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Posted By: Cedric On: Oct 15th, 2017 In: Blog News Triathlon Comments: 2

IRONMAN BARCELONA – ONE LAST HURRAH

Exactly 2 weeks on post IM Barcelona and having done no exercise whatsoever since I crossed that finish line, I find myself watching the World Champs in Kona in a  rather emotional state. Of course I can totally feel the pre race nerves on these athletes, the anticipation of a great battle ahead, but mainly I can’t help seeing MYSELF there. Thinking, as they start exiting the water and I recognise some athletes I usually swim with, I would have been in that group, I would have done this and that…but I am NOT in Kona. I will never get to race that race. Not only that, but I will not be racing in the pro ranks anymore at all. This is a decision I took at the beginning of the season and it’s been a long time coming, but it seems like I had somehow buried this thought in the back of my brain up until this point. And now, as the athletes reach the turn around point at Hawi the realisation is finally hitting me and it’s a tough one…

 

Of course as I explained before, qualifying to Kona as a pro was more of a dream than any sort of rational reasoning, but it’s a dream that kept me hard at work on the HT and in the pool all year, that kept my motivation high even after the lows of IM New Zealand and a couple of bad injuries had hit me almost back to back (pubalgia in Feb/March followed by a stress fracture in June), to the point that I still believed I could go to Maastricht or Kalmar in mid August and qualify at the last minute (for info, I ONLY needed to win that day to do so, and with no run training to boot). That is how delusional I was, even if I was fully aware about it.

Once the cut off date had passed however, I accepted my fate (sic)  and decided Barcelona would be my last hurrah as a pro athlete. Not because it has a course that is exciting or that suits me, but mainly because it’s a convenient race for me to do in terms of date and location. My summer was filled with weddings and festivals and wild nights every single week-end (it was the 3rd summer of love afterwards), and I’d only been running for a few weeks, so my only ambition was to possibly have a PB there (having never done a fast flat race before), and most importantly to enjoy myself. 

 

I enrolled Silvia and my mum to come with me, I raced 70.3 Weymouth 2 weeks prior to blow away the cobwebs, and here we were in Callela, some 50km north of Barcelona; I could feel it was going to be a good week-end. I still had some ambition but was very relaxed and put very little pressure on myself. When I tore a whole side of my wetsuit just minutes before the start, I shortly panicked but rapidly put myself together, anticipating the possibility of having to get rid of the suit halfway through the swim, and thinking this could make a good story in the worst case.

 

 

 

Turns out I had one of the best (and easiest) swims of my career, managing to stay comfortably in the 2nd pack and emerging out of the Mediterranean in 50:30, only 2:30 minutes down on the leaders (not just any leaders, them being big fishes like Pousson, Costes, Graves, Philips, etc). Never did I find myself so close to the lead after an ironman swim, and to compare with the 6 minute deficit I had in Weymouth over half the distance a couple weeks beforehand (!). Go figure. This seems to indicate that all those PBs I posted in the pool this past months were not such a struck of luck after all. Just in time for my last race! Most importantly this meant I was in the mix and I would have some companions for the long ride ahead along the coast. Even better, I quickly realised after pushing the first 15k or so that I was in the wheels of Joe Skipper and Marc Unger, some serious über bikers that is! The group quickly became smaller as we picked up and dropped a few guys, including the legend that is Hervé Faure, multiple winner of Embrunman and IM Nice. I knew very well that this was a great opportunity and I had to hang on to these guys for as long as I could. I was in 3rd wheel most of the time, took a quick turn at the front at some point but really I was quite a few watts down on these guys. At around the 50k mark I left a gap which was then bridged with a big surge by Daniel Niederreiter. I thought I’d lost the train but luckily (inexplicably!) one of the official motorbikes jumped in front on me and somehow allowed me to slowly get back in the group, towing Lucas Amirault along the way.

 

(For the record I could also see that the front motorbike was sheltering the 2 leaders throughout the 2nd half of the ride, which is a MASSIVE advantage…)

 

On a similar note, this race has a reputation for being a drafting paradise and indeed it is. In the age group race, there were unbelievable sights of packs of hundred riders riding in peloton, Tour de France grupetto style, to the point that some riders must not have given a single stroke on the pedals during the entire race! Ironman has a lot to answer for this as they ‘let’ (sic) way too many people (3000) on a flat course with 2.5 loops. In fact it would be near impossible NOT TO draft…

 

 

I can count on one hand the number of times I rode in a group in an ironman race, and I could fully experience first hand how uneven it can be. You can be full gas for 20k then find yourself freewheeling for a couple minutes before having to surge again. Yo yoing big time. Generally I had no problem following uphill and in the (many) technical bits around the numerous roundabouts, but I really struggled on the long flat straights of this course. After about 80k just before the end of the first lap we could see that the leaders (a pack of 12 riders including Costes, Billard, Graves, Philips or Diederen) were less than 3 minutes ahead. This meant we were riding at the same speed! Apart from IM Japan, I had never been so close to the lead of an ironman at this point of the race! Unfortunately this is exactly the point where I decided to crash on the turnaround (still not sure why), losing a good minute, a bit of skin and all my nutrition in the process. I would go on pursuit mode for the next 10K, pushing hard and seeing my ex companions really not far ahead, but all I could do was hold that gap and after a while I just had to slow down and accept the fact that I would ride on my own the last 100k. Which is exactly what happened, the rest of the ride being rather uneventful. I was never in trouble, but still I lost 9 minutes in the process!

 

 

 

When I arrived solo in T2 I wasn’t sure where I was in terms of rankings, but I knew I rode under 4:30 and that I was on track for a nice PB! I spotted Silvia and my mum as I got out of transition who told me to ENJOY it, and that was the best reminder ever. The legs weren’t smashed but not great either, and after about 5K I could tell it could be a tough one. The last time I ran more than 23k this year was at IM Lanzarote back in May so this played in my head a bit also. I caught Lucas around the 10K mark, we had a lil’ chat and ran together for a few Ks, before I hit a rough patch and was on my own again for a while. Just after the halfway mark the legs came back a bit, I caught Graves and we had a nice lil’ chat (him telling me he was ‘honoured” to share a bit of my last race  – what a gentleman) before I moved up and caught Lucas again. That’s ironman for you right there. Alternating highs and lows all day long.

 

In the end my run went as follows: feeling good for 10k, then down to a jog for the next 10, then good again for another 10, then grinding my teeth to the finish. I had another impromptu little chat with an athlete whom I lapped, before he ran up to me and chatted me up about my cousin whom he knows back in Québec, before disappearing again. Quite eventful this marathon! The final kilometres were tough but I took them as my lap of honour, embracing the pain and all. As I was getting ready to shake hands and cheers along the finishing chute I saw that an athlete was just in front of me! I sprinted instantly by reflex and felt great (as I always did when I had to sprint at the end of an IM – feels good to open up the stride) while I got no response from the guy who turned out to be Sven Riederer, a 4 time Olympian, bronze medalist and all round triathlon legend! On top of that this allowed me to enter the top 10 (bar an age grouper…but they don’t count – see my comment above) and my overall time was a massive PB and sub 8:30 (8:28:59). Not a bad way to finish my career I’d say, !

 

 

 

FULL RESULTS

 

I finish writing this as Patrick Lange crosses the finish line in a record breaking time and once again I can’t help wondering where I would have placed in that race. Most likely a good 45 minutes to one hour later than the winner, but this wouldn’t have mattered, I just would have loved to soak up the experience. However we can’t always do/achieve what we want in life, and that’s part of the beauty of it. I will retire from triathlon happily, knowing that I have achieved/done a lot throughout this 10 year span, a nice chapter in my life which I will forever cherish. Triathlon took me by surprise and I embraced the lifestyle (well, some of it), but now I have many more dreams to chase and they won’t be in that field. I might attempt a fresh marathon at some point, maybe sign up for one iconic race or two (like Roth or Alpsman), but that will be with one third of the training and a whole different outlook.

 
Soon I’ll post another blog with a few numbers to recap my triathlon career. Big love to everyone who read thus far!

 

Posted By: Cedric On: Oct 9th, 2017 In: Uncategorized Comments: 0

Urban Essence 39 – Beauty & the Beat Review + Exclusive Mix

The chaps over at the Urban Essence HQ have stumbled upon the Brilliant Corners tent at Houghton festival this last August, and have declared it the highlight of their week-end (not bad considering the sick line-up and 24 hour music licence over 4 days!).

 

Since then they have come to their first Beauty & the Beat party, and they have written this really cool piece about it, which I’ve copied and pasted below.

 

UE.39: Cedric Woo

 

Adam Tiran

For a selector like Cedric Woo, the old adage “It’s not just the records you play, it’s the way you play them” rings true.

My first encounter with Cedric came during last month’s heralded Houghton Festival. Already a couple of days into proceedings, the energy in our group had dipped a little so we turned to the warm and elegant environs of the Brilliant Corners yurt, in search of inspiration and somewhere to replenish leg juice. Far more than just a stop-gap, this diversion would turn out to be our highlight of the weekend.
 

Brilliant Corners @ Houghton

Brilliant Corners @ Houghton. Image: Jake Davis

 

On entering, the sounds of percussive roots music reverberated around the amber-hued tent and between the swaying mass of loose, mellow, yet utterly absorbed bodies. Warmth in people, temperature and sound emanated from the room; we’d found what we were looking for and had been met with a vibe that stopped us fully in our tracks. We slinked our way to the front in search of immersion from the impeccable Klipschorn speakers that punctuated the booth, by now pushing out the sounds of vintage US house from Larry Heard and Blaze with a soft yet firm resonance. The man behind the rotaries, playing each record in its entirety yet with a remarkable sense of continuation between every transition, was Cedric Woo.

 

Unwittingly, we’d just fallen hook, line and sinker for the Beauty And The Beat vibe. Run by Cedric and friends Cyril Cornet and Jem, BATB is a party in the vein of the New York and London loft parties first inspired by the likes of David MancusoColleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy and their globe-trotting acolytes. It describes itself as “a full-on, freeform, no-limits, psychedelic dance party”, with a wide-spanning music policy and analogue sound system more evocative of a house party than a club. Lo and behold, we found ourselves in the midst at the very next instalment at Total Refreshment Centre.

 

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Let’s be absolutely clear here, we’re extremely late to the party on this one. BATB has already been running for over twelve years and this fascinating and comprehensive retelling of the party’s origins and history to date is well worth a read. But the ethos behind the party is a simple two-pronged concept: superior sound quality and an unwavering focus on the vibe above all else. There’s very little in the way of technical trickery behind the decks. Only rarely is so much as a filter employed, and even then just for a passing moment, and you’re just as hard pressed to hear much in the way of beatmatching. It’s a party for dancing, plain and simple. It’s a party that throws out all the noise, hype and distraction from modern day clubbing, and replaces it with an emotive, introspective selection of worldly rhythms, all played at a natural pace for their mature, sexy, diverse and sartorially tuned-in audience.

“I think that very often the music we play combines a sense of rhythmic density and relative complexity with a degree of accessibility and melody…but this isn’t a fixed rule” (Jem, BATB)

Cedric and BATB may hark back to a lost era in dance music, but it’s one that’s clearly in high demand – they typically pack out whichever venue they’re visiting way before midnight – amongst the dearth of decent venues, and the prevalence of appalling sound quality and flat, uninspiring programming in London today. So when, like Cedric, you’ve been mentored by the great Mancuso himself, it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to have much time for subpar nightlife.

 

Originally from Clermont-Ferrand, a small university city just outside of Lyon, Cedric’s move to London on the turn of the millennium saw him co-found the VOICES collective, a similarly multifarious event that ended up at Plastic People with guests like Daniel Wang and Victor Rosado. He’s since been a participant at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle, become involved with the Brilliant Cornersgang – a likeminded audiophilic crew within which he appears to have found a home – and most recently appeared on Boiler Room alongside tropical outfits Flamingods and Meridian Brothers. And just in case you thought it was only about the music, he’s also a champion triathlete and ironman. All about that balance!

 

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We’re honoured to host here a magnificent two hour recording of Cedric’s set from the last Beauty And The Beat, earlier in September at Total Refreshment Centre – and it’s really quite the journey. From percussive West African workouts to blistering Brazilian boogie, jazz that ranges from the smooth to the spiritual, golden era disco to Latin lamentations, all the way through to early house and breaks, there’s such variety that one can only really group them together as ‘physical’ music. Bring your dancin’ shoes.

 

 

Tracklist
João Cirilo – Po D’Terra
Gal Costa – Relance
Rabo De Saia – Ripa Na Xulipa (Extended Charles Maurice Version)
Mamba Percussions – Samba
Don Cunningham Quartet – Tabu
The Sahib Shihab Quintet – Seeds
Nat Adderley Septet – K. High
Kasra V – Fantasy
T.P.O. – Punk Inc. (Hiroshi’s Dub)
Lord Of the Isles – Sunrise 89
Young Wolf – Kabuki (Spiritual Version)
Leonidas & Hobbes – Heavy Weather (Balearic Acid Mix)
Mr Fingers – Can You Feel It
Rah Band – Messages From the Start
Peter Hunningale – Untamed Dub
Stevie Wonder – Love Light In Flight
Blindboy – I Dream
Mickey Hart – Island Groove
Maria Rita – Lamento Africano / Rictus
Sanzah – Sounouh
African Vibration – Hinde
Junior Murvin – Jack Slick
Alton Ellis – Ain’t That Loving You
Eric Brouta – Machine A Lanmou
Arnold Blair – Finally Made It Home

Image credits: Miguel Echeverria

Posted By: Cedric On: Sep 25th, 2017 In: Blog News Triathlon Uncategorized Comments: 1

70.3 Weymouth – Part II

Being on the start line of the Weymouth 70.3 race, 3 months and a bit after my last race and only a month after announcing my imminent retirement, was already a victory in itself. Not that I expected much, having had only a few pain free runs and a training regime somewhat chaotic what with a summer filled with festivals and gigs (and ensuing sleep deprived week-ends) every single week. In fact I hadn’t had a week-end off partying since Japan in early June! But, having teamed up at the last minute with my mate and 70.3 novice Evgeny, here I was back on the Jurassic coast nonetheless, planning to use this race as a good training day that would hit the reset button on and turn me into a triathlete again, albeit for a short amount of time. Because yes, Ironman Barcelona is only 2 weeks away, and as previously explained this will be my last race as a professional athlete.

 

 

I was in good shape here last year, finishing 7th despite a puncture, and this time around I hoped to have at least a good swim and bike, since I’d been feeling good in training (to the extent of beating several PBs in swimming)! However, things didn’t quite turn out as planned on race day. Not that the cold bothered me too much (at least not once we got going), but the waves surely did! They came as a surprise as well since they were nowhere to be seen in the warm up area just meters from the course…The dash to the 1st buoy was rough, I suddenly remembered how bad I was at swimming against the waves as I seemed to swallow a big chunk of the Mediterranean with almost every breathe. I was hanging on at the back of the pack, though drafting in these conditions is pretty much impossible. At the first buoy I went off course for a bit and then lost contact…I found it really difficult to see anything, and was feeling somewhat isolated. 10 minutes in and I still hadn’t settled into any kind of rhythm (like I would in pretty much every race), my stroke looking pretty much the opposite as the long and efficient one I thought I had mastered in the pool these last few weeks. But swimming in open water, especially rough water, is a whole other shebang. As I finally reached the 2nd turnaround buoy I again misjudged the turn and aimed to the shore but somehow AWAY from the arch I should have been sighting for. After a few animated discussions  with the safety kayak, I finally realised where I had to go, found the arch and even a few buoys, and I was back on track. On my own and really far behind though, having lost 6 minutes coming out of the water! Usually that’s what I lose on a full IM, not on a 70.3!! But I must have swam a good 300m more that needed. Irony is I felt I was swimming well on the return leg; however I was going the wrong way…

 

From that point the race became a somewhat different affair. I had hoped to ride in a group but found myself in no man’s land, just me, myself and I far behind the leaders. No other option than pushing (too) hard on the pedals, weaving frantically my frozen wet body around slowly awakening Dorset country lanes. It took me about 15K to finally find a pair of riders, one on the side of the road with a mechanical (!) and the other one unfortunately not strong enough to work with me. At about the 40k mark, a strong and powerful Finnish guy caught me unexpectedly (having had an even worst swim than me!) and I thought that was my chance to hopefully team up and make up some time. I stayed behind on the flats and descents and took turns at the front on the hills, knowing perfectly that I was riding beyond my limits but really I had no choice. Sadly after 10K or so the guy (Jarmo Rissanen) got a puncture and I was left on my own once again. And now my legs were blown. As I struggled to find some positive thoughts to keep me going, I had a glance of another rider ahead of me at the top of a big climb (which we somehow missed during the course recce, the course being different than last year’s) which gave me a nice boost. I soon passed him and we would eventually ride the last 15k almost together.

 

When I arrived in T2 I saw one guy leaving transition (meaning he was a good 3 minutes ahead) but no one else was even in sight. Running around the gravel with frozen bare feet wasn’t exactly fun and I must have lost another 30sec in the process (it would take me 30 min for my feet to come back to normal). I soon realised that the guys in front were too far for me to catch anyone, so I just focused on running with a good form at a pace that would not be too hard to recover from ahead of Ironman Barcelona. In fact the run leg was relatively uneventful, I ran comfortably in 1:20:50 without ever feeling any major pain, so this, at least, was good news. A couple of guys in front of me did pull out, which put me in 10th position at the finish line, and 13th overall.  Not the result I was hoping for, but this was insignificant as the main goal here was to put me back in the game. So roll on Barcelona!

 

 

 

 

 

Pics (above) courtesy of Maria Voznyuk

 

Posted By: Cedric On: Aug 21st, 2017 In: Blog Music News Comments: 0

New Release (BATB 002) – BlackBush Orchestra – Famiglia EP

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.”

 

On this 3 track EP, we start with an ode to friendship, “My People“:

 

 

Things get deeper, cosmic and tribal on the next piece, “Bamba Ditounalene“, an interpretation of a traditional west African chant, recounting the origins of Mami Wata (Mother Water)’s power. Mixed by no less than Vakula himself:

 

 

On the B side and in its full 45rpm glory we have (another man of ours) Kay Suzuki‘s remix of “Sortez, les Filles!“, a self confessed invitation to dance in space, and the one track that’s turned a few heads already. I played it in Sapporo’s Precious Hall just before its official release and it sounded absolutely insane. Mr Suzuki has been in a world of his own lately in terms of production skills!

 

 

As well as in some selected record shops (Sounds of the Universe, Phonica, Juno), the release is still available physically (not for long!) and digitally on our bandcamp.

 

What with my triathlon career over soon (!), we can expect more activity on the label front in the months and years to come!

Posted By: Cedric On: Aug 17th, 2017 In: Uncategorized Comments: 3

End Of A Chapter…

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.

 

Actually before Kalmar (which was a last resort race) the plan was to be in Maastricht 2 weeks ago. But the plan had gone off piste 2 months ago, as soon as I crossed the finish line in Japan’s 70.3 Centrair race. The body had shut down and I couldn’t literally move anymore. A few days later I went up and down Mt Fuji on one leg,…A few weeks later, as I still couldn’t even jog I was diagnosed with a stress fracture on my left sacrum (and a less developed one on my right side) which, in the words of my osteopath, meant game over. However no one is more stubborn (and delusional) than a triathlete, and deep inside I still thought I could probably start running a few weeks earlier than planned, build up slowly and hopefully be able to have at least a go at qualifying. After all I knew that my swim and bike fitness were as good or even stronger than ever, and I figured out that some time off running could possibly be beneficial come race day. Maybe? Well I believed in it, did a few runs and felt ok…but never quite right. Only last Thursday, less than 10 days before the race and Kona deadline, I realised after a painful jog that the game was, indeed, over. No Kona for me, as going as an amateur in future years is just not an option for various reasons.

 

So that’s it, that’s me done with triathlon. Almost. 2017 was always going to be my last year, exactly 10 years after I started. I have been around a lot, met amazing friends and done some of the most spectacular races around. Embrunman, Alpe d’Huez LD, Xterra Maui, Norseman, IM Nice, IM Lanzarote, Xterra Saipan, Xterra Japan…the memories will be there for ever. However, before I start reminiscing a bit deeper and longer on a future post, I am still planning to do one last race where I can leave on a good note, shave my legs for the first time ever (!), make a party out of it. Possibly Barcelona at the end of September, if not we’ll see. But I’ll keep on training for now.

 

Massive thanks to my sponsors KIWAMI and CEEPO for allowing me to pursued this dream, I truly couldn’t think of better partners.

 

 

Posted By: Cedric On: Jun 20th, 2017 In: Uncategorized Comments: 0

JAPAN 70.3 / JAPAN TOUR 2017

With every year comes a new trip to Japan, centred around a race which I can use as a good excuse for a little holiday/DJ tour in my 2nd home. I have done 2 xterra (one in Marunuma in the Gunma prefecture some 3 hours north of Tokyo, the other one in Hokkaido, both in bear territory) and one ironman (also in Hokkaido). These races were all in fantastic locations, deep in Japanese countryside. This year however I came for the 70.3 which is based in…an airport. Centrair airport just south of Nagoya. Not exactly the same charm!

 

The airport is a destination in itself, with a floor dedicated to culinary treats, a massive public bath overlooking the runway, etc.

 

A busy hub on a man made island. We got there on Thursday morning, which din’t leave much time to acclimatise, but I am glad we didn’t arrive earlier as 4 nights in an airport is about 3 too many! Prior to the race I managed to find a 1.8k loop on the island where I could ride in circles (how exciting!), a run route along the shore and a swimming pool in Nagoya (way too hot, as always in Japan). No swimming nor riding on the course was allowed, and this being a point to point race with distincts T1 and T2, there would be no preview. Most importantly tough we also found the Banana record store and the Goza izakaya in town. Just enough to put us in good spirits.

 

With only 7 of us the pro field was small; however looking at the names I was very worried of finishing last. I’d rather come last of the pros than first of the age group any day (as long as I’m ahead), but still I’d rather NOT be last! I did come here in fairly good shape, having apparently recovered well only 3 weeks after ironman Lanzarote. For the KPR this race wouldn’t bring me much points anyway, but anything better than 7th would better my result at 70.3 Weymouth and so add a few points.

 

On morning day the water temperature was just under 20ºC, so wetsuits were allowed. A welcomed news, but surely not enough for me to catch the fast feet of my fellow pros! I did last about 200m but found myself in the red and had to let them go while I was going for a breather. Luckily the South African Johann Stofberg was swimming at a more decent pace, and I was able to hang on by his side the rest of the way, without spending much energy. We came out a minute or so behind Robbins, Nichols, Baldwin and Williams, and almost 4 minutes behind 2016 Olympian Ryan Fisher! A star in the making whom I’d watched on TV earlier in the year at the Super League triathlon series, more often than not attacking at the front of the peloton. This time he would just lead from the gun, atomising the field on the bike along the way, putting down another 4 minutes on super biker Brad Williams, and almost 8 minutes on myself. I reckon guys like Sanders or Kienle wouldn’t have done much better! For my part I started the bike as hard as I could, caught Richie Nicholls quickly and came within 30 sec of Robbins and Baldwin after 25K or so, but unfortunately they then started to ride together and I would only lose time afterwards, despite riding quite well. The course was quite unusual in a sense that it was full of dead turns and technical bits, and some little hills towards the end which would prove to be really taxing. Not a fast course by any means, but I must say that once again the Ceepo’s Katana powered by the A880 Progress wheels was not only fast but also a joy to ride.

 

I came in 5th in T2 having ridden solo all the way, and again attacked the run as strong as I could. 3’40 per km for the first 6K, which is when I started to almost simultaneously feel better, open my stride, and getting some serious tightness/pain in the glutes on my left side. Unfortunately this small niggle I’d been feeling for a few weeks had now totally flared up at the wrong moment. I would spend the last 15K in pain, running unevenly as I tried to ship most of the weight on my right side. Anything downhill or any steps were not welcomed at all. I kept my position however and crossed the line in 5th, having run in 1h21min. As soon as I crossed that line I couldn’t walk any more, that is how your body shuts down when the job is done! I ended up being rather satisfied with my fitness, but not really by how the race unfolded (if only I could have caught those 2 on the bike!), and obviously annoyed by this new injury…The next week would be spent on a road trip, sampling food and onsens in mountain ryokans, climbing to the top of the mighty Mount Fuji despite the mountain being ‘closed’, before finishing on a high with BIG back to back parties in Tokyo and Sapporo. The last one being the highlight of this trip, but that is another story (which you can read here).

 

As for the KPR…I have about 1% of chance to qualify but I haven’t given up. 10 days off and a visit to my osteo will hopefully be enough to have me resume training pain free for a 5 weeks block before Ironman Maastricht.

 

RESULTS

 

Mount Fuji closed!

 

on top of the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted By: Cedric On: May 23rd, 2017 In: Blog News Triathlon Comments: 0

Ironman Lanzarote 2017

Having declared in my race recap post Lanza 2015 how glad I was to have finished because that meant I wouldn’t have to do it again…well here I was toeing the start line one more time 2 years later. DNF in 2013, 9th in 2015, what would 2017 bring? A hard race that is a certainty, but what else, and why the change of mind?

 

 

 

A few reasons actually. To start with, I somehow put in my mind after IM Wales in September that my goal in 2017 would be to attempt to qualify for Kona 2017, meaning I’d have to do 3 more ironman at least (the KPR is based on the best of three IMs and one 70.3). Having gone to New Zealand in March and failed to collect any points time was running out, and with June dedicated to Japan and July to parties, there was no escaping Lanzarote. At least I knew what was in store, but more importantly that this was a good course for me, a hard and honest one with 2251m of climbing which could -on a good day- allow me to hopefully come back from behind after the swim and not be stuck on my own like I was in NZ for instance.
The 12 weeks since Taupo hadn’t gone exactly smoothly in terms of training, with a mix of injuries (pubalgia, broken ribs) and parties making it difficult to have any kind of consistency. All in all I had 3 weeks of solid training and felt I was back in some kind of shape, though nowhere near running as well as I was in February. However in 2015 I finished 9th only 2 months after being hospitalised for a week because of paratyphoid, so I knew that I could only be better!

 

One of the big advantages in Lanza is that I have friends on the island, Laura and Eamon, now with Carlos and Catalina. They have a lovely house in the hills in Tinajo, and they treat me like a total prince. No shopping to do, no check in or check out, even the wine post race is furnished! All I have to do is focus on the race. I flew in on the Thursday and the wind was absolutely insane, but luckily on race race day it had calmed down a lot (especially compared to 2015) and at least it didn’t feel dangerous to ride anymore. However, having had a look at the start list, my dreams of a top 5 had all but vanished and I was now aiming for a (still ambitious) top 10…

 

This race has the peculiarity in that we all start pretty much together, the pros being on the front line but ready to be swallowed by the fast age groupers right on our backs…which is exactly what happened after about 3 strokes. No idea how they came in so fast, but one sure thing is that I wasn’t going to swim alone this time. In fact there was still a big bunch of us together after the 2nd buoy, 1k into the swim. Which should have been a good thing for me, but somehow I managed to lose focus on the way back, slowly retrograding, then my goggles filled up, my legs started cramping, and I could tell I wasn’t swimming well. By the time I got to T1 I was in 38th position, some 6.5 minutes down on the leaders! T1 was also a bit of a disaster, with cramps, loose timing chips and mounting bike too early making sure I had my work cut out!

 

 

At least this meant I wouldn’t be riding in no man’s land like in NZ, thanks to a stream of cyclists in front of me to play catch up with. My original plan of holding off for the first 120k wasn’t going to happen in these conditions! Luckily my legs felt good and I slowly but surely made my way up, passing mostly age groupers at first then the first pros started to appear, then the leading woman some 50K in to the bike (the impressive eventual winner Lucy Charles, having swam with the top guys). After La Santa I continued to push the pace, making sure I took no one with me, finally catching athletes like Malte Bruns (1st amateur in Kona 2015 and a 40h per week training monster), Trevor Delsaut, KJ Danielsson, Samuel Huerzeler and Carlos Lopez Diaz (winner of IM Mallorca in 2016). Only Timothy Van Houtem had come back from behind (no sign of Del Corral!) but I knew since the Alpe d’Huez LD that he was a much stronger cyclist than me so didn’t try to follow him.

 

When I reached the top of Mirador Del Rio I was in 10th position and thought I might be on a great day! Problem was I overcooked it a bit on some of the steeper slopes (my 23 ring at the back was clearly not enough!), I was now on my own not only for the descent but also for the last 50K of never ending 1% incline on the highway…and cramps had started to appear.

Without surprise the scenario of previous editions started repeating (albeit on a milder scale), meaning I started to be overtaken by some of the guys cited above without being able to catch their wheel whatsoever. I really hate the last hour of this bike course! And I won’t come back a 4th time to try to crack the code, I’m telling you!

 


 


 

I arrived in T2 in 15th position, more than happy to get off the bike, but nevertheless not as smashed as I thought I’d be. Having a new bike this year, Ceepo‘s Katana has made a big difference in my cycling performance in that it is the most comfortable TT bike I have ever ridden. I can stay in the TT position for hours without breaking my back, and as a result I can run better off the bike. Still running a marathon now seemed like a long way! Less wind meant a hot run, 30ºC and no shade, a real pleasure! The legs felt ok for the first 10k during which I moved up to 11th, but then I had a really rough patch between K10 and K20 and would have stopped it right there if the course hadn’t been changed to one 30k loop followed by a 12k one. No point stopping at K15 because this meant I would have had to walk 15K back to the finish line anyway. A similar ‘situation’ happened to me during my 2nd Embrunman in 2012, hitting the wall really hard barely 5k into the run, but finding nowhere to hide/sleep I carried on to the end of the first loop before finding my legs back miraculously. Here I started to feel ok again from K20 to K30, then it was waves of feeling ok/terrible/ok/terrible/ok. During this time my fellow Frenchman Guillaume Lecallier had overtaken me and caught Delsaut, then I’d caught both of them and crossed the line in 8th. You really never know what is going to happen during the marathon, and you should never give up for that very reason!

 


 

8th spot gets 305 points, which brings me exactly to the grand total of 1125 points at the current KPR. Knowing that the qualification barrier hovers around 3000 points or more, this means I would have to…win…my next ironman if I want to go to Kona. 99% unlikely, but I guess I’ll give it a try. If I feel fit anyway. Probably in Maastricht in August. If not that would have been my last ever ironman. Let’s see!

 

PS: big thanks to Silvia, my parents, my brother, Laura, Eamon and family, my osteopath Sam Burch who put me back in place only a couple weeks before the race, to my sponsors Kiwami and Ceepo, and to all who have been encouraging, messaging, texting me and those who have read this blog until here!

Posted By: Cedric On: Apr 27th, 2017 In: Uncategorized Comments: 0

The Race – Ironman New Zealand (Through the Eyes of Silvia Gin)

During the days leading to the ironman in Taupo, I was followed 24/7 by the eyes/camera of Silvia, who made this little art project video about it. Enjoy!

 

 

The Race from Silvia Gin on Vimeo.

Posted By: Cedric On: Mar 30th, 2017 In: Uncategorized Comments: 0

(Primavera) Live Show on Resident Advisor

Recently I had the ‘opportunity’ to play records in front of a camera (a few cameras in fact) as well as a real crowd in our 2nd home that is Brilliant Corners. Fellow French man and house music royalty Jeremy Underground was on air before me, streaming to literally thousands of listeners.

 

Resident Advisor is -admittedly- a much more eclectic and connoisseur affair than Boiler Room’s, and we were both encouraged to dig deep and play records that were not necessarily club based. More like a radio show in fact, but in public and on camera.

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Posted By: Cedric On: Mar 15th, 2017 In: Blog News Triathlon Comments: 3

IRONMAN NEW ZEALAND – A FIASCO

I missed a turn…

 

 

One thing I get asked repeatedly by a lot of people (namely my mum and my girlfriend) is to explain the motivations behind this triathlon malarkey – when will I stop ? It’s a tough one to answer really as any endurance athlete can find new goals and challenges pretty much ad vitam aeternam. I think though the main reason I am still sweating buckets going nowhere in my living room in order to compete at pro level having now just turned 40 and despite having arguably a better career to focus on (phew, breathe here!), is because I know I still haven’t reached my full potential. And I want to (reach it). As per customary with elite sport, I went through as many highs as lows over the years, but somehow I tend to dwell on those missed opportunities a lot more than on the successes. As a runner I always seemed to get injured while at the peak of my form, and hence never got the times/results I knew I could have had. When I tore my Achilles in the final of the U23 french national championship, 300m for the finish line, that was one injury too many and I stopped my running career right there. I was in the shape of my life that day and fighting for glory and a definite PB when injury stroke again. This was a pivotal time in my life as I then took a 180º turn away from competitive sport, but the feeling of unfinished business never left me.

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