After the trials and tribulations of an injury-plagued 2017, this year has been a vast improvement.
It took a while to get up to speed but I’ve managed not only to hit all the objectives I set myself before the season, but also tick off a few bucket list events too!
My first aim was to survive the London Marathon. I may not have run quickly but I did get round my first 26.2 mile run in April…something that was suggested might not be possible following my back issues last year.
I followed this up with 3 triathlons in 4 weeks in an attempt to get in the swing of multi-sport racing.
June then saw Jack Peasgood and I get on the podium at both the British Cycling time trial and circuit road race championships.
More serious racing followed in July. I’d set myself the target of finishing (and preferably winning) the ITU Long Distance Tri Champs in Denmark. I’d also go for the Aquathlon World title as a warm up since it was two days earlier. Matt Ellis and I raced well to take both titles but also made some new friends too in the form of our only rivals from Down Under, John and Paul who held the Ironman World Record for a VI athlete.
It was a stretch to recover in time, but two just weeks later I lined up at Eton Dorney for the British Paratri Champs organised by Arctic One. Duncan Shea-Simmonds kindly agreed to guide me and although we had no preparation together we raced well to take the title – my first national title since 2010 believe or not.
Another highlight of the year was completing Run Norwich 10k in August with the guys from the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind. Those guys did such a good job to complete the run on a warm day, going from nothing to 10k in just a few months!
August also saw Jill and I both complete the Superhero tri back at Eton Dorney which was good fun and Jill showed how much her swimming had improved over the past year.
September was the Great North Run, another of my bucket list events and it was certainly worth doing. Great atmosphere, course and organisation.
The GNR was followed up with a trip to London for Swim Serpentine Para 1 mile event with Nick Beer to defend the title from last year. It was again a very small but fun event and hopefully we can make it 3 in a row next year!
My season ended a bit later than planned with two Paratri World Cups in Florida (with Matt) and Medeira (with Ben Goodall) over the sprint distance. They didn’t go as hoped due to various things, but that’s just how it works out sometimes:-)
Apart from work and racing I’ve been involved in one or two other projects this year including the Paralympic Legacy project for Norfolk, the odd school visit and in helping to get the Beacon Tri team set up.
Here’s a photo gallery of some of my favourite pictures from this year: –
Having achieved all my initial objectives for this year I think I can be fairly satisfied (us athletes are never entirely happy as you can always do better!).
As usual I owe a lot to all of the people who have helped or supported this year. This includes all of my great sponsors, Arctic One and Irwin Mitchell who provided grants to help with Guide costs, Norfolk Sports Academy, Jill for all her support and Matt, Jack, Iain Robertson, Duncan, Nick and Ben for Guiding.
Let’s see what 2019 brings!