Richard Stapley 2017 Season Review
As the racing season comes to an end and you reflect on what you have achieved, Its a great time to review and set your goals for 2018. First up is Triathlete Richard Stapley who is coached by MBPC Triathlon Coach Chris Hine.
So the end of a very long season of triathlon starting with the excellent Sark Triathlon in April and ending last weekend with the equally excellent and tough Hever Olympic tri, giving an all-time pb of 10 triathlons this season!
Having been self-coached since 2011, when I was coached to a couple of good ironman times by Joel Jameson I decided that with Roth 2017 as the main target I needed a good coach to avoid that “explosion of the quads” experience at Vichy Ironman 2016. So I started following Chris Hines' plan in November of 2016. I’ve got on really well with Chris and he has managed to extract some good races out of me on the minimum of training time, just what was needed. Thanks Chris!
2017 was all about Challenge Roth in July and the whole season would be geared up towards that race, with some downtime and fun racing after that.
Season started with the awesome Sark Triathlon organised by Sam de Kooker of Guernsey Tri. The water was a freezing 12 degrees but luckily it was a sunny hot day. Amazing day out with everyone riding “hire” bikes ie shoppers with baskets but the racing no less fierce!
Next up in May was the Immortal Half at Stourhead Estate, which was supposed to be a gentle warmup for Roth and ended up being an epic to equal a hard day at Wimbleball 70.3! I’d recommend that race to anyone, but be prepared for a long tough day out. I ended up with a reasonable result and a great swim/bike but a bit more work on the run needed.
I approached Roth nervously, as I said after Vichy last year being a 15 mile run of total pain. I really wanted to avoid that again and to be honest was pretty nervous about the run. The lead up to Roth was perfect and I started the race in the best shape I could have been in and tapered. This was my 4th ironman and I’d done nothing like the gruelling triathlon training schedule I’d done for the past 3. Basically I trained hard for Immortal and then said to Chris “panic, I need to train for Roth”! and he assured me that one more 4 weeks block and I would be fine, great! Roth is honestly a race on another level from anything else I’d done before and I’ve done a lot of the bucket list races over the years. Everything about it is special and I enjoyed every minute. The swim went fine, not super quick but out in 1.07. I’d ridden a lap of the bike a few days before so knew what to expect. It’s in no way an easy course, some nasty climbs but super smooth roads. The best thing was absolutely no draft packs so my power was nice and steady. Under orders from Mrs S to walk the first few minutes I headed out onto the run determine just to enjoy it and surely did, ending with an ok run of 4.14 for an overall time of 10.44 and 12th age group (first GB in age group). Dead pleased with that and best of all no leg pain the next day.
I then had a few weeks off broken up by a couple of local races and training less than 10 hours a week, but still managed a decent 2.17 olympic distance locally. For the first time for a few years I managed to race all 5 local races of out summer series and ended up equal 3rd .
The season finished with a tough race at Hever. I was in ok shape for swim/bike and matched my splits for 2014, so that was good. Suffered a lot on the run which looked like someone had mixed it up with the Tough Mudder nearby! I was pleased with 54th out of 774 and 1st age group.
I’ve been very pleased and enjoyed this season a lot and many thanks to Chris Hine for constant attention and making sure that all training was worthwhile.
Plans are made now for next season, which will be Iron-free. Not an easy year with Swashbuckler (May), Half Holkham (July), Vitruvian (September) and the mental Half X (September) planned. Only 6 months until Sark Triathlon!