We headed down to Dartmoor for the Summer Solstice weekend. We are fortunate in having this last great wilderness in England just an hour’s drive from home. It is a huge, largely uninhabited lonely area of moorland of some 365 square miles. On the North Moor near Cut Hill and Fur Tor it is over 5 km to a road. I love this wild, lonely remote area of uplands. The rolling, sweeping horizon with its huge skies is fabulous. You are never shut in on the moor, there is always a feeling of distance and vast open spaces.
Vast open spaces on Dartmoor
The landscape has been much changed by man. Man has lived hunted and worked on Dartmoor since pre-historic times and has left his mark from hut circles, stone rows, megaliths and stone circles to tinners spoil tips and blowing houses, forestry and dams.
June 14th 2015 was the 6th staging of the Bristol Harbourside Triathlon run by TriBristol. Bristol Harbourside Triathlon is established as a premier event on the Triathlon racing calendar in the South West.
A triathlon is a multi stage competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines. There are many variations but triathlon in its popular form consists of swimming cycling and running in immediate succession over varying distances. Triathletes compete for overall fastest course completion times including timed ‘transitions’ between the individual swim cycle and run components.
Triathlon race lengths vary and at the TriBristol event there was a Sprint race consisting of a 750m swim, 20k cycle and a 5k run. I competed in the Standard distance also popularly known as the Olympic distance which is a 1500m swim 40km cycle and a 10km run. My daughter Kathryn was also competing in the standard distance event.
A transition area is set up where athletes change gear for different segments of the race. At Bristol the women were numbered 1 – 54 and the places in transition were allocated consecutively. There were only 4 of us so called female Supervets aged over 50 and we met up before the race as we were setting up in transition.
Kathryn and I in transition before the start
Strava – which mean ‘to strive’ in Swedish is a website and mobile app used to track athletic activity via GPS. It was created in 2009 in San Francisco. The most popular activities tracked using the software are cycling and running but they are exploring how to extend the service to other areas of sport.
The basic service is free but there is an optional pay component which allows access to even more statistics than the free version. Strava will not disclose how many members it has but it has grown 30 times since 2011 and now 75% of its members are outside the US.
I have resisted signing up for Strava. I’ve had a Garmin for as long as I have been cycling and have enjoyed timing, discovering and mapping rides. The Garmin is also an essential tool for me to find my way on Audax rides and also to submit evidence for Audax DIY rides. Nowadays I rarely go out for a ride or a run without the Garmin on my wrist or the bars.
It’s not all about Strava. Once in a while there is some true recreation with no Garmin on the bars!
I haven’t posted for a long time. This is not because I have been idle and inactive. Far from it.
My focus for this year is the Challenge Weymouth long distance triathlon – Ironman distance – which is in September. The distances involved are 3.8 kilometres swimming in the sea followed without a break to180 kilometres cycling and then direct to 42.2 kilometres running. This is a big challenge for me and I’m not sure if I will manage to complete it. However I have been training with this event in mind since October 2014.
Long winter run on the Dorset Coast Path. the picture is on Thorncombe Beacon
Audax ride on my winter bike