Amsterdam man, 2013

Just like 2011 or 2012 but faster! TL;DR: 3:43:06. Just 5 minutes faster and I’ll only be an hour slower than Maz. This post is mostly for my records. Transport and accommodation just like before, except I had Miranda with me.

2013-10-20 18.02.58 As you can see, Amsterdam has some exciting architecture.

My GPS track is here, or at least a bit of it is. Turning it on as I went in to the stadium I realised I hadn’t bothered to charge up the battery. Oops, though its perhaps nice that I’m getting rather casual about things I’d once have obsessed over. So the track contains the first ~16k, and the last ~4k. The official record is here (oh, but you need my name or 7126, my bib number) and that gets you the splits every 5k. Compare to 2012 (bib 2852) and the obvious difference is that I don’t fall off a cliff in the last 12k. This time the splits are 5:10 / 5:11 / 5:12 / 5:18 / 5:20 / 5:20 / 5:23 / 5:29 and then 5:0x to the end. My target is 3:30, which will require 5:00 splits. Perhaps next year.

Having the GPS for the first 16k let me get my pace in, and left me running with a group at about the right speed. So losing the GPS after then didn’t matter much, and was actually quite unexpectedly liberating, giving me more time to think about my toenails.

I wasn’t too hopeful about this race – I hadn’t done much training beforehand, so was mostly hoping to roughly equal my PB of 3:46 set in Brighton this year. However, I did significantly better than that, and also came out of it feeling much better – which probably means I could have run it faster, so perhaps I did lose something from not having the GPS. I did slightly suffer from not knowing what pace to run it at – I settled for ~5:15, which would have got me 3:40, and lost a bit off that in the second half, which is acceptable. In retrospect, I should have pushed 35-40 somewhat harder.

And rowing

Since I’m posting sport (again; I promised not to) I’ll point to:

* We won IM2 VIII’s at the Boston marathon
* I got my point at Peterborough
* We went up 3 in bumps. Did I mention that before ;-?

Up three to nine

We rock. M1 up 3, and the rest of the club did well, so we win the John Jenner trophy for 2013.

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Tally for the week:

* day 1: epic row-over n front of Sharks
* day 2: bumped Nines 2
* day 3: bumped St Neots (revenge)
* day 4: bumped Press

Press had a GoPro on a rigger, which sounds like a good idea, but doesn’t really work that well as you can’t see their bladework. You can see us closing on them, though the track cuts off just before or on the bump. Here, but unless you’re a fan of pre-start tension skip to about 3:00.

[This post will get elaborated. Update: well, clearly I lied. Try here if you care.]

Boston, etc

devil-duck-joy More misc, under a thin veneer.

I’ve been rowing again: the Boston Marathon.

For fans of short-sellers-are-all-irredeemably-evil brigade, try Bronte.

Our head isn’t too impressed with todays announced shake-up of the exam system: my heart sinks at the prospect of even more time spent on debating assessment rather than improving teaching and learning. Pols too keen on “leaving their mark” rather than knuckling down to work. Or indeed, leaving well enough alone.

Two views on Tyler Cowen (who he?)’s piece in the NYT about hunger.

Olympic badminton rowing

mens-eights-final-germans

The mighty DeutschlandAchter.

mens-pairs

The NZ pair (gold) congratulating the UK pair (bronze). The UK were completely out of their lane over the finish line.

Or, if you’re interested in my original subject:

It am all de news: Olympics badminton: Four pairs charged with not trying.

My take on this is different: I’ve watched some of the sport (not the badminton, obviously, because it shouldn’t be an olympic sport any more than football should be) and its exciting: you’re watching people doing their very best to do as well as they possibly can. The rowing is gorgeous, especially the VIII’s: 2000m at 1:20 splits with every single stroke exactly the same as the previous one. Woo!

But the badminton story is that, suddenly, due to the pattern of who had won or lost, it became advantageous to some of the players to lose, not win their matches. At which point they… started to lose, not win, their matches. Which is exactly what they should be doing. Der.

The fault, obviously, lies with the idiots who designed the heats system that lead to these perverse incentives.

But enough of that nonsense! On with the rowing:

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Bit of a shame for the Poles. They get something close to a row-over, and a head-wind so no real incentive to try extra-hard.

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But on reflection, the headwind is great for crews in the lead… they aren’t going to get a record, so they don’t have to kill themselves, just win. And we see: the UK’s first olympic gold. Cycling disappoints, swimming disappoints, rowing comes through. As always 🙂

mens-eights-final

Your olympic news service continues… as expected (really, in our heart of hearts, we knew) the Germans win the men’s eights. But it was a thrilling race; we caught them up and were ahead at 1500m by a few feet, but they pushed out well ahead at the end. And perhaps because we’d pushed, Canada overtook us to the line. But it was worth it.

mens-lwt-four

Men’s lightweight IV, Thursday. Superb race (item 13) with a wonderful push through by SA at the line.

That Drysdale digs a bit, eh?

Last day

[This post written in arrears and given an in-arrears date, so few people will see it. But I care.]

So, day 4. Champs 1 again ahead of us, and we sort-of resolved to go for it rather harder this time, but in a slightly vague way. We mostly decided that we would aim to get them by the Plough; and if we didn’t, we’d take the race from there. And we knew Champs 2 were fast off the start but we knew if we held them to first post they would fade from there.

I’d watched the early divisions. Div 3 was notable for practice starts in bright sunshine followed by it pissing with rain on the division. Ah well.

david-ponting-Champs-sandwich

At the start, I felt fairly relaxed. The terrible anticipation of the previous 3 days wasn’t there – calm instead. Good. I didn’t analyse why for fear of dispelling it. And so we went off – fairly hard, but: not quite with that killer sprint that we needed. And so we got whistles by first post, and maybe two by the Plough, but not enough. Meanwhile, behind us, Champs 2 were not playing to the plan either: they had started fast, but failed to fade in the approved fashion. By Ditton corner it was serious: they probably had a fraction of overlap. Out of the corner we pushed and dropped them, but it was close: we should have pushed earlier I think, in retrospect. In fact in retrospect, we should have given it everything down Plough reach. Champs 2 had a bowcam, so you can watch for yourself.

But they pushed us all the way to the railway bridge, so it was a good row – well worth it. We cheered them, they cheered us, we cheered Champs 1. And then it was all over for another year. A brief stop at the beer tree. Back to Corpus so we could take the boat apart (Steven, Katherine and others taking a mixed VIII to St Neots: lost to Cygnet, apparently). And then the post-bumps party at Goldie, courtesy of Chris Smith, which was awfully decent of him. Even more so at around 11 when he invited the survivors up to his flat above. Lovely balcony view. Paul had a very special pair of underpants and Simon wore his spoon with pride. I left around 1 though things were still in full flow…

Refs

* Day 3 (row over)
* Day 2 (up, City 3)
* Day 1 (row over)
* Last year, day 4
* Club blog

Mirror, mirror

Still on the rowing I’m afraid. A row-over today: two years ago we’d have killed for a high-quality row-over like tonight, but after yesterdays superb bump-up, tonight felt like a let down.

Thinking (and drinking, in the Waterman again, a pub I’m coming to like) about it afterwards, it all seemed like an unwelcome mirror of last years M2, also on day 3, albeit at a far higher standard. Just like then, we’d bumped up the day before so had no fear of what was behind us; just like then we had a crew ahead that we knew we were faster than; just like then we were a bit too confident of grinding them down, and failed to sparkle and kill them early.

The pic is from Jet Photographic, as I think you can tell from the huge letters. I hope they don’t mind me advertising their wares.

We did close on them – we had a whistle by Grassy and two (and even three) whistles later; but afterwards it became clear we’d never got closer than 1/2 a length. And down the reach we were either level or falling back a bit – I’m not sure.

Elsewhere… M2 carelessly let themselves be overwhelmed by the gleam of Tabs 7’s shiny new Stampfli, rowed like spanners and went down. M3 down (spoons beckon). W2 rowed over (again! But apparently its been really exciting) and W1 rowed over, which they are very happy with, having been chased all the way. And they have Champs 2 down ahead of them, so tomorrow beckons.

Refs

* M1 video from Rob Payne.
* GPS track
* Amy on W1
* W1 video from MadProf77.

Almost a bump

Bumps again, hurrah. The distant sound of gunfire. The culmination of a lot of peoples training for a long time. And, as I discovered once again while waiting for the start, a deeply unpleasant / scary / unnerving experience. It didn’t help that we had to stand around for 20 mins waiting for the 4-minute gun, wondering what the hold up was: it turned out to be the bloody Georgina. Meanwhile we’re chatting, thinking, looking about, going for a wee, trying to dispel the nerves. Early rain had given way to a beautiful evening, though getting dark now. We’d done a good start after the railway bridge and a superb one after the Plough – oh no, I though, there’s our best start of the night wasted in practice. We know little about the crews around us.

DSC_7568-m3-grassy-day1_crop

(no, that isn’t us, that is M3 going round Grassy)

4 minute gun; back in the boat. Minute. Count down: push off at 30, light tap from bow (me) at 15 to straighten us off. We’re starting 14 so can cut the corner. Square at 7. Gun.

bumps-map A fair start, we’re off, nothing is happening, exactly as expected. We get through the choppy water under the motorway bridge and are settling – possibly just a bit too settled for maximum speed. Nines (3) behind us aren’t closing. Faint whistles, but not for us. First post, and behind us Nines are bumped by Champs 2. Into the gut and it starts to feel good; still no whistles for us. We expect Tabs 3 to be fast off the start. Suddenly, after the Plough, we’re screamed at to hold it up. I turn round and slap their stern in brief joy – but no, we haven’t bumped them, they’ve bumped City 3 who failed to clear. So we have to stop and restart. If it was a close race, or there was stuff behind us, this would be a disaster. But it isn’t and there isn’t, so it really doesn’t matter. Having been forced to stop for 10 secs the overbump is clearly unrealistic but James pushes us down the Reach anyway; not sure that was a good idea.

Brief stop at the beer tree, to talk over the race. Back to the boat house, more talk. To the Waterman, for some more and some beer. Delightful. Agree that tomorrow will be the test: City 3 are there for the taking, if we row well, and stay away from Champs 2.

Refs

* Chesterton club blog
* GPS track

More hot bumping action

I had such fun watching the last three divisions today that I’m going to bore you with yet more rowing. First, here is Corpus M1 (hello Rob!) catching Christs M2 (note cox’s hand half raised in the process of acknowledging the bump) to cement their place in division 2 and their hopes of blades tomorrow. Pembroke II look on in admiration, having bumped the brightly coloured Darwin.

DSC_7130-fri-m2-corpus-chasing-christs_crop
Continue reading “More hot bumping action”