Monday 29 April 2024

7Oaks Triathlon 2024 gallery very alive

Running through Knowle Park on a Sunday morning !

The 7Oaks triathlon gallery from sunday was live in the evening, which is faster than my amazon prime delivery, and the gallery can be found here:

and if you want to find the names and numbers of the brave - that's in the results here:

Of course we were providing free downloads - and the 7Oaks tri has been one of the first and longest events to employ us on this basis. We have covered the races since 2007 - have a look here if you want to see a younger version of yourself -

and there's archive results here if you want numbers and names to look by for previous years (ie 2007) -

Actual sponsors - who make a real difference, sort out prizes, and get teams entered

The concept of swim, bike, run was initially invented as a challenge between exponents of the three sports to find out which one of them was better than the other. Little did they know that this would be outflanked by the hardy marshals at these events who do "wake, drive, marshal" from before the very beginning of the first competitor to enter registration and rack their bike, to the last participant finding their way back off the run course and through the finish arch, and dismataling the branding, prize backdrop and the bike racking from 3am through to about 3pm, and not forgetting all the road route signs and run arrows just for good measure. Sensibly, they didn't put direction arrows in the pool this year, as usual.

It's character building - Waiting for the bling to appear.

So after yesterdays trial-by-drizzle in the coldest of cold winds, the real winners yesterday were the marshals. Relentless teamwork by a team of club members, who all would probably preferred the easier task of taking part in the race - stood about in the wet and helped other people enjoy themselves. The three of my team on the course sat about in the wet and contemplated our numbness and wetness to a whole new level. It's the sort of club event that builds cameraderie amongst a club and its members, and gives stories of the day to share, and lessons in "triathloning" for everyone to learn - listening to stories of people leaving their helmet on for the run, or forgetting their crocs for the run through transition (yes there is a legal use of crocs by the over 5's) - event participation knowledge and expertise is shared and built. More clubs should get back to doing this - if only as a form of club-team-building - above and beyond the regular training squad sessions.

Yes - that hill, because of *that* view

Sometimes it's not the heavy rain that's the problem, it's the mizzle that blows awaft on the slightest breeze change and then clings magnetically onto the front of the camera lens. If the lack of contrast and greyness was there before - micro-dots of rain on a lens will only add to the folorness and suck the colour out of anything, especially backlit bike hill climbs up wet roads ! and I wear glasses too, so that blows as well. But then in, it really doesn't matter how much you photoshop it into life - it will look like a grey damp day - which in truth, was the reality.

He's older than you think !

One thing that does generally strike me about triathletes, and especially the ones that are still going past their 50's, is the general appearance of about 10 year younger than the age category they are running against. Compare this with other social activites - and for example I had the experience of going from covering a triathlon one sunday to the milton keynes bowl to watch Bon Jovi of the evening. It appears that they are running an inverse-aeging appearance look compared to triathletes, and people of a 30-40 aged demographic are more likely to look 10 years older and larger in the 40-50 bracket etc. 

It was quite a remarkable thing to observe, and given the choice of a diet of Bon Jovi versus endurance exercise for the rest of my life - it would be a very very easy choice to choose triathlon first, plus I'd have the additional benefit of my life lasting considerably longer on average as well as not having to listen to 1980's soft rock. I do believe the choice is exclusive as well, you can't really lead a happy healthy life listening to Bon Jovi, because who wants to go for a run being told "we're only half way there" of "living on a prayer" as you cycle through traffic all the time ? And yes, it is slippery when it's wet, that's what rain does, and when accidents happen and people hurt themselves, so stop with all the dangerous comments please, it's really not good for the self perception. I can tell I'm well on my way to make sure I don't listen to that sort of risk based demotivating danger-music any more and am much happier for it. Next there will be songs about always having a home and being a legend. The only person who had that album was Bob Marley, and now I'm wittering on. Sorry.

Balancing on a prayer, let alone half way there.

In other thoughts, perhaps it's the simple survival of the fittest, and that the 60+ age category participants left who do compete are by definition going to be the DNA gifted ones left - and all the others who have worn their knees out are now sat somewhere else more comfortable and not listenting to soft easy rock pop ? Who knows, but the bunch who have competed in the 7Oaks tri since 1985 are a special group and should probably be carefully stored over winter in cotton wool by the rest of the club now. It's always good to see some are still going every year.

Always give your supporters a wet bear hug even if they don't know it's good for them !

Other random things from Sunday was a catch up and chat with Tony who used to work with us in the office and as a photographer at the events, and now is a Primary school teacher, he seemed to be setting out his best Dad example to his two young kids who had been ceremoniously woken to support his good cause (yes it's the taking part that counts and not the winning, because it's an individual time trial system....) and getting back on the triathlon wagon, good effort Tony !

keep safe, keep seen !

Biggst winner on the day - the club !

best colour co-ordinated socks of the day

smashing up those hills

Dirt, it was indeed

Not twins, but yes sisters - doing it for themselves ?
good work up the hill

how to stop the timing chip from registering on the timing mat - plenty of air

keeping a tight line up the top of the hill

making it look like a casual stroll

very pleased with his number !

Flying in at the end - what more do you need to feel good ?

So that's it for this weekend - next weekend is the REP Bluebell - sorry sold out, and the 3 Forts - with their sneaky lucky last few on the day - because the weather is going to be absolutely fantastic !!!! (check last blog for details).

And then from then in it's a lot of the hikey mike season... grown year on year - free photos for everyone live on the day - I wonder if that's helped get it to 15 locations this year ?

The only other event to get your getting entered to is the Hampshire Hoppit - a beutiful trail run, which has a distance for everyone now, and the best goodies in town as well as free photos - so you'd be a Bon Jovi fan if you miss that one too

And if you're really a triathloner - then there's always the Mid-Sussex Tri - a pool based sprint tri, which it never rains at either - well, at least not on the swim leg...

until next time, train safely (unlike me, I have a twisted ankle and can't walk properly, and after 3x3x200m down the track also have a ruptured achillies... idiot boy, but I was happy with the 35's in trainers).



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