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Recuperation

by Stephen: 22 October 2013

After Challenge Henley, we decide that I should have a long rest to fully recuperate.  I am towards the end of that rest period now.  I plan to start training again soon, fully refreshed and aiming for much better performances in the future.

I have been particularly disappointed with my performances this year.  IM UK and Challenge Henley were ok,  but not what I have performed like in the past and not how I want to be performing now or in the future.

So up next is so good hard training here at Sands Beach Resort in Lanzarote.  I certainly have no excuses with climate or facilities,  it is perfect here for triathlon training.

The past weeks though I have been going very easy and enjoying my time here, lots of time outside with Charlie and Bella and particularly on the beaches here at the resort and here in Costa Tequise,  it is a really beautiful and welcoming area for everybody who comes on holiday here, or lives here.

Charlie is trying to drag me out the door to the pool right now so I will end it there.

Thanks for reading

 

Challenge Henley and Bella’s last Iron distance race.

by Stephen: from 12 September 2013

On Sunday Bella and I raced Challenge Henley.  It is the 3rd year of the event, I have raced all 3.  I have enjoyed all races.

This year It was a very special event for the Bayliss’ as it was to be Bella’s last ever Iron distance race.  I know Bella was unsure of her form, but I was confident she could do a decent job on race day, however I think we both didn’t expect her to win.

So come race day and to see Bella in the lead early on the bike then onto the run I could see that she had a very big lead.  I was very excited to think that she might be able to have a fairy tale ending to her career at Ironman and win her final race.

Which she did with a dominant performance.  It was a really great moment to wait for Bella at the finish line with Charlie in my arms and to both welcome her home on her lap of honour(or last race of honour).

It was a local race for me really, so all the Bayliss’s were their to see and support us both.  It was a very special day to end a very special career.

I have mentioned in one of my other blogs Bella’s incredible results through her career.  I think one of the most incredible feats was winning 5 Iron distance races in one year.  And 9 in total in a 2year span!  Pretty impressive.

For me my race went ok.  I had a good swim, leading with Rhys Davies behind me and a good gap to all the rest.  On the bike.  Rys did a fine job in the first half of the bke and it was nice to have some company, we could see on the out and backs that Tom Lowe was catching us, but everybody else was a long way behind.  On the last lap, Rhys dropped off and Tom eventually caught me and we came into T2 together.

I tried to run with Tom, but my legs just wouldn’t go at the speed they needed too and he opened up a really good lead on the first lap.  On the 2nd half of the run I managed to hold the gap but I had no chance of chatching unless he blew,  which he didn’t and so I finished 2nd.

All in all the Bayliss’s had a great day and Bella’s performance made it so extra special.  We were both over the moon:)

 

We are now in Scotland visiting Bella’s family, Charlie is having a great time, seeing lots of animals and he loves tractors, today he spent ages sitting on a tractor at Bella’s friends Kirstie’s pretending to drive it.

Sun, Sea and Fun on Lanzarote!‏

This weekend the fun on Lanzarote continues!  Another race, …always a great race to choose from on Lanzarote!
This weekend it is Kenneth Gasque’s Ocean Lava Triathlon.  As well as 500 other competitors I am racing the half distance!
Although I have retired from long distance racing, I do still want to race some shorter races and Ocean Lava looked like a lot of fun so I signed up last month.  The race is based in Puerto del Carmen just like Ironman Lanzarote, it will be like doing a mini Ironman Lanzarote!
Life for me has been really busy since retiring 2 months ago,  With looking after Charlie, training all my new athletes and doing a little bit of training myself, I have been having too good a time to be sad about retiring!
I am looking forward to testing myself with everyone else who has entered Ocean Lava on Saturday, see you there on the start line at 8am!

XXI Travesía a nado EL RÍO 2013 – Open water swim race from Lanzarote to La Graciosa

Last week there was another race on Lanzarote!  Actually there are race options every weekend on this little island!  Last weekend was another fun trip for the XXI Travesia a nado El Rio 2013.  A 2.6km open water swim race from a deserted beach on Lanzarote to the small island of La Graciosa.

There was a great group from Sands Beach going, and we met with lots more friends as we travelled across by boat to La Graciosa.

Stephen looked after Charlie while I took part in this race, Stephen is having a few weeks of recovery right now before he gets into training for 2014.
I was a little nervous about a non wetsuit swim, I hav’nt done many!  Hawaii in 2008 and 2009 and Ironman Cozumel in 2009.
However, as soon as I jumped off the boat I relaxed because I suddenly realised how perfect the water was.  It was warm, crystal clear and clean.  Swimming in it was beautiful.  We swam to the start line, a deserted white sandy beach on Lanzarote.  We all lined up and when the gun went off, we followed 13 bouys in a straight line to La Graciosa.  There were some fast swimmers in the race, I swam well and came 7th female.
It was a really fun event to be part of, I recommend anyone interested in open water swimming to do this beautiful race.  Entries are limited, but if you are interested get in touch and I will put you in touch with the right people for an entry.

ThankYou Sands Beach Active and John Beckley from Sands Beach for the photos.  And thankyou Susi Arteaga for your photo,

Bella

Retirement Fun!

photo:
running through small tunnels!  Something else I did not practise before hand!  ThankYou Julie from www.lanzaroteinformation.com for the photo.

 

 

One week after Challenge Henley we arrived to our very welcoming home at Sands Beach Resort on Lanzarote.

Immediately we saw one of the many races being organised.  It was a trail run race.  I did’nt think anything of it to begin with, after all I had just raced Challenge Henley and I had just retired!  However Sands Beach offered me an entry to this race, …so it got me thinking!
I was told it involved an 18km run in the morning and a 25km in the afternoon.  Then the next day another 24km.  Wow, what a challenge!  It sounded fun!  So I signed up.
At 9am the gun went off at Teguise castle and off we went down the road, for 300m before turning left.  Left up a really rough and rocky path, then the path turned into loose gravel going down the side of the steep mountain that the castle is built on.  I was running well for the first 300m!  Everything felt good, but as soon as we hit the gravel, I was in unknown territory!  I knew it was going to be offroad, but I did’nt realise it could be so rough!  The trail runners who obviously practise this type of running flew past me.  Girls, guys, everyone, but as soon as it got smooth or going uphill I would catch a few back up.
I ran with the womans favourite for many parts of the first 18km, but she was so good on the rough parts and the down hill parts.  Xari Adrian, Spanish Mountain Running Champion.  She left me in her dust over the rocky sections and took 2 minutes out of me by the finish line.
We arrived at Famara Beach after having gone a way I have never even imagined going!  It gave me great views of Lanzarote that I have never scene before.  Met at the finish line by Stephen and Charlie and I was looking forward to getting my bag, changing my clothes and picking up more gels before the next race.  But no bags.  Instead after a quick drink it was time to get on a little boat to La Graciosa.  We all piled in, Charlie thought it was great fun watching Mummy climb onto the boat!   Luckily Stephen had a Mars bar in his pocket that he threw to me as we were whisked away.
After about 30 minutes we were getting close to a paradise beach, the athletes started jumping out and swimming ashore when the boat was having difficulties getting close to shore.  I got ready to jump in, I looked a better swimmer than all of them!  🙂  but then I remembered my half eaten mars bar, and my phone they told me to carry!  No way am I getting them wet!   So I waited for another boat to take me ashore while many of them including Xari the Spanish Champion ran off on the next race.
I dont think it really mattered they started ahead of me, as there was a timing chip to start each of our times again, but they were eager to go!
For the next 10km I was doing ok, it was hard work in the deeper sand sections but it was when I hit the loose lava that I really struggled.  I just could not run over these rough sections.  I was laughing to myself, thinking I would never choose to run over this!  So I walked that next 5km.  At the 13km drink station I stood a while contemplating another 12km…
but I went on, jogging, shuffling, walking.  I saw beautiful parts.  Perfect empty paradise beaches with hot sun.  Anyway, I got to the finish line.  I am sure I had lost 20+ minutes to Xari in the end.  Anyway, I did’nt care, well done Xari and everyone else that got around.  I went straight into the sea to cool off and try to sooth my locked legs before getting the big boat back to Lanzarote to meet back up with Stephen and Charlie.
 
The next day was the final stage of the race, 24km starting at Sands Beach Resort.  I had decided not to start.  I could hardly walk not alone run!  Charlie and I went to hand my chip in before the start, everyone was walking around looking fine.  Obviously they practise this kind of race!  I recommend anyone who practises off road to come and do this race, it was a great fun challenge.  But if you only run on tarmac, like me, probably best you dont run this race!

My last long distance race, Challenge Henley 2013

photo:
at the finish line, enjoying a special moment, Stephens 2nd place in the mens and my win with Stephens Dad John, Stephen and Charlie, Stephens brother Mark, his wife Lucinda, Stephens Mum Sandra and me.

On Sunday I raced Challenge Henley.  My last long distance race of my triathlon career.  The time had come where I had decided that a change in my life was needed.  The years of doing Ironman had taken its toll on my body, now a mother of a 2 year old little boy my priorities are different, I have had my time of being a selfish athlete, I think it is time to stand back, look after my little boy and support Stephen in his final few years of being a full time triathlete.  It is time for me to begin my new plan in my life, of helping others, giving others the opportunities that my coaches have given me over the years.

I had not been enjoying the days before many of my races in the past year, I had been getting so nervous that the fun part of racing was disappearing but after announcing my retirement I felt different in the days leading into the Challenge Henley race.  I was less nervous, maybe I had a sense of relief that Henley was my last long distance race and maybe I was actually enjoying the whole preparation rather than being so nervous.  We had decided whatever the result, I would just try to enjoy the whole day, smile as I went around and be happy if I came 1st or last.
I came out the swim with Julia Grant a few minutes down on Yvette.
At 15km on the bike I passed Yvette and at half way on the  bike I had a pretty good gap on the others, this was where I think I began to think about the possibility of another Iron distance win.  Another Iron distance win!!  That was something I have been trying to do since having Charlie!  I tried to be sensible and remember it was a long day ahead, still 90km on the bike and a 3 hour + run to do, so I tried not to get carried away in my dreams,
but as time went on the gap grew and I could’nt stop thinking of one more iron distance win.   Finishing my career with not 15 iron distance wins but 16.  That would be perfect and amazing.  It was at this point of the race I stopped relaxing and smiling.  The old Bella was back, the focused, determined and desperate to win Bella.
I got off the bike with a really good lead, maybe 25 minutes, I should have relaxed, but I didn’t!  I decided I would do everything I could to make sure I won.  I had been fuelling well and I felt ready to run.  I felt better on those first 25km of the run than I have felt for years!  My confidence was back.  I concentrated hard, and oh the feeling when I got to the finish line!  Such a warm welcome from the crowds.
My dream come true, my 16th iron distance win on my last race, met at the finish line with Stephen and Charlie.

A change of direction.

(photo above)  Ironman Austria Champion 2009.  8 hours 50 minutes 13 seconds

 

I would like to announce today that Challenge Henley will be my last race because I have decided to retire from long distance triathlon.

It has not been an easy decision because I dont want to leave the exciting and successful life I have lead for the past 13 years. As a young girl I always believed and dreamed of being successful, but I dont think I ever imagined doing even half of what I have achieved. I will never ever forget this unbelievable journey. I have met amazing people on my journey who I couldn’t have done it without, John O’Donovan for encouraging me in the very early days of my triathlon career, Darren Smith for taking me to the next level and then for introducing me to my long term coach Brett Sutton who helped me to a magnificent 15 Ironman wins in different parts of the world, a World Championship title, a 7th place in Hawaii and many many more podiums, wins and personal goals.

Now, with Brett’s help we have now decided I need to make a change of direction. While I take some time to adjust to this change I will enjoy my favorite job in the world, being Mum to Charlie and I will continue to support Stephen in his training and racing. I have a real desire to help others in triathlon and I want to give the hope and opportunity that my coaches have given me over the years so I will be actively taking up a new full time coaching role.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this journey and I wish you all the very best in your upcoming races and beyond.

Ironman UK by Stephen

Dan and I running together at IMUK, shame for me that I couldn’t keep up!

 

On Sunday I raced IMUK. I had a fine swim, which I seem to be able to do these day and came out with Harry Wiltshire and our very own Dan Halksworth. Onto the bike and Dan and I took turns at setting the pace on the front, Dan did some very solid turns and we dropped Harry at the end of the 1st Lap I think. From then on it was Just Dan and I to the end of the bike which was nice:)

Onto the run and we heard that we had a good gap to all those behind, so it seemed it was a race between Dan and I. I felt good running out towards Bolton but around the 20km mark I lost most of my strength and energy and Dan carried on running very strongly. I did manage to get some pace going in the last 10km, but Dan was way ahead and eventually won with a great performance. It is difficult to defend a title from the previous year But Dan did just that with an improved performance on last year. Each year Dan has got better, so where he will stop, who knows!

Bella had a tough day and could have very easily called it a day on the run, but she very bravely carried on as best she could and I am very proud of her 4th place finish, well done Bella! Bella has done some amazing things in her Career; 15 Iron Distance titles and an ITU World Long Distance Title among many other results, with IM course records set all over the world. She was almost unbeatable in Ironman in 2008 and 2009, with a total of 9 ironman wins in just those 2 years, who has ever done that? No one to my Knowledge! Completely clean, I unfortunately have to say that in these depressing times of drug cheats!!

Anyway I just wanted to say how proud I am of Bella, she was a long way from her best shape but still put herself out there to do the best she could on that day.

Not that you couldn’t guess, but ask me, who is my sporting hero, Bella is! No doubt!

Ironman UK

ThankYou James Mitchell for the photo at the finish line.  He caught a few emotional moments that day!

It was very special to race Ironman UK last weekend with the support of such enthusiastic and warm spectators.
Maybe i am not fit enough, maybe I should not have started, having just finished a course of anti biotics for an ear and throat infection but excuses aside, I really did not want to miss this race. I just wish I could have done better. It was not fun dragging myself around that run course but with the amazing support from spectators stopped me from ending the day early and the thought of a DNF beside my name in the results was not what I wanted. My result has pained me these past few days. But I suppose I am only human and I can’t think I can win forever more.
It was interesting running slower right to the end. I saw more! And I chatted to some lovely and encouraging people. It gave me another perspective of Ironman racing.

I am now back onto another course of anti biotics for the ear infection! I am still feeling deaf in my ears! I am sorry if I did not answer to some people but actually I just could not hear you!
Congrats to Lucy on such a strong performance. You were truly brilliant on Sunday.
And congrats to Dan on his win and I am so proud of Stephen for being so tough for that 2nd place. Ironman racing is not easy! It was a special TeamTTB day with the dominant TeamTBB men’s race!
Thanks to Granny Sandra and Grandad John for making Charlie’s weekend so much fun. And thanks to Bolton for a nice 2nd birthday afternoon for Charlie on Monday 🙂
See you at Henley
Bella

 

220 Triathlon Magazine

220 Triathlon Magazine Interview

220 magazine have always been great supporters of both Bella and Stephen throughout their careers.

At the end of 2012 they did a really nice interview with both of them for the magazine. Bella and Stephen both feel it tells a good overview of their careers and a little of their lives in the world of triathlon and the demands of training and looking after their son Charlie

220 Triathlon Magazine Interview