After 2 months off post Maui, and barely 6 weeks of training in my legs, the appeal of a race in the Philippines had obviously a lot more to do with the incentive of a tropical holiday than the buzz of toeing the line unfit next to the likes of Craig Alexander or Luke McKenzie. The plan was to spend 10 days or so in paradise (the beautiful island of Palawan that is) with my babe, before flying back to Manila and head out to Subic Bay. + more
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I have now the pleasure and pride to have a mix featured on the classy Krossfingers blog/website. In very good company here!
It did take me a bit longer than usual to do this mix, the idea was to play mostly old records and surprise the blog’s head honchos Sasha Tessio and Artem Ikra. Not an easy feat when you know the scale of these guys’ knowledge! This meant I had to think about this one quite a bit, dig out deeper than usual, and still try to come up with something that would represent me. Labour of love all the way, and I must say I am rather happy with the result! + more
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
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
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)…
Here’s a run down on a few of my RBMA Radio favorites: Floating Points, Ahu, Invisble City Sound System, Baris K, Terre Thaemlitz…only goodness !
The 3 weeks between xterra Germany and xterra England weren’t the most exciting part of the year – I got the shingles (!) pretty much as soon as I got back to London, which meant a week of antiviral drugs followed by a week of antibiotics as one of the wounds got infected, together with a mix of ibuprofen and paracetamol every 3 hours or so for a good 3 weeks, and a few antidepressants thrown in for good measure (supposedly to kill the nerve pain, but these only succeeded in killing my brain…). The pain experienced from the shingles is debilitating, I’d forgotten how much pain one could endure for such a long time…I am yet to find out what triggered the virus, but it is likely to be a mix of general tiredness and a weak immune system…I didn’t know what the shingles were before, but I will make sure I won’t get them ever again ! + more
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