Another season has passed so it’s time to look back and reflect upon the relative successes and failures during the past months before moving forward with new plans, aims and objectives.
With last October’s decision to exclude my category from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Triathlon it was always going to be a case of seeing how this season worked out. After getting my head around the fact that Rio was now off the menu, I decided to continue focusing on sprint distance triathlon. I would look to gain selection for ITU World Series events and the Paratri European and World Championships.
Of course I knew the focus would now firmly be on the athletes in Paralympic categories and that British Triathlon would in all likelihood have little interest in those of us who couldn’t bring them a Paralympic medal in 2016. In hindsight, you could argue that I should have just accepted my fate and moved on to other things. However, I didn’t want to finish with a 7th place at the Madrid World Paratri Event last September after what proved a tough season with one thing and another – it just didn’t seem like a good way to go out for someone who’s won 2 European and 4 World multi-sport titles!
Here’s how 2016 worked out: –
Bad things: –
- Puncturing at the National Tri Champs (May) – With apparently no flexibility in the selection criteria any chance doing the Euro/World champs was gone. Shame as Guide Jack Peasgood and I were flying.
- Getting race starts – As a non-Paralympic category athlete it proved much harder to make the start line for World Paratri Events in 2015. I did get some opportunities though…
- Dip in motivation – After the nationals and general situation it’s probably not surprising motivation dropped a bit mid-season. It didn’t last long though as I refocused for the second half of the season.
- Puncturing at the National Time Trial Champs (Oct) – Unusual for this to happen at 2 major events but that’s the way it goes sometimes (Pilot: David McGaw)
Good things: –
- Competing at the UCI Paracgcling Cup in Wales (Feb) – I always enjoy riding the track and we did OK against quality opposition considering Matt had never even ridden a ‘fixie’ bike before!(Pilot: Matt Ellis)
- 7th @ Sprint Waveney Triathlon (May) – My highest ever placing when racing solo and a timely early season confidence boost.
- 3rd @ ITU World Paratri Event, London (May) – It was great to get a race start and I really enjoyed racing in front of home crowds again (Guided by Iain Robertson).
- The relay at ITU London event (May) – With Jill (Bike) and Richard Green (Run), this was good fun. I was relieved I only had to do the swim though having already raced earlier in the day. Great effort by my team mates!
- 2nd @ ITU World Paratri event, Italy (July) – We had a great swim and bike but I was poor on the run in extreme heat ultimately costing us the win (Guide: Iain Robertson).
- 1st @ Duo Normand Time Trial (Sept) – After just a few rides together on the tandem I’m not sure it could have got much better in an event i’ve wanted to do for years! (Pilot: David McGaw).
- PB @ The Royal Parks Half Marathon (Oct) – Pretty happy with that after very little running in the proceeding weeks. Great crowds and over-all a super event to end the season.
Some photo’s from this year: –
Thanks to Matt, Jack, Iain and David for racing with me this year.
Also a massive thanks to my super sponsors and other supporters for all you’ve done!
We’ll see what next year brings but I have some cool events in mind!