• Sundried Southend Triathlon Race Report by Alice Hector

    Alice Hector Professional Elite Athlete Triathlon Sundried

    What better way is there to spend your Sunday lunchtime encased in a world of pain for an hour or more?

    To be honest, other than Yorkshire puddings and roasties, I'm sure you'll agree not much beats a Sprint Triathlon (right?)

    Southend-on-Sea provided a great location for the first Sundried Triathlon. The town really welcomed the event and a whopping 2500 people came out to support the 300 athletes, many of whom were competing in their first triathlon. 

    The swim took place in the Thames Estuary with a refreshing midday start, due to the tide times. 1 hour before the start all we could see was mud flats for miles. I'm familiar with a non-wetsuit swim, but a non-water swim? That would be a first.

    There was no need to worry. A mini tsunami came in as scheduled and the bay rapidly filled with clean salt water. We flip-flopped our way 500m along the sea front to the start, (flip-flops were then deposited back at the start for us), and the swim was simply point-to-point parallel with the beach: great for nervous swimmers who didn't have to venture far out their depth, and nice for spectators who could walk along and see the race unfold.

    Sundried Southend Triathlon

    After failing to hold the fast feet of the lead man who set off beside me, I found another set, then decided to have a go on my own and make it hurt. The speed that is easy in a draft becomes really hard when in front, and I probably should have stayed where I was, but as this was a training race there was no need for energy conservation!

    A smooth transition and we were quickly on to the fast, flat but quite technical bike course. The organisers are talking about a closed-road multi-lap affair for next year which I think would really draw the crowds in further and give it the buzz of a French Grand Prix tri: something the UK scene could really benefit from. I lost one place to another fast boy through the 20km bike leg, finishing up that bit in 4th; feeling rather power-deprived throughout. Some days you're the firework, some, the damp squib. 

    Alice Hector Cycling Sundried Triathlon

    The run was out and back along the sea-front where people out for their Sunday stroll probably wondered why all these lycra-loving lovelies were self-flagellating themselves upon this Day of Rest, but they were giving great words of encouragement and seemed really into the spirit of the event: Southend seems to be a perfect match for a triathlon.

    So, back to the run. 2.5k in a straight line does seem a long way, and to turn around and repeat the feat was another painful prospect, especially when you could see the Sundried finish banner over a mile away in the distance, not getting any closer... 

    Coming into a shorter triathlon as a longer distance athlete, you have visions of it 'being over quickly' and being 'no big deal' but I tell you what, Sprint is long and Sprint is hard! And I could only seem to muster limited speed anyway, but it was hurting as much as I could make it, so will hopefully prove an excellent training session as part of my preparation for the European 70.3 champs in 3 weeks’ time.

    Coming to the finish, I didn't have much time to celebrate the female win and 3rd place overall as I was very aware of the clock ticking close to 60 minutes, and I always enjoy dipping under an hour in a Sprint. Sadly, I was 25 seconds too fat, but this will come in the next few weeks as I start to sharpen up for my first peak of the season. A couple of kilos makes a lot of difference to speed!

    Sundried Southend Triathlon Fastest Woman Finisher Winner Alice Hector

    I would like to thank Sundried for their support of me as a pro triathlete this year, providing great PR opportunities as well as beautifully crafted clothing, and now adding another string to their bow: by producing a fantastic first event. Sundried really does stand for quality through and through. I look forward to seeing how the Southend Triathlon develops in years to come, and will definitely be back for that sub 1 hour in the future!

    Sundried Southend Triathlon

    About the author: Alice Hector is a prolific elite professional triathlete, having already won the Volcano Triathlon in Lanzarote earlier this year. She is also a professional fitness model and has done lots of work with Sundried as an athlete ambassador.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Garmin Forerunner 30 Running Watch

    Garmin Forerunner 30 Running Watch

    Garmin has announced the Forerunner 30, a simple-to-use running watch with built-in Garmin Elevate™ wrist-based heart rate technology that delivers streamlined running, activity tracking and connected features. Whether out for a jog or training for a 10k, the Forerunner 30 tracks how far, how fast and where athletes are running without the need to carry a phone. In between runs, it doubles as an all-day activity tracker, keeping count of steps, calories and intensity minutes so users can record progress and activities even when they are not running. The Forerunner 30 will be available exclusively in Europe, Middle East and Africa but will work outside of these areas if you travel.

    “The simplicity of the Forerunner 30 means athletes can easily take their running to the next level – all they have to do is put the watch on and go,” said Andrew Silver, Garmin EMEA Product Manager. “With a variety of built-in features, the Forerunner 30 is the perfect tool for runners who want to stay fit, stay connected and share their progress.”

    Runners using the Forerunner 30 will get a better idea of their fitness level with the addition of VO2 max, a measurable indication of aerobic performance or fitness level, while training tools like Auto Pause®, Auto Lap® and pace/speed selection help provide athletes with an essential running experience. Garmin Move IQ™ technology will also detect and automatically categorise activities including running, walking, cycling and more.

    Vibration alerts for incoming calls, voicemails and text messages help Forerunner 30 users stay connected without having to dig a phone out of their purse, pocket or bag. Throughout the day, the Forerunner 30 automatically uploads to Garmin Connect™ where users can share their workouts with friends and family in real time with Live Track, join fitness challenges, analyse training progress, set and track goals and much more.

    The Forerunner 30 features up to eight hours of battery life in activity mode and up to five days in smartwatch mode. It is available exclusively in Europe in turquoise, amethyst and grey and has a suggested retail price of €149.99.

    The ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.

    For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren