01 Mar 2015

Blokfest Round 5 – Mile End

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Another Blokfest season has now been and gone in what seems like the blink of an eye. Each event seems to get better and this final round in Mile End was no exception.

The standard of the blocs and people competing was extremely high and after being thoroughly tested in the qualification round I made it through to finals and was super psyched.

I was out first which is always a mixed blessing and fell of the last move of bloc 1 twice, a few of the others topped it so I knew it was going to be a real battle from then on out.

Bloc two was a techy mess which suited me well and I managed to flash it and put myself back into contention. Unfortunately Bloc 3 was my anti style involving a sideways run dyno thing and it took me a number of attempts to figure out how to do it. After that I missed a crucial hold twice on the head wall and failed to top.

Matt C crushed everything in the final and took top place on the podium, a huge congrats to him :-) Louise P came also cam a very close second by one attempt.

As this was the last event there was also the overall championship to be decided and after a very close call I managed to swoop in for my third consecutive series win ahead of Aiden ‘The future’ Roberts.

Full series results can be found here.

I can’t wait to see what the Blokfest crew have planned for next year :-)

17 Jan 2015

Blokfest Round 4 – TCA bristol

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A good qualifying round then nightmare of a final for me. Awesome effort from Hamish and Tom who smashed the second bloc and topped the podium.

13 Dec 2014

Blokfest Round 3 – The Castle

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As usual the highlight round of the season so far. A fantastic comp in probably the best centre in the South.

I had a wobbly qualification round getting through to the final in 5th (last possible) place but then came joint 1st in the final flashing 2/3 of the climbs. Unfortunately due to my wobblyness in the qualification I ended up 3rd overall.

Still great fun with an amazing atmosphere in the finals, next up Bristol.

02 Dec 2014

Blocbuster 2014 – Nottingham Depot

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I recently competed at a fantastic event up at the Depot Nottingham called Blocbuster. It was a really fun day with a 30 problem qualification tour and world cup style finals, with such a strong field it was super close but I managed to win both rounds and take the overall victory.

I’m rubbish at writing these blogs turning them more into diaries of self loathing so I recommend reading a great write up and report on UK Climbing here – http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=69342 

I particularly enjoyed the “Dropped the clutch and engaged the hammer straight to the top” line :-)

 

28 Oct 2014

The Big Flash, Norwich

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My first time to Norwich and a fantastic trip it was, although disappointingly no sign of my namesake Alan, I didn’t get to see the pedestrianisation of the city centre and not a single person flashed me.

Despite the above the comp itself was amazing, so much so that I had one local tell me that ‘this was the best thing to ever happen to the city’. The team at Highball put on an amazing show and with huge efforts being put into every aspect.

The result was an incredible final which I was thrilled to be part of. A fumble on the tricky slab the only thing stopping me from keeping pace with the top two but very pleased to finish up 3rd in a tough lineup.

A full (and better) report is available here; http://highballclimbingnorwich.com/news/34/23/THE-BIG-FLASH-2014.html

A big thanks to all the Highball crew for making me feel welcome.

22 Jun 2014

British Bouldering Championships 2014

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This year the British Bouldering Championships was held on 21/22nd June at The Climbing Works in Sheffield. During the event, over 100 of Britain’s best boulderers fought it out for the chance to become British Champion.

As a competition climber this is the biggest domestic event of the year and one which I always want to do well in. I had made finals for the previous 6 years; coming 3rd twice, this year I wanted to do better.

After analysing my performances from the competitions last year I identified a number of areas I wanted to focus my training on to achieve this goal and in February I built a training wall in my garage. Going into the event the board had paid dividends and I felt stronger than ever.

I had a great qualification round topping all 5 of my boulders qualifying in joint 1st place for the next round. Day 2 and the semi finals came around quickly, having qualified in 1st I was due to climb last I spent my time in isolation resting and trying to relax. After an hour or so of napping I got up to start my warm up and felt a pain in my back, surely this couldn’t be happening? After a few minutes of stretching I knew that my worst fears had come true and my lower back had gone out of alignment and I couldn’t touch my toes.

I quickly sourced some pain relief and set about warming up, this did not go well and I felt terrible. Time passed and I thought about pulling out, I wanted to do well and with the level of competition knew that I would need to be on my A game. I then though back to the months leading up and decided that I owed it to myself to at least try, if it wasn’t manageable then I could still retire during the event.

  • Boulder one was a tricky slab and I simply could not figure out the required movement and body position to execute it until it was too late.
  • Boulder two was a shouldery first section leading into a friction dependent volume finish, I read it right and flashed it.
  • Boulder three was pure sloper compression up a steep wall and whilst I read it right after a few attempts I did not have enough in the tank and swang off the finishing jug. I knew from crowd reactions that two climbs were required to qualify for the final and thought that with this mistake I had blown it.
  • Boulder four, an awkward starting position leading to a dyno and steady finish. I knew I had to do it quickly to stand any chance of qualifying but slipped off holding the dyno first try, I regrouped and fired it off next try.

I turned around to Victoria in the crowd and got the nod that I had made it through to finals qualifying in 4th place, elation was an understatement. During the break before finals I managed to get some treatment for my back and reset it ready for finals, game on.

I’m not sure if it was the heat, fatigue or style of problems but the finals were much more subdued than in previous years. Dave Barrans however made a mockery of all the climbs dominating things from the start topping all four climbs, Matt Cousins and I then topped two climbs each locking out the podium.

After my problems in the semi final I was relieved that I made it through to the end in one piece and equaling my best result to date.

 

 

 

16 Mar 2014

Climbing Works International Festival 2014

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It is, arguably, the biggest UK climbing competition of the year. International climbing prodigies and seasoned veterans with guns to rival the Navarone travel from far and wide to take part. It was a fantastic weekend and I managed to finish up 11th overall out of a large international field and just missing out on finals.

01 Dec 2013

Blokfest Reading

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Nice little highlights video of the finals for the Reading round of Blokfest. I felt really good in isolation for the finals but crumpled like a paper bag when it came to it. Really frustrating as the blocs climbed really well, on the plus side no-one else topped a bloc so not all bad. Apparently I did however win the ‘Funky Shape’ award which you can check out at the 20 second mark in the video. Felt OK to me…

16 Nov 2013

Westway Blokfest

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Awesome video from Kamil Daniel Jutkiewicz of the Westway event. Kamil is the nicest guy in the world and has done a very impressive job here so be sure to check out his blog/ website. www.sports-travel-documentary.blogspot.com. If your loving Kamil’s work please share the video.

It was a great event as always and although I got the same result as Chris Webb Parsons in the final; came second due to count back from the qualifiers overall. Still was really pleased with my performance.

09 Nov 2013

Craggy island Boulder Bash 2013

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Craggy’s infamous Boulder Bash made a come-back this year.  The competition was held at Craggy Sutton on Saturday 9th of November. Awesome event and managed to get a good result :-)