Dave’s Team GB Report

Team GB 70.3 European championships. Ibiza October 2018

Here is my race report to hopefully inspire club members to give team GB events a try.

Where it all started:

My race began with qualifying via Vichy 70.3 Ironman race in 2017,

I was contacted by another UK athlete who said i should apply as I’d finished top 4 UK entrants and was within 110% of winners time, (this is how you qualify) my thoughts initially were that it’s not for me, but chats with mum and children convinced me to sign up ,

The first shock was £300.00 entry fee!! however after feeling inspired by my children I was soon ordering my new TEAM GB kit, this is compulsory to wear for team GB races.

Another bad point the kit although not cheap! has a looking like market stall quality !

Now most won’t have this complication but was it a yes or no to having my surname on kit ! Poland next to a Union Jack 🇬🇧!

My Training Plan:

Next step the difficult part of starting a training  regime which was swiftly halted by a torn calf muscle at the first event of season ( 7oaks Tri )  but on the plus side i won the raffle for a lovely new pair of trainers to sit on the shelf!

The next race Grafman 70.3 in Nr Cambridge (you will hear more about this event in Brian Downtons Race report coming in January) this race was go to be a big test of the calf!!

Swim GREAT! T1 EASY! BIKE NO PROBLEM! RUN O OH! one mile into the run the dreaded calf stops play and it’s time to sit on the wall-and cheer on Dan, Craig and Brian to good performances,   Dan does actually exist !

Race week:

Swiftly the race approaches which is more than can be said about my training but before I know it I’m at Gatwick with my family team, and lots of team GB athletes in team tracksuits.

Ibiza : We arrive and with the bike which is always a bonus with EasyJet and settle into beach life and the compulsory 4 day carb loading programme. The temperature is a lovely 80 degrees and this race malarkey seems fine!

I manage to speak with Chris Childs who has raced the Duathlon already and get warned of “ not the best race organisation”.

I’m now in the Team briefing and race registration and again this adds to reality, I’m seeing many headless chickens and daft questions with the weather reports of thunder storms predicted for race day. Hello it 80degress and Ibiza!

So then I’m off to bike shop the evening before the race to change tyres and fix my broken electronic gear cable, I am sure i checked all these things?


Race morning:

After a full nights sleep (who am i kidding) i wake up to torrential rain and huge thunder and lightning storm but head off to beach for my stare down with Rat island which is the turn point of the swim leg ,this is where I find Mike Abousolem shivering. (with the cold not nerves i must add)

We then are told that some roads are closed due to flooding and news that the race is postponed due to lightning, so off for lunch in wetsuit, not recommended!

Finally race sets off and before I know it I’ve negotiated Rat island and find myself in race lead for my age group, T1: wetsuits off in freezing conditions and with no extra clothing allowed over the tri suit!  the bike leg starts with first 22k up a mountain and I’m soon passed by a few as horrendous conditions take their toll and i witness many crashes on the country lanes,

Finding my way back to T2: to spend mins searching for run kit bag as they are in a huge pile and with scenes reminiscent of a WWF! match to find the correct kit .

I then set of onto the half marathon, this consisted of four laps of the harbour and four times through the castle which unfortunately contains many ramps and steps! thinking about the dreaded calf all the time,  but my personal support and the many others cheering Team GB soon lift your spirits and you get a taste of being a Brownlee brother and nostalgia aids tired legs.

Unfortunately i see Mike on the run looking wounded and he informs me he had crash on the bike section,( i can remember feeling completely gutted for him) i push on and start to see some of the para team racing which I cannot put into words , these athletes are truly awesome and this has resulted in me taking part in coaching of Team GB visually impaired athletes at London aquatics centre,

Finally as darkness sets in the finish line is in sight and I have my team running along side me for last kick of 200 metres, FINISHED! (calf intact).


Final result 14th but more importantly a new hunger for racing and determination for better results next season. (inspite of the negatives TEAM GB gets a thumbs up).

Team GB is fun and with so many different race distances and disciplines it a great experience which is more achievable than you would think ,

I am more than happy to help anyone along the route to TEAM GB, just ask whether it be Training, Race or general advice.

Thanks for reading.


David Poland: Dartford and Whiteoak Coach and Team GB age group qualifier.





  1. Great report, Dave, and thanks for the mention! You guys did it tough in those conditions so well done to you and Mike.

    Like you, I’m happy to provide what I can to club members who are looking to qualify for Team GB. Travelling to nice places is fun!

  2. Good read Dave. Another one feeding my ambitions to make a team.

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