It’s been a while since I reported on how some of the Peak XV Guys and Girls have been getting on in the wide variety of races over the past month. So here goes:
First mention goes to Grant Gurnsey and Richard Sutcliffe who completed in the European Ironman Championships held in Frankfurt over the weekend. After a couple of days carbo loading with beer and chocolate milkshakes the event got underway early Sunday Morning. The swim uses a rolling start and takes place in the fantastically named Strandbad Langener Waldsee. Rich hit the beach after the 2.4 mile swim in 1:04 despite some navigational issues with Grant some 7 minutes behind in a time of 1.12.
Out on the bike and the positions were reversed with Grant returning to T2 after a great bike split of 5.35. Rich rolling in just after the 6 hour mark. Out onto the run and things got a bit hot and sticky with temperatures rising above the 30 degree mark. With both Rich and Grant rarely venturing outside Rossendale these temperatures came as a shock and the run became a matter of survival, however survive they did albeit finishing with some great tan lines! Maybe next year the travelling duo might consider a race less likely to be as sweaty!
Closer to home and in slightly cooler conditions Matthew Thornton
took part in the Great North Swim. Matt started swimming with us at the beginning of the year. Aside from when on holiday Matt hadn’t swam properly in years. This was reflected by him wearing the kind of shorts which made Kevin Kegan popular with the ladies in the 1970’s. Matt came to us wishing to improve both his swim fitness and efficiency in his run up to the Great North Swim. Roll on six months and Matt duly completed the two mile swim in under 1.20. Great progress.
Among the other Peak XV athletes also training for single sport events was Mike Burgess. Having completed various Ironman distances races over the past few years Mike decided to focus on completing some of the longer endurance runs for 2017. So in June Mike completed the Calderdale Way. Describing it as one of the hardest things that he had done came as no surprise to us as the event is over 40k in length and includes over 4600 feet of climbing. With early retirement looming, Mike is busy scouring the internet to seek out other endurance challenges to keep him away from the slippers!
Its also been a busy few weeks for the Short Course triathletes among our mists with Matt Jackson, Dilwyn Jones, Mike Horton and new recruit Josh Whitehead all competing in various events across the region. Firstly Matt Jackson completed both at Chester and Southport. The stand out result for Matt was at Southport where he finished in the top three in his age group and qualified for the European Champiosnships for 2018.
Despite not quite conquering his open water fears Dilwyn refused to give up and competed the Slateman Triathlon with impressive bike and run times. As a newcomer to triathlon he now has the bug and is looking forward to getting back in the cold, scary, forbidding waters at Allerthorpe later in the year.
Another of our athletes who has dropped down a distance after successfully completing Ironman last year is Mike Horton. Mike raced at Ripon in July with mixed fortunes. Following a good swim and bike Mike’s over all time was soiled when he had to venture off piste to enjoy the ambience of a out door toilet stop!
Latest Addition to the Peak XV family and surely a name to watch out for in the future is youngster Josh Whitehead. Josh has only been racing for the past couple of seasons yet is starting to build a reputation as a athlete with not only great swim and bike splits but also devastating run splits. Josh has come to us to provide focus in his training and specifically to help him improve his swimming in the build up to attempting to be selected for the North West Academy. Josh recently completed and won in a race dear to my heart Rossendale Triathlon.
Finally for those thinking that Ironman is a tough day spare a thought for one of our oldest athletes Darren Clare.
Having completed the last five Ironman UK Darren has skipped a year and as I type this he is currently half way through his 7 in 7 challenge. This is a run across Northern England completing a total of 190 miles across the fells of the Lakes and Dales. He is attempting to complete this in 7 days, meaning a ultra marathon a day. He is completing this for two local charities. You can follow Darrens progress on his website here