It’s not over till the fat lady sings.

Did you think they’d go quietly?
So the last race of the season looms large. And what a difference 5 months makes. It was barely a month after completing the Mallorca that Tony suffered searing pain in his hip and soon after that the news it was arthritis. Not good if you use your hips regularly under pressure! The hope for GB qualification at Liverpool followed a no show at London to help conserve limbs. But it was not going to happen so focus was on Bala in September. If the trip to North Wales wasn’t a challenge enough the event was an immense challenge but even loaded up with painkillers the run was particularly nasty. Either way an impressive finish time and a 8th place, tantalisingly close but not good enough for a GB bib.

A gel sort of thing injection later and training was resumed… but still the pain. So with Dan always threatening Asthma attacks and also nursing a dodgy knee…. The inaugural Dubai Triathlon takes place on the 7th November and the boys are tooling up, health wavering but determined to put in good times.. or at least complete it.

It’s been a year of great highs with the whole Team Russell finishing their half Iron Man in Mallorca with Peter and David crossing the line together and the lows of injury and what could have been’s. But what they all want is to reach the end of this year with the magic £50k for Headcase.

So many have done their bit, Andy and his row, Kirstin abseiling down the Lloyd’s building and the Russells have expended huge levels of resilience and energy.

So if you can just dig into the piggy banks, down the back of the Sofa’s, bottom of handbags and sports lockers – just please help the journey end on a high for all those involved and for the research into this killer disease.

After Race insanity

Whatever happens leading up to a race it centres around the training the nutrition and the injury prevention. Life still goes on and the chores and duties still impinge on training sessions. The lift of the spirits with a little internet shopping for new wardrobe changes on the course, shoes, Singlets, Shorts, Wetsuits, shoes and more shoes, in a variety of weights, materials and most importantly colours, means that the delivery of parcels to work addresses from Wiggle and Active Instinct would press for the request for David to negotiate a better rate from DHL!

Well it all did the trick, and there were no wardrobe malfunctions.. photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/treemad

But it was worth it, the smiles on faces, the exhaustion mixed with elation, the relief and the hunger to do it all again… it’s like child birth! (trust me guys it is!) So within 24 hours of touching down on Terra Firma Dan has dangled the challenge carrot by signing up to another half Ironman in Dubai, so November it is Guys. Who’s in. well frankly I think anyone would be forgiven for deciding to miss this one, but with this bunch of fitness masochists its anyone’s guess.

Cycle to Work
And that drive and elation, exhaustion and pride is pretty infectious. Last year after the full Ironman in Nice – I came back, got on my bike, went shopping… and introduced myself to my long lost friends, muscles!. a slowish start with a race to test the water and see if I liked it. To be truthful the water was the worst bit, as was the argument I had with my Quads, and well… running… we were never destined to be luvbuddies! But the event was fab and so I too signed up for more, (many more!) Wimborne, Hyde Park (Pru), Blenheim (Lukemia), Dorney Lakes (Shock Absorber), London (Virgin) and Dorney Lakes (Votwo). So I can back the idiot gene that kicks in after an event. the adrenalin rush. SO the year started… eventually… with training sessions and in the last 2 months I have put in – 4-5 sessions a week including running for the first time in my life (I was a rocket off the blocks sprinter but nothing over 2 minutes 41 Seconds at a time.)

Alas the biproduct one hopes for is a little toning and weight loss, neither has appeared thus far, but I am hoping a corner will be turned soon. I cycled to work today – the long way – and we have hills in Dorset I have just discovered!

Suffice it to say, anyone who gets up regularly to train, then decides to push themselves to the limits, whilst having a life, to be able to perform on a single day, whatever the prevailing injury or ailment – including age – has my RESPECT.

So Tony, Peter and David – hats off, it was a privilege to watch and an inspiration.

Dan and Andy a quick doff – After-all you are 30 years younger and should be running for your life and curtailing long drunken weekends of enjoyment!

An emotional weekend, great choice of location – topped up the tan … amazing.

Until next time…..

Now cough up some more dosh so we can reach £50k and put an end to the insanity!

Diary date – 25th July – Rowing 750 miles – just to throw a curve ball! More info to follow.

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