Yes yes, as you can see, this is a race report, despite the fact that I officially retired from racing last September, that I have barely trained in the meantime, that…well there were countless good reasons to stop (tired body, better things to do etc), but surely there has to be a ‘come-back’ before calling it quits for real? + more
The (long awaited) 2nd release on our Beauty and the Beat label has finally landed, and it’s a family affair. The main producer is our man Atemi based in Nantes, long time partner in crime behind the decks and fellow record digger and music lover. About his first release, Atemi says that “at the heart of this project is to let the music come alive and evolve out of the meeting of musicians with different styles and backgrounds.” + more
As I am writing this I would rather have been in Kalmar, Sweden, getting ready to compete in the last Ironman of the 2017 season, aiming for a top 2 spot which should have been sufficient to qualify for Kona. Kona, the mecca, the holy grail for long distance triathletes which has been my one and only focus in training this year. Admittedly it was an ambitious goal, but with a lot of luck and a decent form it could have been possible. But I have finally admitted that the dream is over and that I won’t see Kona. Not as an athlete anyway. + more
Un résumé de la course en français se trouve ici sur le site de Trimes:
My whole 2016 season has been shaped around this AA race. The preparation started at the beginning of November, when the list of selected athletes was announced. I must have read the race manual at least a dozen times to make sure I was ready come race day with every technical, physical and logistic aspects of this mythical race. That leaves plenty of time (9 months) to have recurring dreams about one of the most renowned and most coveted finish lines in the world of triathlon. The summit of the G.A.U.S.T.A.T.O.P.P.E.N.
Norseman means support team. You don’t race on your own like in a regular triathlon. Nobody will get DQed for outside assistance here. In fact this is compulsory, as the only 2 aid stations are at K25 and K32.5 of the run, some 8 hours + into the race. The team that follows us throughout the day is there to feed us, dress/undress us, calm our nerves, shout at us, encourage us, etc. This is one of the key aspects that makes this race so special. Then of course you have the course (unique and magical nordic landscape, cold fjords, 5 ‘cols’ on the bike for a total elevation of 3360m, and last but not least possibly the hardest run of any iron event with the 12K of Zombie Hill averaging 10% followed by 5K of fell ‘running’ (scrambling really) to reach the finish line, at an altitude of 1883m). Add to this a rather hostile and unpredictable weather, and that gives you a never ending yet unforgettable day out ! + more
6 weeks after the huge deception of a DNF in Nice, I could finally toe a start line again and put that race in the past. Here I was in Kalmar, Sweden, roughly half way between Stockholm and Copenhagen, an unknown part of the world for me, with a vague expectation of a top 5, a sub 9 h and a sub 3 h…Finish at the very least!
I enrolled my dad for the journey to one of the most civilised countries on the planet, one that seems to live on berries, mushrooms, salmon and alcohol. At 6-7 euros a beer, this is not exactly the cheapest place around, but luckily we didn’t come here to get drunk.
“It’s Sun Ra. You can dance to it. That’s why Beauty And The Beat exists.”
The ever so lovely Dr Rob @ Test Pressing asked us what a top 12 of end-of-the-night tunes would sound like and this is what we came up with. Here’s the reproduction of the original Test Pressing post. All bona fide BATB classics right there.
PS: I didn’t bribe Rob in any way for that last paragraph! + more
Although I entered the race in January, I still wasn’t sure to be on the start line 10 days prior to the event. A couple of encounters with the tarmac resulting in a few broken bones and a stressed body had put me out of xterra Portugal and IM Nice already. However as I was finally starting to recover some fitness and motivation along the way, I thought I’d give the race a go as I’d heard raving reports from last year’s inaugural event.
Scanno is a couple of hours drive away from Rome, tucked away in the Abruzzo region. The meandering road to get there is stunning, the lago is rather inviting, and sitting at 1000m altitude this is mountain territory with not an inch of flat in sight. Typical authentic Italian village where a lot of life is concentrated around the main piazza, which conveniently enough is where my accommodation Albergo Centrale happens to be.
The original plan of racing XTERRA Italy didn’t happen because of my old grumpy friend Achilles, and instead of a nice week-end in the Abruzzes I was now in for an extended 10 day trip between Prachatice in eastern Czech Republic and Zittau at the corner of Germany, Czech and Poland. Not quite the same vibe. However this meant 10 days of living the high life of a pro triathlete (sic), which hadn’t happened since my SE Asia tour of 2012…so while not quite the same vibe still, why not…Fellow pro superstar Nienke Oostra would join me on this glamorous tour, along with the usual suspects of the xterra gang. + more
3 weeks exactly after the fiasco of the Alpe d’Huez, I am back in Hautes-Alpes territory for the almighty Embrunman. Longest running triathlon in Europe, 29th edition this year. Toughest iron distance race in the world, arguably. The bike course is 188k long – we’re in France after all, so why not? – and includes the ascent of the mighty col de l’Izoard amongst some 5000m of positive climbing; the marathon is the correct distance but features another 400m of elevation and is usually run under a deadly sun.