If you've competed in a race and want to write a report, even if it's only describing the course for people who might consider doing the event in future, please do.
You can e-mail your report to the webmaster for publication.
If you have any photographs to accompany your report you can e-mail electronic images or give Karen a CD at a training session.
Report - Carl Ferri
Last year was my first attempt to have a go at 'age group' qualifications up at Clumber Park for the European Championships up at Edinborough. Being new to a multi sport I didn't really know how I would do, but knew from joining CPT and going out for Sunday rides with the 8.30 group and running with Carl's Wednesday evening group, I might have a chance.
How wrong I was! I trained hard all winter, but looking back I trained too hard and as a result of that blew up on the bike leg of the duathlon. I came in 75th place and 20th in my (35-39) age group.
After a summer of long sportives and a dabble at road racing I decided to have another crack at it and see what I could do.
I contacted Jon H who put me on a programme for the winter which really helped me from over training again, and fine tuned me for the race.
So up to Clumber Park again with the usual pre race nerves of "what the f@@* am I doing this for"? With the likes of Jez Cox and co racing it's hard not to be cr@@@ing oneself before a race, but this year I felt a lot more confident after practicing and fine-tuning my before rubbish transition (Neil Barnes looked at my Big Cow results from a few weeks before and asked if I had stopped for a coffee in transition), it was that bad!
The race ran as smooth as it could for me. The
conditions were very blustery and even on a quiet day
anyone who knows Lime Tree Avenue in Clumber Park is
like a wind tunnel,on this day it was like hitting a brick wall. I managed about 16mph on this two and a half mile stretch of road, but the rest of the 24 mile bike
split seemed to go well.
After a tough but very successful bike, on to the final run feeling strong I managed to drop a few people who I had been battling it out with on the previous splits, with my wife and children waiting and cheering me over the finish line.
When I finished the race, my wife told me I must have
come in the top 20 but I refused to believe it.
Anyway, Pacesetters Events had a big results screen up
but it wasn't showing the positions like last year, so I had to keep checking and wait until about 10pm in
the evening. When the results came up on tri247, to
my surprise I had come 17th overall and 4th in my age
category, which will take me to the Worlds in Rimini in September! My age group and one above me is very
competitive in multi sport, with quite a few ex-pros still having a go at competing so I am very pleased!
Big thanks to Jon H for a fantastic coaching programme over the four months building up to the race (anyone new to this or having a crack at any event I would strongly recommend Jon).
Photograph reproduced with thanks to Armada Photography.
Report - Bernard Finerty
Whilst some think of triathlon as a lonely sport, this is not my perception. Cheering bands of CPTers are all too common, and the camaraderie on car journeys to and from races is a major attraction to the otherwise daunting early starts of many events.
I therefore approached the 10K cross country in Hayes, Kent, this Saturday with a little trepidation. An unknown venue, no fellow CPTers attending, and major rain in the run up to the race, added to the spice of the preparations. However, my misgivings were totally misplaced. The club has an extensive club house a short way from the start of the race, with male and female changing rooms, and a great atmosphere as home and visiting club members prepared for the race with great banter and general good humour.
The organisation was friendly and efficient, with bin liners laid on to collect racers warm kit at the start, for distribution at the end of the race. The weather could not have been better; a classic chill and bright winters afternoon, with shadows and strobe effect as we ran through the wooded parts of the course, the sun hanging low and dazzling orange in the azure sky. The underfoot conditions covered every possibility, from deep stodgy mud, through frost covered grass, and sections on flint strewn woodland trail, and short sections of tarmac'd road meaning constant vigilance was required. You could soon tell those who had forgotten their off road trainers, as a muddy section, or sharp turn, saw, racers spin and tumble.
A pretty demanding course, with some challenging hills, but great support from the race marshals, and always some panting keen athlete on your shoulder to keep you driving on, especially when the slippery stiles came into view.
The end of a cross country is always a treat, made especially so by the sight of Geoff Dillon who won the fastest visitor title. And then the jog back to the club house, a roasting hot shower to wash off the legs, completely caked in mud, and then upstairs to the bar for steaming urns of tea, and a superb cake selection.
Such pleasures do not come cheap; £3 entry on the day, and 50p for a cuppa, and £1.50 per item for the excellent looking cakes. However, blow the expense, one only lives once, and cheaper than any migraine inducing trip to IKEA.
I will certainly be back again, and will be politely suggesting to the organisers that they give more details on their club web site of the race start times, and other minor details. But then again, do I really want to spoil the race, and end up having to share all that hot water with loads of other mucky cross country runners?