Race Reports

Open Water Swimming, Home and International

Ardingly Reservoir Swimming Sat 7Th May 2022

Open Water Swimming at Ardingly Reservoir

The Club's Open Water swimming has now commenced at 8.15am on Saturday mornings and 6pm on Tuesday evenings. Usually between 20 and 40 swimmers participate.

This is one of the club's most popular activities and the club is the only organisation which has an agreement for swimming in Ardingly Reservoir with the Activity Centre.

Ironman World Championships, St George, Utah, USA

Having qualified last year, Stewart Conway went all the way to Utah for the World Championships. However he suffered a stress fracture in training so could not push himself. Despite this setback, decided to go to enjoy the experience, finishing in 12hrs 37mins 30secs. Reporting after finishing he said it had been an awesome experience and he had loved every minute of it. This was despite the 33 degrees of dry heat, very strong winds and more elevation on both the bike and the run than pretty much any other Ironman.  However he said his inability to pedal to full power or run had possibly played to his advantage as he could have been knocked over by the the strong winds, as happened to so many other athletes.

                                          

Ironman 70.3, Alcudia, Mallorca 7th May

Three members went to Alcudia to compete in the Ironman 70.3 (1.9km swim, 90km bike & 21.1km run) in warm and sunny conditions.

Andy McGregor finished in 5.49.40 followed closely by Katie McGregor in 5.53.11. Kate Bradford was delighted to finish in 6.44.42, although commenting that 90km on the bike felt a long ride.

Three Forts Challenge, Sussex Downs, 1st May

Helen Graham & Douglas MacTaggart took on this tough marathon, which is mainly on the Downs between Devil's Dyke and Cissbury Ring. It has 3450ft of climb and for this reason is known as The Tough One. Helen said she ran faster with Doug than she would have without his company.

The Mid Sussex Triathlon, Sunday 12th June

Members are looking forward to hosting the popular Mid Sussex Triathlon at The Triangle, Burgess Hill on Sunday 12th June.

Mid Sussex Triathlon Club Members Compete Far & Wide

Stewart Conway Ribble Cycles Documentary

Stewart Conway Training For World Ironman, Kona Hawaii

On 6th November Stewart spent a day filming with Ribble Cycles for a forthcoming mini documentary on the training required on the road to the Ironman World Championships. It is about helping 'age groupers' to get to the peak of fitness, including juggling work, family and the training required with regular 4am starts.

Abersoch Sprint Triathlon 16th October

Jacqueline Naish went all the way to Abersoch in North Wales for her first Triathlon. Despite feeling quite nervous, she completed the course in 2hours 14 minutes, coming 15th in her category. Afterwards Jacqueline commented that it was so much fun and that she is now completely hooked on triathlon.

Doug MacTaggart Ironmans & Marathons

Doug MacTaggart went off to compete in the Mallorca Ironman on the 16th October finishing in 13.21.15. He then competed in the Beachy Head Marathon on the 23rd October event, finishing in 4.55.28.

Finally, he then went thousands of miles away to compete in Ironman South Africa in Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth. Doug commented that it was a fun day out, with horrific sea conditions and really bad winds on the bike and run! He said this Ironman had the worst conditions of any he had done. However he was really pleased with his time of 11:58:28.

Helen Graham

Helen also competed in the Beachy Head Marathon finishing in 5.57.19. She laughingly said that she was easily tempted by a bit of bling (medal) and a burger on offer for finishers. She then went on to complete a Midweek Marathon in Milton Keynes on the 9th November.

Member's Summer Activities

Carl & Caroline At Coniston

Here is some news of the range of activities of Mid Sussex Triathlon Club Members through the summer.

8th August Goodwood Ultra Triathlon

Stewart Conway placed an impressive 7th in the inaugural 255 Triathlon at Goodwood in 12.38.35. This is the world's longest single day Triathlon which involves a 5km swim, 200km bike ride and 50km run. The swim is in Westhampnett Lake whilst the bike ride and run are on the traffic free motor circuit. Competitors must complete the event in 18 hours. Despite the wind and rain, Stewart described it as a great day out.

21st/22nd August Seaford, Uckfield and Ripon

Liz Griffin Hind, who is a very experienced swimmer, completed her first triathlon at Seaford (750m sea swim, 20km bike ride, 5km run) in 1.36.51.

Carlos Castro went all the way to Ripon to compete in the Dalesman Triathlon, his first long distance ironman triathlon (3.8km swim, 180km bike ride, 42.2km run) in just over 12 hrs.

Meanwhile Zoe Deeley and Jon Clarke stayed local, competing in the Uckfield Standard Triathlon (600m swim, 22km bike ride, 5.25km run) finishing in 1.53.18 (11th woman) and 1.28.14 (22nd man), respectively.

4th September Aquasphere Chillswim 5.25 mile Lake Coniston End to End

After much training at Ardingly Reservoir through the summer Caroline Ray and Carl Clarke travelled to the Lake District on Saturday 4th September for the very popular 5.25 mile Lake Coniston swim, finishing in 3hrs 6min and 3hr 19 min respectively.

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.

Ironman Arizona 2019

Helenbike 500X375

Helen Graham completes two Ironman Triathlons within 9 weeks

Helen Bike

Background

Tempe in Arizona delivers a mostly-flat, fast, and spectator-friendly course that brings urban charms and desert vistas together. The deep lake water tends to be rather cold despite the potentially warm race conditions. Headwinds on the cycle can be more of a challenge than the significant inclines.

Pre race

Helen and Jim signed up for this fast warm weather triathlon a year ahead because this race sells out rapidly. Helen completed Ironman Italy 9 weeks earlier. Jim broke his hip during Ironman Italy so he switched from racing to supporting for Arizona.

Swim

64 Fahrenheit water and some currents lead to many athletes getting hypothermic and withdrawing of getting slow times. Helen was 16 minutes longer in the water at Arizona compared to Italy. The 0.4 mile jog from the swim exit to T1 made transition times longer than usual.

Bike

The sun did not emerge from clouds until around midday. The first 20 miles were uphill into a headwind so Helen was averaging around 11mph when she needed an average of nearly 15mph to make the cut-off times. Prospects looked bleak but Helen dug-deep and she avoided use of brakes downhill plus she pedalled like fury. Helen's speeds steadily rose through the 3-lap course and she did make the final cut-off time by just 2 minutes 50 seconds.

Run

Helen is a great runner with more than 50 marathons completed. She ran steadily and strongly to beat the final cut-of time by nearly an hour, overtaking vast numbers of other athletes as she went.

Post race

The subdued celebrations of Italy were compensated for by jubilation in Arizona.

Reflections and Acknowledgements

The 16:10 finish time at Arizona was 27 mins slower than the Italy finish time, but many more All World Athlete (AWA) points were awarded to Helen for this Arizona race. This reflects tougher race conditions on the day at Arizona. These two races give Helen an age group world ranking of 17th in GBR and 254th in the World. Some of those ranked higher will have gained points from 3 races rather than just 2.
The support of family and friends following progress on the Ironman App was much appreciated. The MSTC training sessions, advice and comradeship has been hugely important to Helen as she has progressed from complete novice to accomplished triathlete.

Helen Medal