2013 was my 5th season of competing in triathlon. As reigning World Champion and with lottery funding via UK Sport now in place to support Team GB towards the Rio Paralympics, 2013 had promised so much but in the end didn’t quite live up to expectations. There were still a few decent results and other highlights though including: –
- Being awarded title of 220 Triathlon’s 2012 Male Paratriathlete of the Year (March)
- A PB at the Spring Waveney Triathlon (May)
- Silver at the European Championships in Turkey (June with Carl Shaw)
- 3rd at the Norwich Sprint Triathlon (July with Carl Shaw)
- Another PB and 4th over-all at the Autumn Waveney Triathlon (September with Matt Ellis)
- 3rd at the World Triathlon Championships in London (September with Matt Ellis)
- A few 5k PB’s (Not including an 18 minute run in London as the course must have been quite short!)
- Playing in the Children in Need football match at Kings Lynn (November)
- Competing on the track for the first time in several years at the UCI Paracycling event in Wales (December with Neil Rutter)
To many people (and to a degree myself included but only ‘cos I always want to win!) 2013 could be viewed as a failure. There were no European or World titles this time around for starters. Of course I wanted to make it three of each and to be honest plenty of things didn’t quite work out as i’d hoped or planned for one reason or another. My take on it though is that at least there weren’t any DNF’s or terrible crashes like in 2011 – my annus horribilis! Besides, when I started triathlon my aim was to ‘win an international medal’…
Results are one way to gauge success but that’s not always controllable. Performance is quite a different matter altogether and something you can at least partly influence. There was certainly scope for improvement here to at times and I didn’t have many days (or any) where I thought to myself ‘that was perfect’. You can still take positives from these less than ideal performances mind you. For example, I was really happy with the swim at the National championships under new rules, equally so our bike split in London in tricky conditions and also with the way I ran at the Spring Waveney event…If only I could have put them all together 🙂
Here’s a few of my favourite shots from last year: –
So what will 2014 offer?
Hopefully the odd ‘perfect’ performance! Achieve that and it will provide a chance of snatching some good results. As I’ve said before though, standards are rising fast so it’s clearly going to be difficult to regain the National, European and World titles, but you have to aim high!
There are more Paratri events on the international calendar this year too offering the chance to compete in France, Italy or perhaps elsewhere to score World ranking points – The ITU recently made an announcement linked to this and the qualification criteria for the Rio 2016 Paralympics (but not which categories would actually compete at the games). This may have some influence on what happens from here.
I’ll also be doing plenty of things with Tri-Anglia including the Diss duathlon, Waveney Supersprint and the Norwich Olympic distance triathlon. I will no doubt ride a few cycling time trials as usual and might even get the track tandem out again at some point too. I don’t think I’ll be short of things to do!
I’m also looking forward to continuing working with my coach Tim Williams in Cambridge and S&C consultant Richard Green, both of which I feel will be crucial in making progress towards my goals this year and onwards…I already feel like I’m making headway.
Thanks to all my amazing sponsors and supporters for you’re help last year and ahead of this coming season!!