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Wednesday 7 December 2022

ASICS Road+Run Sock Review: Why NOT thinking about socks is important

* These socks were sent to me for free as part of being an ASICS FrontRunner. I don’t get paid for reviewing them but I chose to review these as I like them. It’s an unbiased review – I’m saying exactly what I think.* 

The main thing I want from a run sock is to not think about it. I want the benefits – of course! - but I don't want to be consciously thinking about my socks. Because if I am then something is wrong.

Things I think about socks:
  • I think the heel is slipping down ...
  • I've got a draught between the top of the sock and the bottom of my run tights ...
  • Ouch – is that a wrinkle in the sock?

So anything I consciously think about a sock during a run is negative! And this is pretty much how I know I've got a decent pair of run socks on … I don't have to think about them!

And I can confirm this is precisely when I thought when running in my 'Cushioned road + quarter sock' … nothing. They performed perfectly. No wrinkles, no slipping and were the perfect height.

The race conditions were horrible … plenty of rain, wind and puddles and despite all of this and wet feet, the socks were … not thought of! Perfect! They were perfect.

When I put them on in the morning pre-race, I did notice how very soft to the touch they were and the cushioned heel section meant that they fitted well and didn't slip. Both very positive things in a race sock. And then I didn't have to think about them again.

And this is precisely why I'd buy them again.

Want some socks you don't have think about? Link here.

Wednesday 30 November 2022

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Think Exercise Sucks

I do triathlon. Which means that rather than being good at one sport, I am mediocre at three sports.

I do generally like doing all three, particularly when I'm not doing any of them and I'm remembering warm trail runs in the sunshine (rather than miserable February miles reps when there's sideways rain), cafe stops and rolling lanes on the bike (rather than headwinds, broken ribs and frozen fingers) and sunny days spent splashing around in a river with the promise of a hot chocolate afterwards (rather than getting kicked by a breaststroker while doing 400m reps with chlorine up my nose).

In fact, my favourite of the three disciplines tends to be either one of the two I'm not doing at that particular moment in time.

However, I have found that there are ways to motivate myself and talk myself into doing whatever horrific session my coach has dreamed up for me that day.

1. Track - Pretend you're a pro. Flounce around at track, take your stretches VERY seriously and absolutely do not do ANYTHING without first swigging a beetroot shot. Warning: Your street cred may plummet when you're dropped on the very first rep. If you have NO street cred … nothing to worry about. Otherwise just title your Strava workout 'Easy Run.'

'Easy Run' *puff, pant*

2. Pool – drop a Mars bar into the water and scream “Oh my God! Those kids have been in here with dodgy tummies again!” and point at it. Then when everyone is looking and scrambling to get out of the pool, casually hook it out and eat it. Guaranteed to clear the pool AND you've eaten the evidence. Ta-da – a lane (and pool!) all to yourself.

Is That a Mars Bar ..?

3. Cycling – think of the cake. Always the cake. If anyone comes with you on a bike ride and doesn't stop for cake, drop them. You don't need friends like that.

4. Running – get some very beautiful trainers. Then when everyone is distracted by looking at your beautiful shoes, shout “See you later, suckers!” and drop them in a sprint finish. People may say that this is unethical, but I can't help it if my shoes are very lovely.

Wow, Truly a Shoe of Beauty

5. Open Water Swimming – Get your lake practise done by going swimming in places that have enormous pike. This does wonders for your speed, cadence AND for 'warming up your wetsuit'. Don't get eaten though as this does tend to be distracting. Top Tip: To avoid this, swim quicker. Note: Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about when I mentioned how we warm up our wetsuits.  

I Hear There Are REALLY Big Fish in Here

6. Transition – The gaps between swimming and cycling and cycling and running are called transitions. These are where we do NOT dry our feet, brush our hair or generally fanny around. Transitions are to be done quickly and elegantly. Practise transitions by leaping out of the shower wet and running around the house before work in the mornings while looking for your bike and the towel you will not use. Your husband will be highly supportive and will definitely not say “Stop running around like a lunatic, the neighbours will think you're on drugs. AND You've dripped shower water in my coffee.”

7. Strength Work – This can be achieved by getting bigger portions of cake at the cake shop and lifting the fork repeatedly to your mouth. It's fuelling. FUELLING.

Road Closures: Stretching & Strength Work!

8. Stretching – This can be achieved by dropping your phone on the floor when on the indoor bike trainer and picking it up off the floor while still pedalling. This is top level stretching. Alternatively, if you can reach most places on your back when you have an itch, then you are probably stretchy enough.

I hope you've enjoyed my top class exercise tips for the keen runners and triathletes among us. You can't go wrong with these.

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Last Night I dreamed I went to Austria Again

Last night I dreamed I went to Austria again. It seemed to me that I was running down the corridors leading to the gates at the airport. The corridors were grey and anonymous, tiled floors. I couldn't remember which gate I was trying to get to or the time of the flight. As I ran, I was dropping my triathlon kit and I was going to be late. I'd not make it. I ran and ran, my heart beating fast and tears filling my eyes.

I'm stealing a passage from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, but the dreams were real. Running through airports always late, forgetting a crucial bit of kit … and I'd wake. And realise that the race was already done. I had nothing to worry about.

A few years ago, I'd been lucky enough to race middle distance triathlon in GB kit. It had been such an honour but the pressure – which I had put on myself, rather than from anyone else – was immense. I hadn't worn the kit before the event, because rather than being proud of qualifying, I was worried that my team mates or fellow competitors would see me as a show-off or someone who thought she was better than she was. It was silly, I'd earned my place, after all. But it was how I felt. 

SO proud of being able to wear this kit

The race had been ok. I had been insanely stressed about it all, but I was lucky enough to have Paul and Dana take me under their wings. They had raced in GB kit many times before and were seasoned pros at this. They knew so much more than me and helped me so much, from navigating the hire car from along the roads from Munich to Walchsee to getting the bike rebuilt and getting it racked in the right place. Things hadn't gone quite to plan … dropped drinks bottles, snot rockets on me from fellow competitors to corpses in the Air BnB beds (Race report here) but I survived, stayed on the bike and made it home again (to a vandalised car but that's another story). 

However, as you might have guessed it didn't all end there. For at least a couple of months after getting back, every week or so I'd leap out of bed in the middle of the night and start collecting my tri kit, convinced I'd overslept for the race. I'd even got as far as grabbing my bike one night before I woke up properly and realised I was at home, it was a Tuesday night and I was wheeling my bike through the house to a race that was weeks ago! 

Check out those trusty ASICS GT2000s

Luckily it stopped after a few months, but it wasn't a nice feeling while it lasted. Don't get me wrong, being able to go back to bed again after realising there wasn't a race to go to that I was horribly late for, was lovely. But the panic and the beating heart was awful. I think it was just the pressure I'd put myself under as I was desperate not to 'show up' my team colours. As it was, the race was fairly eventful and not in a terribly good way, but it was a good learning experience and only my 2nd middle distance triathlon. So there had been a lot to learn and a lot of mistakes to be made.

Eyes on the Prize!

I've had a lot of big races since then. Multiple middle distance triathlons and even a couple of long distance ironman triathlons, but luckily I've never had the stress dreams come back. And I don't miss them.

Have you ever had anything like this? How did you manage it?

Monday 10 October 2022

ASICS Magic Speed 2: Do Carbon Plates Make You a Faster Runner?

* These Magic Speed 2 were sent to me for free as part of being an ASICS FrontRunner. I don’t get paid for reviewing them but I chose to review these as I like them. It’s an unbiased review – I’m saying exactly what I think.* 

Sometimes things just come together.

When I realised that my new ASICS Magic Speed 2 would be landing a few weeks before Ironman Copenhagen, my A-race of the year, I was delighted. I'd heard of the benefits that a carbon footplate could make but I'd never tried a pair of shoes with these.

I'd read all the hype, some manufacturers were claiming a 4% faster run time with no extra effort, just by wearing a pair of shoes with a carbon plate in the sole. Wow … if this is true then my marathon time would drop from 3 hrs 23 mins to 3 hours 14 minutes just by changing my shoes. No extra training, no difference in nutrition or sleep. Literally just by lacing up a different pair of shoes.

As the shoes arrived a couple of weeks before my event (Ironman Copenhagen), I had the opportunity to go out for a few runs in them and try tempo, long and speed-work runs. I was impressed at how light they felt and while the rigidity of the shoe was surprising at first, it wasn't unpleasant. The carbon plate in these shoes runs the full length of the shoe and it provides additional structure to the shoe and assists the 'toe off' propulsion, meaning it feels quite springy. The carbon plates help the foam compress and expand more quickly which returns more energy to the runner. They've also got the additional benefit of stabilising the ankles and keeping toes straight which reduces fatigue on other parts of the body.

And yes, the trainers did feel fast. I'm not sure how much was placebo effect and expecting them to be a speedy shoe, but I found I was running quite significantly faster for just a moderate effort. Which is a lovely feeling coming up to a race.

The shoes were very comfy too. I didn't find they needed a 'wearing in’ period – I would have been able to just buy these and race in them straight away. Which was lucky really, considering how close my event was.

The shoes are designed for neutral runners which was a little concerning as I do tend to over-pronate to a degree and wear ASICS GT 2000s or similar for long road runs but I didn't find this caused any issues. I certainly didn't pick up any niggles or twinges and didn't find my form significantly different.

So … how did the shoes perform?

The race went well overall. The shoes were comfy and despite the event being a nice toasty 23 – 24*c, my feet didn't feel too warm or overheat which is something I've noticed in some of the heavier and more cushioned shoes. I'm not sure how good my running form was after a 3.8km swim and a 112 mile bike ride, but it felt ok and I certainly didn't feel as though I was dropping into my ultra-runners shuffle. Also more tellingly, the race run photos weren't too terrible – hard to hide the drooping hips and low leg lift from a race photographer. All positives, however my run was slightly slower than my last ironman (which I ran with broken ribs) but this was more down to my stomach getting grumpy at sugary gels and insisting on portaloo stops. Removing these stops would mean I'd have been about 12 minutes quicker … an improvement of around 3% … fairly close to the estimated 4% benefit.

I'm sold. I'll definitely be running my A-races in these shoes or similar in future events. Extra speed with no additional work? It's a no brainer for me.

And if this isn't enough to convince you, at least 50% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to help reduce waste and carbon emissions. So not only are you running quicker, you're choosing a more eco friendly way to do it. More speed and less guilt. 

Need more convincing? Have a look here.

Monday 5 September 2022

Tales & Trails: Talking, Running & EXCELLENT Cider

I was quite convinced that no-one would come. I’m no pro-athlete. In fact if someone can be relied upon for something to go wrong, it’s usually me. Nice docile sheep? It’ll be chasing me. Passing a nice bushy bush with big leaves? Tummy will suddenly have an ‘episode’. Water? Fall in it? Bike? Fall off it. Run? Fall over.

That’s pretty much my life. And my training. 

Luckily Paul the owner of `Big Bear Events’ decided that this was pretty much WHY people would want to come and hear me chat to him. That and the fact that there would be a beautiful trail run around the surrounding area and the MASSIVE PLUS that the talk would be held at a brewery. 

And you know what? It went ok. There was a little bit of heckling. From friends - phew! So to be expected. And no-one walked out. Apart from Ali who needed a wee, so that practically doesn’t count. And NO-ONE boo-ed. At all.


And the cider was most excellent. 

Photo by Paul 

Wednesday 31 August 2022

It’s enjoyment, Jim, but not as I know it - GUEST POST - Phil Collard


This may be a one-off blog… or it may be part-one of a two-parter. Which of those it is very much depends on my health over the coming days/weeks.

Let me take you back to mid-July - just before the school holidays (I have sons age 15 and 12, so school holidays are still relevant to me).

The weather was hot and my motivation to swim/bike/run was high - I particularly wanted to keep up my 9 year, pretty much unbroken, habit of at least one long ride every month (which, for me, is anything over 200km).

Partly because of the heat - and partly because we fancied something different - a mate and I hatched a plan to do said long ride overnight.

And once a plan is hatched, it just has to be seen through. 

That’s the law.

That 200km ride was probably one of my strongest ever over that distance… not just because the average speed was higher than normal (it’s not all about average speeds, right?) but mainly because of how composed I felt throughout, how much I enjoyed it, and how fresh I felt at the end (I positively jogged up my garden path when I got home).

If you’re really inclined, you can watch a short video of that, here

But my world of swim/bike/run cycling was about to fall apart.

To cut a very long story short, someone flicked a switch and within 36 hours, I was struggling to even ride 5 miles.

It got worse.

Any exercise at all became practically impossible over the course of the next 5 weeks.

Whilst I never felt ill, as such, I developed a persistent cough and an inability to exert myself without getting shockingly out of breath.

And I really do mean “shockingly”.

For context, I was even getting out of breath brushing my teeth… going up stairs became really difficult… riding a bike (even slowly, to the end of the road) became impossible.

Chest X-rays came back clear and a visit to my doctor concluded that, whilst I’d never tested positive for Covid, I simply “must” have had it… and that I was now feeling the after-effects.

It was devastating.

Not least because, over the summer holidays, I had so many plans to be cycling with both my boys.

My oldest lad, Angus, is an established cyclist with a string of achievements already to his name: a few Strava KOMs to show he’s strong in those all-important “segments” - and plenty of “longer rides”, up to and including 250km, to show he’s got endurance sorted, too.

My youngest, Evert, was showing an interest in joining me and had set his sights on us doing a 100km ride together before the new school term had started.

All of a sudden, those plans were gone.

As it turned out, over the last 6 weeks of inactivity, it’s my boys who have taught me a very important lesson.

At my request (because they both seemed to be waiting for me to recover… and I desperately didn’t want them to do that), they started riding 20 mile routes without me.

Yep - they went out on their bikes - two brothers - just getting on with it.

And they got on with it with style, too. Utterly full of enthusiasm and loving every minute.

So what was the very important lesson I learned?

I learned that cycling can be enjoyable even if I’m not the one doing it. 

I can’t tell you how much I love listening to their post-ride stories about the great time they’ve  had.

Even overhearing them talking to each-other about their ride, and where they might go next, puts a smile on my face.

And, whilst I already knew my oldest was fast (I’ve spent over a year watching him ride away from me!), my youngest (who I shall remind you is only 12 years old) has shown himself to be no slouch, either. His last two 20 mile rides have been at comfortably over 17mph average so, in reality, he’d comfortably be able to join a club I ride with on a Wednesday evening (something he’s pushing for). The next step for him is cleated pedals, I think (something else he’s pushing for!).

As I write this, I still find myself laid-up now - although things have moved on a little. 

In a bizarre twist of fate, my ability to breathe seems to have improved but, at the exact same time as I started to recognise that improvement, I started to “feel” really very ill indeed.

I tested positive for Covid - around 6 weeks after, presumably, I’d had it for the first time.

When will I recover?

Goodness knows - there seems to be lots of horror stories out there about “never” recovering (I can’t read those anymore!).

Realistically, I’m taking it one day at a time but you can count on one thing - if I “can” get back to it, I bloody well will.

By Phil Collard

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Tesalate Towel Review: Will I Lose it in Triathlon Transition?

*I was sent 2 x Tesalate Towels to try. They were sent to me for free and I don’t get paid for reviewing them but I was asked to pop a review on for them. It’s an unbiased review – I’m saying exactly what I think as usual …!*

There are a few things I am looking for when I run down transition on the search for my spot on the racking … my bike and my distinctive towel. I carefully count my steps each time through transition … and then I get out of the swim, start running to my bike and forget which step I'm on. So a brightly coloured towel is a definite benefit!

A few days before Ironman Barcelona ... sitting on my sand-free towel!

Tesalate asked me if I wanted to try their towels … and after looking at the bright designs I said a very definite and resounding YES! They would send me a couple to try for free and in return I would write a review saying what I thought of them … whether that was good or bad.

I ordered the 2 designs I wanted … obviously I went for subtle and under-stated. NOT. I went for zebra print and tropical flowers (similar to this one) I had my mind very firmly set on having a towel I couldn't forget at the gym or miss during a triathlon!

A few days after I'd ordered the towels, I received a standard email stating that the towels came with an absolute guarantee and that they could be returned even after they'd been used which I thought was a nice touch.

Handy size for the gym

My first impressions:
  • Feel? The towel felt smooth - not like a classic bathroom towel. It was smooth and soft, almost silky.Not like my normal bobbly towels.
  • Design? The colours were bright and clear. Definitely easy to spot in a triathlon transition! (priorities!)
  • Size: is it big enough? Will it fit in a transition bag? Too big for a spin bike? The Tesalate towel is about the size of a decent hand towel or small bath towel. Good for transition or gym use, but not if you like towels wrapped twice around your body and tucked under your armpits.
  • Does it seem like it'll last? It feels strong and well made. Imagine it will be fairly durable.
  • Is it shedding threads? No. No concerns about threads coming off or the towel being delicate or fragile.
  • What's the quality like? The quality feels good. The towel feels strong and the design is bright. 
  • Is it bright? Will I spot it in transition? Yes definitely. Not a standard pattern either – no worries about someone else having the same pattern! 

What do Tesalate Say?
  • Sand free fabric technology. 
  • Antibacterial and odour-free. Antimicrobial additives built into the very core of our fabric, our workout towels remain smelling fresh, even after long hours of hard workout or any physical activity. We use zinc in the construction of the workout towel fabric and this acts as an antibacterial agent. Unlike other antimicrobial substances such as silver and copper, zinc-based additives are broad spectrum antimicrobials. This means they are effective against not just bacteria but also the growth of fungi including algae, mould and mildew that causes odour build up.
  • Bright and unique designs.
Wish I was back here now!

Thoughts after using the towel
  • I'd definitely take it to the beach again – sheds the sand!
  • Antibacterial so great for the gym … no concerns about picking up nasties from draping it over gym equipment.
  • A bit small for the shower to changing bag run but excellent size for packing light, using on a spin bike or treadmill or a day trip to the beach.
  • Very bright and clear even after multiple machine washes … and it'll be coming with me on holiday later this year again too!

Fancy your own? Have a look at the designs here: Tesalate

A Coventry Way: 40 Miles of Thoughts & Trails


Some days are run days. Sunday was one of these. Bright, sharp and cold, it started with birdsong and frost. I’d parked a mile from the start, in the centre of Meridian which gave me a mile of gently sparkling pavements, Spring flowers and cold nose and ears.

The start is from the Queens Head pub and you can start from any time between 0500hrs and 0900hrs, you just notify the marshals, handed your green direction book with a number on and you’re off. No race number on you to identify you from any other runner or walker and no starting gun. Also no pressure. Perfect.

I ran alone for almost the entire 40 miles apart from when I shared a word or two with other runners or a walker on a hill section. It was nice. There was nothing else to do except run. It was freeing. No chores to do, no commitments, no work. Just right foot, left foot.

40 miles of thoughts and trails.

There are frequent aid stations and I had a tuna roll - salty and surprisingly good for a long run. And some fruit cake - divine. And plenty of pick n mix - sour of course, my favourite!

Training hadn’t been ideal - I was relying on my cardio fitness to get me through as my longest runs had been 10 miles … in January. So the goal was just relentless forward progress. Just keep going. Run, jog, walk. Just keep going.

And it was lovely. I didn’t expect it to be but it was. There was even March sunshine so I ran in a vest for 20 miles. Quite different to the ice and frost of the morning. I spoke to everyone I passed and there were lots of familiar and friendly faces I was delighted to see. I didn’t want to run with anyone else today though. This was my day to have some solitude and find some peace in just running.

There were frogs early on. Burping in a pond. And woodpeckers in the distance. Things I had the chance to hear when I wasn’t concerned about time or pace or getting home for the school run or trying to fit in a bike session.

I have run this route 5 or 6 times but today I remembered it out of order. I was surprised what was around each corner. Like a book with the chapters mismatched. Each turn was into a section I didn’t quite remember being HERE. It was quite curious.

Each section held memories too. New friends made here while running. Racing this section with speedy people. Dropping snacks into mud in this section. Passing my husband at this point last time.

There were wet feet at Corley Moor as it really is quite impossible to avoid the swampy patches and my purple trainers were black until the mud dried and fell off again. The pub at the top of the hill always looks incredibly inviting but with 3 miles until the end, it’s never quite tempting enough to throw the race off.

The final few fields are uphill but knowing that the final mile is almost all downhill keeps my momentum going. Just over the next stile … well maybe the NEXT stile? Well ... certainly the very next one.

And then I was into the final mile and turning the corner to the Queens Head, the start and finish point in Meriden. And it was over.

Sunday 20 February 2022

Tempo Winter 10k Series: Ilmington Hill, Sausages & Hoodies

Today’s run manta was mostly “Don’t get blown off the hill! Don’t get blown off the hill!” as Storm Eunice really tried it’s very best to persuade me to take a shortcut down the hillside to the village. It probably would have been a lot quicker but I do prefer my bones unbroken. Plus I had to actually cross the finish line to get my hoody rather than just get blown in the general direction. 

I DEFINITELY spotted the photographer!
(Pic by OxonRacesPhotos)

Today’s run was the last 10k in the Tempo Winter 10k race series. There are 5 races in the series and the first is in October and the rest are every month until the final one in February. The races are famous for handing out packet of sausages for a completed event rather than a medal. - much more practical and delicious - and for awarding the runners who complete all 5 events a very warm and much coveted hoody! If you do miss a race, you still have a chance at the hoody if you volunteer at one of Tempo’s events to make up for non-appearance

                                                    Woo!! Better than a medal!!                                

The Ilmington 10k races are not just famous for good sausages and hoodies though. They are also notorious for a rather horrible and lengthy climb. This climb, namely Larkstoke Hill is the highest point in Warwickshire and there’s a 2km climb to the summit. Just what you want in the middle of a 10k race. Right? Right? Anyone? *tumbleweed*

I work shifts and I rarely have regular weekends off so it was surprise to me when I checked back in the summer that every single race fell on a rest day from work. It was clearly meant to be so I signed up for all 5 events. 

I then did an Ironman, was incapable of actually staying ON the bike, fell off and broke some ribs. So Race 1 was with broken ribs. Luckily Rich was recovering from surgery so we hobbled, walked and a did a small amount of running for event 1. Enough to get round, get the sausages and tick off race one. Then brunch with Rugby Tri at Lighthorne Pavilion Cafe. Nice. If somewhat fragrant sitting around a table with 8 other runners who had just run the 10k and believed in food before showers. Cake before Cleanliness clearly. 

                                                    Cold and stinky. Good food though!

Race 2 was … a no go. I went to Scotland, promptly got COVID and was isolated in my room with Netflix, the cats and room service for 10 days. It was amazing. Apart from not being able to do the race. I contacted Tempo Events who assured me that I could volunteer at one of their other events  and have that count towards the race so I wouldn’t miss out on the hoody! Phew!

Race 3 … post Christmas, post COVID. I’d like to say I DIDN’T eat all the pies over Christmas but I’d clearly be lying. Totally worth it. Well. On the downhills anyway. Gravity was my friend for the downhills.  Turned up at Ilmington and it appeared that Warwickshire had saved up all the rain for race day. It wasn’t just drizzling or spotting or piddling. It was absolutely pissing it down. And washing all manner of mud, muck, sticks and crap down the road for us to enjoy as we were running. Rich and I ran together again. He’s organised. He knows all his splits and what times he wants to be at certain places. Me? I’m there for the sausages and the hoody at the end. But I’ll tag along for a chat and to annoy Rich. I mean. Keep him company. Met Leah on this run! Super ultrarunner, optimistic and enthusiastic! She spotted my ASICS FrontRunner top and started chatting as she said she said she knew that if I was a FrontRunner I must be friendly! (What a nice thing to be a part of!). She was great company and we ran all the way fro the top of Larkstoke Hill together until she smashed in a fast finish with about half a kilometre to go. Also we found an awesome pub with an open fire, sofas and who weren’t averse to smelly runners coming and eating all the food. 

                                                I spotted the photographer again!
(Pic by OxonRacesPhotos)

Race 4 was run in the opposite direction. Which was confusing and horrific. And meant that the hill was near the end of the run. What a horrible thing to do. Turns out the event goes opposite directions each time but due to me getting the plague for race 2 this was first time I’d ‘enjoyed’ the race this way around. Basically it went ‘well because you have’t tired yourself out going up a 2km hill in the first 4 km, you’ll go too fast for your current level of fitness for the first 6km and then want a nice sit down around 8km’. Rich knew his splits and wasn’t shifting from them despite my whining and wanting a sit down. Luckily Leah was running with us too and distracted me from the misery of ‘Hills In The Wrong Place’. Had a pizza at the awesome pub. Things started looking better once I forget about the hill.  

Race 5 was lovely. The hill was in the right place again at kilometre 1 and I started off running with Rich and Leah but got distracted by MASSIVE WIND. Not the baked beans type but the Storm Eunice type. It was a headwind going up the hill but that didn’t really matter as I was going sloth in treacle speed but at the top, the sidewinds were quite immense. To the extent you were running leaning slightly sideways, but when there was a bit of shelter you’d find yourself at the other side of the road due to overcompensating for the wind … which was suddenly not there. Very odd. There was a tailwind heading down the hill which you you couldn’t feel - just the absence of wind. But by the time the long hill was done, it was just the slog through the village to the sausages. And the hoody! Which was purple, snuggly and earned with 40k of running a days volunteering! 

                    Rugby Tri in the pub with our hard-earned hoodies! (Neal W's photo)

What a horrific hill. I’ll be back. I’m now addicted to sausages and want another hoody.