Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My December and 2014 review plus 2015 challenges

I've racked my brain on ways to start this blog post but it all keeps coming out like dribble and babble, so let's break this month down a bit.

All month I have been taking part in the Marcothon challenge which involves running at least 5k every day in December. Which is fairly simple to start with but becomes more difficult as the month progresses, however by the end of the month you're not sure what you're going to do when the challenge ends. The challenge couldn't have got off to a better start as I smashed my 10k PB at the stadium runners 10k time trial. The first week of the challenge flew by and I found running everyday really exciting and slightly naughty like I was doing something wrong. My 5k target on the first Sunday was split across several runs as it was the Huddersfield Santa dash, which is set over 1 mile. I completed the Santa dash in 5m30s and crossing the line as first finisher, which makes me the fastest Santa in Huddersfield in 2014. The field of runners isn't the same as a parkrun or a 10k but I will take the small victories whenever I can. 

As the days rolled on I found extra pace creeping into my training runs and when I ran an unofficial parkrun PB during the week I was amazed. This Marcothon challenge was really helping me and at the Xmas themed parkrun I managed to smash my parkrun PB by 15s and could now officially say I had a sub 21min PB. Yet there was still room for improvement as I was running in a Santa suit and there was a nasty headwind on the uphills. As I got closer to the end of the challenge I found that I was mixing the runs up a lot more to make sure things didn't get boring. I was trying a spot of pacing on some runs and on others I was starting slow and building my speed. Now that I am at the end of my Marcothon challenge, me and all the other people taking the challenge are all left with the feeling of what now, do we rest or do we carry on. 

For me it's the later as I had, at the start of December, decided to do 100 days of running.  I just started it with the Marcothon. So this December has been filled with running, but also with statistics and I loved watching and tracking them as I ran. For instance I ran a total of 135 miles this month and for the whole year I clocked up 643 miles. So I ran a fifth of my annual mileage in the last month of the year, it didn't feel like it though in fact the main thing I will take from the Marcothon is that as long as you don't go all out on each run and look after your legs you can easily run everyday.

My running wasn't the only thing that has made December a month to remember, although it is running based. Huddersfield juniors parkrun which has been a huge part of our family life along with all the juniors, volunteers and the rest of our juniors team it has been an amazing year. Sadly Simon our event director has decided to step down as ED due to work commitments, marathon training and missing races which is the one thing all runners look forward to. He won't be disappearing, he will still be helping and volunteering whenever he can, he just can't give it the focus that it needs. We always knew he was going to do this but just not so soon.  So from today (1/1/15) I can say proudly that I am the Event Director for Huddersfield Junior parkrun.  Simon has left a great team and I am really excited to see what 2015 holds for the junior event.

In 2014 I have had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with so many amazing people and I've also been witness to some brilliant moments. I've seen countless juniors smash their PBs, future parkrunning babies brought into the world and been witness to an awesome little girl complete a junior parkrun who couldn't walk 6 months previously. I've shed tears with fellow parkrunners over the loss of an amazing and spirited lady and I've made others weep just by highlighting how awesome they are and have others agree, 2014 has truly been one of those years that I won't forget in a hurry.


2015 is already looking like it will be an amazing year with a new PB yes another one, I knocked 5s off my PB at Pontefract parkrun. We were there as part of our New Year's Day parkrun double starting at Ponty then moving on to Nostell Priory. The whole of team Pattison was at Nostell Priory along with a lot of the friends we have made over the last year, the best thing about the day wasn't all the familiar faces and friends all running together.

No it was the enthusiasm for parkrun that I saw in Clark and the excitement about finally being able to take part in parkrun for the first time in 10 days time. He definitely has developed his own friendships within parkrun already, which will help when he's running around the park on a weekend.

2015 will also be a big year for me I terms of challenges with 4 half marathons and my first marathon already signed up to, and many more to come I'm sure. Then there is all the 10k's and other runs I will enter, not to mention that hopefully Dexter, SJ and I will all enter the 100 club at some point this year. Plus the Shepley 10k I will soon have to start planning and organising as well as the anniversary of our fabulous junior event.

So thank you to everyone who has been a part of my 2014 and let's make sure that 2015 is just as good if not better

Keep running everyone

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

5 years ago my life changed for the better!

Today is a very special day in my life, it was the day that changed my life for the good, because 5 years ago today I quit smoking. I quit for lots of reasons like the smell, the cost, the health issues and the standing outside in the cold on your own. But the main reason I quit was for my family, Dexter was about 18 months and running around all over the place and I was constantly out of breath or outside having a cig. So as a promise and a birthday present to my lovely wife I agreed to quit on her birthday, now her birthday is what happened? Well what happen the day before her birthday is probably the most contributing factor to why I managed to quit for good. I had planned my cigarettes so that I had enough to take me through to SJ's birthday but about halfway through the day Dexter, being the inquisitive little boy that he was, got hold of my cigs. He then did what later turned out be the best thing for me but at the time was devastating, to me anyway. He ripped up every last cig I had and not just a little, he totally obliterated them, on seeing the mess and panicking how I was going to manage the rest of the day, I cried a little. It was one of those life changing moments as after a minute or two I thought to myself, why am I crying about cigarettes? How pathetic was I? 

So I just STOPPED. Stopped worrying about them, stopped feeling silly and stopped smoking, just like that. Well almost the next day I booked an appointment with the nurse at the doctors and got some patches. I wore them for a week then from then on just went cold turkey and haven't had one regret since. For the first week or two it was lots of first, like first solo trip to the shops without thinking about them, first night without wanting to pop outside and other little firsts. It wasn't until about a month in that I managed to go out for a drink to the pub without worrying about temptation. All these, let's call them events were massive at the time but as soon as you manage to do one you instantly question why it was so difficult and why I had worried in the first place. Soon the months were turning into 6 months and years, and the events were less and less, and the times I even thought of a cig were down to about once a year, around this time of year. The final event came about a month ago when I realised the anniversary was coming but couldn't remember how many years it had been, I think it's safe to say I've QUIT.

For those of you that are wondering but this is a running blog what's this all about? Well this past fortnight has been my best couple of weekends runningwise since I started running 2 and a bit years ago. I've been feeling great about my running lately and 10 days ago at parkrun I smashed my PB by nearly 30 seconds then this past weekend at the Barnsley 10k I again smashed my PB by nearly 30 seconds, more on that in a bit. I can't believe how well I'm feeling at the moment and I wouldn't like to think where I would be now if I hadn't quit smoking when I did. It's been the best thing I've done healthwise and if it wasn't for my fantastic family and friends supporting me I probably would have slipped and started smoking again, so thank you everyone. I am now fitter, healthier and happier than ever and the running is just the icing on the cake. 

So this Sunday I headed over to Roysten to do the Barnsley 10k for the first time, I had heard good things about it and was in great spirits when I arrived at 9am to collect my number. Then on my way to the start line I saw a few familiar faces, some I expected to see and some I didn't, which was nice. I went for a warm up jog round the park and ended up marshalling/cheering on the junior race, which was ace as I was missing huddersfield juniors parkrun to be at Barnsley. Watching the junior race there was a familiar feel to it as there was a wide range of abilities very similar to junior parkrun, complete with parents not being able to keep up with their awesome juniors. Once that was over the seniors started to gather and the Stadium runners started to arrive running the Barnsley 10k in memory of Olive, who died a couple of months ago. This was her favourite race and even signed up this year before her illness became terminal, I have recently signed up with them but was torn whether or not to run with them for Olive, I hadn't done it before and after getting my 5k PB the week before was feeling up for it this week. So I decide that even though paying tribute to Olive was high on my mind I thought that even though I didn't know her very well I know she would want be to go out there and give it my best. So that is what I was going to do, and I lined up at the start all ready to smash it. Whilst waiting I saw another 4/5 people that I knew but didn't expect to see them running, so I said hello and then set up my Strava ready to go. It was fairly busy at the start and we were all expecting a run brief but all of a sudden there was an air horn and we were off.

It was a slow start because of the congestion but once we got out onto the open road it soon spread out. As I hadn't done this run before I didn't know what to expect so when we completed the first Km and were then confronted by a monster of a first climb I thought we were in for a tough run. Still feeling good I pushed up the hill overtaking a few people and reaching the top in no time. Then after a steady climb we started to flatten out a bit and at the next turning the course seemed to take a slight downward tilt and it meant I could catch my breath whilst picking up the pace again. About 2 and a half miles in I passed Simon E our event director at Hudds juniors, after a quick chat he told me to push on and go smash it, so I did. I pushed hard for the next 3 miles and even after about 4 small hills I was still in good spirits and was feeling great. 

With only about a mile to go I was ready to push for the finish but was taken by surprise at the last hill that seemed to come out of nowhere and it took every little bit energy I had left. Luckily it was only a few hundred metres to the finish now and I mustered up a sprint finish to cross the line in 45.33 knocking nearly 30 seconds of my PB and on a tough route too. Once I had gone and got my finishers t-shirt I went to congratulate all my friends I had seen along the way. 

Then I took up a place on the finish funnel ready to cheer the Stadium Runners across the line after their tribute run for Olive. As they appeared in the distance everyone started clapping and Olives Daughter and Grandson who were running just in front of them looked very emotional, understandably of course. They crossed the lined then the Stadium runners came into the funnel and most of them couldn't look at anyone as they were very emotional and knew that if they caught your eye that would set the tears flowing. Olive would have been very proud of all of them and it was a lovely tribute to her and her favourite race. 

So in the words of Olive 'keep going love'

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Olives parkrun

I haven't written a blog for a while and I thought that my run report of the Shepley 10k would be my latest but something happen during the week that has completely thrown everyone out of sync. So this is my tribute to an amazing lady who gave her heart and time to everyone at Huddersfield parkrun and the running community, this is Olives parkrun.

The news broke during the week that Olive Brearey had passed away after a battle with Cancer and from that point on the tributes began to pour in. Big, small, long, short or just a simple thank you Olive, each and every message was a testament to how much of an impact just one person can have on a community when they give up a small amount of time to support and cheer people on. There were tributes from close friends that were heartfelt, and also messages of thanks from people who only knew her as the lady on the second to last corner cheering 'keep going, keep going'. It didn't seem to matter who the messages were from or how well they knew Olive, they all had had something in common and that was how much those few words she spoke each week helped them and stuck with them. I never had the pleasure of speaking to Olive properly but every time I passed her she always gave me or my son and I, if I was running with him, great encouragement which always helped you and picked you up for the final sprint to the finish.

So on parkrunday when Simon Brass approach the skate park to address the gathering parkrun crowd as he usually would, there was a look on everyone's face of 'urgggmmm this is going to be emotionally hard'. You could see how hard it already was on Simon just from his walk up the skateboard ramp, and then he reach the top and said his hello and welcome to Huddersfield parkrun as usual. It was at this point that Simon did something that made the nearly 600 runners stood at the start line completely quiet and got their complete attention. He reach up and took off his Bunny ears.......which if you know Simon you know that those bunny ears are a part of him on parkrun weekend without fail. It was that one gesture and offer of respect which silenced nearly 600 runners. On a normal parkrunday there are still a few people that talk over the run brief as it difficult to hold everyone's attention but today everyone knew what he was about to do. It wasn't about who you were today, or which part of town you came from, how many runs you've done, no we were all here to remember a truly amazing lady and pay tribute to everything she has done for parkrun, for running in the community and for all the people that she had help or encouraged. I don't think she will have realised how many people she had touched, but I hope she does now. Simon kept it together long enough to give his own brilliant tribute, we all gave a moment of applause, and he asked people to join him and the volunteers after we had finished our runs on Olives corner to clap and cheer the remaining runners through to the finish. He then he set us going on our parkruns with Olive in our thoughts. 

As people were running I could see they were all very determine to do well for Olive just as she would have wanted us to. This was always going to be an emotional parkrun but the feelings and thought you got when reaching Olives corner for the first time was a little surprising and overwhelming, Olives sign was placed on the corner and there was a gathering of flowers left by people before the run. Everyone who ran by paid their own tribute or respects to Olive if it was a clap, a touch of the sign or a 'Thank you Olive'.

By the time I was approaching Olives corner for the second and final time there were a few runners starting to line the corner with Simon and the cheers and claps I got really pushed me to finish hard and on a sprint. So after I had my barcode scanned I went and joined the at this point 20 people on Olives corner clapping and cheering. It was very emotional and as more and more runners finished and joined us the more intense it got, but it also got louder and at its peak you could apparently hear us from the bottom of the park. I think no one went round that corner today and didn't give their all, because of all the support that was given and no one wanted to let Olive down. As the tail runner came round for the final time there was at least 300 people lining the corner clapping, and as the clapping disapated there was a few tears and lots of emotional hugs and handshakes, never has 'our parkrun family' been so apt. 

There is talk of raising money for a plaque in rememberence of Olive and after today I think they will have no problem in raising the funds. There is also a group of people that are going to the Barnsley 10k and running together in rememberence of Olive, as she loved the Barnsley 10k and had optimistically entered it this year.  I'm sure Olive will be remembered for many years to come and with the possible plaque maybe for generations to come too.

So as a final word I will just say Keep going, Keep going

RIP Olive

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Huddersfield bunnies on tour at Cheadle Hulme parkrun


Tourism that's what!!!!

There were discussions during the week as to which parkrun we're going to visit or should I say descend on, there was talk of Barnsley but that was very quickly stopped because of the hillyness. Concord was mentioned because Dexter thought it meant we flew round on Concorde, Sheffield Hallam was having a birthday party but we end up deciding on Cheadle Hulme parkrun as it was fairly new and it had a cafe right at the finish. So we organised our car arrangements and meeting points and times and waited for parkrunday to arrive.

SJ and I had arranged for Flynn and Clark to stay at my mums the night before so we didn't have to make a detour via my mum's house at silly o'clock in the morning to drop them off. We now could get up at a reasonable time and drive over the tops to Manchester and Stockport and on to Cheadle Hulme. 

On arriving at Cheadle Hulme we all met up and had a pre parkrun chat and wished Tony Pinnington a Happy Birthday, then we all gathered for a pre run photo. There were 27 of us that had made the trip over but only 26 of us that made it in time for the photo as Mr Simon Brass Bunny had been delayed by a tyre blow out on the motorway. We rang him to see what was going on and whether he would make it for the Start and he said he would just start late if he was late.

After a great run brief where we were introduced to everyone and we were part huge number of first timers to Cheadle Hulme parkrun, 3/4 of the field were first timers. We then moseyed round the cricket pitch to the start line where we all sorted our watches, apps, etc. for the start. Then we all took part in a start line selfie for ED Sam and a last minute stretch ready for the RD Paul to set us off. 

Just as he was about to let us go we could see what can only be described as Japanesse movie style giant man/bunny charging across the pitch and bunny ears flapping in the wind. It was Mr Simon Brass Bunny fresh from his tyre changing adventure, bounding across the pitch and even the cricket wicket nothing was getting in the way of him starting at the same time as the rest of us. He had to be reminded to take his rucksack off his back he was that focused on being on time, just.

Finally we could start Cheadle Hulme event number 3 and in scorchio sunshine, the weather fairies were being extra awesome this morning. 

We were off and running round the cricket pitch for the first time before we were ushered through a gate to the rugby pitches where we navigated the outskirts of 3 rugby pitches and back towards the club house and the cricket pitch and the end of lap 1 of 3. The course was laid out really well by ropes all the way round the rugby pitches and markers round the cricket pitch. I even considered counting them on the 3 lap just to take my mind off the heat and my burning lungs, because I was going at a fab pace and from my split time I was on for a good time. I was finding the flat course really good and even when some people were finding the couple of patches of sand hard I was just flying. I was helped a lot by the really nice voluncheerers at the small bridge connecting the rugby pitches. There was a group of about 6 of them, some lovely little girls with rattles and bells cheering you on and a few adults guiding you in the right direction round the pitches. It was an awesome section of the run and almost a little reminiscent of the Tour de France where the spectators cheer on the riders with large cow bells and lots of cheers. It definitely helped everyone round even Dexter, he ran his first parkrun where he didn't stop for a walk or rest, he didn't want to look silly in front of the little girls at the bridge he told us afterwards. He's so cute sometimes.

On finishing the 3 laps in the searing heat the welcoming sight of the clubhouse and some shade was great and getting our barcode and tokens scanned just in the doorway was brilliant. It was easier to then go back outside to cheer everyone else across the line and then join SJ and Dexter on their final lap. 

With Cheadle Hulme being a smaller parkrun it had a very relaxed and friendly where you felt like you could go round and talk to all the runners and see how their runs went. Something that is difficult to do at Huddersfield and it's 600+ runners. Plus with a smaller crowd it meant that the queues for the post parkrun bacon butties etc. were smaller and you could fill your face with food quicker. We all sat outside in the glorious sunshine to have our post parkrun chats and chin wags and shared stories and played games with the smaller parkrunners that came along. We talked with the event team and shared thoughts and stories from our bunny adventures before we all had to make the trip back over the Pennines home again.

We had an awesome time at Cheadle Hulme parkrun and we will visit again I'm sure probably in the winter months when it could be a muddy affair. Great team, great volunteers I'd highly recommend it.

It wasn't until I was browsing the results after returning home that I noticed that Cheadle Hulme was graced by a soon to be the parkrun show legend Paul (chauffeur) Freyne. Who is so close to making it 200 different events and all within 250 parkruns. I wonder where his 200th event will be and where his 250th run will be, will he go run with his homies for the 250 at bushy. It would have been nice to have met him but I'm sure our paths will cross again soon.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

My 1st parkrunniversary what a different a year makes.....

The second Saturday in June 2013 will forever more be a special day in my mind for many reasons although it does feel like it has been about two years rather than one!  This past year has been so full of excitement, fun, friends, family, challenges, new friends, new experiences, new roles and so much happiness and it's all down to that second Saturday in June when I turned up to my first ever parkrun at Greenhead park.

I've been running now for nearly 2 years but I think if I hadn't have turned up at Greenhead park that Saturday I don't think I would be half as fit as I am now and would definitely not have done as much as I have over the last 12 months. 

Over the last 52 weeks I have run countless training runs with a smile on my face each time, and most of the time, with great friends tagging along too. I've smashed PB's and shaved seconds off them now and again too, from 25min 5k's down to 21min 5k's, a 45 min 10k PB along with a 2hr half marathon time, on a truly monsterous route.

I've run :-

5k runs
10k runs
10 milers
Muddy obstacle runs
Half marathons
And a triathlon!

After every event I've felt exhausted but happy with a huge smile on my face everytime and no regrets at all. I've met so many new friends since last June and encouraged them as they've either passed me or I've overtaken them. We've celebrated runs together and helped each other if we've tripped or fallen, we've pushed each other to new challenges and helped everyone that has needed a little push to reach the next level. All this has only been possible because of parkrun and the community that you become part of when you make that first leap of faith and turn up to your first parkrun. Here are some photos of the friends we have made over the last year and it's not only me that has changed too.

And in the year I've had I've gone from background hair line to full family close up.

My previous year, before parkrun, was not nearly as full and at times getting out on a training run was a drag. I entered two organised events and organised one event myself, but if I hadn't registered and printed off my barcode I think my love for running might have waned and I could have found myself sat on that couch again thinking, I'll go for a run tomorrow....I promise.

Thankfully I did print off my barcode and I did take that 20min car journey across Huddersfield to stand on the start line to be among the 436 other athletes that morning. The thing that makes me the happiest about that day is all the friends and family that have joined me on that start line since and how happy they have been since doing their first parkrun too. My son Dexter joined me the week after and a few months later, 10 days after giving birth to our 3rd child, my wife also joined in and hasn't looked back since.

I am immensely  proud of SJ and Dexter and I think if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be on as many parkruns as I am. To date I have now run 48 and soon will be celebrating my 50th hopefully with a lot of my family too. It hasn't just stopped at SJ and Dexter I have encouraged almost all of my family to join in and take part regularly in parkrun, from Jessie to Jodie and even Nana completed the 5k a year after being diagnosed with and beating cancer. Many friends have also tagged along with us like, Steve, Rob, Paul, Becky, Luke and many more, I even arranged for the school fun run to take place alongside parkrun. So far I think I've encouraged around 50 or more people to lace up those running shoes and pound the paths of Greenhead park. I still try to encourage as many people as I can to try it, whenever someone on Facebook is talking about going running for the first time I inform them about parkrun and tell them they won't regret it and not to be scared about making that first step.

It's not just running at parkrun that gets you involved but volunteering too can help you become part of the community and give a little back, and best of all it's free. Free to run, free to volunteer, free to make friends, and free to give your all, every single time. SJ and I have also been privileged enough to join the team that organises and creates awesomeness every Sunday in the form of the Huddersfield junior parkrun. Still in its early stages but the junior parkrun is something amazing and special already, and has brought so many people from the community down so their juniors can run around the gorgeous Greenhead park, with many parents volunteering whilst their juniors run.

It's safe to say this past year has been AWESOME and I hope the weeks, months and years to follow are just as good.

Keep running everyone......

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A weekend full of first's and an amazing weekend at that. Part 2 Sunday

'Sundays until recently were normally a day of rest and a catch up on TV programmes maybe a run now and again, but 4 weeks ago that changed and after this weekend I hope they never change again.

This Sunday was and will be for the foreseeable future Junior parkrunday and I sometimes look forward to it more than running on a normal parkrunday. It's pure fun in a disguised as a mass gathering of chaos, so many smiley faces before and even afterwards. It was SJ's turn as Run Director and she did a brilliant job we had volunteers coming out of our ears and 175 fabulous juniors giving it their all round our exciting course. Louise did the warm up again and she does it really well with music blaring and juniors jumping and waving. Then SJ did a great run brief and set the juniors off around Greenhead park in the glorious sunshine a complete opposite from the rain the day before. We are starting to get a nice regular team of volunteers and are starting to become more familiar with the juniors and their names. There is one thing that you don't take in to account when becoming an event director or run director is the amount of people who know you but you don't know them in return. As time goes by I'm sure we will get to know more and more and gain lots of friends in the process.

We had a lot of great performances again this week and we are always surprised by the number of fast juniors that return week on week to try and better their times or finishing positions. Matthew Burke decided to give his usual Saturday parkrun a miss this week to save his energy for the junior parkrun. This was so he could try and give it his all and improve his PB and beat it he did, so well done Matthew. Even among the juniors there is competitiveness between each other  but more importantly they're always trying to better themselves. Yet it is all done with complete honesty and friendliness, even helping each other too. Some with younger siblings will run back to find them and help them to complete the rest of the run together.
 We did have some slight issues but luckily none of the little problems affected the juniors runs or times. We had lots of PB's again and a few of them were helped by our first ever pacer Matthew Jack Potter who dressed up as a bunny and ran as a 10 min pacer. We had a couple of comments from parents that he helped their junior to a PB which was great to hear and will probably mean we have a pacer more often.

So with Junior parkrun done it was now time to head off home and prepare for the rest of the day, as I wasn't finished just yet. I had to be ready for 11.30 to meet up with my good friend Luke as we were taking part in our first Triathlon down at Scissett. It was a 400m Swim, followed by a 15km bike ride and then finished off with a 5km run. We were both really excited but Luke was more nervous than I was probably down to the fact I had been in more race/run events than Luke and was used to those pre-event butterflies. 

We arrived at 11.45 with plenty of time until our start times, Luke had put down a silly time for his swim so was setting off a whole hour before me so I was in for a wait. I also knew a few other people who were taking part in the triathlon all mainly from parkrun. Mr Ian Rutson of the parkrun show fame and Pontefract parkrun event director, and Rich Mcloed a fellow Huddersfield parkrun member and an amazing all round athlete.

Luke and I arrived and propped our bikes up and whilst Luke went to register and hear the event brief I said hello to Ian. He seemed really relaxed about the event but was a little confused about the layout of the transition area, he said it was a bit more complicated compared to last years. Ian was the first of us to start at 12.45 with Luke going at 13.00, me at 14.00 and Rich going off at 14.30. As this was Luke's and my first triathlon we had no real idea about what to do but we seemed to fit in pretty quickly with the set up. Luke parked his bike in the transition area and then I went to register whilst he got change into his triathlon suit then once I had parked my bike I did the same. It wasn't long before Luke was due in the pool so waited in the reception area and I took the opportunity to go upstairs and see Ian doing his swim. He looked like he was going well and was soon off out of the pool and on to his bike, which meant it was Luke's turn in the pool.

After Luke had done his swim and was off on his bike I was left with an long wait till it was my turn but as it was such a lovely day I just hung about outside watching the triathletes on their bikes and catching some rays. Just before Luke was due back from his bike ride section SJ and the boys turned up to support us and it was nice to see them before I had to get in the pool. I missed Luke's transition as I was pool side ready to start my swim, I was in lane 2 with just one other guy which was nice not to have too much pressure from other swimmers as some lanes had 4/5. Whilst waiting to go I could hear the boys and SJ on the balcony above me cheering which was an awesome feeling.

The whistle went and I was off swimming front crawl at a nice steady pace but before long I had to change to breast stroke as I just couldn't comfortably get a good breathing rhythm. Luckily my pace didn't slow too much and after 10 mins I was off towards transition and my bike.

Once on my bike and on the main road I put my foot down and was soon at the first corner and on my way up the hill towards Emley and the Emley mast. There are 2 steep sections of the 6km climb and on the flatter sections I tried to push it as much as I could. I did get overtaken by about 6 riders on proper road bikes and a couple on olympic style time trial bikes funnily enough they were part of the GB triathlon team, so didn't mind getting overtaken by them. Once at the top I pushed once again and even managed to overtake someone who had passed me earlier, that was a nice feeling. From here it was pretty much all downhill to the end and I tried to push hard to the transition area. About halfway down there was a photographer and he took a photo of me looking like I was on a gentle bike ride and all I was missing was my shopping basket on the front but I promise you I was going fast.

Once I was back at the swimming baths I quickly put my bike back and got on my way round the 5k run

I took me about 500m to get my calfs working properly after the bike ride but once they were going again I found the run ok. It was another uphill route all the way to Skelmanthorpe and then a nice steady downhill all the way to the finish. You finished the run on the same roads as the bike so I passed the same photographer as before so this time I tried to give a pose but looked more like I was dying rather than having fun

Once I was back down on the flat on the final stretch to the finish I dug in deep and keep going all the way to the line and where the final chip mat is. The final mat was rather thin so when the guy behind me tried to do a sprint finish to beat me on the line he missed the mats and had to double back to stop the time on his chip. A bit of a fail on his part but I liked his determination to get to me before the line, maybe next time. Well that was it I had finished my first triathlon and I was so pumped that it kind of felt like it wasn't long enough and I was up for going round again, I had a really amazing time and experience and I was really pleased with my time. I finished my first triathlon in 1hr14m25s and I know I could do better too, maybe next year.

The set up of the event was great and rather than a race it felt more like a competitive time trial, there was always someone to chase and someone chasing you which kept you pushing all the way. 

For all of you who are wondering how Luke, Ian and Rich did, well they all did pretty amazingly.
Ian knocked 3 mins off his time from last year completing it this year in 1hr18min12s

Luke finished his first Triathlon in a fabulous time of 1hr12min16s

I finished in 1hr14min25s as you know

And Rich did it in an amazing 1hr02min41s

Well done everyone who took part and usually at this point I say keep running everyone but this time I will say

Keep swimming, biking, and running everyone.