Written by: Xavier Faux

Hello my fellow triathletes and lovelies, we’re getting ever closer to the winter solstice and other seasonal celebrations. The lights and tree are going up tonight in the Hankinson-Faux household! This week we have a rich menu of more racing options, racing results and some personal thoughts! A bit of a long one but you’re likely to read this at work so don’t pretend you’d rather read your other emails 🙂

Don’t forget that it is the mob match on Saturday 9th December at Bushy Park. If anything, it is a fantastic 5k course and a great opportunity to move our legs. Sir Mo Farah ran there once!

We also have the beer mile coming up on Saturday 16th December. See Jackie’s post for more info.

This weekend, the Men’s 3rd cross country race took place in Roundshaw Common. Not the most exciting of venues but fast and unusually not too muddy. On the racing front, Charlie Elliott was on top form and finished 3rd overall in the Div3 race. WOOP WOOP. Overall, the team finished 5th. Not bad. I can’t find the overall league standings (I find the Surrey League website on the confusing side of things) but I reckon we are about 5th overall. Next one is on 13th Jan for the ladies and 10th Feb for the men. Well done to everyone who came (more baking next time please): Andrea Sala, Ben Clothier, Charlie Elliott, Dave Bulmer, Ed Challes, Haukur Heimisson, Ian The Machine Baker, Jon Montoya, Jon Moseling, Jonathon Furuya, Mark Benton, Matt Hughes, Peter Moore, Pierre Guilpain, Richard Harper, Rob The Laminator Argles, Thomas Claracq, Will Manns and Xavier Faux Pas.

It was also CTS Dorset. A course renowned for its hilliness, bad tempered weather and inaccurate distances (a 16 mile half marathon for example …). On the 10k, Eimear Toomey and Nicola Anderson had a great time soaking up the great views (whilst doing a bit of running). On the infamous half marathon Rob Gray was first home for the club. Well done also to Carry Triggs-Hodge, Katie Ferraby, Sian Morgan and Cheryl Boshi! Then there is the madness of the Ultra … a 45.5 mile endurance test over some of the hilliest routes. Massive congrats to Chris Clarke for conquering it in 11h23. He even scored a PB as he beast his 2014 time by 25 minutes. Hope all went well!

I always find the end of year to be a good time for reflection. A lot has happened this year and it’s been another great one from a racing point of view, but what do we really think of it all? Last year, at a similar time of the year, I spoke about individuals who really stood out and this year I’d like to talk about values or maybe ways of doing which I’ve noticed over the year. We, as a group of people, more often than not, incarnate those very well (I hope).

OK, the first one is fairly obvious but is not that easy to put in place is training helps, it helps a lot. I know it sounds dumb but let’s look around us and those who have been smashing it this year are the ones who put in the hard graft. Just look at how good people like Sian Morgan, Faye Sanders or Martin Bruwer have got!

You know what is better than training? Training with your mates and other people. I find I get so much out of the training sessions. On a Sunday night, how many of us just love getting “shaned” and how have those hills shaped us? My advice as we are getting towards the depth of winter is: turn up on those dark evenings, it will pay off!

I think a point that flows nicely here is saying thank you! It sounds silly but without coaches and people putting their energy into sorting out our training we wouldn’t have those so let’s not forget to thank them and especially support them (positive and constructive feedback is always welcome). The other element of it as that don’t forget that without volunteers we wouldn’t have races. As we whizz through streets (I say “we” … I don’t whizz through, I pootle along) tens if not hundreds of volunteers will give up their day to make it a safe and enjoyable environment and a “thank you marshall” goes a long way to make that persons day.  Big love for them!

Bringing those two points together, let’s remember that this is a club for us and by us. The more we put in, the more we will get out of it.

There are a few individuals that have really stood out as well through doing something more than special: they did it for others. Sometimes racing or working out is for also about others. Look at Parys Edwards’ and Nicholas de Bouillane’s team Sponge, Katie Wright running over 1000 miles in support of Bloodwise and Andrea Sala racing Ironman Vichy for charity. I know there are many more people who do it as well and these are examples of open-heartness. You people are fabulous!

Much more personally, in terms of Christmas lists, I know that power meters are easier to wrap and put under the Christmas tree than peace on earth but I do hope we get a good dose of that at Christmas (peace on earth, not power meters).

All is left to do for me as traditional Christmas card season has started is to wish all of you, your families and loved ones a wonderful Christmas as well as a peaceful 2018 packed with good health.

Love x