An excellent and challenging fortnight

Wow, all sorts of things have been going on.

Just as I was getting into the rhythm of training and developing, I got hit by some kind of virus and was unable to train at all. With the eventual help of antibiotics I’m feeling ok now, and the enforced hiatus has given me a real impetus to step up my training targets.

During that time, I was able to concentrate on studying the art of triathlon, making contacts within the community, and speaking to some potential kit sponsors.

I’ve been so lucky to be able to form friendly communication with some of the top guys in the triathlon world such as regional and world champions along with some who are coming towards the end of a highly respectable Ironman career. They’ve encouraged me and it’s really reinforced my initial impression that this world is just filled with genuine, caring, positive and supportive people, right up to the top level.

This has been such an inspiration and motivator – just what I needed to get back in the saddle with a winning attitude after the illness.

To top that, I’ve been blessed and honoured to have been granted equipment sponsorship by three top-class companies:

Scicon bags are pretty much the only choice for professional-quality bike transportation bags and accessories such as saddlebags. They are the only brand you see used by the pro teams in the triathlon and cycling worlds. Their soft and hard bags are ideal for taking your bike across the world with you, and you can literally pack your bike in less than two minutes without even needing to take the pedals or handlebars off. They look so smart and stylish too.

Spin Industries are a dynamic and top-quality company who hand-make well-built wheels for daily use and training with the best components out there, and excellent carbon race wheels whose quality is directly comparable to the market leaders with the addition of their having been made personally in consultation with you and your riding needs. Spin also make really well-designed bikes for track or road with bespoke titanium frames, all hand-made in England.

TriNordic are a Danish supplier of triathlon kit and a social community started by the highly respected and successful Rasmus Henning. They offer top levels of personal service and are a place you can go to with confidence for whatever you need.

I’ve also been lucky enough to have been given an excellent deal on a great wetsuit from a multiple-Ironman finisher along with a crankset upgrade for the bike at around a sixth of the new price.

Sigma Sport have agreed to help me film the ‘how-to’ video that I need to make for Scicon so I’m looking forward to doing that when the new custom Spin wheels arrive.

The Malden Centre have also been amazingly supportive and helpful for my daily swim sessions and helping me to practise using the wetsuit, along with displaying as many leaflets asking for sponsorship for Cancer Research UK as I can supply them with.

Finally, I want to thank Phil Paterson from RG Active, my swim coach at Hampton Pool, who has been a wave of positive inspiration no matter what challenges have been put in my path.

This morning I was up at six and headed to Malden Centre to test the wetsuit. I’d never used one before and was really happy about how much momentum I get with the arms and how much easier it makes it to swim while saving the legs for the bike and run parts of the race.

There’s more light so I’ll get some training done in the mornings before work and due to it getting warmer need to look into shorts and t-shirts or vests for bike and run training.

I really feel I’ve got some layers of solid support and as long as I apply myself with discipline and enjoyment, the physical side of this will be covered. What’s left is all down to you – I really do need your pledge of sponsorship – even the price of a latte or the kind of snack you’d buy without thinking – every single pound is a real help, so please do head over to http://www.justgiving.com/jbtrusttri2014 and pledge what you can. I’ll appreciate it sincerely and will be training with extra power out of respect for you, but the point is that you WILL be taking Cancer Research UK a real step closer to saving lives.

Thank you.

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