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.


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


The mighty DeutschlandAchter.


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:


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.


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 🙂


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.


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.


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…


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