Top Barn 2013 – FRIDAY 1PM UPDATE – Duathlon instead & Start times

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Jun 272013

Hi everyone

It is with a great deal of regret from all involved that we are going to have to cancel the swim element of the Top Barn Triathlons and make the race a Duathlon. We have posted on the website and also emailed all competitors to let them know. Please keep checking here for updates.

The cancellation of the swim is due to a parasitic infection in the water which has caused some swimmers to suffer discomfort afterwards. We have sought advice from the Environment Agency, who have confirmed that this it is not serious and does not infect humans but there are some uncomfortable side effects. These can affect everyone to varying degrees or some not at all and there are measures that can be taken to mitigate the affects straight after you train. However, we as the organising club of these races are responsible for the safety and welfare of those racing and we are simply not prepared to take risks of this nature and it is neither safe nor practical to insist on these in the confines of a race. This unfortunately is the nature of swimming in open water and this is the first time we are aware that this has happened.

We are therefore going to hold a run around the edge of the lake to spread out the field prior to the usual bike and run course in the following formats:

Sprint – 2 laps ran around the lake (total approx 1 mile), then the races will then continue as normal

Double – 1 lap of the 5km run course, then the races will then continue as normal

Triple – 2 laps of the lake, 1 lap of the 5km run course (totalling 4.2 miles), then the races will then continue as normal

Final confirmation will from part of the Pre-Race Briefing, so please make sure you are there and understand the revised course.

We appreciate that many people will be disappointed in this and rest assured it is our biggest race of the season and we share your feelings. However, safety is our paramount concern.

In order to answer inevitable questions some may have about refunds we would remind you that the terms and conditions of the race were included on Entry Central and in the confirmation email you received once you had entered. We endeavour to put on the best race possible but sometimes circumstances are out of our control, in this case, the quality of water at the venue we hire. We are offering a suitably challenging alternative race, as indeed happens at all levels including international and age group racing around the world. We will not be refunding any race fees for athletes not wanting to race this year and who do not want to swop to another Worcester Tri Club race.

Should be of the mind not to compete, we will withdraw you from the race and roll your place over  into next year’s race at Top Barn. If you want to do this, please let us know by 7pm on Saturday evening by sending an email to It will take us a while to work through these so please bear with us, it will take a good few days to make all the changes but rest assured you will not lose your entry fee or a chance to enter next years race.

If you want to enter another Worcester Tri Club race such as Droitwich, this will be subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis. Again, please drop us an email and we will work through these. Swops between different races take even longer so it will take us 1-2 weeks to sort this out. Again, we ask that you bear with us and we will get there and again, you will not lose your race fee.

We have reviewed the timings of the race and the provisional race lists are available here for downloading – click for the right one – sprint – doubletriple.

The prize categories are stated here, along with the likely prizes to go with them.

We will also be very flexible with the registration opening times, so that if you are racing later you will not have to register by 8am. If you have raced with us before you will know that we are very accommodating with swopping and changing over and we will keep registration open as long as it needs to be but you will have to bear with us as we have been inundated with requests.

See you Sunday for the inaugural Top Barn Duathlons.

Worcester Tri Club

Upton Warren open water OPEN Saturday 29th June

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Jun 272013

At last some good news. We have had the all clear for swimming at Upton Warren so will be running a session Saturday 29th June. Usual costs times etc which are detailed under the training / swim pages.

Always check the website for updates.

Top Barn Triathlon 2013 – Race Information

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Jun 262013

Hi everyone,

Well it’s only a couple of days until Top Barn and things are turning out nicely, we have the prizes on their way, the weather is improving and there are still entries rolling in to fill the remaining spaces.

We are cutting off the race entries at 3pm tomorrow (Thursday) so that we have time to organise the waves tomorrow evening and then the wave numbers, times and your race numbers will appear here shortly afterwards.

The race instructions are included here – many thanks to our Graphics Designer, Anita at Neet Studios (Worcester) for making them look nice! The map for the swim is also linked here so you understand the swim route

We will also publish details of what times we will register on Saturday evening. Our large troop of marshalls are also being mobilised ready for the race so we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Happy racing,

Worcester Tri Club


Idroman triathlon report?

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Jun 252013

Michelle Parsons racing for Team Tri UK in Northern Italy on Sunday returned victorious from the aptly named Terrible Triathlon or Idroman Triathlon winning the female race in an overall time of 6 hours 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Normally a time like that wouldn’t see a win but on that course and in extremely hot conditions (mid 30s) the six hour endurance effort was yet another impressive performance from the Worcester Triathlon Club member.
The race started at 7.30am with a 1900m two lap swim in the picturesque lake at Idro. Michelle emerged from the water in 8th position pleased to be out of water and to be getting on the bike for what was heralded as the toughest half ironman bike course in the world. Her swim of 42 minutes and 36 seconds left her trailing the leader, Alessandra Boifava from Italy, by almost 8 minutes.
The bike course was 86km and included a massive 2920m of climbing. The route saw the climb out of Idro to a town Capovale and then descend down to the beautiful lake Garda before turning round and climbing back up to a different town called Perone before dropping down again and climbing back up to Capovale, including a 15% climb, and down again to Idro and the lake where transition was sited. Michelle gradually worked her way through the field eventually getting to second place. The Boifava had managed to keep her lead but the margin was reduced to just over 4 minutes as they started to run. Not surprisingly the run was fairly flat with 4 laps alongside the lake but after such an horrendous bike section – Michelle recorded the fastest female bike split of the day in 3.36.51 – her running legs would be tested as she attempted to catch Boifava.
After two laps the lead had been halved and then on the third lap Michelle made a huge effort to catch which she did with just 5km of the 21.2km remaining. She overtook and didn’t look back in the end taking a further 90 seconds lead on the lady of the four laps to maintain her unbeaten half ironman record in Italy.

Her next race will be the Challenge Roth iron distanced triathlon in July before looking to return to the international Powerman series of races in August.

Half Ironman ‘Ragley Hall’ Relay Winners

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Jun 252013

The day started with a text from ‘Daysey’ stating he would be arriving in a bright yellow Audi and he would be clearly visible.  I was not sure I would spot him though as I assumed his white teeth would blind me in the early morning mist.  On the other hand, he thought me turning up in a black Dodge Nitro and shiny red trackie bottoms was a sign I might gun down all our fellow competitors.

We arrived and as we chilled waiting to go down to the start line, I was feeling confident despite being part of a few swim training sessions during the last couple of weeks where teenagers had made me look more jellyfish than shark.

First bouy and in the lead, my world was shattered by what was a torpedo (thought he must have been wearing fins!).  It turned out he was an ‘ordinary ex-national standard’ swimmer turned coach who puked three times afterwards in transition.   The next one passed a few minutes later.  In third, Martin Brunt from 220 Magazine, also took me.   This time, I decided to hang on despite feeling I was going to throw up.  With two more laps to go, it was a decent pace, and Martin’s feet was where was I at…unfortunately.

Fortunately, Carl, doing the bike section had other thoughts.  He nailed it.  Into first place within minutes, the 2.5 hrs was done without much ado (ha ha…like a 56m bike into wind is easy).  Carl was back into T2 with an outrageous lead.  Despite his efforts, one week after an excellent IM UK 70.3 finish, I missed it as I was ‘recovering’ from a very hard 30 min swim in the massage tent!

So onto Daysey.  Despite having a ridiculous lead and Challenge Roth (best Ironman in Europe) in a few weeks time, he easily nailed the half marathon (hilly and off-road) in 1.26.51   That takes a particular positive mind-set (and fitness!) although Carl and I did question it for a while after Daysey decided to stop after lap 1 (just over 4 miles!!) to drink electrolytes.  Really.  Les Bailey, who on a mountain bike was the race leader guide for Daysey, must have nearly had a heart-attack with his old skool thoughts on not needing a drink to finish a full marathon.
2 quick laps later and BOOM….Daysey had brought it home.

Worcester Triathlon had won the relay easily and Carl and I tasted our first ever victories. Daysey on the other hand probably has a trophy cabinet bigger than Chrissie Wellington.

European Triathlon Championship Results

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Jun 202013

Ellen Hemsworth – 6th in age group in female 25 – 29 sprint distance race. Time: 1:12.27

Rachel Ward – 9th in age group in female 50 – 54 Olympic distance race. Time:  2:49

Wimbleball 70.3 race report by Rick Sharp

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Jun 202013

Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball 16 June.

I started the swim about a third of the field back from the front on the second wave of starters. This turned out to be a bad decision as having been punched, dragged under and kicked I then pushed left and swam in clear water on the outside to stay out of trouble. This resulted in a 40 minute swim for the 1900 metres which was a little disappointing.

This was followed by the long uphill run into transition and out on to the extremely hilly rain soaked bike course. Further disappointment followed with issues with my rear cassette not selecting the large ring causing major issues on the steepest of climbs. In order to turn the wheels I had to force the pedals down whilst pulling on the handlebars to create enough force to turn the wheels. Not the most ideal preparation for the run! With the mechanical issue and a decision not to kill myself on some quite frankly disturbing wet downhill sections having come rather too familiar with a hedge at the bottom of one, I covered the bike course in another disappointing time of 4 hours (56miles).

Onto the run, I initially felt ok and settled in to my own pace. A possible combination of gel overload / lake water ingestion from my earlier near drowning incident resulted in an unwanted visit to the portaloos! Thankfully it was clean, not that I’d have had any choice!

The extra exertion on the bike eventually took its toll and I had to walk at the feed-stations and on the steeper inclines, which were now, due to the rain just a mud bath.

In the end as Tim Don was probably buckling his seatbelt for his flight back to Boulder, a finishing time of 7hrs 26mins in my first half distance Ironman race which felt like a real test of endurance. Some valuable lessons were learned and I am looking forward to the next longer challenge which should be the Outlaw next July.

Cotswold Middle Distance Triathlon Report by Adam Jackson

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Jun 182013

Race date: 16/6/13 Distance: 1.9/90/21

The Cotswold Middle Distance Triathlon has gone all metric with its distances so you can interpret the 113 as a 70.3 half Iron distance.  Leaving Worcester at 4 am it certainly felt like there was a long day ahead, though entering transition at 5am it felt more like morning rush hour, only everyone had very very nice bikes and silly helmets.
The weather was threatening to dampen the race but luckily the rain never really broke through and the wind was modest.  I spent most of the bike leg second guessing whether the wind was a help or a hindrance and only got rained on when I sat down to a bacon and egg sandwich at the end.
In the swim all hell broke loose and not being a strong swimmer, I was caught in the carnage of the main pack as we raced around the lake.  It was a miracle that my goggles stayed on and as I left the water in 32:49, a whole 159 places down, I was relieved to have survived. The bike leg was a slog, 2 laps around a very flat course with only a small ‘lump’ of a hill for amusement as aerobars and disc wheels lost any meaning for a short period of time. The route was scenic and the double back and loop out made spectating great, even if it muddled up the pack as all the waves jumbled together.
A 2:15:37 bike split put me up with the front runners, feeling good going into the run having happily kept a high cadence on the bike and eaten/drunk enough calories to keep a small family going for the day.  The run was a three loop course around Cotswold Water Parks, again very scenic and very flat.  There were loads of spectators and my grimaces prompted some encouragement from the crowd as I rounded for the last lap.  at this stage the wheels were truly falling off and I struggled to keep my pace but conscious that because I was now truly mixed up amongst Lap 1 and Lap 2 runners, I wouldn’t know when someone was attacking my position.  There was loads of opportunity to grab High 5 nutrition as bottles, gels, bars or just fruit.  Nice to see lots of volunteers helping out including the kids who were very good at persuading me to take their energy gels.
A very shaky sprint finish to the line and I was all done, relieved that it was over.  My run time of 1:24:41 earned me an early appointment with a lovely female masseur before the ‘crowds’ arrived. Despite being 3rd across the line some impressive runs from athletes in subsequent waves put me into 5th overall and 2nd in Cat with a total time of 4:14:52, a result that I was very pleased with!
I would definitely recommend the Cotswold 113 as it was well organised and makes you look very fast, especially if you don’t like hills.  Roll on Helvellyn in September which we be a whole different challenge!