Hope most of you have been inspired by the Tour De France to ride your bikes further, faster and for longer this month. I certainly know I have. In 25 years of watching the tour I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like it. It was without doubt one of the greatest races I have ever had the pleasure to witness. Once in a generation a group of athletes will come to together and take a sport to the next level, like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic did with tennis, I think there is a chance this could happen with Pogacar, Vingegaard and the extraordinary Wout Van Aert in cycling. Then in the background I think we might see a British rider who could eventually complete this foursome in Tom Pidcock. The talent these young athletes have is awe-inspiring because they choose to do things a different way, their way and it’s so refreshing to see. At the beginning of the tour I thought there was only one rider who would dominate for the next 10 years but what this Tour revealed is that the next 10 years could be potentially the most exciting we’ve ever seen as these riders develop and do battle. A golden era of cycling could be ahead of us and I for one can’t wait to see it.
My other source of inspiration was some of the terrific performances our athletes put in while out there racing this month. In particular it was so great to see so many people attempting distances for the first time. We had the full range from someone taking their first tentative steps into multi-sport to an athlete completing his first Ironman. The joy I get from seeing athletes take on and over come these challenges can’t be put into words. What is clear from the photos shown below is how much it meant to all them to complete these distances for the first time. I remember way back in the day when I did each of my first distances and can remember thinking of how much I wanted other people to experience what I had just experienced. This is eventually what led me into coaching.
One photo was just that little bit special because there is such a wonderful story behind it. It’s a story that goes a long way back for me. Meet 19 year old Ollie Jansen who just completed his first triathlon…not just any triathlon but Finland 70.3. I’ve known Ollie since he was about 7 years old, I have also coached his Mum & Dad to multiple Ironmans. I remember how much Ollie used to love travelling around the world supporting his parents. The seed had been planted so this was quite a moment for both his parents and I. They say a picture paints a thousand words so this one is well and truly up there with the best of them.
The Outlaw Ironman
- Arnaud Marchal
- Splits: 1:05:10 swim / 5:54:06 bike / 4:42:11 run
- Total Time: 11:59:59
- 45-49 category
- Next up: Ealing Half Marathon
Your first Ironman is always special and to say this performance was just a little bit special would be a huge understatement. It’s so rare that any athlete can go sub 12 in an Ironman at their first attempt because there is so much to learn and experience. It was also incredibly hot on the day too. So to slip in one second under off the back of a year where there were many doubts that Arnaud would ever make it to the start line was incredible. The doubts mainly came from the fact that like many athletes with young children, illness was rife in the early part of the year. Be it covid or colds/sore throats etc…Arnaud had these in abundance. Pretty much fed up and ready to give up this goal for the year I told him to hold on for 2 more weeks to see if the tides would start to turn. Thankfully they did turn at just the right time and the reward is there for all to see. Bravo Arnaud Marchal first time Ironman’s don’t come much better than that!
- Oliver Jansen
- Splits: 36:18 swim / 3:11:10 bike / 2:18:54 run
- Total Time: 6:18:01
- 18-24 category
- Next up: Conquer the triathlon world
I remember the first time I met Ollie when he was a little boy, he might have only been about knee high to a grasshopper and about 7 years old but he impressed me even then. At the time I was sat in a restaurant with his Mum & Dad (Lucie & Chris Jansen). I’m pretty sure we were discussing their first attempts at Ironman as I was coaching them at the time. Who would have thought that little boy would one day follow in his parents footsteps and take on the challenge of his first half Ironman at the tender age of 19. One thing for sure is that his Mum & Dad’s passion for the sport well and truly lives on in him. It has also been one of my coaching highlights watching him grow up into such a fine young man and then to train him for his first triathlon. He also did it the tough way, flying in last minute and the weather hitting 30 degrees on the day. A performance to be proud of for sure and i’m sure the first of many many more to come.
Huge congrats also to the rest of the family…Mum, Dad and cousin Lewis who also completed the race in what was a very big family affair!
- Elvira Stromback
- Splits: 34:07 swim / 2:53:46 bike / 1:53:10 run
- Total Time: 5:35:49
- 45-49 category
- Next up: Ironman Sweden
So good to see this girl back in action after 3 years of no racing and only a recent return to training. A classy performance to to finish 12th/ 92 in her age category. Hope it’s the first of many more and huge congrats to your other half Jonas on completing his first half Ironman!
Hever Castle Middle Distance
- Neil Rowe
- Splits: 42:28 swim / 3:48:57 bike / 2:36:07 run
- Total Time: 7:20:29
- 45-49 category
- Next up: London Olympic +
Huge congrats to Neil who completed his first ever half Ironman distance race. He also did it on one of the toughest courses out there. A typical gutsy performance that will be the perfect stepping stone to his first Ironman later this year.
Bananaman Olympic Triathlon
- David Rueda
- Splits: 29:15 swim / 1:12:42 bike / 48:17 run
- Total Time: 2:32:45
- 2nd in 45-49 category
- Next up: Richmond Half marathon
Another terrific podium spot from our favourite ‘Flying Spaniard’. After a very tough few months he still manages to pull these performances out of the bag…I really don’t know how he does it but then again maybe it’s his secret paella recipe he keeps telling me about.
Bananaman Sprint + Triathlon (800m swim/32 km bike/ 7.5km run)
- Simon Evans
- Splits: 11:40 swim / 55:26 bike / 34:28 run
- Total Time: 1:44:10
- 2nd in 50-54 category
- Next up: Bournemouth International Tri (English Champs)
Great to see our swim squad boys hitting the podium together at the same race series. A solid strong stepping stone for Si to show us whats he’s made of later in the year.
JLL sprint property triathlon
- Toby Dean
- Splits: 12:37 swim / 33:59 bike / 21:17 run
- Total Time: 1:12:26
- 1st in 50-54 category
- Next up: Box End Sprint
Another race and another win for Toby this year for an athlete who has been absolutely flying this year. Awesome work Toby!
Castle-Howard Swim – run (1500m open water swim/ 10.5km run)
- Katrina Davison
- Splits: 31:43 swim / 48:15 run
- Total Time: 1:24:40
- 3rd in 30-34 category/ 6th female overall
- Next up: Richmond Park Half Marathon
It was terrific to see ‘Twinkle Toes’ finally taking the plunge to complete not just her first open water swim race but her first multi-event race. This girl has come on leaps and bounds in the water in such a short period of time after seeing her first swim last year. She also produced the fastest run of the day which was a fantastic achievement. We just need to add the bike next Katrina and you will be away!
Book of the month
Imagine David Goggin’s meets Dean Karnazes meets The Deer Hunter, then you pretty much have Cameron Hanes. A guy who turned himself from just an average guy into one of the best hunters in the world. Not one for the feint hearted or animal lovers (he’s a bow hunter / ultramarathon runner) this is his story of how he built the mental and physical resilience to become one of the best in the world at his chosen art.
“It’s all mental.
I say this all the time, and it’s true.
If you believe you can do it, you can.
We all have virtually limitless potential.
Our bodies are capable of so much more than what we ask of them.
Take off the mental handcuffs, get out there, and start on your way today.
What is your passion? You can become better at it.
Committing yourself to fitness only fuels your beliefs.
You gotta believe to achieve”
Instagram post of the month
Athlete feedback of the month
“Yahoo had a fun ride round Windsor. My perfect weather although it was hot that’s for sure but still not as sweaty as Singapore! But flip I miss aircon….the upstairs at my mums is like a sauna!
Anyway good ride, felt ok, still not 100% just coughing a bit and lots of nose blowing on the bike. Snot everywhere…luckily no one on my wheel!”
Team out & About
Spot the former Ironman World Record holder, the halo is the give away
When Coach says ride from London to Brighton & back this girl delivered. Hawaii prep well and truly underway
‘Apparently’ this was a wine tasting camp in Naxos secretly disguised as a swim training camp…looked like fun though & uber romantic
For all you foodies out there, just wanted to give a big shout out to www.wildbritishfood.com for the fabulous, fresh, delicious fish they sent me recently. It was handed over to the chef that lives next door to me to prepare and cook and he was equally impressed by the produce. This business will launch in the Autumn, you can sign up on the link above. The business will focus on connecting you to Britain’s fisherman, foragers and hunter-gatherers so you can get some of the finest quality produce delivered straight to your door