Race Reports

Midnight Wo/Man

Lawrence Wintergold At Wo.Man Dartford.

The Midnight Wo/Man is an amazing multi-sport event that sees competitors race through the night to the finish line. It has grown and now offers a whole range of races from sprint triathlon to full distance ironman triathlon. The friendly atmosphere is set against a backdrop of surprisingly scenic lakes in former gravel pits within sight and sound of the QE2 bridge at Dartford. Further adding to the attractions of this race is the fact that it is held on closed roads.


My chosen event was the half aquabike - 1.9k swim and 90k bike.


The evening was warm and bright with the temperature hovering around 30 degrees. 160 people milled around not wanting to get into their wetsuits until the last moment. Finally we were beckoned into the warm and clear water for a mass start. Being a rather sedate swimmer I waited until the keen ones had entered the churning mass at the front of the race and settled myself into a steady rhythm for 2 long loops of the lake. Having avoided being lapped, I was helped up a slippery slope by the welcome arms of the marshals for a short run to transition. At this point I realised that I hadn’t ever tried to get out of my new wetsuit in a hurry and probably should have greased up before the race or even have practiced. What followed must have been very amusing as I thrashed about failing to locate my zip cord and falling over my half mast suit when I did find it.


Somehow I managed to escape the clutches of my neoprene captor, clipped into the relative safety of my bike and set off into the setting sun. It was great not having to worry about cars and admiring the range of twinkling lights on competitors bikes. There was obviously a prize for the most opulent display with some people sporting full led frame lighting and disco light spoke illumination.


Offsetting the challenge of traffic was the technical nature of the course - 52 dead turns, 52 roundabout encounters, 26 right angle turns through bollards and the increasingly low sun. I have to confess to some accidental bollard bashing in my enthusiasm to negotiate the turns speedily. Counting the 13 laps was also a headache. My cunning plan of using elastic bands and pinging one off each lap went awry as the heat had caused several to let go before I even got on my bike. As the sun finally said goodbye the next challenge was gauging the speed of the slower riders by their lights and I saw a couple of near misses.


When I thought I had reached the end of lap 13 I pulled into transition for the final sprint to the line. It always feels like a cheat doing an aquabike when you see others set off for their run leg. It did mean I finished before midnight though. I had time to cheer the remaining triathletes on, especially the 10 who had elected to do the full ironman distance course. The night time temperature never dropped below 20 so it was both a balmy and barmy spectacle.


It was a treat to be part of such a welcoming and different event and realise Dartford was more than a crossing. I would really recommend this event.



Aquabike result: 3:03:53 - first in age group (55-60) and second overall (winner 3:02:06)


Lawrence Wintergold

Member's events, 18th -19th Sept

Steve & Kay Mcmenamin With Caroline Ray & Carl Clarke At Swim Serpentine 2 Mile.

Saturday 18th September


Swim Serpentine 2 mile swim

Five members went up to Hyde Park on a lovely sunny morning to take part in this event in the Serpentine Lake. The event is very popular and is run in waves which start between 0815 and 1620. Steve McMenamin completed the 2 miles in just under an hour in 59.23, saying that he had to weave through lots of swimmers and then encountered the earlier wave. Steve was followed closely by Caroline Ray in 1.00.07 and Carl Clarke in 1.04.00. Kay McMenamin finished in 1.14.33 and Sally Gardner in 1.23.45. Sally was delighted with her time as she could hardly swim a 25m length in the pool 9 months ago.



Chiltern Wonderland Ultra Run

Doug Mac Taggart, the club's Ultra Marathon enthusiast, tackled this tough 50 mile scenic run which involves 5500ft of climb, in warm temperatures. Doug was pleased to  finish in 12.13.56.



Sunday 19th September


National Aquathlon Championships

On arrival at the Worthing Sailing Club venue Adam Bryant commented that there were some very fast looking people at the start. Despite this Adam relished competing with ITU athletes, completing a tactical roll at the buoy, which he was proud of,  finishing the 750m swim in 17.23 and the 5km run in 21.15, and placing 12th out of 13 in the 45-49 age group.


Run Reigate 10k

Zoe Deeley was very pleased to complete her 10k run in a net time of 1.11.00, placing 64th in her FV50 age group.


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.

Mid Sussex Triathlon & Aquabike


On Sunday 12th June the Mid Sussex Triathlon Club held its annual Sprint Triathlon and Aquabike at The Triangle Leisure Centre in Burgess Hill.

The event attracted entries from all over the South East with 238 competitors in the Triathlon and 22 in the Aquabike. The Sprint Triathlon involves a pool swim of 400m, followed by a 25km bike ride around a circuit which includes Ansty, Wineham and Twineham, finishing back at the Triangle, and finally there is a 5km run.  Gary Leybourne of South London Harriers Tri Club was first home in 1hr 2mins 28 secs, with Luke Worthington of  Surrey Tri Club second in 1hr 4 mins and 04 secs. Fiona Blagg of Crawley Tri Club was the first woman home and 26th overall, in 1hr 15mins 17 secs. 

The Aquabike event entries were dominated by 10 members of the Crystal Palace Triathletes Club. Jeremy Purnell was first home in 47mins 44secs, with Cathy Cooke, also of Crystal Palace Triathletes, being the first woman home in 53 mins. In this event the 5km run is omitted.

The weather was rather wet; however most competitors appeared to enjoy the day. Feedback from past events has indicated that this is a very friendly Triathlon, which is marshalled by members of the club. Team Oathall, comprising  12 teachers from Oathall School in Haywards Heath, indicated that they all had a great race and would be back next year for sure. They congratulated the club for putting on such an enjoyable event. Two Triathlon competitors were stranded with punctures out on the far reaches of the bike course and faced a long walk back to the Triangle. However they were rescued by the MSTC roaming mechanic, who fixed their punctures so that they could complete the triathlon safely.

Klara Boarder was the first Mid Sussex Tri  Club member home, in 1hr 33mins 20 secs; she commented that she had had a blast.

ITU Aquathlon world champs


The race is a 1km swim and a 5km run.

05:00 the start of what was going to be a great day except for the 05:00 alarm call. Its great doing aquathlons as you only have a wetsuit and trainers to sort out, but this does make transition very strange, only a set of trainers in there nothing to set up nothing to tinker with..... and how do you find your trainers amongst 1500 other pairs.....
My start was 10:10. ITU rules are in the water 30 secs before the horn and you have to have one hand holding the pontoon. I take up my usual position of the centre line which is the most direct route but quite a lot have the same idea and its a bit cramped, unlike deep water starts you cant make space for yourself, there we are my chest tight against some other guys back and some other guys chest against my back a bit snug you might say.
This is going to be a proper bun fight, I quite like a start like that as it fires you up. Wow the klaxon went and I got proper mullered. I have been in starts with 3000+ guys and it was not as bad as this, pure white water fists, heads, feet really bad then bang I take a full on hit to the right temple which moves my goggles to my forehead... I take another at the first turn again shifting my goggles, on both occasions I manage to get them back in place without stopping but after the third time I thought bugger it don't bother, they stayed in place but were full of water. I had to remind myself that the main thing was to focus on what I was doing and not panic, yea not panic just focus. It worked, although I couldn't see where I was going I made the last 500m without too much issue.

Out of the water in under 16 mins not too bad, the problem now was finding my trainers amongst 1500 other pairs.

Lungs are burning and I realise how hard it is to run after the swim, I pull the pace back and control my breathing and heart rate, it works after a 1km I start to settle into a 4:30 per km pace. The run is great although hard as I have only had about 3 runs in the past few months but my body starts to remember what it has to do.

This was a great day everyone I met was chatty and friendly and it was an honour to compete for Ireland and hang out in the Irish athlete tent situated opposite the GB who by far has the most athletes there, it also worked as a great recky for the Standard distance on Sunday.

Swim 15:53
T1 01:03
Run 22:49

Total 00:39:44 this puts me in 50th AG place


Steve Mac