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Kona

October 19th, 2013 by Daniel Halksworth

Well I am on my way home and had a few days to think about my race.

Everyone has asked me if I am happy with my result and at first I couldn’t find anything to be happy about. The way I got the penalty ruined the race for me, thats all I could think about the first few days after the race. My end result was effectively ruined but I could have pulled the pin early on.

I didn’t though and battled on and got myself a Kona finish. Next year I can come back stronger with first hand experience under my belt.

The swim was pretty easy as Potts pulled out and no one wanted to take the lead. I just sat in the bunch and took a few elbows to the chest by someone who hasn’t a clue. I got myself in to a good position coming out the water and on to the bike. After the first like hill and then descent back down palani road to the first turn around point the group bunched and I got a penalty. I knew I had to take it at the next penalty box but was not sure where it was. It was frustrating, the marshall on his power trip wouldn’t tell me why I received the penalty and he “kindly” told me to shut up. At about 45k I saw the penalty box and stopped to watch my race just disappear from me. The marshals didn’t even know I had to stop so not very well organised. Should I carry on?! After 4 minutes Raelart and Per rode past me so I got back on the road and rode as fast as possible to catch them. I decided to carry on as I could see stragglers up in front. They all grouped and I caught them at the Hawi turnaround. It was a pretty solid descent and I ran out of gears and got dropped by a few of the group and a few dropped off the back behind me and so I was on my own again. I then rode on my own until the last 7 miles.

I got out on to the run and didn’t feel too bad, I was in a good rhythm and getting my fluids in. I saw what position I was in and my head really started to fight my body. I was pretty far back. That group was bigger than I thought on the bike. I had a pretty bad patch from about 20k to 30k and lost my pace. I started to over take a few guys from U Place and remembered Mathias telling me carry on no matter what people drop out. Coming back on to the highway after the energy lab I had already caught another 3 guys and so decided to crack on and managed to find a good rhythm again. I finished 24th male pro. Not what I wanted but finishing has made me stronger mentally. After a poor cycle in Cozumel a few weeks ago I managed to find my riding legs again after a few adjustments in my bike position so that was really pleasing.

The overall experience of Kona has been great, I have learnt lots and already planning my campaign for next season. Currently taking a few days to rest up and will get back in to the swing of things when I am home. I want to say a big thank you to cervelo they were awesome all week and really looked after us. On running, singha beer, 3t and rotor. Also a big thank you to Sands Beach for helping me out with accommodation that was a massive help.

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Ironman Bolton

August 9th, 2013 by Daniel Halksworth

Well what a weekend! Its all been a little crazy since Sunday. I wasn’t really planning on racing it this year, wanting to gain maximum points from races but unfortunately I didn’t have my best day in Frankfurt and so was forced to race in the UK. So not only was I trying to gain maximum points but I also had to defend a title. I actually was in a confident mood all week. I think after racing quite well in London and it not feeling particularly hard it made me very positive. I pulled up fine straight away after London and had a good week of training so in my head I was ready. I didn’t really get too nervous until the day before the race where I was met by the Ironman film crew for a day of filming. Something I am not used to so was a little worried about how it would go and if I would be running around all day but they were brilliant and made it very easy for me. It actually forced to me to probably chill out a little more than I normally would. As the day went on I did start to think how this really did change the game, I would have been gutted If I was on the “road to kona” finishing last after being filmed……how much would that have sucked. I think I managed to use that in a positive way on race day. I saw a few tweets Saturday night that were a little negative so thank you to those negative people because you bloody fired me up, it was just what I needed!

Nice swim Picture from James Mitchell

So race day started with rain, just what I didn’t want but about 30 minutes before swim start it stopped so that cheered me up a bit. The plan was to swim fast, i knew a few late entries would just sit in on the bike and out run me so it was my aim to make them work hard to catch me. The swim went to plan apart from having a few breathing problems. My wetsuit was pretty much new and tight on the neck. I like a wetsuit to be tight so I don’t get any water in but this was a bit too tight and just in the wrong place. After a while I managed to move it slightly down and all was good. Coming in to transition I knew Harry was in front, and had a quick look to see Stephen…..but no one else. We had dropped Fraser which was a bit of a surprise. I was certain he would catch us this year, he did in last years race.

Going hard up Sheep house lane

The roads were still wet so I was being cautious around the corners but pushing the straight roads. Going up sheep house lane my legs felt great not just on the first lap but all of them. The crowds this year were awesome and the mankini men were brilliant. Compared to last year my legs felt a lot stronger, Fraser ran me in to the ground in 2012. Stephen and myself took some big turns and dropped Harry pretty early on. Coming in to transition Stephen and myself were neck and neck. Pretty exciting but we didn’t know where anyone else was.

Going all Scotty D.....don't have as much hair!

Out on the run we were neck and neck running strong. It felt like one of many training days we have had but normally I am the one that breaks. Now I have been training hard on my own since being back from Lanzarote and have constantly been hitting good numbers so I was thinking in my head over and over again that I could do this. I am a pretty determined person and was only going to give up when my body did and hopefully on race day thats after everyone else. We found out eventually that we had around 10 minutes which was a relief in the head and meant this was between the two of us. Stephen was looking great and had raced well all day so I was starting to doubt myself but then Stephen had a low point and I cracked on. Going on to what I thought was the last lap because everyone was telling me it was I was a very happy guy, enjoying the last km’s and heading down the chute but I screwed up……another 10km to go! In my head that was a little tough and I headed out on the last lap pretty damn hard and started to feel pretty bad. I was so worried that I had lost my lead and would lose the race. I grabbed a gel and it kicked in fairly quickly and I was feeling good again heading back in to town. Lead in tact I could enjoy that last part. I had won! Having Chelsea and my friends in Bolton was awesome, gave them all a big hug before finishing. Thanks to Lee and Mike for the support on the day as well. They were literally all over the course. Seeing Stephen coming in to finish and having team TBB 1&2 was great.

Want to say a big thank you to everyone on the course for the support, really appreciated it!

Thought Chelsea would never see me win!

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London Triathlon

July 31st, 2013 by Daniel Halksworth

I kept my recent race fairly quiet as I was not going to get a top result. I know it sounds negative but it was more of doing what I had to do. Some of you will know that over the last few months I have been trying to qualify for the commonwealth games so I can represent my Island of Jersey.

I already had my two times needed going in to the weekend so all I had to do was beat 1 of the other 3 Jersey athletes.

The swim went to plan, came out the water just behind Harry Wiltshire and Stu Hayes. On to the bike we had a group of around 8-10 guys. It wasn’t the most organised group and at times I was getting frustrated. I felt really good and wanted to attack. After some time Stu gave me the nod to attack and so we did. At first it didn’t work but after 4 atempts not just by us, the group seemed to suffer a bit and I went to the front. It wasn’t a big attack at all but I found myself up the road so I put my head down, Stu followed me and we commited. Going on to the run we had about 20 seconds. Wish we had gone earlier, just to see what we could have achieved but realistically it was probably for the best.

The run was just a steady run after seeing the gap I had from my team mates and saved as much energy for this wekeneds Bolton Ironman. Hopefully I get the result I want after saving myself in London. It was a a good smart workout a week before IM.

Dan

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Latest Update

June 18th, 2013 by Daniel Halksworth

So over the last few weeks I have been training hard for my next race at IM Frankfurt. Really looking forward to racing with the big boys and hoping the work I have put in will pay off.

A few weeks back I went over to Morocco to race in the African ITU championships and came away with 4th and my first time for the Commonwealth Games. Was strange racing an olympic distance draft legal race. I knew I wouldn’t have the run speed but put in a solid swim and bike. At the end of the day I am trianing for long course racing and I don’t think I embarassed myself too much. I went in to the race with some pain in my hip but came away from the weekend free of pain so very pleased with how the weekend went.

Two weekends ago it was the run Jersey half marathon and after deciding to enter late I had no expectations for a good result. The course was awesome and I ended up running a pretty solid 1h11.24 which as most of you will know is pretty solid for me. My run has certainly improved from where it was a few years ago so very pleased with that.

This weekend just gone was the Windsor triathlon. One of the big triathlons in the UK and it was a british super series race this year. I again came away with 4th in a pretty strong field. Also got my second qualifying time for commonwealth games so thats my spot now secured and the stress of trying to qualify has gone and I can really focus now on the job in hand. Was really good to be away with the guys from Jersey and great to see Tom Perchard get his first qualifying time.

First lap of the run

Its three weeks now until Frankfurt and very much counting down the days to race. Will be good to see Jodie and Dave again.

Well done to all the team racing over the weekend. Solid results as ever. Well done coach.

Dan

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Samui Race

April 26th, 2013 by Daniel Halksworth

Home now after a good trip to Thailand. I arrived a week before the race knowing the weather was brutally hot. The first few days on the island were extremely stormy with some unbelievable rain. Having only my front brake as my rear was broken from travel riding on the roads was a little dangerous to say the least. We have trained quite a bit in Thailand but for me Koh Samui is by far the most dangerous. It amazes me how many people ride around on scooters in a pair of shorts, no helmet or t shirt or shoes. Its just bloody stupid.

So going in to the race training had gone really well for me. Mathias and myself had put in some great miles in Lanzarote and then I carried it on when I get back to Jersey. My run was coming along nicely and finally started to really enjoy running. I was in contact with one of my old school teachers who is now based in Phuket and we were working on a bit of sport pschology which really helped me out. I was so chilled the night before the race I dindn’t even wake up for the toilet. If you ask Chelsea thats un heard of for me!

So my plan was to swim well ride well and run well. Pretty simple plan isn’t it. But what could go wrong with that in Thailand………….if some of you have heard about the race then you know that many things can.

Feeling relaxed

The swim for me was pretty average, I came out of the water with people I would normally come out with but the lead group swam really quick. The water temp was 31c and for it was horrible. I managed to forget my speed suit and Just couldn’t hold on to the lead pack. Next year I will be doing laps in a jacuzzi as prep. The bike for my group was great, felt in control the whole way. Even when we were told to go the wrong way. Last year people were told to go the wrong was as well so as its my job to know the course we knew as a group we were going correct and that was proved by the km markers.

Running in to second lap of the swim

As we came in to t2 we were cycling past the females that were on the run course. Suddenly I wasn’t sure what had happened, had we gone wrong or had everyone else gone wrong?!!? On to the run my plan was to run hard but walk all the water stops to make sure I got in enough fluids as possible. It seemed to work and I felt great. At the 15k turnaround point Skippy and Dave were both close and at 19k decided it was time to push on, was still feeling okay despite the heat. At 25k I really started to struggle and panic set in but all was good I made it to the finish line with a solid run time for me. On the results I was 4th but after adding extra time after the original penalty was given I was moved in to 3rd place which was a great pay day for me.

Very happy with the result, now back home and going to start building towards Frankfurt.

Was great to be racing with the team again, well done to all them. Thanks to all the team sponsors for getting me through the race and was great to meet the Singha team. Cheers for supporting us before during and after the race.

Dan

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Abu Dhabi Race Report

March 8th, 2013 by Daniel Halksworth

Back in Lanzarote now after the race on the weekend. Was a long trip home leaving on a really nice early flight on the Sunday. Finally getting in to Lanzarote after four flights Monday evening with delays, lost and broken bags. Nice to now be settled back in.

So the race wasn’t the result I wanted or the result I thought I could produce but It wasn’t all a disaster and after a lot of reflection I think I should be positive. In the weeks running up to the race training had been great and felt improvements had been made in all three disciplines so I was excited to race. The swim went well, it actually felt pretty relaxed. Was comfortable in my new wetsuit and for the first time felt like I could swim like a swimmer again. After leading the group out the water I set out in to transition as fast as I could and was comfortably on my bike before the pace could get going. For some reason after about 20k the group simply just rode away from me. It was frustrating, I couldn’t respond. My heart rate wasn’t through the roof and my legs were not burning. I felt relaxed but they just gradually got away from me. Tried my hardest to bridge the gap and after a few people caught and went past me I again couldn’t respond. Felt Like I was stuck in third gear and thats all my body wanted to give. It was a long ride for me that day, my mind was wanting to just pack it in. With the group up the road and with me seemingly out of the money, it felt like it was game over. I kept going and got to transition and to find I was in 11th. I wasn’t sure how far they were in front of me but after last years race I knew that at any point someone could drop out. I started well on the run and actually felt great. After about 4 k I finally got to a point where I could see someone in front of me on one of the switch back loops. It was Paul Amey. He is a great runner but I looked at him and looked at myself as we were running alongside each other but he was about two minutes ahead thinking he isn’t getting away. Lets keep this up and you could have a great run or could be fooling yourself and have a shocker! Towards the end of the first lap I was catching Phil and Fraser so was starting to feel positive. Fraser eventually stopped for a bit and it let me pass him. I was in to the money and top 10. Still catching Phil so kept fighting. Unfortunately I ran out of road and couldn’t pass him but was happy with my run.

So to take a good swim and a run away from a race is good. How often have I been able to say I ran well….not many! Its now time to see if I can swim bike and run well at some point this season!

Time to get back to training and plan the next race!

Cheers!

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Rest Day!

January 31st, 2013 by Daniel Halksworth

So it has been a while since I wrote a blog. Not out of lazyness but simply not much has been going on in life other than training. Had an awesome Christmas at home with family and friends, pretty relaxed.

Since my last race I have also been studying hard and have now qualified as a sports massage therapist, something to keep me busy whilst on camps and something to use for the future.

Its our rest day today out here in Lanzarote and things have been going well. Training has been really solid, winds have been strong and the sun has been out.

Now I want to introduce you to a friend of Mathias and mine. Its called the Nespresso machine.

Now George believes Nespresso is a “hero”………We would agree. Our machine has got us through some solid training and got us ready for key sets. Its nice to chill outside the apartment next to the pool sipping on a nice coffee.

The machine is small enough to carry in hand luggage and Nespresso capsules can be purchased online so when you are away for long training camps it becomes athletes best friend.

Its nearly the end of January people are heading to races and the season is starting to get in to full swing. Good luck to everyone at team TBB this season and to all the team followers. My first race will be Abu Dhabi this season so see you around if you are racing.

Best go make myself a coffee, hard rest day ahead.

Dan

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Jersey Marathon

October 9th, 2012 by Daniel Halksworth

So for the last few years I have been wanting to race in the Jersey Marathon, due to other commitments I have not been able to enter. This year was different, I knew I was home but after racing Ironman Wales a few weeks back wasn’t expecting an exceptional time.

Its my first season stepping up to these distances so the goal of the season was to learn, learn and learn some more. It has been a fun, stress free year and hopefully I have learnt something!

The weather leading up to the race was pretty awful and the day before was just terrible. Somehow we were lucky enough to be greeted with cool temperatures and hardly any wind until later on in to the race. With over 600 entrants and lots of relay teams it was the biggest race so far in the history of the event. Having a home crowd was exciting and the support around the course was fantastic.

The course itself is a one lap loop that winds its way through some of Jerseys green lanes which if you don’t know have a 15mph speed limit. With plenty of the famous Jersey cows out on the course it makes for a lovely scenic run. If you are looking for a super fast course this isn’t the one for you, with quite a few hills and turns its not fast but if you are looking for a course that’s challenging with a great crowds then you should enter now for next year. With the added bonus of it being a short flight from the UK you can make a weekend of it and come and enjoy some of the rich history, amazing seafood restaurants and Island life that Jersey has to offer.

So this year the race attracted a number of good runners with the likes of Tomas Abyu racing, it was always going to be a challenge to get on the podium. The prize money is a key factor and with £2000 up for 1st place, it will be quite some time before a Jersey runner wins the event.

The race started quite slowly for the first 1k before one of the Polish visitors decided to up the speed. I let them go, knowing Brett would lay in to me if I popped at half way. I worked well with a guy aiming for a 2h45 and London marathon qualifying time. We could see one of the guys up front but just couldn’t quite chase him down. I went through half way in 1h17.0 and felt pretty good but at about 26k we turned in to a head wind on one of the more open parts of the course and it really affected my rhythm. Once we got back on to the old rail way walk it was a down hill run in to St Aubins bay which again had a horrible head wind for about the last 4 miles. At some points the gusts were so strong I was running at a funny angle. Tomas and the group were quite some way in front of me by then and he finished in a time of 2h24 smashing the previous course record of just under 2h30. I finished in 2h40.15. I was pleased, but also disappointed not to hit under the 40 mark. If I hadn’t stopped for a toilet break then I think that 2h39 was mine. Now, I just need to run that after a 180k bike!!!

I was first Jersey Bean, as we are known, across the finish line and finished 5th overall so I was quite pleased with that and won a lovely crystal decanter for being first Channel Islander and a Crystal fruit bowl for being first Jersey boy so all in all a bargain and Christmas presents all sorted. I think that might also be the fastest time for our small Island of runners so a little proud moment for me as a triathlete.

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Ironman Wales

September 21st, 2012 by Daniel Halksworth

So its been a little while since I wrote a blog. I guess I got  a little out of routine. Since Ironman Bolton not much has happened in my life apart from the usual.

I raced Embrun Ironman which was a tough tough day, safe to say I didn’t quite make it to the end. The conditions and course got the better of me but think I can say that lessons have been learnt from it. Most of you know what happened during the race so I wont bother telling you all again. To be honest would be nice to forget that one.

Moved back to Jersey a few weeks ago now and after a week of being home I raced my local Olympic distance race. It went well, was on my own for the whole race but going from Ironman racing to Olympic distance was crazy weird. Over so quickly. The bike course in Jersey is tough but if you have spent three months in Switzerland going up and down mountains it certainly makes you stronger and you can feel the difference for sure. Happy with a sub hour ride followed by a 32.39 run. Course record and nearly 4 minutes quicker than last year. So all in all a good day out.

Two weekends ago I raced or should I say I took part in a charity event. A local company called Mourant Ozzanes planned a charity swim with one team from Guernesy swimming as a relay towards Jersey and another team heading in the opposite direction. All to raise money for the islands Stroke Associations. The team consisted of 6 swimmers, all ranging swimming abilities. Was a perfect day, beautiful weather and both teams completed it. The Jersey to Guernsey team broke a record as no one has ever swam between the islands due to its pretty epic tidal currents. Maybe something for Team TBB to do one day and raise some money for charity. Perhaps in a slightly more tropical climate?!

last weekend was Ironman Wales. Again it was just part of bigger picture and taking away some lessons for it so I just went for it. Knowing it was a tough course might have not been such a good idea but I am certain that it will make me stronger and wiser for the future. The swim was good, I figured that the course would break everyone up so If I could get in a good position on the swim and then wait for the big bikers to come past. So after the first buoy I found myself out in the front and just kept going. I love sea swimming and there was a little swell so make it a little tougher for the weaker swimmers. Harry Wiltshire sat on and sprinted past me in the last 100m, not cool but hope he spends the swim prime well.

I was out on the front of the bike for the first 30k, Harry couldn’t come past and when Little Georg came flying past I quickly jumped on and we worked together until the Frenchman came past and again the pace upped. I could see little Georg was suffering and jumped in front of him about 20k from the end of the first bike lap. Georg and Harry dropped away quickly and I kept the Frenchie insight until we hit Tenby and then heading back out in to a head wind he dropped me. Went through a bit of a bad patch and lost some time but not any places.

As I was heading out on to the run two guys came in with me and one of them started hard out on to the run. I stayed with him but the pace was too hard so I just held back a bit. Again I went through a bad patch but my last lap was good. Unfortunately the guy that had overtaken me in to third place was just a little too far for me to catch. I think it was a solid result after a long season.

Going to race Lanzarote 70.3 and stay with my friends at Tri sports Lanzarote and then call it a season. Already itching to get started for next year.

Dan

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Ironman UK

July 25th, 2012 by Daniel Halksworth

Got home last night at midnight, minus my bike but for once I wasn’t too fussed. I wonder why!

So the weekend was a good weekend in the end, got my first podium and an Ironman win. The win was unexpected so a massive bonus but I was always hoping to get on the podium.

I went in to this race wanting to prove to Brett I could compete and with the sad news about my former coach Jack I really had a reason to race and dedicate the win to him.

The swim was perfect, sat in and enjoyed the ride. Cant say I enjoyed the little scrap I had with Amanda Stevens (don’t worry I didn’t get chicked)! Going through T1 I really felt in control, much smoother than last weekends shambles of a transition.

The start of the bike was fast, well I felt it was but its a bit of an uphill drag until you get on to the three lap loop but I was pushing it hard. Wanted to get away from Cryil knowing he was a strong runner. Fraser joined me as we started the first big climb. He tried to drop me but I wasn’t going to let him get away, hell no and worked very hard to catch him. Without saying it, it became clear that we would benefit working together. On the last lap with about 5 k to go my legs decided that they didn’t want to play anymore and I quickly lost 55 seconds going in to T2. As I ran in to get my bike Fraser was off. The guy asked if there was anything he could do for me, not sure he expected my reply to be “can you run for me” and so an awkward chuckle came out from me and a silence from him.

After a few k’s legs were warming up but then after a few more k’s and on to a hilly section on the run they started to go again. I remembered Scotty saying last weekend he felt similar and grabbed a few gels so I did the same and they seemed to work for me. On the way down in to the town square I could see I was gradually pulling him back. Nice and steadily. When I caught him my parents happened to be at that point and shouted my name so had to push on. Wasn’t quite sure what to do, you see on videos people saying well done when they over take but it was only 12k in to the run. Didn’t want to be a fool and say that then pop 10k later so I just kept my head down and pushed on. Coming back down with 2 laps of 3.5 to go I could see I had a cushion. With the news of Cyril being disqualified and Petr Vabrousek quite some way back my nerves could relax and little and I just ran my race.

It was an emotional but happy finish for me. Its all been a bit overwhelming the last few days.

Thanks to Brett and Alex for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.

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