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Tri Star Harry Wiltshire: season so far

In 2001 I started University in Bath, at the time it was the National Triathlon Performance Centre. I rocked up to the first swim session to find some guy called Lessing in the pool.

Simon never actually spoke to me, but as long as I didn't make eye contact I was permitted to use the same showers and listen to his conversations with the other pros. The first shower conversation I remember was simon having  a rant about ITU points. "ITU points! You can't bloody spend them at Sainsbury's."

9 years on and my season has been one long points chase. Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland and even Glasgow. I did one non ITU race the Alpe d'Huez long course and managed to get my bike nicked from the camp site the night before the race. I rode 110km including the legendary Alpe d'Huez climb on a small borrowed bike, I hadn't seen until 5 minutes before the swim. I finished 5th with the fastest swim and run split making more prize money than the rest of the season put together. As far as I know that's not the way to keep a bike sponsor happy, so for the record  Planet X were amazing getting a new Nanolight High Modulus to me in 7 days and in time for the World Sprint Champs.

I spent half of the Worlds race  in a 4 man break off the front before exploding. My (or more accurately Dave's) Nanolight got it's face on Euro sport so hopefully I redeemed myself a little. I can honestly say it's the best bike I've ever ridden.

My points race continues. I'm writing this on a plane heading home from Kenya. Why? I thought 72 hours in Mombassa was the best way to stack up some points! Flight leaves Heathrow Thursday night and I'm back Monday morning. 20 hours in a plane, less than 2 hours racing. I finished second to a Brazilian guy who's competed in to two Olympics, so I guess a successful trip, but still crazy. Oh and they cancelled the prize money.

The first thing the race director said at briefing: "remember you're in Africa, the normal rules don't apply" he was not wrong, never before have I seen TL invaded by goats!

Planet X Carbon 50 Wheels in Mombassa



It was a totally different world, I went down the street the first night to find some food and ended up eating beef stew from a cauldron, hanging over an open fire by the side of the road. "Jomba white man" got shouted at me, 7 or 8 times, usually followed by a finger in the ribs just to check I was real. A couple of prostitutes came to ask if i'd like to have some fun, in fact they put it a bit more explicitly than that. I was followed home buy a 6 or 7 year old who said "help me, starving, 5 shillings mister" the Coke I had just brought  cost me 70. The kid got stopped at the hotel entrance by the security guard  who was holding what I think was an ak47.

One of the race organisers gave me a lift back  to the airport, I told him I was stopping overnight in Nairobi, he said " be careful, sir, mombassa is very safe, very friendly place, they call Nairobi, Dirobi"

Don't worry Dave I'll sleep in the airport and lock the Nanolight to my belt.

If I make it back then next week it's off to Mexico via two weeks in Tucson for a World Cup  and then onto Korea for the final race of the season. All being well I'll come back with some points. Not sure how I'll pay for the shopping though!

Harry Wiltshire Planet X Triathlete

 

Harry Wiltshire Planet X Triathlete

27 September 2010

Planet X Triathlon Essentials

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