Monday, August 29, 2011


Bonjour Amigos!

This is my post race write up from the TriCalifornia Alcatraz race.

The week leading into the race was lovely. I threw down a couple of fast bike rides, a couple of fast short runs and a couple of swims...I was as fresh as a daisy.
I got to the hotel Coventry in CA and got my key for the room...much to John Flanegans disapointment as he had no idea we sharing a room. So when my smiling face opened the door he was literally caught with his pants down haha! Just kidding, he wasn't really. And yes...for all you dirty minded individuals out there, we did have our own beds!

Anyway, enough of the trash talk and on to race day!

The weather was freezing...about mid 50's farenheit in the morning, so not actually freezing, but it felt like it. Early start down to transition, on the bus and at the ferry pick up by 6am.
We finally approached the the point out near Alcatraz island where it would seem we all dive to our deaths out at sea from the boat.
The pro's lined up on the ferry ledge and the horn blows! We're off! Straight away I slam into a wave which knocked my goggles off...'great'. Even so I was still fighting hard in the front pack. The waves were insane as they slammed us from side to side. The fog drooped over the Golden Gate bridge in the distance. I was trying to spot the 'Gold Dome' that we were supposed to swim towards 1.9km away to shore..."Where's this fricken Gold Dome?" The waves were high, the tide was strong and I couldn't see sh#t as I swam towards land. I lost the leaders, as because quite frankly, they were just faster than me. The swim was long and tough and some 30 mins later I saw the swim finish banner on land. It turns out I hadn't swam direct to the finish, but instead got pulled further out to the right. I put my head down and made my way across to the finish. I had a bad swim getting out of the the water some 4 minutes or more behind the front pack. But i was relieved to be out of there.

The long 1km run to transition felt more like 10km and I could see all the faster swimmers cycling by me as I made my way to transition...bastards. I eventually reached my biked and set out on the Kestrel 4000 with my new ENVE wheels. I rode alone for the entire ride but still got top 5 fastest bike split. I felt great on the bike and even though I was behind I had a great time smashing those hills and time trialing the flats. I made up considerable time on some of the lead swimmers.

I threw my perfect biking equipment in transition and slid my feet into my new Newton flats. Off I went. I took it easy for the first mile but felt awesome! I passed John Flangegan and ticked along nicely towards the the Golden Gate bridge. I started to feel even better and picked up the pace hard. After about three miles I made it to the famous sand ladders that everyone talks about. Being 'English' my attitude when people said the "sand ladder climb was the hardest climb in the sport" was... "right, I'll be the judge of that thank you". Well, it turns out that it really is tough. There's no chance you can run up them. It felt like the scene from Blades of Glory when they're chasing each other with ice skates on. We were racing but plodding up the hill like old people from a local nursing home.

As soon as I got back to picking up the pace again I approached the down hill wooden steps that last about 50meters. I could almost hear Brian Rhodes ahead of me and I got excited. Flying down the steps like a man posessed. Bit silly really as on the last group of stairs my foot slipped landed side ways on the step below and released a loud crack accompanied by a sharp excrutiating shooting pain. I flew into the rail to my left and a very masculine way of course! I had two miles to go, I was in money position and I needed it so bad. I regained my balance and continued to run as best as I could. I could see Rhodsey just 30 secs in front of me. I was desperate to gain that next position but the shooting pain up my leg was almost unbearable. I knew I had damaged it pretty bad, and I also knew that continuing to run on it was not the smartest thing I could do. But again, I need the money. Over the next mile I was gradually gaining on Brian just 15-20 secs in front of me. The pain hadn't worn off, each step almost made me cry...and I almost never cry, so do the math on that! I eventually met the final run shoot after two miles of the most painful run of my life. I couldn't catch Brian, he finisihed just 12 secs ahead of me. I was just glad to have made the finish line and still pick up some cash.
I immediately got assistance and made my way to the medical tent where the doctors assumed my Tibia could be broken. Hence I spent the next 4 hours in hospital getting x-rays. Everyone was amazed at my bravery in the hospital though, they never said anything, but I knew that's what they were thinking.
I was told that might not be able to fly home that which I replied "bollocks, I'm making that flight". I really wanted to see my misses Krissy. We had already been away from each other for two days and there's no way she can handle one more night away from me! She never said that either, but I knew that's how she felt...probably. She actually offered to fly to CA to see me, but I said "no babe, don't worry about little old me, I'm fine".

Good news is that the tibia wasn't broken. I just badly tore the ligaments and possible stress fracture.

Anyway, I'm getting back into cycling and swimming with a pull buoy to keep my fitness. I'm booked in to race Cancun in three weeks so lets hope things are good enough to race by then.

Thanks for reading Amigos!

Ciao for now homies.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bonjour readers.

It has been ages since I last wrote, and for some reason I have just got the urge to post a new blog whilst sitting in my hotel room in San Fransisco awaiting the onslaught of the Alcatraz race tomorrow morning.

I have my new Newton shoes in toe, my sweet Kestrel ride kitted out with brand new Enve wheels...they are as smooth as ice. So in terms of equipment everything should be spot on for a great race. My fitness??? Hmm, who knows. I was training real hard for most of the season. I was fit and lean. Then I raced Calgary 70.3 a couple of weeks back thinking I was to have the race I knew I was capable of, but instead it ended up being a real tough one and I finished up in 6th place...which was good considering the field was tough and the results were pretty close. But like all athletes, I was certainly not satisfied with my performance. I actually think it is possible to go into races too tired and even though you think you have rested up and tapered well, your body wants more. So this time there's no excuse.
I went to a wedding last week where I took four days off, and then chilled out for the rest of the time with short easy rides and short fast runs leading into this race. So take a look at my results and you'll find out whether that was a good idea or not :-/

I always struggle in really cold water, so I'm pleased to announce that the water is in the 50's farenheit for this race...thats bloody freezing so thanks for that.
The swim is gonna be fast with the likes of John Flanagan, Brian Rhodes, Brian Fleischman and Graham O'Grady, so there's a good field here tomorrow. Due to this my race strategy is to latch on to whoever I can in the swim,try to hang on for dear life for as long as possible, last it out and get ready for the tough as nails bike and run. I decided to go with the disk wheel and the ENVE front 50mm and it looks SWEEET on the Kestrel 4000! Love it! The ENVE wheels are so nice...with the DT Swiss hubs! If you wanna see a photo look at my twitter (@hadleysituation) or take a look on my FB page.

This race pays top ten which is great for any pro trying to survive in Triathlon. I actually think all races should pay top ten with more even pay outs to help out the up and comers leap into the big leagues. After you pay flights, accom and other expenses, earning a living in triathlon is hard. I don't like leaving my girlfriend Krissy back in Boulder either, so racing away had better be worth it :-)

Anyway, it should be a good day. I'll write a race report to highlight all my excuses later lol! Just kidding.

Chow for now homies


Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hey there Comrades! How is everyone?! Well it's been a long time since I wrote a blog, so I'll try to cut things down as much as poss...but there's so much to tell, it's gonna be a long one, so get comfy!!! I'll start off from Nov 2010 on my return to the UK! I had been away from home for 2.5 years struggling to be a professional triathlete making good money. However 2010 was somewhat a difficult year for me, hence I didn't quite make the grades that I had anticipated to achieve.
Things changed one day though when I got a phone call at 03:30am from my ever supportive Father who said "Jimbo! Get up, you're gonna get a call from ITV" (television channel). I repied..."what, it's 3:30am, sod that I'm going to sleep, tell them to call me at 8:30am...what's it about anyway?" He said "It's about a dating show...I've entered you for it, it's on ITV...national tv!" I was intrigued, but sleeping was still my priority. Plus I had to be up to ride 3 hrs with triathlete super star Matty Reed at 9am...and those of you that know Matty know that cycling with him is never easy. 9am came around and I got a call from ITV. I didn't even know what this show was, but it sounded fun. I wanted in. All I knew is that I had to come down a "love lift" and choose a date from 30 girls!!! Awesome! They must have thought of me when they invented this show. As it happens my days of dating are long behind me. I'm always tired from training, so my first thought was actually "cool! My sponsors are gonna love this!" Long story short, I was on the plane 2 weeks later about to embark on an exciting TV opportunity. I hadn't seen my Dad for 2 there he was at the airport. It ws a strange feeling. I felt like I was 5 years old again as I walked from baggage towards arrivals. I was so excited. I was actually going to see my parents...for real! In the flesh! Then there he was! All smiles and he must have been somewhat nervous too as he had his leather jacket on, which he reserves for special occasions. It was only when I walked up close and hugged him that I saw paint all over it...haha, oh, it's obviously not for special occasions anymore, he even wore the bloody thing painting!! It was a much needed trip. I was so happy to be at home with my family. At last I could really relax.
It's a strange feeling to be travelling for so long, sacrificing as much as you can for your career, and then all of a sudden be at home, surrounded by people that love you. I hadn't seen my Sisters little new born yet(well she's one now, so not that new). So seeing her for the first time was amazing...all in all the homecoming was emotional for me...although I didn't show it - cos I'm cool like that :-/ However, the next day I was driven to London for the show. This was exciting! I was pulled into the main studio to rehearse my scenes. I was amazed by it all. This thing called "Take Me Out" was a big deal!! Arrgh, what am I doing? We rehearsed coming down the 'love lift', saying our lines and walking to our placements in time with the music etc. I realised then how bloody nervous I was.
"Shit! This is gonna be done in front of 700 people...I hope I don't stutter!!!!" Then Paddy McGuiness showed up. For those of you that don't know him, he's a TV star in the UK...Comedian/actor, one of my faves. So to see him and talk to him in person was awesome for me. He was a great guy, friendly as well as very very professional. He has everything organised in his mind...very creative and quick thinking. The time had come for the show to start. The crew decided my hair needed sorting, so the hairstylist chopped away and blowed dryed it to look like David Copperfield. I tried to change it slightly, but got busted...not a chance, TV controls you thats for sure. I was directed out of the waiting area, walked behind the studio and I could hear the crowd going crazy! "Shit shit shit! This is real! AAAAHHH". The adrenaline was flowing like I couldn't believe. I thought "bollocks, my mouth is dry, I can't talk, this is on TV in front of 8million viewers!!! There's no way out!" I stood in the love lift above the studio for what seemed like an hour (it was only 5 mins). Then Paddy says "Single man....reveal yourself!" The music I chose (Beautiful girls by B.O.B) kicks off aloud with base to rival the boy racer cars. The lift starts to descend...with me on it. There's no turning back now. 700 of the audience were cheering with curiosity as to who I might be. The 30 girls all glared at me with wonder in their eyes...could I be the one to choose them? As I walked along strutting my stuff looking cool, I reached Paddy wth my arms in the air and turned to the girls...You could hear a pin drop in the thick, highly electified atmosphere that surrounded me."Take it away!" Paddy instructed..."Hello lovely ladies, I'm James from Weston-super-Mare!!!!!" Nerves racked my entire body, the crowd went insane, but I got the words out, and the ladies responded well. To cut a long story short, I chose a girl after 30 minutes of chatting, jumping in an icebath, and parading around in a bath robe. (You'll have to see the show if you want to know more) So my date and I got whisked off to the 'Isle of Fernando's' which is sunny and warm for our date that consisted of a yacht trip out to sea, and dinner on the coast. It was a beautiful time, but there was no romance between us despite having a great laugh...well I did. So post 'Take Me Out' adventure. Unfortunatley for me that was good and bad. Good to see my family, but bad as I knew that work awaited me like pending doom. Believe it or not, if you have a bad year in triathlon that means you have to subsidise yourself. It is hard to make ends meet in terms of money unless you get some great sponsors and some great results. For me that meant going back onto the building site for 3 months. 3 months of hard dirty graft. It's good money, but it's hard labour. This time though I was working with my Sisters fiance Steve Hancocks. We're like Bro's! So I had a great time working hard, laughing and eating bacon sarnies. We would work all week from 8am until gone 7pm. We'd be roofing (in the sodding rain), tiling (in the rain), digging trences (in the rain), laying floor, plasterboarding, studding, drilling, plumbing, you name it, we did it. Then on a Friday night it was off the Windsor Pub for some beers with the lads. Although I wasn't used to the drinking. I forgot that the English don't drink for fun, they drink to totally smash themselves up. When I first returned home I thought "I'm still gonna train when I come back". No way hosay. I was exhausted. Building work just utilised any energy I had, and to top it off my Mom begged me to play badminton with her at her club on a Tues and Thurs night. No-one likes playing with her (they don't think she's any good...just cos she can't hit the shuttle haha!) So I had to go down for support and kick some ass for her. Anyway, after 3.5 months of this I was 15lbs over race weight. I then get an email from my good friend and training buddy Matty Reed..."Hadley, are you coming with us to camp". Oh shit! I can hardly run down the shops, there's no way I'm gonna be able to train with Matty! I replied "Hey mate, I'm not sure if I'm gonna be much use to you. I been working non-stop to raise some money to come back and give it another shot in triathlon...but I'm really unfit and overweight". To which he replied "Hadley, toughen up, get your ass over here. We'll check out chicks on the beach and have a great time". Straight away I was relieved! Although concerned too as I knew then that aint gonna be no "checking out chicks on the beach!" They know me too well, this is trick to lure me into going worked. I was in Boulder 2 weeks later preparing for the onslaught that lay ahead in Hawaii. Hawaii was awesome and if you don't know the Reeds I'll tell you that they are the most generous kind hearted people that I know. This is extremely rare, and even more rare in triathlon. They help whenever they can and are truly great friends. Although Matt was tryin to drop me 2 miles out to sea. I was overweight, hadn't touched the pool to swim in about 4 months, and there we were 2 miles out to sea with Matty swimming balls out 1:10 pace. Hence my balls had dropped off out at sea a long time ago. I was absolutely on the rivet!!!! There was no way I was gonna get dropped with these Tiger Sharks just waiting to pounce on my chubby pork like layers of meat. I asked Matty once as he was laughing at the state of my fitness, "Matt, how would you feel if I actually did get eaten by a shark out there, would you feel guilty?", to which he replied "no way, I'd think thank F@&K it went for Hadley and not me". So there you have it, pure honesty haha!!! It's good fun.

Anyway, so now since coming back from Hawaii training has been great with Team Reed/Hadley. I have dropped about 12lbs since my heaviest in UK. I am fresh, clearminded and ready to rock and roll!!! The trip home was a much needed rest mentally and physically, and the TV show went wild. I am coming home to race UK70.3 where I want a top class performance from myself infront of my beloved home crowd.
I love UK and I wanna make my country supporters (if I have any) proud that I represent the GBR! I told you this was a long one, but I hope the pictures kept you entertained enough to read through it. Until the next blog fellow readers, take care! Happy days! Hadley