Race Reports

Sun shines for Mid Sussex Sprint Triathlon

More than 260 athletes took part in Mid Sussex Triathlon Club's annual sprint triathlon on Sunday 9th June, held at the Triangle Leisure Centre in Burgess Hill.

This year's sunny event attracted 85 female and 175 male competitors, ranging in age from 15 to 70. Competitors were mostly from other clubs in Brighton, Horsham, Crawley, Steyning, Crowborough and East Grinstead, but a few came from much further afield, including Ashford, Ealing and Devon. About a third of the athletes were beginners taking part in their first triathlon.

The sprint triathlon involves a 400m pool swim, a 25km bike ride through country lanes in Wineham and Twineham, and a 5km run in Burgess Hill. Fifteen competitors took part in the Aquabike event, involving just the swim and cycle, and there were also four relay teams, each with three athletes completing one discipline each.

The winner of the women's event was Sally Bliss in a time of 1.16.59, with Harriet Cunningham of Brighton Tri Club second in 1.17.01. Georgina Tasker of the Mid Sussex Tri Club was third in 1.19.53. Hannah Droscher was the second Mid Sussex Club member to finish in 1.30.40, followed by Sally Gardner in 1.32.30.

Mid Sussex Tri Members Dan Anniston, Lucy Rowe, Sally Gardner & Hannah Droscher.jpg

The winner of the men's event was Mik Onions of Brighton Tri Club in 1.03.46, with Jon Salisbury of Horsham Amphibians second in 1.06.36. Charlie Mactear was third in 1.06.43. The first Mid Sussex Tri Club member to finish was Dan Anniston in 1.10.31, followed by Luc Berthouze in 1.13.34 and Tom Spensley in 1.17.05.

Winner Mik Onions of Brighton Tri Club.jpg

There were several age group prizes, as well as an award for the Spirit of Triathlon, plus many spot prizes and a race number raffle. Each participant also received a goodie bag. The prizes were donated by local organisations including Hurstpierpoint College, Dinnages, CAE Simulation, Piople for Places, Tesco and Waitrose in Burgess Hill, Wisdom Sports, The Perrymount Clinic, Hassocks Opticians, Swim Secure, The Tri Store in Eastbourne, The Chia Co. Chia Seeds  and Mint-Ease. Charlie Langhorne from exhibition organiser Wild in Art was also a much-appreciated sponsor and also marshalled at the event wearing a bear suit, which won him the Best Marshal prize.

Finish.jpg

This triathlon has a reputation as a very welcoming event and is ideal for beginners, as well as experienced triathletes. It is marshalled by members of Mid Sussex Triathlon Club, who this year received many compliments from competitors on the club's Facebook page about their friendliness and encouragement.

Race Director Jo Fleming, in his first year in this position, was very pleased with the successful outcome of the event.

Race Director Jo Fleming at Prize Giving.jpg

East Grinstead Sprint Tri 2016

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Ten members competed in the East Grinstead Sprint Triathlon on Sunday 8th May. 

Anthony Vince came 15th overall on 1:16:48 whilst Rob Hoodless was 2nd in the M50 category on 1:19:24 and Rachael Baker was 2nd in the W40 category on 1:22:24.

Ed Cockill had a good performance on 1:23:21 with Callum Murray 1:28:56 and Matthew Critchley 1:32:24 not far behind.

Julienne Stuart-Colwill 1:33:26, Sarah Hinon 1:43:29, Angela Murray 1:45:10 and Clair Hunt 1:56:25 completed the club's entry.

National Sprint Championships, Big Cow 2014

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This is the first time I have entered this race. Neil Giles said it was a good one. SatNav said it was a 2 hour drive from home and as my start time was 8.10am I could drive up if I had an early alarm start.

Breakfast was 4.15am, I arrived at 6.20am and drove the bike loop for a reconnaissance. It looked good, a bit flat for me, I like hills these days. The first wave was age 18 to 39, and I had a good vantage point to observe them on their 750m circuit. I was in the 50-54 age group, J, tattooed on my left calf, just like Dambuster. Starting far right was the best swim line.

The lake water was warm and I got a great start, and seemed to be in the lead group, sighting, I could not see many ahead of me. T1 went well I emerged on the bike in the lead group, how exiting. Before the group broke up I counted 5 Jays, and 2 were behind me  which meant I was 4th. How very exciting.  A Jay overtook me and disappeared up the road. 5th. A Jay faded, 4th. Into T2, and out on the run. I could see a guy about my age, about 60m ahead. I was very very slowly catching him. My eyesight goes a bit blurry on the bike and it wasn't until about 30m that I could see his calf tattoo. It was a Jay! OMG I could be 3rd if I could overtake him. It took me for ever to catch him, about 2km.  "Come on Jay" I said as I overtook him.

No idea why I said that. Mmmm he sat on my left shoulder, taking my pace. Oh dear. I could see another guy about our age about 50m ahead. I was making no progress, Jay overtook me...we chased him down together taking each other's pace. It was Kay! That's no bloody good. Jay was now suffering, I think he was hacked off it a Kay. As I overtook Kay, he wasn't bothered by me, he let me go. I had about 1km to go, no oldies ahead, and I could no longer hear Kay and Jay behind me.

I settled into my Jedi running. Blurred vision check, shoulders hurting check, chest on fire check, stomach burning check, legs in agony check, calfs in screaming agony check. I was in great shape. Was I really 3rd? Pat pat pat pat pat pat I heard from behind. Oh dear. Pat was coming up fast. As Pat came past, Pat had grey hair, bad news, Pat looked about 50, I made him come around to my left as we swept around a long right turn. Pat was wearing GB blue. Oh dear. This could be very bad news.

I could see the finish inflateable arch about 200m away. Pat had better not be a bloody Jay. I could now see his left calf until he was 2 -3m ahead of me. Pat Bloody well was a Jay. PatJay was now pulling away.....but then I held him. 100m to go. Come on Martin come on. 50m to go, come on come on, this could be for 3rd. COME ON, GO, GO, GO. I could not pull him back. Finish. If I am 4th I am going to cry all the way home I think. 

Shattered I go over to PatJay to say hello, his wife was there. "Bad luck Andy, I think you were 4th" she says. PatJay and I have a chat, "I think I am going to cry all the way home" he says. "Don't" says his wife. Jay The 3rd, was 58 secs ahead of us it turns out, and JaySwim1st, was a fish, miles ahead in the swim. So I was 5th.

If you had said I would have come 5th in the Nationals a year ago, I would have laughed so much, I would have had a hernia. You have got to do this race next year, there were only 25 in my age category, so a great chance for a medal. Wouldn't it be cool if you had been there and won one. A MSTC member with a National Championship medal, that would be super cool.

Martin, 7th July 2014

Notingham Big Tri

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Paul Newsome, Colin Chamber and Martin Shoesmith traveled to the Euro and World Sprint Qualifying event on Saturday 31st May. Being a youngster, Paul was rewarded with a 7.30am start, Colin and I, being very old, a 12pm start. This meant Colin and I travel up and back in a day, leaving Cuckfield 7.45am. The event is held in and around the international rowing center at Holme Peirpoint, a 2km long, perfect rectangle lake, about 1.7m deep (I could stand up).

Transition is interesting, it's a "double transition" area, which means you have to leave your
running shoes in T2, all alone…with no bike for company. Which makes finding them amongst another 249 pairs potentially tricky. Its a good job I left a "flag"
to find mine, Colin's are bright pink so he was OK.

The Swim was nuts, 250 in our wave, I should have brought the dirty washing to this big washing machine. There was a ton of weed in the water, and for 150 meters it was getting stuck in my fingers and feet, if we had got out at this stage, like they do at the World Series, we would have all looked like a platoon of wetsuited camouflaged SAS commandos. Exit from the lake is via a soft and grippy blue carpet… just like the pros, heaven. Then 4
laps around the lake on the bike.

The event is a Mecca for BTF Officials, we were carefully watched from all angles, and 30 cyclist in our wave were "draft busted". There were 2 on motorbikes following us around and around, and Colin was pushing his luck drafting one of them. I escaped, as I had Colin's spare number on. Then T2 to find your trainers, then a run around the lake. On your run, you can see the finish line all the way around the lake and it was mighty tempting to take a quick dip across the 8 rowing lanes for my first ever 1st place.


On the run in, you can see the grandstand, hear the noise of the crowd, the blue carpet and the finish line. What a super fast time from Paul, smashing the club record by 3 minutes, what a great performance. Colin was on a massive PB, but a running injury ended his chances…it still counts Colin, that's 0-2 for the year BTW. You get your times straight away, icecream and home. I strongly recommend this event, its top notch. Allow 3 hours for the drive, buy bright loud trainers, and ask Colin for his spare number…don't explain
why.     

 

                                                                                                                             
  Paul Newsome            
(M) 25-29 Mid Sussex Tri Club 01:01:10 12:10 0.55 28:57:00 0.48 18:20
               
  Martin Shoesmith            
(M) 50-54 Mid Sussex Tri Club 01:04:47 12:43 01:03 29:36:00 0.48 20:37
               
  Colin Chambers            
(M) 50-54 Mid Sussex Tri Club 01:04:52 12:11 0.58 29:08:00 0.54 21:41


 

Martin
Shoesmith 2nd June

City of Bath Sprint Triathlon

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A glorious sunny day started at 5:15am in my own bed. For once the triathlon I was to attempt was within 35mins of my own house. My resident triathlon widow/driver for the day headed for the shower and I headed for the coffee and my oaty based breakfast+banana.

Prior preparation and planning had paid off for once, and though the use of a tri-kit check list developed on my I-pad following bitter experience, the car had been loaded the previous day and all items ticked off. It still didn't stop my pre-race butterflies worrying, but it helped to not do a headless chicken impression on the morning of the race.

The final pre race necessity was completed in the luxury of a non chemical environment and we were off in the car. We promptly became stuck behind the slowest driver in Wiltshire with an unbelievable amount of oncoming traffic preventing an overtake. At that point my butterflies started developing an unhealthy desire to possess and use automatic weapons.

Eventually we got into Bath and headed up the hill to the university. It took about 2mins to drive up the hill at 30mph - I sat contemplating a similar journey scheduled for about 2hrs time to be completed by bicycle, whilst my butterflies further developed an interesting Anglo Saxon vocabulary.

We arrived at the car park to the oh so familiar "pssst" sound of bike tyres being checked - another race season had started and it made me smile.

The car next to us produced a mountain bike accompanied by a beginner triathlete who admitted the bike was her sons, and whilst it had sort-of road tyres, she had not checked them and had never trained on hills. For the uninitiated, the CoB triathlon has 1,005ft of accent in its 23km bike course...

In a fit of decency I pumped her tyres up from 20 to 55psi (max on the tyre wall said 60), and we tried to encourage her to great things. At least I was unlikely to be last now.

Registration was completed, and our labels were a very professional set of bike and helmet stickers from sportstiks.com that included a "supporting 116" sticker for my triathlon widow. She declined to wear it, and I offered her the "bag label" sticker instead - and got "that look".

Bike racking followed, all organised and signposted, and we headed into the Olympic size pool for race briefing. The briefing was good with some humour to keep you awake. One memorable moment was when the race director confirmed that in the pool there would be no diving, bombing, or petting! On the bike briefing, we were told aero bars were prohibited for one of the downhill sections because of a sharp left at the bottom, but I rarely eat chocolate when riding, so ignored that advice.

We were split into groups of 8 for the swim and each group of 8 were given a lane to swim clockwise around until the magic 8 x 50m lengths were complete. Thankfully I was scheduled to be in lane 1 so would have a ladder to get in and out with - those in the middle lanes would have to clamber out over a foot tall diving plinth.

My start time came, the whistle blew, and off I went. I overtook the swimmer in front of me at the end of the first 50m, and at the end of the second 50m I felt a tap as someone wanted to pass me. I let him by at the end of the length, and he promptly went 10m and pulled up completely out of air as he had gone out too hard. Two lengths and two casualties - I am invincible!

One very slow swim later (9+ mins) and I am out and running to T1. All goes well and I am off down the road overtaking a lot of racers as I go. The course is well marshalled and I am working hard to keep the speed up and feeling cocky. The first decent (450ft) cures me of that - it is fearsome. I am doing 30mph and being passed by riders doing 40mph+ but I cannot take my hand off the rear brake as we twist and turn down the hill. At the bottom revenge comes my way as I power up the hill overtaking all the 40mph brigade and a few more for good measure.

Smile for the cameras, around the roundabout, and back the way we came. Down the non aero hill and up the other side overtaking others like the god amongst men I feel I must be. Back towards T2 and they sneak in a final hill I hadn't noticed on the way out which saps your legs just when you need them for running.

T2 goes well, and I perform the triathlete shuffle on shaky legs as I headed through run-out.

Ah yes, the run...

Now if on dating websites curvy=fat, then in triathlon "flat and on good ground" translates as steep accents through soft and occasionally mud filled woodland paths.

I took about a mile before I got into my stride, but once there I felt good and covered the ground well. At the 4km mark I realised it was on for a PB if I got my finger out, and I pushed on. At 100m to go I turned the corner to be faced with a 3m tall ridge we had to run up and across before the finish line would come into view.

Final dash to the line aiming for the photographer, and across we go with a new PB of 1:21:43 and I finished in the top third for a change!

Tea and medals followed with the usual post race bragging with my fellow athletes.

In summary it was a tough sprint race with good marshalling that I would recommend as a warm up for the Dambuster - if only because of the bike course. I even have a new favourite mug from my goody bag.