Amy Forshaw Rubicon Race Report - 31 Aug 2014 

I was very fortunate to race the Rubicon half this past Sunday up in Yorkshire. I was looking for a race to work on my preparation for Ironman Wales and team mate Joe Skipper told me this would be a good race to do. He was definitely right.

We arrived at Newby Hall on Saturday afternoon for registration and a quick course recce. The race is very pretty on the eye; the 1.9km swim is in a scenic, clean and clear river and the run is through the beautiful Newby Hall park land and a nearby village. I was pretty excited when I left after registering as I knew this was going to be enjoyable course to race on.

We retired for the evening in Masham where we had a nice b&b & found a delightful little pub where we got some fantastic grub.  I had a decent night’s sleep and woke up looking forward to race.

I haven't had much luck this season with races due to a muscle cramping problem, which usually happens in transition from swim to bike.  I have been doing a lot of work on trying to rectify this and racing at the Rubicon was a great opportunity to try something new techniques as regards to my body position in the swim and to also check to see if my rehab and strengthening programme is working.

I had a brilliant swim in terms of execution. I did a good land warm up & some breathing technique work that Caroline Kremer has been helping me with.  The time was not ground breaking but the fact that I got out of the swim & onto my bike with no cramp problems at all was a break through in itself. I was very pleased moving out on to the bike and I took the first part of the bike steady, building slowly before pushing on. I was a couple of girls down as I started the bike but I was soon making my way through to the lead. I felt really good, fast & powerful but unfortunately my left glute, hamstring & calf started to encounter nervy pain again about 50mins in. I tried to push through it and then focused on just managing it but it was quite painful. My power dropped off but I still was as able to maintain the lead. I really loved the course, it reminded me of IM Arizona, as I mentioned fast & flat which is quite surprising when you look at the scenery around you. One of the best aspects of the bike course was the three laps because each lap fed you back through Newby Hall where all the family and friends where there to cheer on the racers. The atmosphere as you came through on the bike was awesome, a real pick me up to push on.

When I got off the bike, my leg was a bit sore. I went through transition quickly but I was debating with myself whether I should go on. I went out on to the start of the run course and quickly discussed with Rob whether I should risk pushing on. The run is 4 laps and he said just try 1 lap & see how you feel. I set off feeling quite tight in my left glute but soon the run started to ease it off. Thankfully Mark Livesey rode round the first lap with me which really helped. The run lap  covered varying and different terrain; road then track then path then grass and then road again. It was very much my kind of run as this is exactly the type of terrain I train on and around my house. Part of the run was through the woods and it took me back to my cross country days.

Much like on the bike the, the fact that there are multiple laps meant the encouragement on the run from people there to support their family and friends was awesome, as it was from my fellow athletes. After a slow start to the run I got in to a decent rhythm and was able to enjoy the final leg of the race before finally crossing the finish line. After the race there was an ice pool too, which was very welcome and an excellent idea!

All in all, I would really recommend this race to anyone of any level. The course for the race is perfect for everyone, if your stepping up to half distance the course isn't overly challenging and the loopy nature means that friends and family will be on hand to see you and support you throughout. Equally, if you want to go fast and hard all sections of the race allow you to get in to a good rhythm so that you can really push yourself on. I said after the race that I will definitely be back next year and after hearing Mark's plans I can only imagine that this race will be one that continues to get bigger and better each year.

As always, thanks to my sponsors for support. These include Trisports Lanzarote, Compex, Sailfish, G4 Fitness & Physio, 110% Play Harder, Trainsharp, Maison du Velo, Profeet custom and The Caroline Kremer Method.

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