Gra’s Days

The Resolution Run, Moors Valley Park (10K) – 19 March 2017

This was the first race of the year following surgery on my left foot in December.  I have been struggling with my running so I wasn’t too sure how this would go.  My warm-up consisted of a 2hr bike ride, back home for a quick change & then jumped onto my mountain bike with Coach 2 on hers & we both headed off to MVP which is on our doorstep.  The race itself was 2 x 5K laps (although it was a bit longer which I will explain later on).

I didn’t start off too quickly as I was unsure of my foot & how it would react in pushing myself to go quicker.  I was heading back towards the end of my first lap when I noticed the 5K marker tucked in the trees which was quite a way back from the start/finish line.  I managed to hold what I thought was a reasonable pace for the second lap & eventually finished in a time of 47:32.  As this was just a charity race for the Stroke Association there were no official timings taken so position unknown.

The Rabbit Run, Moors Valley Park (10K) – 2 April 2017

Back to Moors Valley Park with yet another 2hr warm-up bike ride before getting our mountain bikes out again.  It was a nice sunny day with a different course which consisted of a 1 x 10K loop around the park.  This run consisted of gravel tracks, a very steep 200mtr sand climb, a wet, muddy, grass track which had been dug up recently by the Forestry Commission’s tractors so quite a wide selection of surfaces to deal with.  I nearly got knocked into a ditch by an over-zealous runner who was trying to go through myself & a runner on my left instead of running either side of us (idiot) but otherwise I felt that it was quite a good run.  Coach 2 was a great help in hurling abuse at me at various points of the course

My splits were (1) 4:40, (2) 4:34, (3) 4:53, (4) 4:22, (5) 4:35 [23:04], (6) 4:25, (7) 4:25, (8) 4:39, (9) 4:40, (10) 4:28 [45:40] (negative split ?)

Southampton Tri – 16 April 2017


This was my first tri of the season which I had been looking forward to for a long time.  I was so prepared, everything was packed & ready to go on Friday afternoon.  I had been out on the race bike a couple of times during the week so I knew that it was ready for the race too.

I was in the elite wave (who are you trying to kid – Coach 2) which was off at 9:35 for a 400mtr swim, so we didn’t have to get up too early on Easter Sunday.  We arrived with plenty of time to register & rack the bike & check all the ins & outs of transition etc.  The outside temperature at 7am was reading 6oC

I arrived at the pool just as Wave 9 was going in so I had plenty of time to do my warm up drills on poolside.  I got in the pool at 9:35 & they had a different way of starting the race/timing the event with the timing chip on your wrist & the official shouting to each wave “Wave ** raise your arm” & a man came along with what looked like a metal detector & swiped the chip & then off we went.  I was second off in my lane & by length 3 I had caught the bloke in front of me but by length 11 I got chicked but did manage to keep on her toes to the end of the swim.  If you don’t know the Applemoor Leisure Centre then you will be surprised where the pool is situated because unlike most centres, the pool is on the first floor.  So to exit the swim you had to exit via the flight of metal stairs on the outside of the building (in other words down the fire escape!!) into transition which was based a the bottom of the steps.

I had decided to go hardcore so the only bit of warm clothing I put on was the toe-warmers on my bike shoes.  Was this going to be a mistake – only time would tell.  The bike course was 1 lap, 20.5K long, around the lovely New Forest & heading towards Beaulieu village.  It wasn’t long until the quick bikers started overtaking me, four in total, but two of them did come first & second overall at the finish.  I had a bit of a lonely ride really with only the odd horse or cow for company, but just got on with the job in hand.

I got into T2 for a fairly swift transition & headed off on to the 1 lap, 4.83K run which pavements in & around the leisure centre.  As my running is not as good as it was in previous years I was a little bit concerned on how I would perform after swim & bike, but felt OK until we got to the first long climb where I got overtaken by three swift runners who were never to be seen again.  I just concentrated on my own running & started to pick off a few of the previous wave nearing the end of the run.

My splits were

Swim – 6:16

T1 – 0:50

Bike – 34:41

T2 – 0:55

Run – 21:08

Overall time – 1:03:50 (5:02 behind the winner)

19th overall out of 193 but got chicked so 18th male & 3rd in my age group (50-59 which consisted of 35 competitors)

Overall Conclusion:  Very pleased.  This was good way to start the season & long may it continue