6th October 2011
Congratulations to Marcus for a brilliant result at the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Las Vegas.
Marcus finished 9th in his age group and 48th overall in the Age-groupers. A fantastic result.
A proper writeup with pics of the man in his GB leotard to follow soon but in the mean time, here’s Marcus ripping up the Nevada tarmac during his warm up ride.
29th July 2011
Andy L’s report on the Bontrager Twentyfour12:
Lying in my tent one evening, awaiting the subsidence of the twin pulses of Belgian techno and Belgian super strength beer to admit sleep to my person, I began a feverish dream. A feverish dream of racing bicycles, racing bicycles in England; indeed, racing bicycles in England in sunshine. The solution was obvious: to race the twentyfour12 down at Newnham Park, nr Plymouth, only this time not on my own.
After this epiphany, organisation was a snip. A mere 183 emails and 3 retirements later (due to being broken, knowing someone who was broken, and thinking you were broken, respectively), one and a half LVIS teams were joined by a man named Chair and willing substitutes from Dream Cycles.
Maybe the list of retirements was prompted by the name of the fast team: LVIS Warnock Painvagen; honour then, is due to those who endured the horrors the Painvagen, and grew as men. Earthly names are now shed aside as they transcend as Painvagerani: John W, the charming robot; Richard S, keeper of the sacred ham; Steve P, holder of the list of delights; Steve B, wrestler of badgers; and Ant de H, the beard of social media.
Meanwhile, over in LVIS Gold, in the Open Mixed team category, things were no less prophetic. A team consisting of Jon R, Celia W, Kirstie S, James L and Andy L was due, by turns, to be endlessly cheerful, mighty in the face of adversity, well behaved, dashed fast and, rather letting the team down, getting antsy over minor details.
Race day dawned through a haze of BBQ smoke and nicely chilled real ale. The major calamity was that John W had been prevented from boarding a train with his bicycle by an over-zealous guard. John, upholding the honour of LVIS, refused to argue and simply drafted the next express service by riding down the rails behind it. Unfortunately, due to the velocity attained during this exercise, his stem stretched to a good half metre long.
Someone had, however, neglected to order the sunshine. A degree of nervousness on the Friday evening accompanied the sight of many riders out pre-riding the course turning back for a snorkel and flippers. Happily things dried out nicely and the sunshine came to play on Saturday afternoon. The course was what everyone had come for, always renowned for a good bit of singletrack, the course this year was pleasingly technical for a 24h course, yet it did seem like an awful lot of climb for the payback. Hard work, certainly.
Then the dew came down and the crashing started. First Steve B, not content with loosing a fight with a badger some days previously, experimented with poking a big hole in his calf. John, struggling with a rather lengthy stem began to attempt front flipping the bike out of the bombholes. Greasy polished roots also claimed many in a smorgasbord of bruising.
During the night, the course turned eerily quiet. Apart for Celia, who seemed to manage to attract some sex pests. This less then desirable issue was solved by her removing her granny ring and simply outsprinting them. With dawn struggling through the early morning haze, it was time for the march to the line.
No 24h event would be complete without last-lap dramas. Accordingly, Ant’s pedal made a bid for freedom in attempting to masquerade as a field gate. However, on recovery for the second time, it became apparent that the pedal could not be reconciled to a future spinning in circles, and a last ditch bike swap was necessitated.
Drama aside, everyone had fun, and the LVIS teams were well satisfied with the weekend’s work. 4th in cat for LVIS Warnock Painvagen, 9th in cat for LVIS Gold. I’ve upgraded my email account storage in preparation for twentyfour12 2012 already.
18th July 2011
Tim J and William both completed the Etape du Tour act 1 in purple and gold style on a day of stunning conditions and baking heat. In the final climb up Alpe d’Huez, Tim took a 7 minutes lead over William, but for these LVIS members that was not the real result of the day. In the post-event Strawpedo race, William finally put an end to Janisch’s decade of dominance. Janisch, gallant in defeat, did admit “It’s true. This was an unofficial overseas event, with no marshals or proper time-keeping, but Gilabert did pip Javendish by about 0.05sec”. All’s fair in cycling and strawpedos.
19th June 2011
15th June 2011
For the second year running, LVIS sent a small but intrepid team to the Finale Ligure 24hr race in Italy. Paddy T put together this video of the whole trip.
18th March 2011
John’s report on his recent Ultramarathon glory.
Last weekend was the 3rd and final event in the Might Contain Nuts Welsh Winter Series of Ultramarathons. In contrast to the previous rounds of 30 and 40 miles where the conditions had been less than balmy (gales/sleet and snow featured respectively) this weekend provided ideal racing weather with broken sunshine, light winds and no precipitation.
Having done battle with the M4 on a Friday and reaches the Wye Valley sometime after bedtime a large portion of chips was consumed in Alf Tupper style and a place in the bunkroom secured for a brief night’s sleep before boarding coaches to the start at 5:45am. Having discovered that eight other chaps were inhabiting the bunkroom I was resigned to the certainty that at least one would be an internationally renowned snorer. However, against all the odds everyone slept in silence and many zzzz were accumulated.
The day started at 4:30 when the first of those in the bunk room decided that this was an appropriate time to begin preparations for the day. How long does it take to put on some running kit and eat a bowl of goop? About 75 minutes it would seem. On the coach and registration was taken in traditional school trip fashion and the late pupils their given their race numbers along with everyone receiving route maps. It wasn’t lost on those present that a coach trip of well over an hour from the finish to the start through non-flat countryside was going to make for a very long day indeed. But at least we’d be within crawling distance of food and bed at the end.
At this point I should state that the organisation of the whole event was very slick. However, the organisers did make a huge blunder in providing portaloos at the start; because no sooner had the coach doors opened than a mad dash commenced for half the field to get in line to park their respective breakfasts! For those of us who take a minimalist approach to race kit kicking your heels for half an hour is no sufficient to stave off the cold and there’s a distinct possibility of looking like a berk warm-up running for an ultra (says the bloke in the bright red tri-suit).
Once the toilet queue had subsided we lined up ready to go. Having had the whole journey form London to consider race tactics, and bearing in mind my first round blunder of haring off at the front and missing a turning I reminded myself to stay in the lead bunch until 1/2 way and then take stock. I should point out that a little appreciated fact of fell and ultra running is that being faster than everyone else is actually a disadvantage when you’re heading in the wrong direction ….. With that thought in mind I headed off at the front in close company of another runner who was clearly more used to running distances measured in metres not miles.
Having got our navigational error out of the way within the first couple of miles I congratulated myself on getting myself into a position where a substantial proportion of the field were now strung out ahead of me providing a pretty clear indication of the route. Things progressed very nicely for the next 5 or so miles as worked my way steadily into the top 4 runners and settled in to chewing cereal bars, sipping water and swapping life stories.
I ran most of the middle part of the race with Mark Cooper who I’d met and been narrowly beaten by in the first round. We managed to navigate pretty successfully between us and whilst he usually eeked out a small lead on the flat/hard sections I would do the same on the steep ups & downs. Having convinced ourselves that we were being very sensible in our pacing we were more than a little surprised to find that we’d nearly been caught by the checkpoint at Bluith Wells. Despite a concerted effort to push on in the rolling hills out of town we were caught by 3rd place man, Robin Houghton, shortly afterwards and all the feelgood sensation of cruising along at the front of the field evaporated.
I now had the uncomfortable truth to face that Robin Houghton had caught us so was clearly feeling strong and Mark was a much faster runner on the flat so would likely beat me in the closing stages to the finish which were much more horizontal. A 3rd place finish now looked very much on the cards along with running 15 miles whilst looking over my shoulder and fending off closing runners. And everything hurt a lot.
I managed to stay with Robin striding along up the last big climb of the day and seemed to find a small gap along a long traverse over Banc y Celyn. On the long steep descent in to the mile 41 checkpoint something unexpected happened in that gravity took over and I found myself struggling to put one foot in front of the other fast enough to avoid a faceplant. The upside of this was that I’d gapped the other two to the extent that I was out of sight. Even I’m tactically astute enough to recognise a break when it jumps up and pokes me in the eye, so the only thing for it was to leg it for the final 8 miles or so and hope.
It’s surprising what the lure of a finishing line and the prospect of a cup of tea and warm food can do but I did manage to make it to the finish without being caught. I can even reveal that I enjoyed the experience, such was the quantity of adrenaline in my system. It turns out that I also squeaked the series win (in no small part due to the injury of Barry Murray I’m afraid who it seems likes falling off mountain bikes when he’s not running very quickly).
You can read the official race report on the Might Contain Nuts site (below). I’d thoroughly recommend taking part in one of their events which are just the right mix of great value, friendliness, enthusiasm and thorough organisation. Anyone fancy putting together a Vegas team next year for the team prize?
29th February 2011
The LVIS Audax held on Sunday 27th March was a huge success with lots of very favourable comments from the riders. It really seems to have hit a gap in the market and it’s been commented by many how much younger the riders typically were and also how many women were riding too compared to most other Audaxes.
The success is down to all those below who all deserve a very big thanks.
Mr Audax: Marcus
Entries Coordinator/Web Manager/Accounts ! + a bit of everything else on the day: Kirsty
Route Master: Andy L
Signing on: Geoff W, Russ, Neil, Lucy
Head of Catering: Steph
Team Cake Coordinator: Celia
Sandwich Constructors: Nouveau, Steve B, Tim, Nick B
Washer Upper Extraordinaire: Phil M
Marshalls: Phil D, Ian P-V
Hill Checkpoint + Soup-er stars + lots of kitchen duties: Ruth and Andy P
Keynsham Checkpoint: Chris a! nd the team from Qoroz
Glastonbury Checkpoint: Colin and Jo Armstrong-Davis
Clevedon Checkpoint: Martin Groves
Photographers: Tess and Jimmy
Poster Design: Zoe Grimes
Bike Bits for Sale from Andy Kirk and Performance Cycles
Cake Bakes: Kirsty + Mum, Kat, Cassie, Andy, Ruth, Tess, Katy, Steph, Ant, Cath, Chrissie, Marcus’ Mum
And everyone ! who wore an LVIS jersey on the day as you all helped to show people what LVIS is all about.
6th February 2011
More congratulations – even better ones – to Rus and Jo on the birth of James . Mother and child doing well while Rus has managed to keep himself going with pork scratchings while in the close attendance of a medical team just in case… The purple and gold babygrow is on order…
4th February 2011
Congratulations to Marcus M on his qualification to race at the 2011 Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in LAS VEGAS! Yeah Baby!! Go Vegas!!! Marcus can count on home support and will undoubtedly be flying!
30th January 2011
After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2010, the now world famous LVIS Audax returns for 2011! The same mix of fine roads, great atmosphere and most importantly, fantastic cake is back on Sunday 27th March. Full details are available in the Events section and at the main Audax website audax.lvis.org.uk but the basics are explained in this video.
Some time was also spent on the publicity photos for the event with a team of LVIS members recreating the famous smoking cyclists photo taken in the 1900s.