Having decided to put last years terrible organisation behind me I decided to head to Leeds again for the National Aquathlon Championships. I am glad I did. The race was better organised and I came away with a silver medal in my age category and quicker time than last year!
Well done Nigel for some excellent results so far this season. Below are his race reports.
Virgin Money London Marathon – Sunday 23rd April 2017
A ‘virgin’ Virgin Money London marathoner. Having waited 6 years to get through the ballot this was always going to be a challenge to live up to expectations …. but it turned out to be the best run I have ever done, fantastic crowds , landmarks and support from the London crowds, was no one at home that day ????. The experience made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and stay up !!. …. and when you think you are struggling at about 18 mile there nothing better to pick you up than seeing some guy passing you at about 11 mile carrying a bag of sand on his back and batman giving you a high five as he passes you L. Brilliant outcome and got a good for Age in my category of 3:39:13 with an automatic place for 2018 to do it all over again .
If Carlsberg did races !! – Challenge Herning 70.3 Age Group European Championships – Sat 10th June 2017
4th consecutive year as a Middle Distance age grouper and 2nd representing Worcester Tri Club. Following a week of heavy rain race day arrived with brilliant sunshine and great conditions for a race. Floating start in a causeway, followed by a slightly long swim and we were on our way and there is nothing like a foreign kit to fire up the competitive spirit in a Brit. The bike was typical undulating Scandinavian terrain, tight corners, wide open windy spaces, and loads of brits out on the course screaming their support. Back into town and on to a 4 lap run that of all things took us through a library on each loop to the obvious disinterest of everyone sat at a computer or reading a book !!!, only in Denmark J. Finished with a PB of 5:24.13 and as a result of finishing 2nd Brit and 10th in my age group got a pre qualifier for next year’s squad in October in Ibiza.
Goodbye to Iron Man Wimbleball 70.3 – Sunday 25th June 2017
The ‘old lady’ of Ironman 70.3 certainly said farewell with a memorable race on Sunday on Exmoor. All started well with a warm 19 degree lake, then followed a wet windy and greasy bike ride, ending with a ‘warmish’ offroad run. Brutal at times but great to be there to see Wimbleball say goodbye to the many Ironmen and Ironwomen who have taken it to there hearts a one of the toughest 70.3’s on the circuit. Despite being way short of a PB on any ‘normal’ course and finishing with a 3rd place podium for the 2nd time in its history I came away proud to have completed the day with everyone else who crossed its last finishing line.
Add to that the times of WTC colleagues Neill Crump, Carl Kendall and myself ensured Worcester Triathlon Club qualified for the Ironman tri programme finals in Barcelona in 2018, its fair to say it made it an even better day for ourselves and for the club. Here’s hoping we can pull a worthy team together to take WTC ‘into Europe’
It is only 3 weeks until Droitwich Sprint Triathlon, held on Sunday 23rd July. Excellent race for beginners to seasoned triathletes. Enter now on Entry Central.
Congratulations to club member Jonathan Gray who competed in the Lakeland 100 on July 29th. He finished in 29hours and in 67th place. Jonathan also competed in another ultra run this weekend in which he managed to finish in 11th place even though it was only a trot to support his friend who was coming back from injury. I think Jonathan has done more ultra runs than I have had hot dinners! If you are interested in doing an ultra run then Jonathan recommends ‘beyond marathon’ events as they are great value for money.
Cotswold Sprint Triathlon took place on Sunday 4th September. It is a race that I always go back to as it is well organised and a nice course. I was pleased with my result today, winning my age category and finishing 10th female overall. New club member and my husband Steven Hemsworth also competed. It was his 3rd ever triathlon and he had a great race. He had a very strong swim and bike, leading his wave for most of the race. However he was just pipped on the run and finished 2nd in his category by 10 seconds and was 16th male overall.
We had three teams racing at the National Relay Champs last weekend. All three teams did fantastically but a special mention to the women’s team of Ros, Gill, Kim and Rachel who won gold in their category! Below is Jason Bloomer’s race review.
National Relay Champs – 2016
This is not so much a race report as an over view of the event for those that (like me) didn’t know much about it and might like to take part in the future.
It takes place at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham (about 90mins from Worcester) and races are spread over 2 days with a variety of relay formats to choose from.
All relays are for teams of 4 and each team member completes a whole triathlon of 5oom swim, 15km bike and 5km run, all within the confines of the Centre on a closed course.
Saturday – No1 swims, tags No2 who swims and so on until all 4 have swum before No4 tags No1 to start their cycle. Each member then cycles in sequence and then runs in sequence with No4 finishing the race with their run.
Sunday – No1 completes the whole triathlon before tagging No2 who does their whole race and so on. On Sunday afternoon there is a team trial (all 4 members race at the same time together) Only the fastest teams form Sunday morning qualifying for this.
Worcester had 3 teams entered on Saturday, a ladies team on Saturday morning where National Titles could be won and 2 teams in the afternoon which is an open event for any combination of males/females, BTF members/non-members etc.
Worcester Warriors – Ros, Rachel, Kim & Jill. (The Old Birds or when they see this, The Angry Birds)
Team Snail’s Pace – Jason, Catherine, Jo & Susan. (Setting our stall out from the start, only goal not to be last)
Team JJGC – Gary, Jon, Carl & Jonathon. (Team Creativity – how did they think of that name?)
Gary & I were the first to go for our teams so entered the water ready for the start at 1:45pm. There was no countdown so when the hooter sounded I was caught on the hop and got swamped at the beginning but regained my composure and completed the swim in 8:51 (Gary was long gone in 6:15!)
As I ran out of the water I started looking for Catherine but she had already spotted me, the handover was completed smoothly and she was off down the ramp for a flying start to her swim. Catherine, Jo and Susan all had good swims while I changed into bike gear ready for Susan to tag me.
I spotted Susan as she exited the water and again the handover was smooth before I set off on the bike. The bike leg is 3 laps of the rectangular lake (imagine a 2km long swimming pool) with 90 degree bends at each corner. The track was dry and almost completely flat so apart from a stiff headwind on the outward side it was set up for a good pace. 3 of us completed the bike leg in these conditions before the heavens opened for Susan’s ride but she knuckled down and posted another good time. Whilst this was going on Jonathon from the boys’ team had punctured near the start of his ride and ridden 2 laps with a flat before swapping to Jon’s bike for the last lap.
Susan came in from the bike, completely soaked, and handed over to me for the run. I started off too fast but settled down and got about halfway round the lake before Jon passed me with some encouragement as he went by. Despite the puncture the boys’ team were now more than one leg ahead. We completed the rest of the run legs, in the rain, without incident then the remaining 3 members waited for Susan in a designated area near the finish so that we could all cross the line together as a team. (Although we forgot Sid the Snail, our mascot, doh!)
We finished the event in 4:32 (we weren’t last 144/163), the boys’ team in a superb 3:44 (28/163 including a puncture!) and the ladies team finished in 4:11 in the morning event to take the gold medal in their category.
Overall I would thoroughly recommend this event to everyone. It’s something different, great fun and a chance to compete with club mates and friends in what is normally a fairly individual sport. It would be really great if we could put even more teams in next year and make it an (early) end of season club event with a big turnout.
Open water swimming cancelled Weds 20th July due to algae. You will still be able to get a swim in at New College Worcester Wednesday evening 5.30pm – 6.30pm.
On Saturday 11th June I raced at the National Aquathlon Championships in Leeds. The race was enjoyable, especially getting to swim the same course as the elite ITU racers would do on the Sunday. However, I have to say the event organisation was very poor. Receiving a phone call at 9.30pm telling me I had been put in the wrong wave and been given the wrong colour swim hat is not what you want on the night before your key race of the season.
Anyway, the race was a 750m swim followed by a 5km hilly run. Having won my age group last year I was hoping to medal again but I knew this would be harder than last year as the competition would be much better being as the race was in Leeds and running alongside the ITU world cup race. I wasn’t wrong. The girl that won is an elite athlete from New Zealand who won the U23 aquathlon champs in 2013 and has raced at a number of ITU races. I was just pleased to be on the same results page as her! Anyway, having been in bronze medal position for most of the race, I was overtaken in the last quarter of the race and finished 4th in my age group and 24th overall out of 75 women. I am disappointed to have just missed out on a age group medal but also hopeful that I could have done a bit better if I hadn’t been injured leading up to the race.
Tewkesbury Tri Club put on another great value aquathlon series this year. The event consists of 4 aquathlons spread out from January to April. The race is a 400m pool swim followed by a very muddy 5k run around a field. It has always been a regular on my race calendar to break up the winter training boredom and I last raced and won the series in 2013. However, I was back racing it for the first time since having my son Eddie and was pleased that with two 1st place finishes and a 2nd place finish, I won the series again.