through 5k in 18.58 and 5 miles in 30.45 but faded a little to clock 38.49.

Well done to other A&T's in the race, I know some of you got Pb's.

Full results below.

130th Thomas Fletcher 37.06
246 -  Gary Stevens 38.49
673 -  Brendan Loughrey 42.03
1092 - Damien Munro 43.36
2220 -Louise Simpson 46.27
5854 - Barbara White 52.00
6209th - Michelle Fairclough 52.54
10493 - Tracy Waterfall-Chadwick 57.20
10842 - Tracy Loughrey 57.44
10952 - Jenny Western 57.52
11082 - Joan Cooke 57.59
Stretton Six Summits Race Report by Tim Campbell
Fell running folklore abounds with tales of extreme feats of endurance. There’s Peter Livesey who broke both ankles during a race, but still completed it.  There’s Chris Gravinawho ran three-quarters of a mountain race with a broken leg.  There’s the legendary Joss Naylor who completed all the Wainwrights in one go (15 marathons in length) and became so dehydrated that his tongue and mouth swelled so that he could not eat or talk and his ankles were rubbed clean to his ligaments by ill-fitting shoes.  You can now add a new heroic story of pain and suffering to that pantheon, the story of Tim Campbell who ran the last 4 miles of a 6 mile race with a really big blister on his heel, but more of this later.  
It was a 1 ½ hour drive to a beautiful little village in Shropshire called Church Stretton, nestled in a valley between gigantic ugly hills that rippled like enormous spiked dragon tails.  The village itself was later described by the race director as ‘Toryville’, no house was smaller than a 2 storeyGin Pit clubhouse - you get the picture.  I parked up in the field being used as a car park and prayed that it didn’t rain whilst I left it, or I’d never get it out again in the mud and took the ‘short’ walk to the start, by which point I felt like I needed to take my first gel.
Part of the Dragon’s tail
I was especially looking forward to giving my new Mudclawsa proper try-out, having only used them on Penny Flash parkrun so far. The race started soon enough and began with about 400 yardUp a hill before turning off Up the first climb.  ‘Up’soon became the theme of the day, at least it very quickly started to feel like I was pulling a house behind me, as the hills on this run were absolutely horrendous – long and very steep.  Still, I was holding my own on the first climb and generally over-taking people, plus in my own head I was thinking that what goes Up must come Down, and I like to think that downhills are my speciality!  
Me running Up the first hill
I eventually reached the top of the first summit and this led to a ‘technical’ bit, i.e. a narrow path designed more for sheep with a sheer drop to the side.  This was a welcome respite in some ways as I was under no illusions that trying to overtake someone would mean a very sticky end to my race and so I just tucked in behind the guy in front, who wasn’t going at any great pace and used the time to get my breath back.  
Then came the first downhill and boy, was this Down with a capital D!  It was a proper cheese-roller and was as long going Down as the previous hill had been to go Up.  However, I seemed to manage better than others on this stretch and overtook about 20 people going down.  Things were going well, being in a decent position in the race and overtaking.  
However partway Down I’d started to feel a slight pain in my left heel and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill I could hardly stand on it.  Must be a stone I thought and being sensible for once I stopped and checked my shoe, whilst frustratingly all the people I’d just overtaken went past me again.  No stone, but I couldn’t put weight onto my heel.  Dammit, the Mudclaws have let me down!  No matter,” I thought, I’ll get through the pain,” and gritted my teeth with the immediate thought of getting past the people who’d just gone past me.  There was another significant Up, followed by a Down, at which point I knew that there was a first aid point and I hobbled my way there.  “Do you have any Vaseline” I yelled at the checkpoint bloke.  He looked pretty startled to be asked that question for some reason, but pulled out a tightly packed rucksack which led to 2 or 3 minutes of fumbling around the contents before finding several pots of Vas, one of which I used liberally to coat my heel.  It made absolutely no difference and in the time that it took to find it I’d been passed by loads of people.  I was struggling to run and was a long way back in the race now, so I decided to just enjoy the scenery and use it as a training run.  However, even going at jogging pace this race was brutal, so ‘enjoyment’ was at a premium - the Ups were very Up, but the Downs now were what I dreaded as it was very difficult to stay off my heel and I had to do them at walking pace.  In true fell-running style I did get asked by several people if I was alright, to which I had to answer rather sheepishly “New shoes, blisters. D’oh!”.  I did though spend the time to look around at what is some stunning landscape, which was a bonus in a way, as I’d normally be looking at my feet and trying not to fall over.  
Eventually I made it to the end, finishing in 198th place with a time of 1:29:24 and immediately ripped the instruments of torture from my feet.  There was no medal or even a cream egg for finishing, but I didn’t feel like I’d really deserved anything for this race.  So I feel like I have some unfinished business in Church Stretton and I expect to be back next year to make amends.
And just one final word . . there’s a pair of size 8 Mudclawsup for sale, like new, any offers gratefully received.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Good Luck Malc!

A massive A&T good luck to Malcolm Collins who starts his '10 marathons in 10 days' tomorrow.  It will be Malc's 3rd time doing the challenge where you run around Lake Windermere everyday for 10consecutive  days.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Rally Call for Interclub Challenge - who's in?

Event takes place on:
Wednesday 20th May @ Swinton

This is intended to be a light-hearted, fun challenge and is designed to involve runners of all abilities across all three Clubs. The competition will be run as a 3-runner per team relay event. The distance covered by each runner equates to approximately 2 miles.

1. Runners will be selected into teams of 3 of equal abilities.
2. Each team will decide themselves who runs which leg.
3. When completed, the finish times for each team will be combined. The Total best times for each club’s teams will then be added together to give the overall result. Regardless of the number of teams entered only the same number of teams for each club will count. (e.g. if A&T enter 10 teams, Swinton 8 and Burnden 12, only the top 8 teams for each club will count so that the scoring is consistent). The team with the lowest overall time will be the winner of the challenge.
4. A minimum of 5 teams per club is required to make the event a success.

There is no pressure on anyone to produce spectacular times, just run your best for your club and that's good enough, the main focus of the evening is as a social event.

We now need to take names for those who would like to run.

Please let Barb and Emma know by facebook or email. Thanks
If anyone needs more information, please contact Emma & Barbs via facebook or email:

Monday, 4 May 2015

Manchester Marathon by Claire Matchwick

On a bright Sunday morning several members of A and T assembled at Old Trafford for Manchester Marathon. After a quick group photo we dispersed to find our starting places. There was much discussion between Louise Simpson, Reporter Bennett and I about where the optimum starting position might be. As the three of us went over the timing strip at the start the song playing was 'we like to sleep all day and party all night' this I thought was quite apt given that Louise and Reporter Bennett are often fuelled by beverages stronger than the isotonic sports drinks out on the course.

The course takes in the sights of Stetford, Sale, Altrincham, Carrington and Flixton. In all honesty this is not the most scenic marathon you could do. However what it does have on its side is that it is almost completely flat so can be a good course for first time marathon runners.  The route is a big loop which means you get to see and cheer on fellow A and T runners which can give you a much needed boost. It also enables you to see the elite runners and seeing the first lady bossing it up there with the men really spurred me on. Nonetheless, the best thing about this marathon is the support. This is the second time I have run Manchester Marathon and this year the people of Manchester really upped their game. Altrincham was a particular highlight but there were people all along the course. There were so many people offering encouragement and sweets, which, were not just out of their sweaty palms but from Tupperware containers and were not just your standard jelly babies but squashies no less. There were also people who had taken the time to make signs and two of my favourites included 'Run like you have stolen something' and another that simply said 'Motivational sign'. A further highlight is that at 24.8 miles you get to see some of the A and T massive helping out at the water station. The cheers I got and seeing some of your lovely faces really helped as my legs were starting to feel tired. As after this when my legs continued to hurt the only thing left to do was to use Jens Voight's classic phrase 'shut up legs'. The final stretch to the finish line was absolutely brilliant with so much support that I may have upped my pace from speed 1 to speed 2 albeit for about 0.10 of a mile. At the end there was a goody bag, asics tshirt and a medal almost as big as my face. You could also have a protein shake and a beer - yes it was alcohol free Jason Revill but tasted a lot better than water or isotonic sports drink. 

In regards to results there were some brilliant runs and PBs. First in was marathon man himself Malcolm Collins in a speedy time of 3:06:50. Shortly followed by Steve Coleman in 3:08:23. Next in was Coach Sloan in 3:10:51 fuelled by the banter between him, Ian Joslin and James Love after running together for most of the race. Ian got a brilliant PB of 3:14:09. Followed by another fantastic PB of 3:33:08 from Kath Pearson. Brendan Loughrey was next and also got a brilliant PB of 3:44:06. In her marathon debut Louise Simpson ran an absolutely fantastic race and came in at 3:49:44. Reporter Bennett also ran brilliantly coming in with Louise and having the important job of carrying her gels for the race. Next in was me with a PB of 3:53:53. Shortly followed by Rob Lawson in a time of 3:57:26. Despite having a bowling related injury Michelle Fairclough had a great run and got a PB of 4:13:38. Jason Revill came in next in 4:28:58 unfortunately still feeling the effects of being poorly earlier in the week. Joan Cooke came in with a great time of 4:32:31. Followed by Tracy Waterfall-Chadwick with a strong performance despite being delayed waiting for some painkillers and came in at 5:03:09. 

Horwich Tri 2015 - Race Report

Yesterday, 7 A&Ter's took part in Horwich Tri yesterday, although 2 were representing Team Deane - but we'll let them off! :)

Horwich Tri consists of 20 lengths in pool, 25mile pretty hilly bike course and a horrible 5.3mile run to the top of Rivington Pike and back. It was safe to say that the weather on Saturday was freaking everyone out and causing some concerns and lots of texts and messages about what the hell to wear on the bike course...this only got worse as we woke up to torrential rain yesterday morning! (I say we, but obviously we weren't all sleeping together) (well, we certainly wouldn't want to sleep with Team Deane! lol)

When I entered the race before Christmas, I accidentally put in an estimated swim time that was far too fast for me and I spent last week stressing about swimming with much faster swimmers. My mistake paid off though because faster swimmers set off later in the day which meant I managed to avoid the rain. Josie, however, in her first Olympic Distance, was faced with full on torrential rain on the bike course, didn't envy her that!

My own race went much better than expected, I was chuffed to bits with my swim time as it turned out, pleased with my bike and while I always knew my run would be a disaster (Foxholes and Rivvy just KILL me) I was very happy with my overall time and placing. Big thank you to those of A&T who came watching and cheering at the Leisure Centre,  it was fabulous to see Bev Tickle waiting on Foxholes hill for me and running (ok, walking) up the really steep bit with me for moral support. Simon Ford flew past me as I staggered up an incline on the run and gave me a pat and a cheer - can't believe how strong he looked on the run,a run which bagged him 10th place! Coming down the hill I was accompanied by Stu Jones (aka Threeten) who was having an 'easy' race - very easy running with me Stu! Was good to see Alex in his luminous yellow cycling gear on the course and the 3 of us cheered Graham who also shot past downhill on his way to a great result.

All in all a great , challenging event which definitely gives you a real sense of achievement on finishing. Well done all but special congratulations to Graham Rands who smashed out a fantastic 3rd place finish! Brilliant! Onwards and upwards A&T!

Results (301 competitors completed in total)

Graham Rands 1:50 (3rd)
Simon Ford 1:58 (10th)
Anthony Hart 2:25 (104th)
Stu Jones 2:33 (150th)
Craig Bradbury 2:36 (164th)
Josie Maley 2:37 (169th)
Clare Unsworth 2:59 (257th)

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Alcobendas ETU Champs by Lewis Eccleston

Alcobendas race reportIn the lead up to this race I had done a couple of Time Trials and a Duathlon, and had shown good form, but sometimes no matter what you do, it all comes down to the day itself.On the days leading up to the race, the weather had been sunny and 20 degrees plus. It was typical, that race day was forecast for heavy rain, wind and lightening and it did exactly that (just like riding at home).

Having done a reccie of the bike and the run course it was exactly what I didn’t need, there were 12 roundabouts on 1 lap of the bike, and you were either going up or down, there wasn’t a single flat on the course.A couple of days before the race I was very nervous but I stayed focused and couldn’t stop going through the course over in my head and how I thought the race would unfold, not sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.30 minutes before the race I found a quiet street to do my warm up and felt very good and ready for the race.I knew that the first run was going to set off very fast, so I just ran it at my own pace and found myself in about 5th or 6th position after the first lap, and continued on to pick people off on the second lap and came into T1 in 3rd position.
Going out onto the bike it was me and 2 other Brits in the lead, the support was amazing off everyone, I soon caught up with the leader and was leading the race on the bike, this was a massive buzz for me as I had never experienced anything like it at this level of racing.

Riding down the hill towards transition, there were easily over hundred people, all stood watching, the support from the British fans was unreal as I had about 30-60 seconds lead this was soon to become a lot less !!!!As it had not really stopped raining all morning the roads were wet and holding water so I approached every roundabout and turn around point with caution. Just after I had passed all the supporters, and coming up to the turn around point I started to slow down and my bike just slid out and I landed on my hip and skidded across the floor on my back, I managed to hold my bike in the air to avoid damage, amazingly there is only a little scuff on the seat Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat I got up straight away and was being shouted at “take your time you have loads of time just relax” so I jumped onto my bike, my seat was pointing up in the air and I first thought this was the end of my race, I was bouncing on my seat and punching it trying to get it back down, luckily it went down a little bit, I had to ride the last lap with the point of an adimo saddle sticking up my arse (NOT PLEASANT) ! Whilst continuing riding I was trying to check the bike over to see if there was any more damage, I felt fine, unknown to me I had quite bad road rash all over, by this point I was just high on adrenalin and just so focused on getting back into T2 safely.

Coming into T2 I was over taken 50 meters from the dismount line and was now in second place. With a quick transition I was out onto the 2nd run, But I had to stop about 50 meters in just to stretch my calfs as I had cramp and just couldn’t run it off. I soon took the lead again and was back in first place, but was quite quickly over taken by a Spanish guy, I hung onto his feet for as long as I could, but the elastic slowly stretched, I gave everything I possibly could but just couldn’t stay with him.

I was extremely proud to be running towards the finish line representing my country in second place, and first Brit in front of all those supporting. If it wasn’t for the crash I believe I would have come first overall as I was only beaten by 14 seconds.