Al's MTL, a supplement to IH's more timely blog
A hectic year has stopped me from reporting to the masses on what turned out to be one of the best events I have had the pleasure of being involved in, so here it is in pictures (sorry Al but after all you were there), the biggest team accomplishment we have completed, nearly,  Al’s MTL.
With 12 of us being there and the non-stop discussions over the next week or two, you were either there or it probably felt like you were there (and tired of hearing about it).
It was a full-on all-in cycling challenge and social success; my sides ached more than my legs by Monday morning. A video compilation of the evening antics, did I hear you ask for?

Athletes Only

2015 Annual Bike ride

The 11th Annual Christmas Ride
12 hardy souls braved the late forecasted weather change, and ventured out in the rain and the inevitable mud fest. Instead we were blessed with a warm and drying day, some muddy tracks, but the new trails we found in Tunstall were mainly dry and fantastic fun. For the first time we saw wind powered something and electric shifting, a few tumbles and only one puncture. The bomb holes were an adventure and quite a source of amusement, with only two riders achieving all 5, in and out.
The Green Man was a welcome sight after nearly 5 hours in the saddle, but with most of our other drink stops closed; we were once again saved by the guaranteed opening of a Deben Inn. Refuge was sought in the Coach and with family discount extending the purse, we made this our home for the next 3 hours or so, I think.  Probably a Xmas ride record, but after 14 hours out and about, we finally called it a day when DP's Vodka (and then port) ran out. A few faces missing but thanks to all who made it, who made it so much fun. 51 training Thursdays till the next...

Calamity Cup 2015

Finally Steve (Barney) gets his reward for his efforts, recognitoin indeed, Steve the Calamity, 2015

Wattisham Sprint Triathlon 2015

Wattisham Sprint Triathlon 2015    WOODBRIDGE SURFERS Team A

Only half an hour got us to the perimeter fence and another 20 minutes got us to the right gate, I was navigating.
Despite our names not being on the list, the guard let us in and decided not to check our ID to overcome his embarrassment.  The first thing that strikes you here is, although it is military, just how friendly everyone is. Despite the imminent weather keeping most of the families away, it still feels like a family event.
A quick cruise through the cycle racks admiring the carbon wonders, obscure bar and drink bottle designs, through the mountain bikes section and down to Sturmley Archer! And looking around there was whippet to what really should not go in a tri-suit. Some power lunch, watched a few cyclists negotiate the exit and some thrashing in the lanes before it soon was our time. Ian tried to look tall but the 6’8” guy next in line just looked like he was going to eat him. This guy had 50% bigger reach than Ian but he still managed to keep a length between them. Not sure if was it me be anxious or Ian being spent & unstable, but it took a few seconds to swap the chip and I was off into the drizzle which was now falling. Through the service roads and onto the perimeter for 2 miles or so before I saw anyone at all and then as one or two (maybe 6 in total) passed me by in a whurr of carbon, I soon remembered the down side of having such a good and committed swimmer in your team, puts you amongst the athletes. The wind had dropped and the directional difference on the runway was less than last year at 5mph instead of 15, so it felt long and tough both ways instead. The high point was feeling the warmth of three Apaches’ preparing and then the down draft of one lifting off on lap 2. Low point was watching a faster rider getting the tarmac joints wrong and hitting the ground at 23 mph. I was trying for 20mph average or sub 40 mins and did not achieve either, quite, but very happy to see my final push lasted to the end with my GPS saying 40:01. I was also very glad to see Shannon as she grabbed the chip and bounded off. She reported a good run, overtaking the excessively tall guy who had passed me, with near perfect drizzle cooled running conditions, she soon reappeared looking very comfortable with a fast sprint finish to record her personal best 5k time of 21:40. Giving a total team time of 1:08:03, some 4 minutes quicker than 2014. This was enough to secure a second year, team win for the Surfers, against more teams and was only slightly marred by giving the award to second place team (which we had to rectify later).
So next year, maybe more Surfer teams? It is only a sprint tri I know but it is a lovely event, you can choose just the discipline you like, sprint it and maybe stop us making it 3 in a row!
Is it possible to complete a shorter bike distance – No not at this event.
Is it acceptable to challenge the organisers – Yes but very politely as they large guns (both meanings)

Woodbridge Surfers
Hopkins Coutts Hopkins

2014      2015
103rd               59th       Overall
1st              1st         In category
06:17        06:05     Swim (inc T1)
41:11        40:17     Cycle (inc T2)
25:11        21:40      Run
01:12:40  1:08:03   Total