Just back from Henley and a wonderful weekend. Tired but buzzing!
Congratulations to the organizers Just Racing for putting on a fantastic new Iron distance event and delighted to have sponsored the swim and been part of it.
We had put together a couple of relay teams, an elite team and a celebrity one and also had a place for Martin Hollywood who won his on our facebook site!
The elite team did us proud with Olympic swim hopeful, the lovely Ellie Faulkner leading out of the Thames by several minutes in an amazing 48 minutes. It was Ellie’s first time in a wetsuit, she’s more used to swimming in warmer water too but she did an amazing job- I’m totally in awe!
Ellie handed over to Kona qualifier and local bike shop owner Rob Griffiths who powered round the tough 112 mile bike course in under 5 hours. Rob stepped in to the team at the last minute and manned a stall all weekend at the expo so didn’t have any rest or preparation-thanks Rob.
The incredible Adam Holland traveled overnight from Devon to finish off the run leg with a 2:52 marathon. Adam holds the record for the youngest person to run 100 marathons at only 23 years old and also has a pb of 2:39. He breaks all the rules, running without nutrition and very little training, just relying on his abundant raw talent and enjoying it so much.
With this crack team we were delighted to win the relay event in a time of 8 hours 39 minutes.
Our second team was meant to be a celebrity team but didn’t quite work. Vernon Kay was all set to do the swim but unfortunately after an MRI scan earlier in the week on a shoulder injury had to pull out a couple of days before and Jean-Christophe Novelli was injured on holiday and had to pull out of the bike leg. We still had the lovely Rosie Swale-Pope to run (more about Rosie later) so it was down to myself and husband Jim to step in despite not having trained!
I had a great swim, cold water 15.5 degrees and twice as far as I have swam for a few years, but it was SO COOL to see bobbing Swimovate logos on everyones caps each time I took a breath- special moments that I will always remember!
Jim enjoyed the cycle and much to his amazement didn’t blow up and took us by surprise by finishing in just over 6 hours much quicker than he thought. The wonderful Rosie Swale-Pope finished off the team with a superb marathon run to bring the team home just after dark.
Rosie is such a character, with a heart of pure gold. She ran around the world after her husband died from Prostate Cancer. Took 5 years and over 50 pairs of shoes but she made it. Spending 18 months in Siberia, running across Alaska with frostbite, Iceland and Greenland pulling all her kit behind her, she didn’t do it the easy way (if there is such a thing!).
Rosie gave a stunning talk at the pasta party and had a long snake of people wanting her book at the end- one you really should read. Fantastic stories and eloquently written I highly recommend it.
Congratulations to Martin for completing the entire event and all the other 800 competitors! Roll on next year!