Hi guys,

October has been a particularly special month for the ladies as we had the first ever women’s only Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.  This proved to be a roaring success for many and I for one was so pleased to see the ladies finally get their day, they have waited far too long for this in my opinion. So often when I’ve been to Hawaii in the past, I’ve seen how putting so many athletes on the same course on the same day really has a hugely negative impact on the women’s race. It’s something that has frustrated me for years as Ironman have put more and more athletes on the same course on a tiny, beautiful, sacred Island. This has ultimately led them down the path of splitting the race into two different locations.

There will be arguments for and against till the end of time but for now it’s something that we have to accept. Many of us never dreamed the World Championships could be moved from its birthplace in Kona. The huge positive for this is that the ladies now get a day where they can race together without such a huge male field in comparison. To see a race that was totally focussed on the women for once was like a breath of fresh air. For once we got to see as fair a race that the ladies could have ever hoped for and what a race it proved to be.

To finally see British girl Lucy Charles-Barclay crowned the Queen of Kona after 4 x 2nd places was nothing short of extraordinary. And it wasn’t just that, it was the crushing way she did it. Leading from gun to tape with a new course record thrown in for good measure. Anyone who follows Lucy will also know that the path to this victory was as fraught as they come. I for one didn’t think she could win it after 4 x 2nd places but never have I been happier to be proved wrong. It was a performance that was as brilliant as it was inspiring. The pressure on her must have been unimaginable. I can’t think of a greater role model for female athletes around the world whose place has now been forever cemented in Ironman history.

Race results

Ironman World Championships (Hawaii)

  • Vicki Hill 
  • Splits: swim 1:10:23 / bike 5:42:03 / run 3:38:47
  • Total Time: 10:41:43
  • 13th/ 333 (45-49 category)

After 2 races where our ‘Pocket Rocket’ clearly wasn’t at her very best it was so good to see her find her form once again at the race that mattered. As ever a World Championship build generates a huge amount of drama and disappointment along the way and Vicki had her fair share of this. As with most athletes there is so much going on in the background that you just don’t see. It’s only the athlete, coach and physio that gets to see it and anyone else within the inner circle. But as ever, Vicki showed her incredible determination and resilience to get herself to the start line. Most importantly she was healthy and ready to race… just!  Then to see her produce such and outstanding swim and run combination says everything about her. Especially when she had persistent knee issues throughout the year that impacted her on the bike. This was just the confidence boost she needed before she finally moves out of this age category into the next one. She’ll be the new (younger!) girl on the block for this one and I for one can’t wait to see what she can do. Outstanding work as ever Vickster, one to be proud of.

Portugal 70.3 

  • Philippa Paxman 
  • Splits: swim 31:37 / bike 2:57:35 / run 1:59:43
  • Total Time: 5:38:09
  • 18th/ 71 (30-34 category)

A brilliant first race back from new girl Pip after an injury ravaged year. When she first came on my training camp back in April this year, she was barely unable to run a few mins without having issues. These run issues had plagued her for quite some time. So, to be able to get to the start line for this year injury free and finish it so well was a huge achievement.  You have barely scratched the surface with this one and there is so much more to come. Great work Pip!

National Masters Swimming Championships 

  • Bridget Trefgarne
  • 55-59 category
  • 4th in 50m backstroke – 37:27
  • 2nd in 100m back stroke – 1:17:43
  • 2nd in 200m back stroke – 2:46:34

A massive shout out to our backstroke Queen who put in an outstanding performance at the National Masters Swim Championships last weekend taking 2 silver medals. She also did it the hard way from lane 8, must have been the lucky pink super suit! Brilliant performances Bridget.

Blue Challenge Ibiza (10k Posidonia Open Water Race) 

  • Sami Robertson 
  • Sub 3 hours (despite taking a detour and swimming around the wrong rock formation!)

Our resident swim extraordinaire Sami Robertson was back in action the beautiful Island of Ibiza earlier this month. Yet again showing his versatility going from ice swimming earlier in the year to a long-distance swim in some much-deserved sun in October. There’s nothing this tough guy can’t turn his hand to swim wise (well apart from sculling). Great work Sami.

Some of my fave things this month…

Ultra-Processed People – Chris van Tulleken

One of the most fascinating books on food I have ever read. It was as scary as it was eye opening. What the food industry is currently able to get away is the real health scandal of our times. Reading this book could be the best investment in your health you could ever make. There were so many things in this book that shocked and appalled me, and I’ve worked in the health industry for a long, long time. You’d be crazy not to read this one.

Beckham (Netflix)

He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I must admit I quite enjoyed this documentary. His story is fascinating in many ways. If there was ever an athlete who has had to stand up to & overcome adversity, it’s David Beckham. Considering the roller coaster of highs & lows he has been through it’s quite amazing to see what he achieved as a player. His steely determination to learn from each situation and come back stronger should only be applauded. Worth a watch.

Missing you NJ, but glad to see you in your element several floors up with a nice view in Hong Kong!