Author Archives Andy

Magnificent 7//2018

Mar 12, 2018

It is coming up to the Outdoor City weekender.
Has everyone got their SHAFF tickets?
Entered Mag7?
Will Peaty win the Howard Street Dual?

7am. Beetroot juice, porridge, coffee, high five gel. Man, I feel sick.
Right, lets try and get this first climb done without vom’ing.
OUCH! That was hard
Harder than last year
We can’t do 6 more like that.

“Do you know why it was named Hagg Hill?
Because it makes hags out of heroes”
People have come to cheer us, wow!
Cowbell-power, attack!

Moving down into the City
the seemingly distant memories of the Hagg pain slowly wane.
Tunnel vision at 800 watts,
transforms into Blake’s tunnel of noise.
Can’t stop now

Slick, fast, Amey black gold slips by,
into the hard, ancient cobbles; reincarnated.
Gosh this is bouncy, should I sit down?
Look there’s Pip ‘n’ Paul

Last few climbs now,
everyone is tired now, even the motor-biker’s wrists.
Soon you can lie down,
soon you’ll be eating carvery,
soon it’ll be worth it?

Côte de Bradfield, an actual TdF Climb!
Last chance to give it everything.
Change of plan, it’s windy- just tuck in.
Wait, I can hear the blissful sound of cowbell and cheering,
signalling the end of Le Magnifique 7, SPRINT!

2nd at Kielder Off-road Duathlon 2017

Jan 08, 2017

Run. Bike. Run. 

Before and after the event you think ‘What could be simpler than that’? 

But during the race it was a very different story; lots of fighting for position, some great runners, some great bikers, and a really tough, fast course.

podium (2)


Run. Starts slow, suddenly fast, holding on up the gradual drag of castle hill: the racepace duo were really going out hard. I tried to hold the time gap without killing myself too much early on.

Bike. What a relief to get on the bike. To my surprise a fast rider was with me straight away. We had a quick chat and it was clear we both knew we’d have to ride fast to catch the leading two. Riding together we pushed on up the blue grade singletrack. It turns out David raced elite level enduro and it certainly showed on the downhills! We eventually caught the leaders and we were a group of three for a while. David and I managed to get away on a steep climb and put a few minutes into the following riders. The third placed, racepace rider unfortunatly punctured, but I have to admit we were releived as we felt there was a good chance he might catch us on the second run.

Run. Still together out of transition we ran up the old trainline track. I tried to put in an effort, feeling pretty good but David was strong enough to hold on, and they he made me pay up the last long hill, getting a good advantage before coming back to the finish at the castle. Atleast the last few minutes of the run I could relax a little as I was getting those almost forgotten sparks of pain in my quads as we ran down the last hill.

Kielder profile

It’s got to be one of toughest races I’ve done- probably because of the quality of both the runners and the bikers.

Thank you so much to Ian, and all the volunteers at high terrain events for an awesome race as usual.

Now for a long lie down


Road to Maui- Via Clumber Park

Oct 17, 2015

There isn’t literally a road to a Maui, it’s an Island and they haven’t built a bridge yet. But, if they were to, maybe it would go via Clumber Park?

Probably not, but my training for the up coming Xterra World Champs in a couple of weeks has been going well and winning the age group at Clumber Park was a really good test of my bike and run speed. Clumber Park Podium

With an average speed for the combined bike and runs over 20 km/hr, it was a typical fast race, which has become the hallmark of these short, flat, and reasonably smooth ‘One Step Beyond’ Duathlons. Despite the gentle conditions the competition at the races is tough and it feels near a 100% effort the whole way around the course. I wonder if the cross bike would have been a little faster, but it was dry so not by much maybe. I was pleased to speed up towards the end of the race and end with a fast second run. For an in-depth look at the profile and route through VeloViewer goggles check out the image below.

Afterwards, we paid a visit to the lovely Sharon from ‘Sharon Sports Therapy‘, who gave my legs a good seeing too. I think she was impressed with my IT Bands- tightest she’s ever felt apparently. Which, I am of course very proud of.

The next couple of weeks will be a little more speedwork, some swimming, maybe a locum or two, followed by the whole Rocky Boxset and then I should be all set for the Xterra Worlds. Start the car

Elevation and 3D Map from

Elevation and 3D Map from

Dalby Nutcracker XC

Apr 26, 2015

Andy takes 3rd against strong competition on the Dalby XC World Cup course.



For me, It was almost a race that wasn’t meant to be. A couple of days before the race I had ‘issues’ with the bottom bracket on my race bike taking it out of action. Thankfully Pete Crawforth lent me his superlight 26 inch hardtail for the race. Secondly, driving to the race we had some sat-nav issues which led to a spot of pre-race off-roading in the skoda. Then after arriving late at the visitors centre, we realised the race was actually 10 miles further up the road!

After all the faffing and messing around trying to get to the race, we eventually arrived with only a few moments to spare. It was a good job we made it on time because the race was a real treat: fast, slippery, rocky singletrack into berms, jumps and boardwalk sections. Every difficult downhill seemed to lead straight into sharp steep climbs, affirming why this is a World Cup level course.

Dalby World Cup Lap Profile from

Dalby World Cup Lap Profile from

VeloViewer 3D Profile

Two really fast riders escaped from the pack early on, leaving me on my own in 3rd place for the remainder of the race. However I wasn’t too upset to be riding solo as it allowed me to enjoy and savour the amazing course and get used to riding a 26 inch hardtail again.

Strictly height order pyramid formation

Strictly height order pyramid formation

It was good to start the cross country season with a solid result and what a pleasure to ride on the World Cup course. I’m looking forward to the rest of the Nutcracker series, especially when it comes to our home city of Sheffield.


Grizedale Off-road Duathlon

Mar 15, 2015

Andy takes his first win for new sponsor at the painfully tough Grizedale Off-road DuathlonIMG_8283

Today was the first outing for me in our new sponsor ‘’ kit, at High terrain event’s amazing grizedale race. I’ve done quite a few of their events now and they are amongst the most painfully tough, but are so much fun, with a really great atmosphere.

Run one was long and hilly. As a marker of things to come the start-line was literally positioned on the steepest grass bank the organisers could find, and everyone seemed to sprint from the gun to get into position on the singletrack. Two really fast runners shot straight off the front, while I settled in at slower pace with Alex in 3/4th. A few bogs later, a lot of up and down and we were back at transition after a steep techy run down some classic Lakeland slate double track.

Full route

Full route

I knew I’d have to go hard on the bike to catch the leaders and get a good enough lead to hold on in run 2. A lot of the bike was on the North Face red route. It’s a difficult track to hold momentum on, and I tried to stay as efficient as possible on the rocky singletrack. I caught the leader about half way round with some amazing views over Coniston to spur me on, despite the pangs of cramp in both my legs. I love the last downhill ino T2 here and gave it some proper beanz, almost out of control as I skidded into T2.

1st climb on bike

1st climb on bike

Deja vu back to 2 years ago where Tom Gibbs overtook me in the second run after we fought for the lead most of the way round. So I knew the mission: to stay well ahead of the fast runner in 2nd, and just think about getting to the summit in first place. Once I got there and could still see I had a good lead I knew all I had to do was survive down the slippy, rocky downhill into the finish!

What an event and just so hard, especially pushing through the pain of run 2!

Check out for their amazing maps and route profiles of your strava data. Thanks so much once again to the organisers who always do such a great job.