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All things cycling …

June 17th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

My last week in the “Territory” (Northern Territory, Australia) was celebrated with not 1, but 3 x my favourite 150km ride near Darwin before heading overseas for some racing. I didn’t really set out to do that, but I’m sure it will keep me happy now for the few months I’m away.

Welcome to Mandorah

The first time was on my own, it was head down, grinding into a nasty headwind for the first 75km and then playing race the road trains along the Stuart Hwy for another 75km home. Serious business today, so no photo evidence of the occasion.

The second time was to celebrate the Queens Birthday holiday here in Australia, where Darwin Cycle Club mixed with Darwin Tri Club to tackle the route which on August 12th will be the course for the Top End Gran Fondo.  A tad more social, got to sit in (Boss’s instructions) and enjoy the ride, catch up with old friends and take in the scenery … well, it wasn’t that easy going but unfortunately a mid-peloton crash left a few friends broken and battered.

I used every skill I could muster-up in probably 3 secs to avoid the pile up and luckily escaped uninjured.  That sound of bikes hitting road and bodies sliding, brings back terrible memories for me, and after a brief moment of emotional relief had to pull myself together to attend to the needy.  A hard, nervous ride home after and also felt the fatigue set in from from the day before.  I was pretty keen to get off my Cervelo, much as I love him.

Bikes on ferry trip over

The crew at Berry springs/refueling at 75km

Kate and the magic green whistle

Bin post-elbow surgery with some much needed “recovery chocci"

The third time was today. A steady ride, with Kylie and Stuey kindly keeping me company … and in Kylie’s case feeding me super Gaff slice along the way (more on that later).

The Aussie dry season day was sensational for cycling and it went like this …

Sunrise

Me and Gaff waiting for ferry to leave Cullen Bay

On the ferry

Ferry pulling in to Mandorah

One way home

The beautiful Northern Territory (NT)

Beautiful NT

Back to the road

Some chose to refuel with ...

The outback "dunny"

The outback "landscape"

Super "Gaff" slice

Recommended before, during and after riding.  Made and supplied by Kylie (Gaff) throughout the journey and guaranteed for a super boost 10-15mins after consuming.  She kindly even donated the recipe. Thanks Gaff!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (or muesli)
  • 1 cup Rice Bubbles
  • 4 Weet-Bix, crushed
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ½ cup apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • ½ cup apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 125 grams butter

Method

  • Combine oats, rice bubbles, weet-bix, coconut, apricots and dates in a large bowl, mix well.
  • Combine sugar, honey, peanut butter and butter in a saucepan, heat until melted, then stirring constantly for 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick and caramel in colour.
  • Combine the 2 mixtures, mix well, press into a slice tin lined with baking paper, cut into squares, refrigerate.
  • Can substitute other fruit for the dates and apricots, different nuts for the walnuts, muesli for the oats and white or raw sugar for brown sugar if preferred.

The day finished with a swim at Lake Alex

Lake Alex in Darwin

And then

Sunset by the sea

Next stop Philippines for the Subic Bay 5150, then on to the USA.

Thanks Stuey for sharing photos.

Ali

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retrospective … the missing weeks

May 3rd, 2012 by Ali Fitch


EARLIER this year I was so busy that I missed writing my blogs.  Now it is update time, starting with wet season training in Darwin, Australia in Jan/February 2012.

Training in Darwin

There are long clear stretches of road in Darwin with minimal traffic; the pictures below show part of a 25km section out towards Channel Island. Unfortunately with recent developments this road is becoming increasingly busy. On a nearby ride from Mandora I can ride 70kms without seeing a car/person/kangaroo. Darwin is Australia’s closest city to the equator, and is similarly very hot and wet to many nearby SE Asian countries.

Training on Channel Island Road - no heavy traffic, congestion or animals on the road

Darwin Tri Club training ride - Channel Island Road

NT Aquathlon Championships – February 4, 2012

Managed to slip in a good hit-out at the NT Aquathlon Champs on Sunday February 4, after the first 6 weeks training with Brett. I was surprised to find I had some strength racing at 6pm after a hard training day that included a 150km bike run. The run leg of the Aquathlon was very hot and steamy in the Darwin wet season.

Me winning/third outright NT Aquathlon Championships

Then it was off to Stokes Hill Wharf that night for some drinkies and food, our once weekly treat for Stuey and me. A great view down at Darwin’s Harbour, especially with lightning from thunderstorms all around. Darwin is world famous for its spectacular lightning storms – see photo above.

teamTBB Camp – Mooloolaba – Monday February 20, 2012

Next stop, my first teamTBB camp. I stayed with my good friend Suey and her family, hubby Michael and kids Sarah and Jamie. They were a great support when things got tough, hmmmm, fatiguing!! Camp was an eye-opener for me on training for triathlon after many years in the sport. I loved training with champions of triathlon, and hear/learn everything Brett had to say. Here’s some pics …

Oops, don’t have any! Must have been too busy training, eating, sleeping and working out how I was going to get my body ready for the next session.

But Suey’s two hyperactive dynamos Sarah (8) and Jamie (6) made good use of Stu’s bike box (reducing it to shreds), my nightly entertainment whilst on Camp.

The dynamic duo resting before shredding Stuey's bike box

The dynamic duo again, dressed up with Stuey’s bike padding

Darwin with cyclones on to Singapore – March 11-14

Then a MAD/BUSY week getting back to Darwin and packing up our belongings to head over to the Philippines/Asia for a long stint, as a member of Alaska teamTBB Philippines (via racing Singapore 70.3), and being a mentor to the 6 Philippino kids in the teamTBB development squad.

Getting away from Darwin quickly was hindered by torrential rain from a brewing cyclone (typhoon). Thanks to our friends Jimbo & Janet who kindly let us bunker down in their seafront house for a few months.

Cheer-squad Jimbo & Janet – Kona 2006 - you guys are great!

Poor Jimbo was painting his house in the brewing cyclone, with huge seas battering the nearby jetty covering everything in salt-spray. He was frantically trying to finish everything AND pack for an overseas trip as well.

That is Jimbo & Stuey in this pic,watching big seas battering the Nightcliff Jetty just in front of Jimbo’s house. This wave knocked the jetty a metre (yard) out of alignment. Ocean is usually like a mill pond here

Also big thanks to our friends Robyn & Daryl for helping us out in so many thoughtful ways whilst we organized ourselves, put things in storage and got ourselves away.

 Our good friends Daryl & Robyn

On to Singapore – March 14-20

Not surprisingly in all the mad rush I had a couple “sick” days in Darwin before flying out. I rested up and felt better arriving in Singapore. We had a beautiful home stay a 10min ride from Transition for the race. Matt and his wife Beatrice are keen triathletes and work very long hours, so it wasn’t until 3 days later I finally met Beatrice.

They were awesome helping us get prepared and fueling us with uber-healthy food; and Matt was a photographer extraordinaire come race day. He kept popping up everywhere on the run leg and kept me laughing.

Pre race busyness –my new Cervelo P3 bike “C’Man” Thankyou to Cervelo, Campagnolo 3T & Cobb saddles for my new P3. Very excited!

The day before Singapore 70.3 we attended a promotional function at Bikes and Bites, the major Cervelo retailer in Singapore. Fellow Alaska teamTBB member Mary-Beth Ellis (Mbe) and I presented the owner with an autographed jersey from Thor Hushovd.

Mbe and me just before our mini-team dinner in Singapore

A short training ride on my new bike, a short run and swim and I happily bumped into my “home” Team, the Darwin Triathlon Club. About 20 Club members had made the journey to race in Singapore. Darwin Tri Club members are great travellers, and attend triathlon events all over the world.

Darwin Tri Club competitors Rob Brooks (Brooksie) and Phil Bloomberg

Darwin is closer to Singapore than Sydney, so SE Asia is a popular race destination for my Club.

Me, Nikki Roddi and Shaye Hatty – Darwin Triathlon Club

Darwin Tri Club President Phil Hatty successfully running “away” from the swim start

Singapore 70.3 – the race March 18

Sunday morning arrived quickly, with lots of photos with my Darwin Club team-mates.

Pre-race I had a few moments of nausea, which I wrongly put down to nerves. But my tummy wasn’t very happy.

The race itself was hard work as you would expect; given the pace of life in the past few weeks I went in to the race feeling pretty tired, but as Brett had texted me that morning

“The man that does his best

Is good enuff”

Jack london

Plus it was a training race, me being a long way from peak fitness.

The swim saw my friends Mbe and Kate Bevilaqua leading, with me coming out third. It was two laps of a 900 metre rectangular swim course, with a beach-run of around 100m in the middle. I actually hate beach runs in the middle of swims … a swim is a swim is a swim, so why confuse the swim by adding a run in the middle I ask? We all have our pet hates.

Anyway, out of the water in to T1, and I was yet to become friends with my new bike, “C’Man” (as I named him) who was two days old. I was not returning to Australia for quite some months, so made a conscious decision to leave my old bike in Oz rather than bring it over for but one race. The ride highlighted a few urgent comfort changes, before C’Man and I could really become one. Noted for urgent action.

So I paced off Michelle Wu when she passed me in the first few km’s of the bike ride, the imaginary bungee cord between her and me springing wide at times, but I bounced my way back. Mbe surged well at the front, a position she built upon, then Kate, Michelle and me all arrived in T2 all within a minute.

The start of the run leg I cramped in my hips and tummy from my different ride position and needed to walk quite a bit in the first few kilometres, and at that time was passed by another pro girl. After some fluid, and movement in an upright position, I got some rhythm again by the 4km mark. I overtook the girl that ran past me at just after the 9km mark. I remained in this position to finish in 4th.

I was pleased that I kept pushing, and gave everything I had with how I felt, especially on the bike leg. But of course I was disappointed at feeling rotten after the hard work at camp, and in the lead-up training in Darwin. BUT, I am racing, and that is what I love doing. Congrats and well done to team mate Mbe who was amazing and took the win with ease.

A happy me to cross the finish line in Singapore 70.3 to place 4th

Post Singapore 70.3

The Darwin Tri Club did very well in the race, taking out 6 podium placings including a first.

It was nice catching up with everyone for post-race stories.

That night I joined Stuey, Mbe, Elaine Brent and bro as guests of Bernard Maughan at an Australian New Zealand Association (ANZA) bike club dinner at the Brewerkz brewery. Much fun and laughter, endless beer (if so inclined), a big juicy hamburger and some amusing interviewing by Bernard with a few of us pro athletes. Thanks for the invite and a fun night guys.

Unfortunately, Stu had caught “Ali tummy” and he spent several miserable days in bed before we left Singapore for the Philippines.

Singapore to Manila, Philippines March 20

The next couple days was organizing flights and other travel details. I was feeling ok and we got things packed, had a beautiful last dinner with Matt and Beatrice, and were off again jet-setting to Manila. On the plane I started to feel very very ill. Were Stuey and I playing pass-the-parcel with tummy bugs?

Yep, tummy-bug galore, the trip from Manila Airport to Ani de Leon Brown’s house about a 1.5hr drive away was oh so painful. Straight to the bathroom for me then my turn to spend several miserable days in bed.

Ani is a Timex Multisport Team mate of Stuey’s; she is also a tri coach with her husband Dan, and kindly hosted us for a few days before our trip down to Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, our adopted home and training base in the Philippines. Ani is a triathlon dynamo, back racing, training and coaching triathlon barely 4 months after giving birth to her first child, and looking fantastic.

I managed to get up for a group ride two days later with Ani’s squad, but that effort was too much too soon and promptly landed me back in bed again with gastro ‘till I had to get out for our journey to Pico on the Friday.

A lightly-loaded motor tricycle, typically 125cc. Note attention to helmets, safety footwear, gloves and protective jackets! You sometimes see families of up to 8 people with all their luggages crammed in to a covered trike

Crazy traffic in Nasugbu, around 19kms from our home in Pico de Loro

Not far to go to Pico …

So here Stu and I are at present, in Pico de Loro, Nasugbu, Batangas – see my earlier blog on Sunday March 25 for more about the trip down. As the crow flies Pico de Loro is around 100kms SSE of Manila on the west coast, but by road the trip is a little longer and takes 3-4hrs, depending on traffic.

A small glimpse of paradise, Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club Our beautiful home in the Philippines

The Pico Tri

On March 31 I raced along-side fellow Alaska teamTBB Philippines team-mate Matt O’Halloran, plus hubby Stuey (and about 200 others), in the Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club Invitational Triathlon. This is a two lap 1.2km swim, a 35km bike ride and an 8km run.

So we were all lined up, professionals and age groupers alike, on the beach for a sprint start. Lightning bolts were hitting the water before the swim start, then enough rain to make the down hills on the ride scary. I just felt flat after having gastro, but was more in love with my bike having had time to fine-tune my position and do some training kilometres. I ran much better for the bike adjustments.

The signature of this race is a single challenging hill that takes you out of Pico de Loro Resort and is crossed once in each direction. The rain made the road very slippery, and on the 14% downhill gradient on the way back there were a few bike crashes, including Stuey who struggled with his speed and weight to slow down.

The 8km run is four laps around the Resort centre, providing great spectator viewing and crowd support. It was hot and steamy.

I finished first female, following in Alaska teamTBB team-mate Matt O’Halloran who was first male.

Mad rush to the water in the Pico Tri. I am to the left of Stuey, the guy with the Speedos on

Me on the bike leg, Pico Tri

The level of organization, presentation and support for this invitational event was unbelievable. A big “WELL DONE” to the organizers for putting together a really classy event. Thank you to Race Director Ricky Ledesma and the Pico team for a challenging, technical course, and also thanks to my sponsors Alaska Milk, Cervelo, Campagnolo, 3T and John Cobb Saddles for getting me safely over the course, and to 2XU for putting me in the best clothing that money can buy.

Winners are grinners, or more correctly grimacers!

Chit chat with TV after winning at Pico

Rona Tan, from Hamilo Coast/Pico de Loro, & me. Thanks Rona for all the wonderful support

Ali

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Koh Samui Triathlon Thailand – Sunday April 22, 2012

April 28th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

On Thursday, the day after the launch of Alaska teamTBB in Manila, I finally got flights booked to Thailand, for the Koh Samui International Triathlon, to fly out the following day.  I spent the rest of Thursday getting my bike race-ready.  Many thanks to Glenn Colendrino at Primo Cycles for my race tune.

I arrived at Koh Samui late Friday afternoon, quickly put my Cervelo P3 together, and jumped in the ocean for a nice easy swimmy.  The ocean was warm and it felt great and relaxing to rest and float.  Was pretty tired from camp activities, excitement of Team launch in Manila, packing, and now travelling, so felt pretty good laying down and going to sleep after swimmy for a very welcome rest.

Saturday after race registration I looked forward to some relaxing, but a head stem screw snapped when I assembled my bike on Friday – plus my front derailleur had received a bang in transport and needed some adjustment to stop it rubbing on one side.  A day of super-frustration ensued.

After much effort I gave up trying to fix the head-stem bolt – I just carefully torqued-down the remaining three screws and hoped for the best.  As it was this worked, and there were no further problems.  I got it fixed when I got back to Manila after the race.

But the front derailleur went from bad to worse.  The Koh Samui race mechanic played with both adjustment screws (why both??), then proceeded to play with the front derailleur cable attachment.   After this “expert” intervention the front changer would change down, but would not change back up.  I had gone backwards!

Argghhhhh, no Stuey this time to help me out but he was trying his best on the phone from Manila with evident frustration to help me.

At the 11th hour teamTBB teammate Aaron Farlow kindly lent a helping hand.  But we agreed that any more tinkering might make it worse yet again, so we left it in the big ring.  Aaron and I headed-off to race briefing.

Some very different rules for this race and with no road closures, and no dog, cow, sheep, cattle or chook control!  It was going to be an interesting day.   The roads were rough, had concrete cracks, and we were issued with a small plastic disposable cup that we carried with us on the run to get drinks.  I wrote “cup” on my hand so I would not forget it!

Beware dangerous road conditions!

Feeling a bit challenged by my race environment/bike technical problems I put money in my race belt, plus some Allen keys in case my front changer totally jammed.  All set, I was first to transition to get organized race morning.

Hanging around

Race day

A solid swim coming out of the water 3rd, just behind Kate Bevilaqua, whom I swam behind the whole way.  Caroline was about a minute in front, and the pack was about a minute behind.  I was a little nervous out of T1, concerned about having only 3 bolts holding my bars, and having a badly compromised front changer on my bike.

Given this I eased slowly in to the ride, which took several kilometers, also giving the chase group a chance to catch me.

I ground up the hills in my big chain ring – those hills stung a little, but I love hills and figured it was worth keeping the bike in the big chain ring.  The flats and down hills would be very tedious and slow spinning with a small front ring.  If I could survive the hills the big chainring gave me the best chance of staying in contact with the chase group.

There were some technical sections early on in the course and I came close to coming off on a tight left turn.  I was leading the group down a long steep descent that had a sharp turn at the bottom.  I overshot the mark, the back wheel slid out sideways several metres, but I managed to stay upright and make my way back through the spectators, animals, motorbikes and yelling officials to catch back up.  Close one.

In the ride my bod started deteriorating at about 60km, yep only half way in, as I’d lost my salt tabs at some point and the aid stations had only been handing out Coke for hydration – some of the pro-girls were screaming “WATER!  WATER!  WATER!” at the top of their voices at the aid stations, but it seems the message was not understood.  I started to cramp like never before, noting of course that the weather was very hot.

It was too early in a ride for such painful cramps, they were in my hands, my feet, my hamstring muscles, in my stomach muscles plus my stomach.  Quite odd places too, persistent and painful.  I just did my best riding with the chase group.

Flat stretch of road near T1, we passed this twice on the 120km loop

Braking down some hills was scary with my hands cramping, but going up them on lap two of the course was a relief, to stretch out my stomach and legs.  I ended up with only one bottle of water for the 120km, not really enough, but I’m used to the heat and am often dehydrated.  The problem was the litres of Coke I consumed.

Despite these problems I finished the ride with the chase group, and was well positioned to match it with the other girls in the run.

My cramping was particularly bad in T2 when I attempted to put my shoes on.  Belinda, Carrie and Jo were gone in a flash out of T2 and all I could do was struggle with the cramping and wait for the spasms to subside.  I finally got my shoes on and gulped down some water I had in my T2 bag.  I was ready to run and chase them down.

A very painful T2

Ummmm, nup.  Every attempt to run was confronted with pain and sickness in my gut , nausea and cramping.  I tried and tried again in the first few km’s to run; a nice French support lady got off her motor bike to walk with me at about the 5km mark.  Not long after I puked and puked and puked.  Litres of coke on the ground, a grand unload, yuk, but so good to get it out.

After refusing a lift to Thai hospital and sugar cubes(???) the same nice French lady kindly went in search of something to help me hydrate.  At the 10km mark she came back with something like gastrolyte, all mixed up in a bottle ready to go.  Down in went.

At the run turn-around point, 15-16km, my stomach settled and I ran again.  I realized that I was still in 9th place, still in for some $$, “keep it going” a little voice in my head urged.  As I ran back to town the competitors were few and far between, the locals were in full force, and my somewhat absurd ”drinking cup” was  no longer relevant – even shop owners were coming out to hand me water … bottled water!!  So good.

The nice French lady was so excited she saw me running (not walking) when I got to her “area” again; she yelled something in French, positive I think.  About 4-5km to go, my tummy bloated again, and I was running on empty.  I was pretty over the whole race by this point and just wanted to finish. I walked in to finish in my virgin ON running shoes, all done.

No presentation for me that night, straight to the hotel to pack and to try and feel better for an early flight to Manila the next morning.  Congrats teamTBB on the awesome double win, Dave and Caroline, 2nd for Carrie running super strong, and 6th for Aaron.

This race had character; I’ve learnt a few things about my bike, my body and racing in Thailand – I will return next year.  I loved the weather.

Surplus Thai baht at airport

Thank you to race director, Gerald Iacono, the volunteers, an emphatic “merci” to my friend the special French lady; and my sponsors, Alaska Milk, Cervelo, Campagnolo, 3T, 2XU, John Cobb (he has made me oh so comfy on the bike now), On Running shoes, Hamilo Coast, and Brett and Alex for making my race possible.

I am now back in Pico de Loro, welcomed back by the locals and ready to tackle a solid consistent block of training.

Hello Mr Treadmill at Pico

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Alaska teamTBB launch – Dusit Thani Hotel, Manila, Philippines

April 28th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Wednesday April 18, 2012

Early Wednesday we all piled in to a big bus at the end of Team Camp at Pico de Loro to head to Manila for our Team launch.  This was an amazing event held at the Dusit Thani Hotel.

Alex Bok, Alaska CEO Fred Uytengsu, Brett Sutton & David Almendral at Alaska teamTBB launch

It was a major media event with national and regional press and media crews, lifesize posters of athletes, video and slide presentations, and visionary speeches highlighting the importance of the teamTBB launch to the development of triathlon as a sport in the Philippines.

Me with me - height should be 5'7"!

The most exciting thing was seeing the media ask the development squad  “kids” questions, and hearing their responses. Such a great opportunity for these 6 promising athletes.

The "Kids" - Loren, Mark, Ali, Dhill, Martin, Nena & Banjo

Special thanks to Fred Uytengsu, Alex Bok, Brett Sutton and David Almendral for establishing such a great project here to benefit young athletes in the Philippines.

Me & Rona Tan, Hamilo Coast

The Complete Alaska teamTBB Philippines

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Alaska teamTBB camp – Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club

April 28th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines

Friday April 13th at Pico de Loro Resort, Hamilo Coast was the start of Alaska team TBB Philippines camp attended by Sponsors, tbbTeam management, coaches, athletes and a big photographic crew.

Sponsor John Cobb & me

Graeme Clarke, 2XU & me

An introductory dinner on the beach kicked-off the camp with a inspirational speech by Brett, stressing excellence in what you strive to achieve, focus in achieving your goals, and pointers to assist in achieving what you set out to do.  The speech was directed at the six young Philippino teamTBB Development squad athletes, but there was a message there for the achievers in all of us.

The "Doc" inspiring us all

The four days following we mingled with our main sponsors, which was brilliant, and met and trained with the development squad “kids”.  This initiative draws talented young athletes from different provinces in the Philippines and seeks to develop them to world class standard in the hope that they might represent the Philippines at the Olympics in 2016 and beyond.  I am mentor to this group, and am very much looking forward to working with them and sharing their journey in triathlon.

Coach Matt O'Halloran & the "Kids" - Day 1

The camp saw a lot of camera action in studio, at early am pool sessions, bike and run shots and of course, drinking Alaska milk to keep us going!  It was more tiring than training, but a lot of fun.

Trying on my new 2XU teamTBB clothing

Me & my bike "stand" at a photo shoot

Applying my Alaska milk "moustache" for a photo shoot

Action photo shot down near jetty

Spot the idiot

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Philippines adventures – Pico de Loro Cove

March 25th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Nearly at Pico de Loro

I finally arrived in Pico de Loro, Philippines, late Friday.  Pico de Loro lies on the Hamilo coast , about 120km South West of Manila central.  It took about 3hrs to drive here from where we were staying just south of Manila, warmly hosted by Ani de Leon- Brown, in San Jose Village, Binan Laguna.

Manila abounds in crazy super-modified vehicles called “Jeepneys”

Stu is with me and we are yet to explore the actual Cove, but we had a little tour around the resort Friday night courtesy of the General Manager, Len.  Here’s a link to the resort http://picodeloroclub.com. We are actually staying about 4km away from the resort, up over a big hill with 14% grade (should get fit riding that every day) in the managers’ residence.

Farmland en-route to Pico de Loro

Today is my 7th day post-Singapore 70.3, with a very bad tummy bug.  I thought I was clear three days ago but the bug came back in full force Friday.  What would have been a really scenic and interesting drive to Pico de Loro, up and over some mountains in extremely hairy traffic, was very uncomfortable.

Mad traffic jam of motorcycle tricycles outside wet markets in Nasugbu, Batangas, around 20kms north of Pico de Loro

Stu is currently out finding some medication for my tummy, about 20km away in the nearest village on the other side of some mountains, and I am catching up on what I have been doing in the last couple of months. Stay tuned for belated updates on

.            Singapore 70.3 (pre and post) on March 18

.            teamTBB camp in Mooloolaba Queensland February 20 to March 11

.            Darwin Aquathlon Champs February 5. It has been a very busy several months!

Pico de Loro Resort - Hamilo Coast

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training – expect the unexpected

February 9th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Ya gotta love riding in Darwin, Australia!

Having just escaped a big lightning storm with lightning so close that the hairs on my arms went vertical, and deafening thunder with every lightning flash, hubby Stuey and I noticed some action blocking the bike path just ahead – 3 guys very focused on something.  Had someone come off their bike?  Had the lightning hit someone?  What was going on?

This is what we saw ….

A 2m saltwater crocodile on the bike path escaping to a creek.  Guys had one holding pole around its mouth

Of course we stayed to see the action, not that we could get past anyway;  he was a very frisky fella, thrashing his tail from side to side and rolling in a “death roll”

Guys coax the croc out of the creek, but their holding pole looks very flimsy and this croc has attitude!

One of the guys straddles the croc to hold him down, another holds the thrashing tail, whilst the third prepares the duct tape to secure the jaws

Guy trying to get a hessian sack over the crocs eyes, as once the eyes are covered it calms the croc down quite a bit, and makes it harder for the croc to “target” its biting end at someone, and makes everything a bit easier

Eyes are covered, at least for the moment, whilst a guy readies to tape the jaws shut

Taping the jaws takes all the effort of three big guys

Jaws secured, now to tape the back legs and cramp the running (and rolling) style of this non-cooperative reptile

Time for a breather after a very tough lactate set with no recovery breaks

Bit of tidying up – recover equipment, tape blindfold on, job well done!

Photo time – path is just over 2m (6foot 7inches) wide, so this little fella would be around 2m

How I feel after a hard session by the Doc; minus the duct tape and blindfold of course!

Only in Darwin …

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