Dan Wilson

DAN WILSON ---- Professional Athlete ---- Part-time Wordsmith

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Soliloquy Of The Stigmatised Scandinavian

Evening friends. This edition is brought to you, once again, by the much appreciated free wifi at Hong Kong airport, thus neatly bookending my European sojourn in the same fashion in which it was initiated. Stockholm was the last stop on the European calendar, and given the Scandinavian’s ability to produce a litany of avant-garde musicians, I was keen to check the place out, and half expected to see a Viking brandishing a guitar on each corner. Whilst this didn’t come to fruition, nor did I see the lads from Amon Amarth (Stockholm’s finest - listen to soundtrack of visuals below), Stockholm remained a sublime host - easily the most pick-n-mix friendly town in the world (not the foremost of the towns charms, but appreciated none-the-less).

Having escaped without much attention in my last few swims, the laws of probability kicked in, and I battled though the swim, coming out a little off the pace. The bike course showed a somewhat more neoteric slant than most ITU circuits, and comprised of roughly 60% cobblestones, 39% corners over white lines, and 1% really easy, smooth, flat roads. I relished the idiosyncratic terrain, and worked well with ITU hard men Gemmell, Gomez, Riederer, Chabrot and Justus to ride away from the second pack, and come within a bad-transitions-length of the lead bunch. Out on two feet, and I moved the best I have in some time, getting closer to ‘running’ and further away from ‘fighting in running shoes’ to move through to 10th, with star-of-the-future Aaron Royle racing well in 11th. 

From here, I’m heading for an Asian Tour of Duty. I have a training base in South Korea, and races in China, followed by Tongyeong and Yokohama, before finally arriving home in October. Asia could be a test of both my palate and patience, so feel free to send me an email, as I could be craving some English conversation...

Check out the video of the Stockholm course below, taken during the Team Sprint race. Sadly, there’s not too much action going on behind me, but it may give you an idea of the course. Just imagine Gemmell pulling faces at the camera for a rough representation of Saturday’s race. 

Take care friends,


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hamburg, Huez, and Horrible Singing

Welcome friends. Firstly, you are currently back in the hands of your wonted author, following the welcome and capable alliteration of the previous blog. 
Secondly, this happened. 

Commissioned by AIS head coach to write a song to pay tribute to our London team, this was our farewell and goodbye to the lads and ladettes before they headed off to the Old Dart to kick some posterior.  Briefly postulating on a 30 minutes post-metal jam, I decided convention would be a percipient approach, and with a nod to Bob Dylan’s story telling ballads, gave a cheap shot and a pat on the back to each of the team. Certainly not for anyone who enjoys proficient singing, however, if you know the guys personally, you might get some of the in-jokes. 
Thirdly, I have been doing that which I purport to be my career i.e. racing. Kicking off 2 weeks ago now in my first World Tri Series race of the year. Still aware of a gaping hole where my running form should be, I was a tad pessimistic (or realistic) as to how I would hold up in such strong company, but keen to sink my metaphorical teeth in the the Schnitzel of Triathlon the only the Hamburg race can provide. Thus, with one eye on getting a little head start onto the run, and another eye much more firmly focussed on the sweet $10 000 US bike prime, attack was the order of the day after a relatively calm swim and first 5 km of the bike. Quickly joined by a strong ANZAC alliance of Clark Ellice and Courtney Atkinson, and later by (excuse my lack of a more elloquent superlative) a bloody strong Reinaldo Colucci, we forged out almost 30 seconds by the end of the bike. ‘Almost’ 30 seconds, as distinct from ‘actually’ 30 seconds, as the more astute of you may have noticed. 3 seconds short of sharing 10 grand between the four of us, I quickly discovered exactly how long 5 km feels, and faded throughout the run, but was reasonably content with my effort and progression. 

Then, on 4 days of recovery, myself and AIS dietician and age group World Champ from 2009 Greg Cox, made the pilgrimage down to the mythical Alpe d’Huez Triathlon, a monument of a race known to be tougher than a 2 cent steak. Coxy and I had an arrangement, if he beat me we’d swap professions, I’d pick up the calipers and Coxy would finish the season in my race suit. Given that Coxy is quite an athlete, and had been cagier than a fox about his training, the 2 hour road trip was filled with more banter than a year 5 school lunch time. 
Fortunately for the Aussie teams future dietetic advice, I was able to get over Coxy, as well as the rest of the field, as the tough swim/bike suited my training, and I rolled into T2 over 6 minutes ahead of the field. Running after climbing Alpe d’Huez, and at over 2000m, actually didn’t feel too bad, and I finished the day over 7 mins in front, to win one of the most idiosyncratic races I’ve ever done, and Coxy had a strong race to finish top 15.  Seriously folks, if you’re ever in the Alps in July, check out the Tour, and then race the Alpe d’Huez triathlon, you won’t regret it, there is no race like it on earth. Hell of a race, and hell of a trip with Coxy, who is always a delight to hang out will, although throwing a stein of beer on me post race didn’t do too much to endear himself to me…

From here, another 3 weeks till ITU Stockholm, a new jaunt on the ITU circuit, pretty excited to check it out!
Finally good luck to our Olympians! Emma Jackson, Erin Densham, Emma Moffatt, Courtney Atkinson, Brad Kahlefeldt and Brendan Sexton. Started getting nervous for those guys as we saw them off from Aix this week!
Take care friends,