The junior polo section is going from strength to strength with both team and personal success.
We played in a tournament the other weekend. We accommodated a few Wellington squad players for the day (they didn’t have a coach) and played under the guise of Piranhas. We won three out of three games, our very own Max and Oli scoring 6 goals each. In truth our starting line up was far too strong for the other teams, so I had to mix it up a little to make the games more competitive.
The semi finals and final are on the 24th November.
Eds Dream Fulfilled – racing for GBR at the ETU Long (Ironman) Distance European Championship in Almere, Holland 14/09/19. Here it is in his own words……
Beside my desk in my home office I have a Bucket List; it
has 19 items on it, the 11th was signed off on the 14th
of September at Challenge Almere when I raced for GB over my preferred
triathlon distance. It has only taken me until I am 55. I have always been
envious of friends who have competed for GB and England at sport, albeit mostly
in their prime across triathlon, rugby, lacrosse and water polo to name a few.
There is no specific qualification race for half or full
ironman, instead it is based on race performance where over 500 competitors
compete and you must finish within 20% of the winner of your age group to be
considered at European level; for World champs it is within 15%. Then a roll
down applies. If I had known this earlier I suspect I would have qualified a
few years ago as I usually finish well inside the top 15/20% at Ironman branded
races. And I only found out by chance through word of mouth.
I applied in late spring, and therefore did not have much
time to plan for the race, as I already had Ironman Lanzarote and Challenge
Roth (both subject of previous posts) booked for late May and mid-July. This is
the first time I have competed in 3 long distance races in one summer and it
had an impact on my Almere performance as 7/8 weeks to recover is not ideal. I
discovered my selection at the beginning of July whilst stretching after a run,
was elated, and told my family coincidentally at a birthday dinner for my
eldest son that evening. My whole family and their partners and friends then
decided they were coming to watch me race.
My entourage totalled 14 and included my parents who are in
their mid to late 70s. This created added pressure but also a wonderful
and moving experience as I had a small
supporters club out on the 6-lap run shouting and screaming at me holding
various banners – including my target time, oh dear.
As to the race it is a freshwater lake swim of 3.8km
consisting two laps, a two lap very flat 180km bike with a total of 200m of
climbing – cycling below sea level – and a 6 lap run around the lake for the
As for the race I felt good going into it, I swam well
posting 1:16 which is a fast time for me in fresh water as it’s my weakest
discipline, jumped on the bike feeling in good shape having got through
transition in good time. Rode well for the first 100km averaging 33.3kph,
however my targeted power of 200-210 watts was way off at more like 185/190,
and I felt under-powered. The next 80km saw me struggle and I came in at 5
hours 34 mins. With my power averaging 181w which was 10/15% off my expected
power level. This reflected how I felt as I started the run I started to
develop major gastric issues, or in English I felt sick. I ran the first 12km
in 60 minutes then proceeded to fall apart. This is the nature of endurance
racing, and having raced well at both Lanzarote and Roth my run became one of
survival. I was resolute that I would finish regardless which I did thanks to
the support of GB team mates and my family. I was sick several times, developed
a strategy of run walk and came in with one of my slowest run times of 4 hours
There was no way I was not going to finish.
I came in at 11:34:47 putting me 16th out of 25
country reps in my age group, and to my huge surprise 4th of 7
British men. My target had been 10:30-10:45 which for the course I am capable
I am very disappointed with my performance, but my family
made feel like a superstar both during and after the race. I think I over raced
and had not cleared the effects of Roth in time for Almere. So what’s
next….first up is Ironman Nice next July, then there are the ITU World
Championships next September in Almere! I am inside the qualification
criteria…so perhaps I’ll get another go at it. So for now, and until the GB
selection is made in late January 2020 I am not booking any other races.
Almere was a bucket list race also as it is the second
oldest Long Distance race after Kona/Hawaii and next year will be its 40th
And it seems my parents have the bug and are coming to watch
me race Ironman Nice next Summer….did I mention that Almere was my 10th
Ironman race in 5 years.