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Monthly archive for July 2011

MST Olympic Race report

MST Olympic Race report

It was also perfect weather which was great after such a damp week. It was a bit of a rush getting transition sorted out, but we were away by 7.30.

The water was about as perfect as lake swimming gets, with the temperature spot on and totally clean. Steve Mac got out first in 25m45s with Phil Couch just 15 seconds down, and Robin a further minute down, after that everyone came in small groups until the last one Callum who still swam a creditable 42m27s. He has a different view of his swim and what happened next and his superb report is at the end of the sheet.  Martin managed to breast stroke powerfully most of the way round, and is now gaining more confidence in the swim.

Then everyone was through T1 and onto the challenging bike course.  I certainly did not make it easy by having an unfixable problem with my rear tyre which caused the feeling of the brakes being on whenever I went uphill. Luckily it was a flat course so there was no real problem. Although, as everyone found - it really is relentless hills especially when you are trying as hard as you can. When I checked the bike afterwards it was clear I was lucky not to have exploded the tyre as it had worn away so much.

Naturally James Dear was the king of the bike with a seriously impressive ride. He started 5m50s behind Phil and started the run 4m25s ahead - an incredible 10m15s gain! And Phil had the 6th fastest bike split even though he found it tough. James did 69m41s including both transitions, and only 6 people broke 80mins. There were plenty of races within the race on the bike. Colin actually tried to keep up with James (downhill!) and even overtook him, but the effort caught up with him later.

The women's race was interesting with Fiona having to start her chase down of the others from way behind after the swim (in 8th place ) to start the run in 2nd place behind Hazel who was out of the water first, and then had the second fastest bike split after Fiona. Sharon started the run third after quite a battle with Fiona. Lucy was about 3 minutes further back.

On this sort of course the run becomes quite difficult after the demands of the bike lap. The fact that the fastest run was 42m45s (Phil and Bob) on an accurately measured 10k shows just how much had been taken out of even the fast boys. Only 5 people even broke 45 minutes. Phil Couch recovered from his bike leg to regain 2nd spot from Rob, but even though he gained a minute on James it was not enough to catch him, so James took the victory with 3 minutes to spare. Rob remained very comfortable in 3rd place with a 6 minute cushion over Colin. At this point there was a lot of competition with 8 places being separated by a mere 4 minutes.

In the women's race Hazel started the run with more than 6 minutes in hand but Fiona gave it all she had to finish the day with fastest bike and run splits (her run was an impressive 46m43s) and was barely 3 minutes behind at the end. Lucy also charged through the field, having come out of the swim in her customary position as last lady. She finished the bike in 4th spot and then reeled in Sharon on the run after starting some 3 minutes behind. Sharon was suffering however, and felt she had run her slowest ever 10K. Lucy meanwhile took advantage of Callum feeling dreadful to also sneak past him, which she was secretly quite pleased about.  Actually she wasn't that secret about it. She was delighted!

I have to mention some of those who were doing this distance for the first time. Robin shows huge potential. He had a super quick swim, a comfortable bike and enough of a race spirit to push himself harder when he knew I was breathing down his neck towards the end. Pete Harris was a picture of pain on the run but I have a feeling he will learn a huge amount from this race and then become a very strong triathlete. Carl faded on the run after a storming bike leg, but clearly has a lot of talent.

Of the other athletes it was amazing seeing Tim finish his first Olympic. This was a man who never thought he would do any triathlons, and I am sure I heard him say afterwards that it was easier than sprint distance. I look forward to seeing Tim at the middle distance race in 5 weeks, as that should be even easier! Nikki and Jean also did incredibly well. Nikki had her baby just over 6 months ago. Nice to see Dave doing the baby care. Jean just seemed to be enjoying every minute.

Dave Lashbrook deserves a special mention. He is just coming back from injury and was clearly way off his normal form. Nevertheless he turned up and pushed himself as hard as he could in the circumstances and still finished 10th. Hopefully he will be fully fit for the middle distance soon.

Author: Steve Alden

 

Callum's view from the rear
 
My first Olympic-distance race and my first competitive open water swim.  Gulp.  After about 100 metres of the swim I start to panic and have to consciously try to calm myself down, despite all the open water practice this year.  That's the first time I think seriously of abandoning.
 
By now, there are already three of us adrift at the back and, amazingly, I make it to the turn buoy first of the three, but only because the other two- Jean and someone in a silver cap - head too far off to the left and, while they're re-orientating themselves I slip in first.
 
On the way back to the pontoon I just about stay in touch, but by the time we reach the turn buoy again, and after a brief inadvertent tussle with the swimmer in the silver cap, I am undeniably in last position and beginning to struggle.  I am very, very thankful to the two canoeists - Mat and Paul - for escorting me on the final, interminable section towards the slipway as I begin to feel, frankly, a bit weird.  As we approach the pontoon, I again think of abandoning, but decide I'll struggle on to the slipway and then pack it in.
 
Guided to the slipway by the fluorescent jackets of the marshals, I find to my surprise that I can stand up, but announce that I'm abandoning, so just go on standing there for a bit, still feeling weird.  Then I think I might as well head for transition, pulling down the top half of my wetsuit as I do so.  I try a tentative jog down the grass and find, again to my surprise, that I can manage a kind of run-hobble type of action.
 
In transition, there's obviously only one bike left, and Steve Birchall has unhooked it for me and is urging me to get on it.  So, unwilling to disappoint him, I do and I'm off on the bike leg.  How has that happened?  Didn't I abandon?  Oh well, I think, at least I can just turn left when I get to Ardingly and freewheel back to the reservoir.
 
But on the way to Ardingly I overtake one or two others and begin to think maybe I'll at least finish the bike leg.  Then, past Ardingly, I overtake one or two more and am beginning to feel a bit more normal.  At the roadworks I see someone who has been held up by the lights and catch up with them about the Duke's Head roundabout.  It's Lucy.  I overtake her going strongly along the bypass past Copthorne, but as I head off up the road over the M23 she's right behind me and overtakes me as the road gets steeper.
 
Then it's nip and tuck, cat and mouse for the next mile or so, with me in front on the flat bits and her in front on the hills until she finally shakes me off on the long slog up towards the Cowdray Arms from the crossing back over the M23.  Strong riding, Lucy!
 
Still, I'm going quite well now and allow myself to think for the first time that I could actually finish this bloody race.
 
Back in transition, running shoes on and I'm off on the run, turning down the offer of a water bottle as I go through the kissing gate.  Bad move, but I've had a stitch throughout the race and only managed to get through about half of the energy drink in my bottle on the bike, and don't want to make it worse on the run.
 
Going over the causeway for the first time I'm beginning to run quite well and catch up with Lucy, who has the time and breath to discuss the incentive to keep going offered by the rear view of the runner in front (a male club member who will remain nameless).
 
Enough of this levity, and I eventually manage to overtake Lucy and reach the turn point going well - well enough that I even catch up with Dave Lashbrook heading back towards the kissing gate (except he's on his second time around and I'm only on my first).  At some point I also overtake Sharon.
 
Then just ahead of the kissing gate, a great wave of nausea and faintness overtakes me and I think (yet again) that I'll have to abandon, but I reach the gate, take a drink of water and feel slightly better.
 
So I head off back up the track and reach the turn point without further incident, spurred by shouts of encouragement from Clare Parkinson. But on the way back again, the waves of nausea come more and more frequently and I have to slow down and, guess what, Lucy overtakes me again, shouting to Claire Cresswell, who's coming the other way: "I'm ahead of Callum, I'm beating Callum!"
 
And she does, with a tremendous finishing sprint down the grass which I can't even think of matching.  It's all I can do to stagger over the line, fall over and get cramp so badly in one of my legs I have to ask someone to stretch it for me.
 
Oh well.  It's not glorious.  It's not fast.  I took on a woman and lost.  But I finished, and that in itself is a minor miracle.
 
And the swimmer in the silver cap?  Turns out that was Lucy as well.

 Download results here

Name M/F Swim Bike Run Finish time
Dear James M 00:31:50 01:09:41 00:43:52 02:25:23
Couch Phil M 00:26:00 01:19:56 00:42:45 02:28:41
Hoodless Rob M 00:29:11 01:16:19 00:44:24 02:29:54
Chambers Colin M 00:28:57 01:16:28 00:50:37 02:36:02
Norton Bob M 00:34:49 01:19:46 00:42:45 02:37:20
Jordan Mark M 00:27:11 01:20:59 00:49:41 02:37:51
Monaghan Robin M 00:26:53 01:23:57 00:47:13 02:38:03
Alden Steve M 00:29:12 01:25:06 00:44:06 02:38:24
McMenamin Steve M 00:25:45 01:22:40 00:51:10 02:39:35
Lashbrook Dave M 00:29:00 01:19:09 00:52:09 02:40:18
Harris Peter M 00:34:48 01:20:06 00:45:58 02:40:52
Wichman Carl M 00:30:55 01:19:11 00:52:46 02:42:52
Tuppen Hazell F 00:30:55 01:32:01 00:50:01 02:52:57
Powell Alex M 00:33:55 01:28:24 00:53:10 02:55:29
Bussell Fiona F 00:38:35 01:30:47 00:46:43 02:56:05
Sanwell Martin M 00:32:40 01:30:10 00:53:46 02:56:36
Woodall Jeff M 00:32:35 01:31:49 00:57:36 03:02:00
Williams Lucy F 00:40:27 01:32:13 00:54:23 03:07:03
Murray Callum M 00:42:27 01:30:43 00:54:44 03:07:54
Clarke Peter M 00:35:56 01:33:48 00:59:05 03:08:49
Chaldek Sharon F 00:35:55 01:33:50 00:59:39 03:09:24
Court Peter M 00:28:51 01:43:18 01:06:56 03:19:05
Dal Nikki F 00:31:50 01:47:00 01:03:56 03:22:46
Fish Jean F 00:40:26 01:43:06 01:03:35 03:27:07
Williams Julie F 00:35:00 01:49:58 01:04:01 03:28:59
Cresswell Claire F 00:34:46 01:47:49 01:18:01 03:40:36
Cresswell Tim M 00:35:48 01:55:22 01:16:34 03:47:44
Crouch Pippa F 00:31:45     DNF
Stuart-Colwill Jules F 00:37:53 02:02:32   DNF

 

Mid Sussex Tri Olympic Distance race

The Olympic distance race will be held on Sunday 24th July at Ardingly Reservoir.

This race is open to all members.  We want to encourage everybody to have a go at the event given that the emphasis for most is on having the opportunity to do an Olympic distance event in a familiar and supportive environment.  It is also cheap and involves little traveling or additional costs. We don't have marshals around the course although the bike and run routes are well signed. 

The 1500 swim will be a 2 lap course in the reservoir.  For those who are a little worried about the swim distance, rest assured that the route is along the normal swim lanes for Saturday morning swimming and there will be a safety boat and a canoeist in the water  at all times. 

Transition area is set up on the grass adjacent to the car park.

The 40 km bike course is essentially a slightly shortened route of the course used for the middle distance event last year.  It is a bit lumpy but not that bad and quite enjoyable - especially on the down hill parts on the return section.

The 10km run is on the paths around the reservoir.  It is wholly off road and, while there is likely to be some pedestrian traffic, it is safe and flat. 

The briefing is at 0645.  The swim starts in one wave at 0700.

We really want people to have a go at this -irrespective of ability or speed or any thing else.  The main point is having a go at this distance and seeing what happens.  Mark Jordan and Steve Alden are more than happy to speak to any body who wants to ask any questions that are not covered in the information sheets and entry forms.

Documents:

 

 

Middle distance
The middle distance event will be held at the same venue on Sunday 29th August.  Again we want people to have a go at the distance, even if it is as part of a relay team or to do one or two of the elements.  The course is exactly the same as that for last year and, as such, an extended route from that of the Olympic distance.

The middle course has been set as:
1. an open water swim over a 1.9 Km course in the Ardingly Reservoir.  The course is 3 laps of an out and back route of 600 metres per lap (300 metres out - 300 metres back) with an additional 100 metre swim to the finish at the slipway.  

2. a cycle route of 79.25 Kms that will be held entirely on open public roads, where there will be unrestricted vehicular, pedestrian and other traffic.    It is a relatively hilly, testing and technical course.

3.  a 20-ish Km run over a course that is mainly on off-road, public footpaths and bridleways adjacent to the Ardingly Reservoir.

The start will be at 0700, just after a briefing.  Arrangements will be similar to those for the Olympic distance but with a water station for the second lap of the bike course and a water station at the run turn round point. 

Middle Distance Documents:

Steve Alden, James Dear and Mark Jordan are working on the admin at the moment and will get the entry forms etc out in the next couple of weeks.

Dorney Lake WomenOnly Triathlon - 2nd July 2011

Dorney Lake WomenOnly Triathlon - 2nd July 2011

On Saturday, the 2nd July, there were many different ladies only races going on at Dorney Lake, with Clare, Jean & Sharon in the Challenge triathlon and Fiona in the Sprint. So here are two race reports for you:

Author: Sharon

Left the house at 7.30am which is not too early; apart from my teenage kids thinking that they have been woken up in the middle of the night. My crew in the car were: Gordon (hubby), Sean & Alina - the kids. We were hoping to catch up with the other car - Clare, Jean & Rob (Jean's hubby). Unfortunately 15mins up the road and we are straight back to the house for the forgotten camera.

No sign of Jean's car but the M25 was blissfully quiet and drama-free so we made great time to Dorney Lake.

There were loads of parking and a bit of walk to the boathouse so support crew were handed equipment to carry & off we went. The walk helped to settle the nerves a bit - worrying about all the unknowns for my first open water triathlon; the mass swim start, spotting & getting out of the spray-on wetsuit.

Saw three lovely smiling faces waiting for us outside the registration tent - Rob was trying to stay cheerful as when he had first spotted the large registration tent, he thought it was full of beer.

After collecting my number, we headed for the posh boathouse and upstairs to the balcony & café, which gives great views of the Lake and an excellent place to settle all the support crew who immediately organised themselves bacon sandwiches - oh crikey I'm going to hurl, there goes the nerves again.

As Clare, Jean & I racked our bikes, we were able to watch the first Wave enter the water. The first group were the Relay team and there didn't seem to be many of them so gave us all the wrong impression that the groups were going to be small. Not long before it's our time to wander down to the start position & there were LOADS of us (our wave - under 30s & over 40s). Clare was the bravest - going in without the wetsuit - whereas Jean & I just went "NO WAY - gives us the rubber".

All in the water, treading and trying to find our space while listening to the race briefing - excellent place to tell you the race details - knowing full well that you couldn't escape at this point. Then went the Starting Gun & wow! Arms, legs everywhere, all trying to head for the 1st buoy. Had to stop as goggles were knocked off and then tried to avoid the kicking breast stroker. Going round the first buoy, someone actually grabbed my ankle. First time ever I was actually kicking!

Swim was 2 laps - bizarrely 800m in open water doesn't seem so long or so hard compared to a pool environment. After the race I discovered from the support team that the girl who was leading mistakenly starting heading back to the first buoy instead of the finish ramp & had to be chased by the speed boat to correct her. Even with her extra 200m-ish, she still managed to beat the rest of us.

Hit the finish ramp with my hands, straight up and running (first fear dealt with as I thought my legs were going to be too wobbly). The wetsuit came off so smoothly - shock - (2nd fear dealt with) but then I had to sit on the floor to put shoes on as felt a bit dizzy. Out of T1, next came Jean - who absolutely loved her first experience of open water racing and then Clare.

I loved the cycle ride as it is SO flat, no cars and the surface is lovely & smooth. Its 6 laps around the lake and some excellent corners to take. Only time in each lap you had to slow down was when you return to the boathouse as caution was required from cyclist coming from the T1 slip way and supporters crossing the path. All our support crew were giving us great encouragement as we went past them on each lap - is that bloody ice-creams in their hands?????

T2 was okay, and then onto the run. A bit of a boring route as up & down the same path for 3 laps. Excellent option to check that everyone is okay. Saw Clare (looking strong and happy) while on my 1st lap but where is Jean? - getting worried now! The positive aspect of the run is that it is as flat as a pancake, so my currently sore knees weren't suffering too much (last fear sorted).

Finally last lap & it is so hot, just kept looking straight ahead, counting to 100 and not worrying what other ladies were doing & then finally, I would love to say a sprint but more like a crawl to the finish line. Here I was met by a group of sweet cheering marshals, our screaming support crew and a dodgy looking man with a garden hose splashing everyone with cold water. In other circumstances he probably would have got a slap but this time I was truly grateful. Not long after a beaming Clare & then a smiling Jean crossed the finish line.

Now to hear "what had happened to poor Jean" - to be honest we are not really sure as number of laps are not officially counted, but we think that most probably Jean did an extra bike lap - I told you the bike route was so good - you just want to do more!

After we packed up and were ready to go home we were lucky to have a chance to cheer Fiona as she headed to the finish line - my god that girl can run.

To summarise I think I can happily say from all 4 of us that Dorney Lake is an excellent venue for competing and for your spectators. All the races were very well organised and had a great buzzing atmosphere - but no beer tent - sorry Rob.

Here are our results:

STANDARD DISTANCE (800m, 30km, 7.5km):

POS

CAT POS

NAME

TOTALTIME

SWIM

T1

BIKE

T2

RUN

55

2

Sharon

01:56:06

00:16:20

00:02:10

00:55:08

00:01:16

00:41:12

110

10

Clare

02:18:15

00:19:53

00:02:25

01:10:05

00:01:41

00:44:12

115

9

Jean

02:19:58

00:17:57

00:03:09

01:13:43

00:01:52

00:43:17

 

 

 

Author Fiona:

Managed to get round the M25 with relative ease so hoped that was a good omen for my 2nd attempt at triathlon.

On arrival the nerves really began to take hold and it seemed an age to walk from the car park to the boathouse and race registration.  After collecting my numbers and timing chip there were lots of green hats in the water.  Wondering if this could be Sharon, Claire and Jean in the challenge event.  The hooter went and there was flying arms and white water.....crikey that's a mass start then!

Racked the bike trying to remember the tips Steve B gave me at East Grinstead and then it was just a case of waiting.  This was probably the worst part of the day as thoughts of getting stuck in my wetsuit or further bike malfunctions did nothing to calm my nerves!  Standing on the balcony at the boathouse looking down on transition I was trying to spot the others but sadly didn't see them before the start of my wave.

I was glad that I had a couple of Ardingly swim sessions under my belt as I made my way to the water and chatting to some of the other competitors who were first timers I started to enjoy the moment!  The marshals friendly banter certainly helped and by the time I'd swam round the second buoy I was really enjoying the swim.  Was surprised to get a mouthful of weeds and realised that I'd veered off to the left on the final approach to the pontoon - idiot! I didn't struggle with the wetsuit as I'd thought but my 2:51 T1 will need some work!  The bike course was great fun and cycling with two fully inflated tyres makes it all the more easier.  I knew I would have been slower on the swim but wasn't sure how many people were in front of me on the bike.  It was also difficult to work out who was who as they were different waves out on the course so I just kept pedalling and praying for incident free cycling.  At the end of my final lap I was expecting a marshal to point me in the direction of transition but nothing so I was glad that I'd kept count myself.....it was 4 laps, wasn't it?  Now for the real test, running off the bike.  Dodged past some milling competitors in transition and made my way out onto the run course.  Getting off the bike I realised just how warm it was out there and hoped that my legs wouldn't cramp up.  I heard some shouts of encouragement, which was a real boost.  I certainly found it harder to run a 5k after the swim and the bike, and kept thinking to myself that I really should have practised some more brick sessions.  The sight of the finish arch after my second lap was a welcome sight and crossing the line I was very surprised and pleased to be given 2nd place in my wave.  I'd completed my first tri and it was worth the wait!

My results:


SPRINT DISTANCE (400m, 20km, 5km):

POS

CAT POS

NAME

TOTALTIME

SWIM

T1

BIKE

T2

RUN

14

4

Fiona

01:12:59

00:08:34

00:02:52

00:39:21

00:01:33

00:20:40

Pontevedra 2011 ETU Championships

Pontevedra 2011 ETU Championships

The GE Great Britain Age Group Team delivered a phenomenal 81 medals including 27 gold across the sprint and standard distance races at the ETU European Championships in Spain over the weekend of 23rd to 26th July 2011.

The two age group races gathered from all over Europe 1.500 to 2.000 athletes and as part of the GBR team, 3 of our own MSTC athletes were there: Rachel Baker, Margaret Hollamby and Steve Alden.

On June the 25th the sprint distance race (swim 750m, bike 20km, run 5km) took place which included Margaret who achieved an amazing 2nd place in her age group (55-59).

Next day, Rachel and Steve took part in the Standard distance race (swim 1500m, bike 40km, 10km), coming a proud 16th & 11th for Great Britain.

The GBR Age Group recorded the fastest overall male and female triathletes in both the sprint and standard distance races. In the sprint race, Mat Clarkson (35-39) from Hertfordshire crossed the line first in 1:01.50, with Anna Turvey (30-34) from Newcastle leading a British one, two, and three in the women's event finishing in 1:08.12.

In the standard distance event, an equally impressive race saw Roger Witz Barnes (25-29) from Manchester finish first overall in 1:58.40, with Nick Dunn (30-34) from Nottingham crossing the line in third.

Final results:

STANDARD DISTANCE:

AG

POS

NAME

TOTALTIME

SWIM

T1

BIKE

T2

RUN

50-54

11

Steve

02:29:20

00:31:00

00:02:33

01:12:40

00:01:15

00:44:28

35-39

16

Rachel

02:34:21

00:31:19

00:02:33

01:13:08

00:01:23

00:48:31



SPRINT DISTANCE:

AG

POS

NAME

TOTALTIME

SWIM

T1

BIKE

T2

RUN

55-59

2

Margaret

01:22:22

00:18:30

00:02:44

00:38:50

00:01:36

00:23:26

 

Author: Sharon