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Davies in at the Bala Deep End

Davies in at the Bala Deep End

Former athlete of the month Hywel Davies moves back to his cold water roots in the Bala Middle Distance Traithlon, a hardcore endurance event set deep in the Snowdonian mountains. After successfully bagging the 100km World Indoor Rowing record in February this year Davies leaves the aircon behind and heads for the hills, he writes:

My season has been a little delayed with, most importantly, getting married in February and taking on a few world rowing challenges for something different. However, after a successful training camp of big ringing in the alps and this time managing to big ring the Col du Pre and the Signal de Bisane, (including the last 2k at 11%) I kicked off my race season with a spin round the Bala Middle distance course.

Swimming has not been a winter priority, but have not really lost my skills of not being able to swim in a straight line, following the wrong feet and falling over when removing the wetsuit. Nevertheless, a 30 ish minute swim was good enough for me at this stage.

I had a little bit of a moment out of transition where I could not get clipped in and then the chain comes off and with Rotor Rings on, it does not just slip back on. Scooter stylie out of transition got the crowd going with 30 people all telling me my chain was off. That was helpful. I eventually exited transition in 31st place.

Anyway, the bike course took about 25 miles to get warmed up and it has to be the best bike course in the UK. Very fast, scenic and plenty of hills. All in the big ring of course, but there is nothing like the sound of a xentis wheel and a disc rumbling down a smooth road at 50mph. 

At the turn I had made it up to 15th, and then the fun started. Big ring training meant I could fly up the 10% climbs very easily and whereas on the flat it was taking ages to pass those in front, on the climbs, miles turned to metres.  The return leg was very fast, although I lost a lot of time on the way out, I gained it all back on the way back to T2.  I was a little gutted that it was only 52 miles, as I was just getting into the swing of it.  5th fastest on the bike overall, but if it was just the 2nd half, I reckon it would have been a bit higher.

At the end of the bike, I had pulled back to 8th, and then quickly overtook Paul Hawkins and Rich Wilder, but then that was it. All those in front ran more or less the same pace and only managed to pick up those 2 places to finish in 6th.  I was happy enough, but certainly realised that I have some work to do to get the run speed back and be on the podium later in the season.  Not bad for a mornings work and the first race of the season but now the training starts properly.

10 days until the Forestman, and hopefully an outing on a new Exocet….watch this space.

17 June 2010


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