Nixie Qualifies for GBR

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Jun 202015

Worcester Triathlon Club junior Nixie Turner has qualified to represent Great Britain in the 2015 European Youth Relay Championships in Banyoles, Spain on 26 July by finishing in fifth place at the Blenheim Triathlon which this year acted as the qualifying event.

A strong 400m swim saw Turner emerge second from the water in just over five minutes and she then led for much of the technical 13.2km cycle leg, dropping all but two other athletes and completing the stage in 23.29 minutes.

Turner soon settled in to third place on the 3.1km run leg as strong runners Kate Waugh and Olivia Mathias pulled away from her and despite being passed by fellow West Midlands Triathlon Academy member Caitlin Roper she seemed destined for fourth place until a fantastic run by Scotland’s Erin Wallace just pushed her back to fifth in a total time of 45.23 compared to Waugh’s winning time of 44.04.

Great Britain will be sending two teams of three to the Championships plus two travelling reserves so the first eight finishers all qualified. After the race Turner, who is now sponsored by Echelon Cycles of Pershore and trains with Worcester St johns Cycling Club, Worcester Swimming Club and Worcester Athletics Club commented ‘I always enjoy racing at Blenheim and the bike course in particular suits me as I prefer a technically challenging course with some climbs to a straight, flat course, so when I heard that it was going to act as the qualifying event I knew I was in with a good chance and now I can’t wait to wear the GBR Trisuit for the first time’.

Although Turner has represented Great Britain before on an invitational basis, her latest race being at the European Junior Cup event at Quarteira in Portugal on 21 March where she finished a respectable 21st out of 57 entrants, this will be the first time that she has officially qualified. She will warm up for the race in Spain with another invitational entry to the European Junior Cup race at Holton in the Netherlands on 4 July.

Nixie at Blenheim

Ironman Staffs 70.3 race report

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Jun 162015

Congratulations to club member Kaine Pritchett who completed Ironman Staffs 70.3 at the weekend. His race report is below.

Respect the distance. Something we all hear from time served triathletes and after this weekends Ironman Staffs 70.3 I fully understand. Having done the full distance Ironman last year, I entered Ironman Staffs 70.3 due to it being all new, its location and finally it will allow me to gauge how my Winter season training had panned out. Well this was the plan. Unfortunately due to injury woes, I ended up going into it with only 4 weeks training in total so decided I would go out at 80% and see how I get on. The weekend started with a bit of a faff around the logistics of registration and T1 racking between Shugborough Hall and Chasewater some 30 minutes apart from each other. Although this was an Ironman branded event, the event showed signs of disorganisation, which was in danger of souring the weekend if it wasn’t for the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers – I hope Ironman listen to all the feedback received and sort these issues for 2016. The weather on Saturday was very wet and colder than I like however I trusted in the weather reports for Sunday. Early start as I travelled from home but found myself in T1 checking my tyre pressures at 5:40 Sunday morning, some 2 hours before wave start, watching the sunrise and enjoying the buzz building up. To my surprise, Gordon Ramsay was racked almost right behind me so had to wish him luck as seemed rude not too, before I got my wetsuit on and made my way down to the swim start ready to watch the pro’s kick off at 7am. My race started at 7:40 and the shift began with a slow, cramped filled 47 minute swim – I was disappointed with the cramp as only a week prior I had done a 37 min 1.25 mile at Upton Warren. Out of the water it was a short jog on a concrete path to T1 where a quick (for me) five minute change and I was out on the bike. When I originally entered IM Staffs it was marketed as a flat and fast course, however as many may have read since the day this is not the case at all with a few short steep sections and then a tough climb at 70k up into Cannock Chase. Having got on the bike I continued to suffer with cramp however just kept on pushing through. Had a quick stop at around mile 35 to see my family and give my little boy a kiss which got a massive cheer from the crowd assembled and also made me well up for a few minutes once I got moving again. Eventually made it back to Shugborough in 3 hours 22 minutes where I almost suffered yet another problem in T2. I went to change and found my running gear bag was missing – aaagghhh!!! Support crew to the rescue and just as I got to breaking point they found it at the end of a different rack where it had possibly been replaced after a incorrect pick up. So after a 12 minute transition I was away for a very slow hilly run. But like all Ironman events it was the crowds and volunteers that made it easier – you can’t help to keep moving with all the encouragement and kind words from so many people – this is without doubt the best part of any distance Triathlon – I love it. Three wristbands later I found myself entering the finish chute and running down the red carpet in a final time of 7 hours and 2 minutes (run: 2:29). Finishers pic pose, medal and food later I found myself in the rest area where it started to rain but more importantly the sense of achievement kicked in. All things considered even finishing on Sunday was an achievement and as this was my first 70.3 I set a new PB – surely I can only get faster.

Ironman Lanzarote race report by Ben Martin

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Jun 092015
So after the past two years of DNF’s at the full iron distance this year was going to be the year I turned it around and what better place to do it than what is regarded as one of the toughest Ironman events in the world, Ironman Lanzarote. Preparation leading up to the event was very up and down at times but I managed to get enough miles in the legs as I could to make it to the start line. The main goal was to finish and a bonus if I could beat my Outlaw time of 13hrs 20mins. Once I arrived on the Island I soon discovered why it is regarded as one of the toughest events in the world with almost being blown over as soon as I got off the plane. A little couple hour ride on the bike on the Wednesday I soon discovered the wind is another level out here and coming in from all angles. With a wind speed of 35mph TTing was out of the question and soon packed it in and returned back to the hotel. With another dip in the sea and all registered up Race day soon came around and luckly the wind had felt like it had died down a bit but was still in the min 20’s mph.
With a 7am start time I positioned myself ready for the day ahead with a finish time of around 12hr-13hrs in my head. With a mass start of over 1800 people on a 2 lap swim course it felt like I was stepping into a ring with Mike Tyson. People were punching, kicking, swimming over you, under you, dragging you back. For the first 500 metres it was a battle but soon found some clear water to get into my groove, by the time I got to the 2nd turn around point all hell broke lose again and it felt like no one has ever swam open water races before. This was pretty much how the rest of the swim went with the added bonus of the wind picking up in the 2nd lap and creating a bit of chop in the middle part of the course. With a finish time of 1hr 12mins I knew if I wasn’t in a battle for most of the swim I could have gone quicker but this was just the start of the long day ahead.
After collecting my bag from T1 on the beach and running up the sand bank to collect my bike for the ride ahead my legs were feeling good and was hoping for a 6hrs-6hrs 30min bike. With over 2551m of climbing with the adding factor of higher winds than normal, heat, even rain at one point this estimate soon rabidly disappeared and it was more about survival and making it in before the cutoff time. For the first third of the course the legs were feeling great and was keeping in my limit and not over pushing myself. Was passing people with ease on the climbs and was just able to get some time on the TT bars before a sudden cross wind would catch you and you soon was either cycling at a 45 degree angle or getting nearly blown off the bike. Cycling up some of the famous climbs especially through the national park with what can only be described as a long straight road as far as the eye can see which just goes up and up and up some more with a line of cyclist was an awesome sight to see. Making sure I ate and drank as much as possible the wheels soon came off around the 100km mark at the worst possible time as the biggest climb of the day was just getting started. The Climb up to Los Nieves can only be described as hell on wheels for me. I knew at the top was my special needs bag with a mars bar and a bottle of coke in it and this was much needed as this time. I just didn’t have the gears to get into any rhythm and was soon pedaling squares with what felt like the whole field passing me by. Its was going up and up and had to grind it out to the top. With a 10min stop with my special needs bag I was soon onto the decent and as the air temperature was dropping so high up I was feeling really cold and trying to switch back descend while your arms are shivering wasn’t great. So I took it carefully and soon began to warm back up once the sun popped back out from the mist. The rest of the ride was a battle to the end with some fast descents, broken up roads, winds from every direction and the heat I managed to finish the bike in 7hrs 33min, An hour over my expected time but with conditions being what described from everyone I spoke to says that was the worst conditions they have had on the bike course and every ones expected times were out.
So Just a little marathon to go. A change to the route for previous years now took you for one long bike lap out past the airport and back then 2 short 10km laps to the finish. My time goals was to run each 5km in around 30mins stopping at each aid station to drink/eat/water over head & body to the finish. This started off ok for the first 10km out past the airport but my run soon turned into a jog with the feeling of a golf ball blister on top of my toe coming through. I managed to run the first long lap with the crowds in there masses cheering you on along the way. My jog soon ended up being a shuffle walk shuffle with the bike taking more out of me than I thought. I didn’t care how I got to the end as long as I got there that was all that mattered. After shuffle walk shuffling with another athlete for around 10km the time soon pasted by and with 5kms to go and it soon turning dark I was determend to run the last 5kms to the finish non stop. After the past 2 years of DNF’s and disappointment I finally crossed that finish line in 14hrs 18mins. Was slightly disappointed with the time but given the conditions on the bike I didn’t care. The support form other athletes the crowds and the whole island gets behind everyone and every village you either cycled through or ran, especially the climbs in the middle of know where we all well supported and gave you that boost you needed. The views on the bike were awesome at times when I wasn’t in so much pain to look. So that is me done with the Iron distance for a couple of years at least and will be def be back to Lanzarote to compete again as the island and the race is already drawing me back to want more. Next up for me after a little recovery is the Avenger middle where I hope to get a PB over the distance.