For me; and my family; 2016 has been a rollercoaster and for anyone thats been along for the ride it has been quite exciting, quite stressful and very rewarding.
In November I took a gamble with the purchase of the factory in Nottinghamshire. The factory made swimwear and a small range triathlon kit. It was purchased to fall into the QSW sportswear business Marsha and I have been developing since 2012. The purchase of the factory, the staff we now employ and the 20+ hour days that have gone into making this business work since last November have meant my training suffered. I didn't mind loosing training time and just had to make, sometime find, time to train just to keep my sanity. However, I had somehow managed to qualify for the World Triathlon Championships in Chicago, so as July came about I had to start thinking about training and race preparation to enable me to go out to Chicago and not embarrass myself.
I looked at my work schedule and fortunately I had two corporate triathlons in the diary. First was the Diamond Triathlon where we were racing with the Disney Triathlon team who we had been training through previous 3 months over 80 sessions. The second event was the ImpetusPEF Private Equity Triathlon one week later and one week before leaving for Chicago. My approach was to squeeze in as much training as possible in 3 weeks around work, race twice and try to be clever about my approach to the World Championships in Chicago.
I am not going to go into detail about the training and the racing so here is a summary of how my progress went as I prepared for Chicago.
Race 1: 3km Diamond Swim - 5th overall in 45:40mins
Race 2: Diamond Triathlon - Wave win and 7th overall in 1:06:57hrs
Race 3: ImpetusPEF Private Equity Triathlon - 2nd in wave and 2nd overall in 1:06:35hrs
These results on top of the training I squeezed in meant I felt good, not great, but in good shape to go out to Chicago and not show myself up on the World stage.
I had entered the World Aquathlon and World Sprint distance Triathlon. These were on consecutive days which some people thought wasn't a good idea but knowing myself, I didn't think it would effect my performance and I was so relaxed about the racing in Chicago anyway I thought... 'what the hell'.
Chicago was awesome. I got to spend a week meeting my new extended family (Marsha's brothers, cousins). I got to see Chicago which I loved as a city and I got to race twice and watch Marsha and other friends compete in their GB kit, some for the first time. I also got to watch all the professional races from the luxury of out clients VIP tents, so thank you Columbia Threadneedle!
My races in Chicago went really well and I had a stroke of luck int he fact that the weather was unusually hot for the time of year and many athletes suffered in the heat, a heat that I seemed to work well in. I beat a number of British athletes that I would consider better than my level of fitness in Chicago and athletes fro other countries that I am sure trained harder and longer than me, so I was really chuffed with my results.
Race 4: Aquathlon World Triathlon Championships - 8th overall in AG
Race 5: World Sprint distance Triathlon Championships - 15th overall in AG
Marsha had a great race in Chicago and we travelled home for a quick stop at home before heading off to Majorca for the pre-winter Triathlon Training Camp. During our brief week at home Marsha and I raced the Hever Castle Triathlon for the first time. I had a good race over the longest distance race of the whole season for me. It was officially my last race of the season and I was very happy with how I performed....