Thursday, 20 September 2012

Who's that man?


That was the question many people were asking when the Manchester Tri Club vest was spotted on the start line at the North Wales cross-country championships in Corwen last January and then at the North Wales 10 in Wrexham.

 The answer was Paul Hawkins - and he surprised many by finishing eighth in Corwen and sixth in Wrexham.

 Last week Paul, who hails from Chirk, was the first Welshman home in the Tenby Ironman Tri, finishing 11th overall in 9-23.25.

 After leaving school Paul joined the Royal Marine Commandos but left the army in 2005, going on to qualify as a personal trainer. In January this year he gave it up to become a professional triathlete and has chalked up quite a few successes.

 He is renowned for his relentless training, which is where his Commando background come in useful.

 In fact his motto is: "Pain is a sensation; sensations are there to be enjoyed". Need one say more?


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Is Black the New White?


Wearing black seems to be fashionable. Black is great for that slinky little number or the “dress to impress” business suit. But on the road it is not. That is why road workers, breakdown drivers, police and people who work in busy factories and yards all wear yellow HiVis. On the railways they always wear red because its easier to see in daylight.

How often do you see runners and cyclist out in their trendy gear; black tops, black tracksters, black trainers, black bike, black helmet. Very smart but almost invisible to drivers, even daylight. And then to add to the mix, listening to music on headphones so you can’t hear the traffic either.

I witnessed two cyclist nearly knocked off their bikes by a car recently. The driver did not look properly before pulling out of the side road, but with the sun in his eyes the cyclists were not easy to see; dressed head to toe in black with black bikes and helmets. Fortunately no-body was hurt but it could have been very different. gives the following advice to cyclists, walkers and runners: -
  1. light-coloured or fluorescent clothing that helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light
2.     reflective clothing and/or accessories, like a belt or arm/ankle bands, in the dark
The brighter your clothes, the more chance other road users will have of seeing you. Red is probably best in daylight. Fluorescent yellow colours are best for higher visibility in the dark, preferably with wide reflective strips.
Please think before you go out running on the road. Even in daylight you need to wear colours that can be seen. Now that evenings are getting darker, and even the light in daytime is poor you need to be extra vigilant.

Rob Mackey (Buckley Runners)