Mon 1er Charlie c’était un cadeau de mon papa quand j’avais 16 ans (après ou avant il y a eu les bouquins de Cavanna, je sais plus). Depuis plus de 20 ans je suis abonné fidèle, la seule année où non c’était quand j’étais aux States, mais même là ma maman m’en envoyait des exemplaires de temps à autres. Charlie c’est ma famille quoi. Val, Font, Siné, Cabu, Wolinski, Charb, Oncle Bernard, Honoré, Polac, Tignous, Riss, Renaud un temps, Caroline Fourest, Philippe Lançon et Catherine plus récemment…ce sont tous mes oncles et mes tantes. Je ne serais pas qui je suis aujourd’hui sans la lecture hebdomadaire et passionnée du journal depuis 2 décennies. Tous ces monuments de culture ont façonné ma façon de penser, ma façon d’être finalement. Ce ne sont pas des grands optimistes, loin de là, mais ils aim(ai)ent la vie. + more
I may have done only one xterra this year (not very successful at that, see my report on xterra Italy) but thanks to some AA flight vouchers I’ve known since February that come October I’d be back in Maui to give this race a (possibly last) shot. My last attempt was in 2011 when I took a wrong turn on the bike and went off course, never to reappear…Someone’s got some unfinished business you see. Admittedly the appeal of a return to Kauai and especially to the majestic Kalalau trail has helped equally to keep my motivation levels pretty (very) high.
This time the plan was to stay a week on Maui, to be followed by a week on Kauai straight after the race. I aimed to arrive on race day as relaxed as I could without getting caught up into some unnecessary pressure, and this involved not staying or hanging out with my fellow triathletes. I chose instead to be all cozy with my girlfriend and acclimatise nicely to the tropics, while showing her some of the best spots of the island along the way. Easy. + more
Last minute decision for me to take part in this 1/2 iron distance race, part of the Hever Castle triathlon festival in Kent (2 days of multiples events and 7000 triathletes overall!). I noticed a decent prize money, checked the weather forecast and blagged a free entry from Speedo (thanks Dan!) – all clear!
No ad hoc preparation, certainly no tapering, no course recce, see-what-happens sort of thing. Lots of beetroot juice intake in the few days and morning before, hoping for the best. + more
After my DNS @ IM Nice in June, this was a race I wanted to do well at, an A race so to speak. Obviously the training hadn’t been regular these last 4 months with barely any swimming and running due to broken bones and other injuries, but I did manage to get on the start line with only a couple of cracked ribs to worry about, as well as a customary dodgy -but improving- Achilles. First victory.
I arrived in Japan 10 days before the race in order to acclimatise nicely. Couple days in Tokyo first, enough to catch up with my friends Nao and Mika, and also for a DJ gig at Grassroots, one of my favorite venues in Koenji. Nice to see some familiar faces there as well as a bunch of new followers. I had a ball and didn’t get to bed before 8am. Lots of rum and ginger and cigarettes too. Perfect IM prep! + more
“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.
I have done a lot of crazy stuff in my time, willingly or not, but it seems the most extreme sport out there is commuting in Babylon, London town that is. After 12 years of daily commute, often on the edge and with quite a few incidents along the way (mostly resulting in material damages), I’ve been hit twice by careless drivers within 5 weeks. Once in plain daylight the day I got back from a key training week in Nice, and the 2nd one at night as I rode back home from the cinema – only to be hit head on by a drunk driver pulling out with no lights on the wrong side of the road…
As I toed the start line for the 3rd year in a row amongst names like Raelert, Llanos, Aernouts, Drietz and even the ‘revenant’ super fish Sanson, I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing here. Like really not. Not only had I spent the whole winter partying and hence not trained much, but yet again (as with the 2 previous editions) I wasn’t 100% fit – while it is necessary to be out of your comfort zone, but this time I felt I was probably a bit too far out..
Less than 3 weeks prior to the race I got knocked unconscious by a car while commuting to work. This left me with 2 broken fingers, stitches on my face, and road rashes all over. Worse my body felt really tense and not quite right following the crash. I swam like I forgot how to after that, all my power was gone. On top of that, as I was starting to itch for exercise, I went for a run 5 days after the accident and proceeded to flare up my old friend Achilles – who had been unusually silent for the last few months. Running pain free was a bliss, but it didn’t last long (about 3 months)…
This was my 4th trip to Japan and I am always surprised by how amazing it turns out to be. The people, the place, the love, it’s a bliss. I feel instantly at home when I land there, it is my 2nd family !
Here’s a stop motion video of the party that was held @ Lighthouse Records in the heart of Shibuya, courtesy of Michael the wizard: