It has been a busy couple of weekends for Worcester Triathlon Club members racing at home in the Club’s headline triathlon event of the season The Top Barn Triathlons and abroad in the first Iron Tour Triathlon series event held for a number of years on the Island of Elba off the west Coast of Italy.

Michelle Parsons racing for Team Tri UK competed in both events but was in fine form yet again on Italian soil by finishing second overall in the Iron Tour Series, a competition which comprises three open water sprint triathlons and one open water aquathon in four days of consecutive racing.  Not renowned for her strong swimming, it was a battle ever race for Michelle to recover the deficit she accumulated on the 750 metre swim element of the races, over the following 20km bike and 5km run sections.  Each day the race venue changed location to a different part of the island and the competitors collected points for their finishing places adding up to overall series position.  Michelle was second in each of the sprint triathlons and third in the aquathon giving her second position overall.  A tremendous result given the amount of swimming involved.

Returning to the colder climate of the UK she decided to enter the inaugural ‘triple sprint distance’ triathlon at Top Barn Activity Centre.  This was the first of three triathlon races held to start on Sunday morning and the lake temperature was nearer 16 degrees than the 21 degrees sea temperature experienced in Italy!

The Triple sprint comprised three laps of the 750 metre course in the lake at Top Barn making a total distance of 2,250 metres followed by three laps of the undulating 28km bike course, again making 84km in total and finishing with three laps of the 5km run course.  With only a small entry Michelle was competing against her male counterparts for the honours and she was pleased to exit the swim in 5th position in a time of 47 minutes and 19 seconds.  Her club mate Danny Harris making his debut in a longer distanced triathlon was first out of the water in 44 minutes and 23 seconds so had almost a three minute lead going in the bike section.  Harris, who has been training hard in readiness for an Iron distanced event in August, showed good strength on the bike to stretch his lead over Michelle but also over former club mate Kevin May now racing for Tri Team Glos.  Danny, from Evesham, finished the bike in a very respectable 2 hours and 24 minutes and 54 seconds and now led his nearest chaser by almost 8 minutes.  He held out strong on the 15km run to come home in a total time of 4 hours 22 minutes and 3 seconds.  Meanwhile behind Michelle had moved into 3rd place overall on the bike and she also held strong on the run to finish in a total time of 4.45.47.

Fellow team mate Andy Day finished in 6th place in 4.57.20 never really recovering from the cold lake swim start.

In the double Sprint race which started at 7,45am it was again a Worcester Tri Club member leading the way out of the 1500 metre swim.  Johnny Stephens emerged in first position in just over 22 minutes.  Unfortunately he couldn’t maintain his lead and finished in fourth place overall in a time of 2 hours 54 minutes and 2 seconds.  The overall winner was Richard Lomas in a time of 2.44.04.

Richard Gourlay also from Worcester Tri Club worked his way up to 7th with a time of 2.58.04.  the female winner was Debbie Cooper from Coventry Cycle Centre in 3.11.59.

The final race to start was the sprint event comprising just one lap of the swim (750 metres) one lap of the bike course (28Km) and one lap of the run (5km).

The overall winners were Damian Littlewood from Tri First in 1.18.06 and Jacqui Phillips from TRIKS in 1.32.10.

Worcester Tri Club managed to take the honours in the team event in a time of 1.27.24 with a team made up of Gavin Vickers (swim), Kirk Denton (bike) and David Jubb (run).

Other members results were:

Daniel Geisler 3rd 1.23.46

Neill Crump 7th 1.24.19

Paul Scriven 9th 1.25.07

Mark Elliott 3rd male vet 50, 1.35.49

Richard Price 30th overall 1.38.46

And one member of the newly formed Evesham Vale Triathletes Club, Paul Fensome put in a good performance to finish in a respectable time 1.49.55