Race Shoes; Picking up the Pace

Posted on Feb 27, 2015 in Blog

Hi All I received my race shoes in the post last weekend; the most important purchase for the event if I want to avoid blisters.  Took them for test run on Saturday with my 9 year old Riley who joined me for 20km of the 30km on his bike. I also ran with my pack with its full race weight of 10 kgs and spent at least 8km of it running on the beach ……. and survived!  That’s the closest I’ve gotten so far to duplicating 1 of the six days and I felt more or less ok.   I will be getting Velcro fitted to the shoes next so that I can fit gaiters to them when in the desert to keep the sand out.   There’s around 5 weeks to go now and it’s time to pick up the pace. I need to increase my weekly training to about 50km; on top of that I’ll need another 6 hours of cross trainer / cycling / rowing / weights to preserve my knees.   In the week up to the event I will be doing heat chamber training sessions at Kingston university where we try to simulate an extremely high temperature environment whilst running and cycling for an hour.    Thanks again to everyone for supporting my charity and stay...

Devizes to Westminster 2015

Posted on Feb 24, 2015 in Blog

Andrew isn’t the only member of the ETX Capital team to be undertaking an impressive trial of fitness and endurance; our SEO Specialist Mike Webb (1999 World Champion in Dragon Boat Racing with Team GB) is about to test the waters in a canoe race like no other – dwrace.org.uk. Over the Easter weekend of 2015 I will be competing in the Annual Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, more commonly known as the DW. The race has been described as the canoeists’ “Everest” with 125 miles of canal and river raced non-stop in sometimes the most challenging of conditions. The race is so physically and mentally tough that between a quarter and a third of the boats that start the race fail to finish.   Each year the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire and finishes just downstream of Westminster Bridge in central London, on the South Bank. The race has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948. The race is 125 miles long and has 77 portages. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames. The race is a severe test of skill, physical and mental stamina and planning which produces a memorable sense of achievement for those successfully completing it.   I have completed this race twice before in 2012 (31st overall) and 2013 (24th overall) but racing in a two-man racing canadian canoe (C2). This year I’ll be competing in the same class – senior doubles – but in a two-man racing kayak (K2) with a new partner and we’re hoping for a top ten finish.   There are 7 warm-up races that lead up to the DW which gives competitors the chance to practice most of the course, which is essential for first-timers as usually at least half of the DW is done at night.   To give you a bit more background about me, I have been kayak racing for over 20 years and have competed nationally. My partner Rob has been racing for nearly 10 years and has done the DW 7 times, finishing 5 of them.   The First Race   On 4th January was the first race. A mere 13 mile race with 3 portages from Weybridge to Richmond – The Frank Luzmore Memorial Race. The weather was predictably wintery at only about 2C and a decent amount of fog. Rob and I are not exactly young so we entered the Veterans category to get a more competitive race, and that’s exactly what we got. On the start line we were promptly absorbed in to the leading group and after 2 miles managed to break free in a sprint with another crew. We stayed with them for another 4 miles...