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Go on, try something different!

My family had a fantastic weekend in Norfolk staying with friends. This frustrated and injured ex-triathlete had the opportunity of trying their favourite sport, bouldering.

Norfolk is flat! Yes, I know but Norwich has an amazing indoor climbing facility and under Adam and Ian's guidance, we were all able to get climbing straight away. Several things things you need need to note if your ever consider climbing: you have to squeeze your feet into tiny little shoes to grip the wall and quickly loose all circulation in your toes; your average six year old will probably be a better climber than you are; it is absolutely freezing inside so dress warmly; be prepared for men donning very jazzy and vibrant coloured tights.

As it turns out, indoor climbing is graded and every wall has about 8 colours on it, grey being the easiest and black being so hard, only a few of the most experienced and hard core climbers would stand a chance. We started with a safe option of the belay climbing wall so Adam could check we could climb and not cry like a baby. My eight year old Oliver scampered up as he is half boy, half gibbon. I stared well on the 'pinks', an intermediate climb as Adam knew I wanted to test myself (or as I am a 'competitive idiot' in his words). My climb paled into insignificance when Danny had his go and managed to do an SAS style roll at the bottom....which he swears was done on purpose.

The going up was great, the coming down was horrendous. The belay works like a seat belt and once you push off at the top, it takes the tension to allow you to abseil down. However, pushing off with a slack rope goes against all instinct of self preservation! The kids had no trouble and with trusting enthusiasm, they let go of the wall with no such qualms.....wheeeeeee!!!!!

Next, we moved on to bouldering which is climbing without the rope. It has carpet covered crash mats around each wall. If you can't climb...you fall off. Ok, this I could do with aplomb! Under guidance I moved onto some trickier climbs, was taught how to move dynamically using your bodies momentum to move your weight up the wall, how to move round corners barely gripping anything with tree frog like agility and eventually how to tackle overhangs.

Experienced climbers move with control, grace and very fluid motion which was a delight to watch. It is also a cerebral processes of looking for your best route, trying different techniques and using trial and error to over come the harder elements. It was a fantastic family day out and I would really recommend it...the kids did as much climbing as we did.

One word of warning, my lats ached so much for 48 hours after that brushing your teeth seemed an extreme sport.

Members races
Thank you to those that have sent their A race plans in...keep them coming! Do we have any members who are running the London marathon this year?

Now is the time to plan your races and have a clear idea of what your main target is this year. Good luck with training!

Lou Rolfe bouldering

What’s your main aim this year ?

It's 4:45 AM and I am Running around the house throwing various bits and pieces in a bag that hopefully will be suitable for a weekend away in Norfolk. Well, if I'm honest, I've also got to unload the dishwasher, sort the washing out, try to box up my cat ready to be delivered at my neighbours and a whole heap of other stuff. I should've done this last night but the need to go to the gym and try and have a decent training session completely over-ruled common sense. Having (fairly) successfully achieved my gym ambition for the evening, it has left me under rather a lot of pressure!

However, the packing will get done and hopefully at the end of the full days work I will be up to grab the kids and hit the road. I am hopeful in chucking a pair of trainers in my luggage with the thought that 1) I might get the opportunity to do something and 2) my injury will allow me to.

The friends that I am staying with are very into something called bouldering. As far as I understand it this involves climbing a small climbing wall as quickly as you can without being clipped on. Being the lovely people that they are, they asked if I would like to try it ... Of course I would! I just hope they have very big crash mats.

I hope you're spring-training is going as planned. Mine has taken an unfortunate detour, but on the plus side I have the opportunity of trying a completely different type of sport.

And now it's time for me to hunt down that cat!

Please remember that we have our final cross-country league race at Royston which starts at 10:30 on Sunday. It's a fantastic course and venue and good luck to any of our runners.

Also, let me know what your main aim is this year. It could be taking part in your first triathlon your first open water swim or bike race.

Email : clubcaptain@waldentri.co.uk or contacting me through Facebook.

WaldenTRI 2014 Performance Review

As the AGM has come round again, I though it would be a good time to reflect on the success of the club and look back on some members achievements over the course of a year. This is by no means a complete list and I apologise now if anyone's personal achievements have been overlooked! As a club our members are very prolific but here is a general look at our performance...

The Internationals:
A number of our members have represented Great Britain internationally, including Simon Page and Adam Wardle who GB qualified for the first time and took part in the Powerman Duathlon Championships in Austria in August this year. A few of our club members are fast becoming regular GB representatives including Craig Dyce, Charlie Passfield, Michael Buchallet and Pete Thomspon. Craig, Michael and Pete took part in the European Duathlon Championships in Holland and then Craig and Charlie had a great race at Pontevedra World Duathlon Championships. George and Jack Peasgood had success in Yokohama ITU World Cup Paratriathlon Race. George has had an amazing year representing GB at the World Series in Hyde Park in May and taking third at the British Triathlon Championships in Liverpool.

The Ironmen (and women!):
We have had new arrivals who have immersed themselves in long distance including Chris King who, in his first foray into this distance, overcame the Outlaw. Also in August, Teresa Peasgood, an incredibly consistent and successful athlete, overcame horrendous weather in Copenhagen. One of the clubs hardest working and most prolific athletes this year, Andy Bryant, pushed to the limit with IM Lanza, IMUK and as a GB athlete at Challenge Paguera, a half ironman in Mallorca.

The Newbies:
A number of members have completed their first triathlon in style! Jess Hudson, Steve Kidman and Graham Pearce looked like seasoned competitors and Elaine Bramley conquered an open water tri. We also had a group of athletes taking on Vitruvian, some for their first middle distance.

And the different:
We have also had members of WaldenTri challenging themselves in a variety of other ways! Michael, Charlie and Craig took part in the National Cross Duathlon Championships in November. A number of brave members have continued to take on running challenges. Clare Thompson took on an almighty 240 mile task in her Three Crazy Mares Challenge. The Peasgoods, Sarah Switzer, Hannah Traer-Clark, Andy Stoten and Phil Doel all took on marathons and ran far too many miles in London, Edinburgh, Snowdonia (again!) and Athens. Izzy Wardle took part in the massive swim challenge of Bridge to Bridge in a massive storm and Howard Williams and Paul Chapman smashed the Dragon Ride Gran Fondo, a mere 140 miles of welsh hills.

Overall we have had a very productive and successful year with personal achievements galore to be proud of. Our race committee did a fantastic job and as a club we hosted two fantastic events which raised a significant amount for our chosen charity. WaldenTri continue to benefit from top notch coaching and we are incredibly lucky to have such experienced and passionate people within the club.

Following the AGM last Tuesday, I am really thrilled to welcome our three 'new' members to the management committee. A big thank you to Jeremy Buss (Treasurer), Phil Trevillion (Head Coach) and Elaine Bramley (Junior Secretary) and we are very lucky to benefit as a club from your expertise.

I hope January has been kind to you but personally, I can't wait to get on with spring. I'm looking forward to hearing about what you lot have planned for 2015!

Get that motivation kick started

Club Captain is slight grumpy this week after having an irritatingly slow return to training after Christmas. In fact there is not much training going on at all! I plan to rectify that as soon as I can but in the meantime, dragging myself out of bed at 5:30am to train before work is not taking precedent over sleep.

I cannot wait for that small thing, whatever it may be to help turn the corner and get that motivation kick started. Any advice welcome! Royston XC may be just the thing.

A lot of changes are happening within the club and the coaches have now initiated a coaching framework with the first few swim sessions designed by Philip Hatzis, already have taken place. These are progressive sessions design to make you into sleek, fast tri machines by the time race season starts! Thank you for the positive feedback.

We have a Try-a-Tri evening coming up shortly, so if you have any friends that are tempted by triathlon but don't know where to start, please encourage them to come along.

I sincerely hope your January has been a far more active one than mine and that unlike me, you haven't developed a reputation for hovering up everyone's post Christmas chocolates as I have.

Hopefully I will see as many of you as possible at the AGM on 20th January, where the future of WaldenTRI may be decided.

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas. I know I did (probably a bit too much!). I hope you start 2015 fit, healthy and full of motivation. My training seems to be an average of one circuits class per two boxes of mince pies which I'm not sure is a great ratio. Hopefully, looking towards spring dates will give me some oomph for getting out on the bike which is feeling sad and neglected. Good luck and stay safe if riding in winter conditions.


AGM - 7pm Tuesday 20th Jan at SWCH
Please come along to support the club and attend the AGM as there will be significant changes moving forward. Without support, the current Management Team feel that they are unable to continue running the Club as it stands currently. This is your opportunity to have input into what you want from your club. Consider if you could stand or share a role for one of the following positions:

  • Treasurer
  • Head Coach (supported by coaching framework)
  • Events Manager (social)
In accordance with the Club’s Constitution, all these positions for officers of the Club are elected by members at the AGM and will stand for two years ...

Club social - From 8pm, Friday 23rd January at OEG
A pub night out, most likely at the old English gentleman in Saffron Walden! Our previous club captain and WaldenTRI Aussie adventurer, Jonathan Howe will be back in the UK at this time and is coming out to join us so please come along if you are free.

Cross Country
The next cross country race is this Sunday, 11th January at Trent Park. All details of the race have been emailed out. The race starts at 10:30am. This will be the perfect antidote to excess Christmas pud and January blues! Unfortunately I can't make this one so good luck to WT runners.

The fifth and final race will be Royston on 15th Feb. I am looking forward to those hills already.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful 2015!