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Slate and Soya

23 May


First triathlon of the year for the boys, first spectator event for me. It was the Snowdonia Slateman in and around Llanberis last weekend. A quick dip in the icy Llyn Padarn, an undulating cycle round and about, followed by a sunny sprint up and down the local slate quarry. It did look fun, but I had to settle for ringing my chain reaction cycles cow-bell for all I was worth to cheer on the athletes. Well done one and all!


Seeing as I was in a support role I provided baked goods for the weekend, a pear & chocolate upside down pudding to fortify the troops the evening before, and the delectable Dan Lepard’s soya and linseed loaf for breakfast. Mr Bakes and I have been big fan of Vogel’s soya and linseed bread for many a moon, until we discovered we could make our own, with Dan’s recipe. Seriously, if you like Vogel, you’ll love this. Try it!

All these swims that I’ve swum

24 Jan

Snowy London Fields Lido

The swims of 2012 can be categorised in many ways. The cold ones, the really cold ones, the flippin freezing ones, river, sea, lake, long, short, salty, crystal clear, murky, races, training sessions, wetsuited, swim suited, (sadly no birthday suited), quick dip, marathon, honeymooning, even pre-wedding. But each one can all be filed under the following; fun, revitalising, invigorating and addictive.

hive beach wedding swim

Hive beach, Dorset. Pre-wedding, swim suited, quick dip, salty, freezing.

doom bar swimming padstow

Doom Bar, Padstow. Honeymooning, wetsuited, salty, training, very cold.

Treyarnon Bay

Treyarnon Bay tidal pool. Honeymooning, wetsuited, crystal clear, salty, very cold.

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

Hampstead Heath ladies pond. Swim suited, frequent, leisurely, cold.

Ouse Nice Tri Swim

Ouse River, St Neots. Wetsuited, race, murky, be-swanned, lurgy filled. Thanks to Glidergoth for use of the photo.

Lake Bala Tri Swim

Lake Bala. Race, wetsuited, twice in 2 days.

Llangollen Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon, Llangollen. Flippin freezing, wetsuited followed by swimsuited, crystal crystal clear, deep.

tooting bec lido

Tooting Bec Lido. Wetsuited and/or swimsuited, training, Thorpe watching.

Dart 10k swim start

River Dart, Totnes to Dittisham. Very cold, wetsuited, race, marathon, salty, murky, choppy, squelchy.

St Margaret's bay swimming

St Margerets Bay, nr Dover. Swim suited, quick dip, channel aspirational.

Marlow swim

River Thames, nr Marlow. Wetsuited, race, busy.

Thames Hampton Court

River Thames, Hampton Court to Kingston, very very very fast current, wetsuited, race.

Snowman tri swim

Lake Mymbyr, Capel Curig. Race, wetsuited, flippin freezing, busy. Thanks again to Dave Johnson for the photo.

What does 2013 hold? More of the same, I hope!

Frosty The Snowman

18 Oct


Last weekend saw the final race of the year for me & Mr Cakes – the inaugural Snowman Triathlon run by Always Aim High Events. Brrr, sounds chilly, no? Gingerly stepping into Lake Mymbyr for the swim it certainly was, but we weren’t given much time to get in and worry about it before the starting hooter honked. The water was 11 degrees, they said, chilliest swim yet this year.

Big sis and Big-bro-in-law were our support team for the weekend. Dave, of the wonderful Dave Johnson’s Photography documented the weekend, all the photos here are his. Good, yes?

Swim over, and I couldn’t feel my feet. I shouted as much to Big sis as I ran tried to run into transition. The longest transition of the year followed; socks on, tights on, jacket on, drink, eat, gloves on, sunglasses, helmet, race belt, don’t forget your bike, and try to squeeze out of transition and onto the road.



Naturally, it didn’t take long for Mr Cakes to overtake me on the bike leg, with a shout of “Come on 42!” We’ll meet again, I thought. And we did, just before he almost disappeared down a bog halfway up Moel Siabod. Yep, a fell run on this tri. It had been billed as probably the hardest run route on any triathlon in the UK. Ouch! This was not to be our most successful outing.

It was , however, the prettiest. The glassy lake, the picturesque cycle through Betws-y-Coed and past the Llanwrst tea room, covered in autumnal ivy, and the view from the top of Moel Siabod. My favourite part of the race? Stopping to pat the little husky at the top of the mountain. The marshalls, spectators, and other competitors cheering us on really made the race a good ‘un.

And thank goodness for Big sis who’d made suitably themed Tri-fle cupcakes for afterwards. We needed them, and they were ruddy good too.

Fellow blogger Rosemary over at Planet Byde did rather well, coming 3rd in the ladies race. Read all about it here!

And now, time to plan next year. I’m already gagging to perfect fell running. Slateman Triathlon anyone?