Race Reports

Mid Sussex Triathlon Club W/E 4th July 2021

Stewart Conway At Bolton Ironman

Ironman Uk at Bolton

While many in the country were still in bed, the competitors of Ironman UK 2021 were setting off on a daunting physical test in Bolton. Athletes began early in the morning with a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride around the town, before running a full marathon, all in the pouring train, making the bike run treacherous.

Stewart Conway and Doug MacTaggart were keen to take part as the event had to be postponed last year due to Covid. Stewart completed the course in a respectable 11hr 42 mins 10 secs giving him 12th place in his age group and  97th place overall. Doug, who specialises in Ultra Marathons and who was competing in his 16th Ironman, finished in 15.46.18 to place 1012th in this very popular event.

Outlaw Holkham Half Ironman

Outlaw Half Holkham is known as one of the UK’s most beautiful triathlon events with the 18th century Holkham Hall providing an inspiring backdrop to the swim. Luc Berthouse competing in his first Half Ironman was delighted to come 7th in his age group with a good time of 4.57.42. This also placed him 117th out of 1125 competitors.

Hever Castle Long Aquathlon

This event is part of the Festival of Endurance and comprises a lengthy 3,800m swim followed by a 21km run. Adam Bryant came 2nd in his age group for the second time, and 8th overall in what he described as probably the hardest race he’d ever done.

Ardingly Reservoir Open Water Swimming

Meanwhile the club’s open water swimming continues at Ardingly on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. This is the club’s most popular activity with 39 swimmers on Saturday.

Club News, 16th May

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Mid Sussex Junior Triathlon Event Sunday 15th May

Many members and club coaches were at Great Walstead School's playing field and pool for the club's Junior Triathlon event on Sunday 15th May. About 25 juniors from 8 - 15 years participated in triathlons of varying lengths depending on their age. They were divided into 3 groups, each with a club coach, and had all received some training on previous weekends. The young ones did a 30metre swim, followed by a 700m bike ride and finished with a 700m run. The older ones did up to a 240m swim, a 2-3km bike ride and a 1.4km run. They received a full briefing and bike safety check before commencing. They were encouraged by many parents and grandparents, all cheering and ringing cow bells, which made it all very enjoyable, and much easier for the participants,  leading to some excellent performances.

Swashbuckler Middle Distance Triathlon

Four keen members participated in the Swashbuckler Middle Distance Triathlon event at Bucklers Hard in Hampshire on Saturday 15th May.  This involves a 1.9km swim in the chilly (16 degrees) Beaulieu River, a 90km bike ride in the New Forest and a 22km run. All recorded personal bests in glorious sunshine, with Steve Alden coming first in his M55 category on 5.04.01. Brad Williams was 6th in the same category on 5.53.50 with his wife Julie Williams placing 3rd in the F50 category on 6.22.15 and Jean Fish placing 3rd  in the F55 category on 6.38.28.

Swashbucklers 2016

4 Sight Charity 40 mile Bike Ride

Steve McMenamin, Jo Fleming, Lawrence Wintergold and Paul Virgo helped out at the 4 Sight Charity 40 mile Bike Ride which started at The Thatched Inn, Hassocks on Sunday 15th May. This comprised of 14 tandems and 2 triplets where the back riders (stokers) are blind or severely visually impaired. The Mayor of Haywards Heath and the Charity's Chief Executive were on the triplets.

4Sight2

4Sight1

Enduroman Half

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I entered this event as I wanted a change from doing Wimbleball again, so this was going to be a whole new experience. I drove down to the New Forest in Hampshire on Saturday and had no problems until I got within a few miles of the race headquarters when my sat nav took me down a very narrow track and I mean narrow!!! Eventually I found my way back onto the correct road through the National Park  avoiding the ponies and horses and into the grounds of Avon Tyrrell House Activity Centre, which was where the event was taking place.

Luckily the weather was fine as I had to park my van in the middle of the field between the lake and the house. Many vehicles and tents were already there as the different events had started on the Friday with a Triple Enduroman [Iron distance] and 200 mile run. 

Saturday's events were a Double and a 100 mile run. Sunday's programme was a Single, the Half and a 50 mile run!!

A real festival of endurance which was making me feel quite inferior as I was only doing the Half!!! As I am too old now to camp I had booked a room in the "House", so I booked in and then had a walk around to soak up the atmosphere.

Not to bore you too much I'll try and explain the layout of the area. The "House" sits at the top of a hill surrounded by woodland and slopes on one side down through the parking field to the lake approximately 500m away. The other side of the "House" is the "roundabout" which is the start and finish of all the events. Also it is the lap counting  point and it is where the support crews congregate, so it is a hub of activity as there is always someone coming through  completing either a lap or finishing and of course starting, just amazing support for everyone taking part. 

There were some world class endurance athletes taking part so the place was buzzing! Later that evening I registered, I was going to be in Wave 1 starting at 08.30hrs and my race number was 148. It was then time for dinner, which was pretty good and plenty of it! No sooner had I finished dinner and it was time for the race briefing which was very informative.

I racked my bike in the allotted tennis court adjacent to the "roundabout" . Next it was time to get my kit sorted ready for the morning. Bedtime at last but could I sleep!!! Within two hours I was wide awake thinking about tomorrows event!! The rest of the night went the same way a couple of hours sleep then awake!!! After a fitful night I got up at 05.00hrs as I had to go for the bike/helmet check and I passed that with flying colours!!!! Filled up my water bottles next and laid out my kit in the change tent which was optional or you could put it by your bike. I chose the tent option as there was more room to change etc. and as I knew I wasn't going to win there would be no rush at T1 !!!!

I stood at the roundabout for awhile and just watched and soaked up the vibes. I got chatting to some guy and he told me I could leave my running shoes by his support crew tent which he said would save me a little time at T2. as we had been told at the briefing that as you completed your bike leg someone would take your bike from you and rack it so if you wanted you could leave your run shoes somewhere near the "roundabout". Great I thought every second counts!! But I was to regret this move later!!! 

Next was breakfast, bloody hell no porridge!!!  Oh well cornflakes would do and by now the nerves were kicking in so I wasn't that hungry!! Soon it was time to put on the penguin suit and waddle down to the lake!!! We had been told to take an old pair of trainers and leave by the swim exit as there were some stoney sections to overcome enroute to T1. The water temperature was not bad so I got in and had  a little paddle around to ease the nerves!

It was 08.30 hrs and we were off!  The swim was 7  laps anticlockwise round the small lake and after each lap you sort of pulled into a layby and called out your number! Like playing bingo!!! I have never swam laps before in a race so that seemed a little weird but at least I didn't get giddy going round!!! The next thing I know it was my last lap and I was approaching the exit ramp and I wasn't the last either as there were two others still in the water!! No they weren't ducks they were competitors!!!! Makes a change not to be last out the water I thought!!![ there was only 24 in my wave!!] and there was only a total of 48 competing in the Half.

Now it was a 500m run up the hill through the middle of the car park field to T1  pulling my wet suit down to my waist as I ran, well jogged!!! As the weather was looking good I had already decided to just wear my tri suit for the bike and run. So it was off with the wet suit, on with the bike shoes, a few metres jog to the bike rack and another little walk up a few steps and it was onto the "roundabout" for the start of the 5 bike laps. The course was undulating and at times went through the New Forest National Park, that was strange taking part in a triathlon and having to avoid horses, ponies and cows in the road!!! They look at you like they own the place!!!! At least I didn't hit one!!

There was a bit of a drag up Braggers Lane towards the end of each lap before re-entering the grounds of Avon Tyrrell House, then it levelled out before a very short fast descent to the "roundabout". Call out your number as you went over the timing mat and it was back out on the next lap. No mishaps on the bike and soon it was the end of the last lap and back onto the "roundabout" for T2.

As I dismounted I was told I had to rack my own bike back on the tennis court!!! So much for my hidden shoes for a fast getaway!! Of course I had already taken my feet out of my bike shoes before dismounting so I had to jog to the bike rack across tarmac and stoney ground and then back again to get my running shoes on!!! The plans of mice and men eh!!! At least I remembered to rub the grit off the bottom of my socks before setting off on the first of 12 laps.

The first two laps I felt pretty good and was running fairly strong for me! The course was all off road, very technical with tree roots [which had been marked with orange paint] and there were two spots where it was quite muddy and wet. It was a tough run route and each lap got harder, the sun got hotter and I got slower. As you entered the "roundabout" at the end of each lap you called out your race number as you went over the timing mat and the crowds were cheering and clapping which was a great feeling and certainly helped me push through the pain!

After six laps I had that feeling, you know what it's like, this is bloody hard and am I going to finish!! But you just dig in deep and carry on. At the end of the ninth lap I knew I had got it cracked as there were only two normal laps to do then the last lap you do a U turn over the timing mat and run the last lap in reverse so that everyone watching and racing knows you are about to finish your challenge. Oh my god what a fantastic feeling as you run round and the crowds cheer and clap and those runners going in the opposite direction high five you and clap!! I had a few lumps in my throat! Then it was up the last hill and down onto the by now infamous "roundabout" to the cheering crowds and the FINISH!!

Bloody hell that was TOUGH!! Will I do it again? Maybe, might even try the SINGLE!! What am I saying!!!!

Results:

swim  1.3 miles   51mins 9 secs a PB for me!   22nd out of 24

T1                             5 mins         no PB !!!

bike     58 miles      3hrs 31mins 31 secs  another PB  15th out of 24

T2                            3 mins            

run       13 miles       2hrs  34 mins 31 secs    16th out 24

overall time :  7hrs 5 mins 11 secs   a fabulous PB for me!!

overall position in Wave1  14th out of 24

overall position out Wave1 and Wave 2     33rd out of 47

the next youngest was 52yrs old 16 yrs younger than me!!!

I know it's been a long race report and probably boring but I just wanted to give everyone a feeling for the atmosphere and the race setup. Also I was so pleased with my overall time that I just wanted to share it with you all. Thank you all for your support.

 

Del     

Ironman 70.3 Pays dAix

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The day finally arrived to experience a middle distance Ironman race and i wasn't disappointed with this event. It had great atmosphere, good competition and some hard racing with about 1900 athletes entered. This is a beautiful part of France and the weather was ideal. 

Taking down an 800 calorie breakfast was interesting and so was discovering I had somewhat outgrown my wetsuit from last year! However the goal of this race was to finish strong and positive, test out the nutrition strategy with a view to making the full distance Ironman Nice next month a less daunting prospect.

Swim
(1.9km) - Set in a lake about 30mins by car north of Aix which made the logistics of the event abit cumbersome due to having two transition areas, however it was good nonetheless.  The usual  washing machine affair during the first half, stayed calm, got some space and focused on good navigation and preserving my energy. Fortunately no contact.

Bike
(90km) - Felt pretty good after the swim but was cautious not to push too much on the bike, wanted to finish strong on the run. Time flew past on the ride and I learnt to be careful pacing against others since many were doing the relay and were much fresher, it was reasonably hilly with one 500m climb about 80km in, but what goes up must come down and there were some fantastic fast downhill sections afterwards. Finished in good shape for a strong run.

Run
(21.1km) - Oh dear....legs feel great, lots of energy, however my lungs seemed to have stopped working. It was about 24degrees but felt alot hotter for the 4 x 5km loops in the centre of town. I'm not sure what my problem was, i now suspect the wetsuit was far too tight and compressed my chest and maybe this was the after effect but nevertheless I had to back right off and fortunately the great atmosphere from the crowd around the course (and my lovely wife) meant i finished. Whilst I would have liked to be 25mins quicker on the run, I know this will serve as motivation for the next one.

Result:
Swim(39m), Bike(03:13), Run(01:56) = 06:00

A big thank you to MSTC whose coaches have been very helpful the past 12 months.


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Anthony Vince

70.3 Half Ironman: Zell-A-See, Austria

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70.3 - Half Ironman:  Zell-A-See, Austria, Sun 1st Sept 2013
 
Training gone well for the finale, my first half iron man, the 70.30 Austria.
 
The last three months swimming and cycling came on leaps and bounds since I  joined  the MSTC with their coaching and help from other club members.  Open water swimming, new and much enjoyed, albeit after a little trepidation!
 
Arrived 29th August in stunning Zell-Am-See so had three days to orientate ourselves with warm and sunny weather.
 
Spent some time finding our bearings, finding Transition point and the more important, Finishing line.  Cycled around the lake to get a real feel of the land.
 
Finally, race day:-  Rained  through the night and all through the swim and cycle, but did stop for the run!
 
Had a great swim and cycle but blew out on the run.  But very happy overall with my result, better than I could have wished for:-
 
Swim:  00:36:35
Bike:   02:56:39
Run:   02:22:30
 
Total:  06:10:51
 
Would highly recommend this venue for a 70.3 race for achieving a PB as bike section not too hilly and a flat run.
 
Jason Cole