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Hywel Davies Back In The Saddle

Former world cross fit champion Hywel Davies talks us through his first race of 2016.

I have been away from long distance racing for five years due to a back injury and change of focus. I am 41 years old and, possibly past my prime.

But after only 500 miles of winter training on the bike and a "few hours on 'turbo" I was signed up to one of the hilliest ironman distance courses in the world, after all is there a better way to pop the pseudo pro cherry than returning to racing at the Israman 226 triathlon in Israel.

I wasn’t much of a swimmer this time last year and spent the 15/16 winter learning to swim, coupled with the last 3 years of marathon training I had under my belt, this was a chance to see if I still had the ability to race a long distance triathlon with my first race as a pro athlete.

My swim was solid and I was out of the warm red sea in the top 10, the swim was followed by a freezing cold, 112 mile bike leg, it was in the mountains, with over 3000m of climbing and I was right on the limit of comfort - numb hands became numb arms, numb neck and numb plums… but I pushed the pace hard to stay in contention, despite the lack of winter miles.

A hard downhill run from the mountain summit starts the marathon and with numb quads, another 16 miles of shuffling later and I ran my way onto the podium of the first race of the year. Bart Candel of the Netherlands in first place, Petr Vabrousek of Czech Republic in 2nd and I took 3rd place.

Now time to start proper bike training and get racing again.

All photos copyright Darren Wheeler

10 February 2016

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