New: Xmas-belly-bum-phobia? Best turn up then on Saturday 29th December

Xmas-belly-bum-phobia.  Are you suffering from this devastating disorder?  It typically strikes young fit triathletes at about this time of year. So we’re ALL vulnerable!  It’s main symptom is the awful realisation that when donning one’s lycra you appear to have been sculpted by a balloon modeller from a children’s party. Except you have Ron Hill written in really BIG letters on your sausage-like legs.

Never fear fellow MVHers! There is a cure!  Saturday Dec. 29th.  Jonny Fitton’s house 9:30 am.  Bike-Run-Bike.  About 40 mins. bike to the village of Shirley, parking up bikes behind the pub.  40ish minutes of mixed terrain running through Osmaston Park.  Back on bikes. Back to JF’s house for refreshments.

This will be on unless the roads are icy, or it is dangerously wet or we are too fat.

What to bring.  Old trainers/X-country shoes. Bike lock. Rucksack.  Bin-liner for muddy gear.  Appropriate gear to keep you warm.

This is meant to be fun and we will travel as a group.  However you will feel tired and you will get muddy.  And your bum/belly might shrink.


Dale End Rd.
DE65 5FW

directions: turn up Dale End Rd. next to the King’s Head pub. in Hilton.  The house is about 100m up on the left with a long hedge and a greenhouse.  Park where you can or be cheeky and use the pub carpark.


MVH Goes Festive Training. 3 Events Planned

The holiday period over Christmas and New Year is not just a time for families and eating rituals but can also be an opportunity to escape for some Triathlon training with like minds – to maintain the balance.


This festive period, MVH Tri Club has 3 organised activities

1.  Sunday 23rd December: Activity –  Cycle:  “The Mince Pie Run”

Meet at Barton Waterfront 0900hrs.

Destination:  Belton Village Hall, Belton, Nr Loughborough, LE12 9TU.  The cycle is between 45 to 50 miles round trip.  Hundreds of cyclists from all over the area arrive at the Belton Village Hall to enjoy – yes – a mince pie but also to support The Rainbows Children’s Hospice.  Read about the Mince Pie run here.

MVH Tri will be cycling at a comfortable pace.  All welcome.

2.  Thursday 27th December:  Activity – Run and/or walk  “The Carsington Canter “

Meet at Carsington Lake Visitor Centre at 1030hrs and afterwards 1230ish at the Vernon Arms, Main Road, Sudbury, DE6 5HS

The Run:  Run the 8 mile track around Carsington Lake.  Pace for some may be a canter while others will revel in the moment, running while smiling, enjoying the scenery and catching up with the “canterers” at the end.  It’s a holiday day after all.

Families welcome to do the walk, juice, walk.  All welcome.

Afterwards, cars will be heading to the Vernon Arms for an intake of calories

3.  Saturday 29th December:  Activity – Cycle, run, cycle.  “The Shirley Stomp in the Slop”

Meet at Jonny’s place, Dale End Road, Hilton, DE65 5FW, 0930hrs

The cycle:  A short cycle route meandering to Shirley in deepest Derbyshire.   Park up the cycles, “TRAIL” running shoes on and then off around the paths, up the gentle rises, around the lake and through the occasional slop that is the delightful Osmaston Park.  About 5 miles run.  Then back on the cycle back to Jonny’s for lashings of ginger beer and biscuits with no chocolate on them.

All welcome.  A great morning out!



Who said outdoor swimming was a summer only activity?

Next time you are dithering on the poolside on a Saturday morning, spare a thought for Karen, Sam, Sian, Linda, Margaret and Sylvia who signed up for the Outdoor Swimming Society’s December Dip which took place last Saturday.

December swim

It seemed a good idea in June when the mornings were balmy and the dips in the Lavender Patch were very pleasant.  However jump forward six months to a very chilly December morning at the open air, UNHEATED, Parliament Hill Lido in north London and a few people were having second thoughts.

No reassurance was gained when we arrived to find the digital display showing water temperature at 3 degrees.  There is nothing like a bit of peer pressure and along with 420 other people we gradually stripped off to our cossies (plus the odd glove and bootee which were allowed).

The lifeguard, who swims there every day gave us some last minute advice – jump in if possible, breathe out long and slow (just in case we forgot!), and get dressed as soon as possible afterwards.

We let the first wave go so we could gauge the reactions of the first swimmers.  Most seemed quite exhilarated so we made our way poolside for Wave 2.  Two widths – thats all we had to do – the fact that a width is 28m made it a bit more of a challenge though.

Countdown and we were in – it is so cold that you can’t actually tell how cold you are – your skin just goes numb.  First width done then on the return you just start slowing down, even though you think you are still swimming the same rate.   Straight out – photos taken as proof – and into a warm shower and layers and layers of clothes.

Now for the science bit – apparently your body sends the warm blood out to your extremities to warm you up which is why you don’t feel the cold to start with.  The cold blood then returns to the core which is why you start to shiver five to ten minutes after you get out.  Strange sensation.

“Glass of ginger wine, coffee and mince pie all help to warm that core back up though”

December fancy dress

It was quite a long way to go to swim less than 2 minutes but if you are down that way next December its worth a try.

They also offer the Arctic Challenge which is 2 lengths (thats 60m lengths by the way).

And just in case you have any spare time there is a prize for the best dressed swimmer.  The guy who won this year only “wore” stick on scales and a scallop shell!

Go on – you know you want to!!

Sylvia (if I can do it – you can) Franklin