This weekend was the first training event as part of the GR100 Team. We all headed up to Stafford to ‘reccie’ the IRONMAN Staffs 70.3 Cycling Segment…. an advertised ‘flat and fast’ course!
The rendezvous point was the town hall in the little village of Great Hayward. An early start and a good breakfast was the order of the morning to ensure that there was enough fuel in the tank for the 55 mile ride that we were about to do.
Thanks to the organisation skills of the GR Foundation and Head Coach Will Usher, we had amazing support for the event. Team Raleigh were on hand to provide support vehicles incase of bike issues or human issues. We were also joined by Nick Dunn of Tri-Camp Mallorca and Professional Triathlete – Lucy Gossage.
It was a massive please to have Lucy on hand. Not only is she very experienced in the Triathlon World, but she is also a Cancer Doctor. She has been working with Cancer Research UK on the study of Kidney Cancer.
Having split up into groups (beginners, intermediates and advanced), we headed out onto the road. The first pit stop being the coffee shop about 40km’s away… fortunately we had pre-warned her that about 60 cyclists would be arriving at her cafe!!
It wasn’t long before the support vehicle was required. One of out group picked up a puncture.. but we were quick to get a masterclass in how to change a tyre in quick time by Will.
Although advertised as a flat and fast course, it seemed that it was anything but. The course is very challenging, with some steady long climbs, tricky downhills and suspect road surfaces. Riding the course with the team was a great opportunity to formulate a game plan for the race itself. It was also a great opportunity for some to master clip-in pedals and controlled crashing. I managed a ‘tuck and roll’ over the handlebars shortly after the coffee stop… I am pretty sure there must have been something else in that drink!! haha
Arriving back at the hall in a time of 3hrs 34 mins was pleasing. I felt that I had a lot left in the tank and that with another 3 months of training I should be able to shave many minutes off that time.
Well done to all that took part. It was great to be part of a team, and already the abuse and banter has started. To be fair it was mainly me giving it so I am sure that it will come back to haunt me!
Thanks goes to Will Usher for organising such a great day…. looking forward to the open water swim day in May.
Also a massive thank you to all that have donated so far. I am overwhelmed that I have already passed the £1000 mark. That’s 20% of my target!!!
If you wish to donate, then visit my page www.justgiving.com/jamesmckeownironman or text JMIM77 £10 to 70070
until the next instalment…..