Race Reports

MSTC end-of-season marathons, duathlons and more


Once the Triathlon season is finished,  many club members enter running events, to pursue additional goals other than pure triathlons.

Lisbon Marathon

Tony Asquith completed the Lisbon Marathon in mid October along with his son and best man.

Ed Barnes: Duathlons

Ed Barnes had a few busy weeks in October, when, after 3 months of intensive training, he completed the Windsor Half Marathon, Oulton Park Standard Duathlon and finally the Bedford sprint Euro Qualifier Duathlon (5km run, 20km bike and 2.5km run) on the 16th October, achieving 1.02.18 in gusty winds and torrential rain.

Beachy Head Marathon Saturday 29th October

The Eastbourne Beachy Head Marathon is one of the biggest off-road marathons in the UK. Formerly known as the Seven Sisters Marathon, it is popular for its scenic and challenging route through the South Downs National Park countryside. Four members participated this year, with Jean Fish completing the course in 6 hours, Amanda Durrant in 6.02, Sam Drake in 6.37 and Simon Hodges, along with wife Josie, in  just over 7 hours.

End of Season Saturday morning training swim in Ardingly Reservoir Saturday 29th October

Fifteen swimmers braved the chilly water early Saturday morning, with some in fancy dress, to celebrate 6 months of swim training on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings,  deservedly followed by bacon rolls and mulled wine!

River Thames Autumn Half Marathon Sunday 30th October

Vicky Von der Linden took on this event which is alongside the River Thames, achieving a personal best of 2.06.00. She was joined by her brother Luke Davids who achieved 1.34.29.

Dublin Marathon Sunday 30th October

Occasional MSTC member George Murray completed the Dublin Marathon, his first, in 3.00.59, earning automatic entries into the London Marathons of 2018 and 2019 - if he wants them!

Anthony Vince's season guide


Hever Castle Sprint Tri- 4th in Age Group (SEN) and 9th overall. Great local event, stacked fields, well organised and interesting course. Not sure the water was 17deg though, felt more like 10!

Ocean Lakes Sprint Tri- 4th in AG (SEN) and 9th overall. Well worth a try, especially at the beginning of the season, they are normally one of the first/last to have an open water swim during the year.

Ironman 70.3 series- Barcelona, Germany (European Champs) and Vichy. Best placing 46th in 4:57.

  • Barcelona has a sea swim with a hilly ride and a flat and generally hot run on a sandy surface.
  • Wiesbaden is a lake swim in a quarry, a very hilly bike and a hilly parkrun. Expect good quality road surface on the bike and tough competition because it's the Euros. The downhill section on the bike gets to 85kph! Also the Germans insist you stay to the right at all times on the bike course, else they ram you off!
  • Vichy is a river swim with no noticeable current, was non-wetuit at the last minute this year so be prepared, been very hot here last 2 years. The bike is flat on a good surface, so in aeros pretty much the whole course. The run is fairly flat around the river with some shade. Expect 30-35 deg heat on the run in August.


Trevor's Ironman Wales


The event couldn't really have gone much better for me. The swim was beautiful, a little choppy in places and I spotted a couple of jellyfish low down, but you couldn't have hoped for much better conditions considering it's the sea off Wales. I was really happy with 1hour 13mins.

My bike speed isn't the best so I was worried about cut-offs but I rode in the moment and enjoyed every part, even the hills, amazingly, due to the incredible support from the hundreds of spectators lining the sides. Adrenaline is an amazing thing. It's a hard bike but seeing people sat in front of their houses or on a sofa on a flat-bed farm trailer in a lay-by or banging pots with wooden spoons really helps and they stayed put for even the slower riders on their second lap so you feel as special as the fast competitors. Again really happy with my time, a great feeling knowing you're not going to be cut off and you'll be allowed to do the marathon!

The bike has a deserved reputation for being hard but the run lies in wait, quietly gloating, as it knows it's actually harder. It heads out of town and then steeply uphill for probably a couple of miles. Then back down the way you've come and winds round in a maze through the crowded streets of Tenby. Four laps. Supporters even on the further reaches of the run had music systems set up in front of their houses.

I was determined to do the first two laps with no walking, hills and all, except for water stations. Rose was in Personal Needs on the run so I saw her every lap and she supplied what I needed most... love and belief in me. I can't thank her enough for selflessly supporting for over 15 hours, exhausting in itself. She'd even walked out to Saundersfoot on the bike course to cheer at the top of the hill for a brief moment as I passed and then walked the 3 miles back.

Lap 3 of the run was dark. Literally it was getting dark, but mentally too. My poor quads were shot from the bike effort. I took the last painkiller and salt tab. My adaptive nutrition plan which had worked wonderfully on the bike and until now was starting to crumble. I developed a weird 'scratch' on the back of my throat that made me cough to the point where I thought I might be sick. I think it was the build-up of the intense flavour of the Powerbar gels or a scratch from the one and only Dorito I had had at a Feed station. I had to breathe through my nose to control the cough reflex for a while until it passed. No gels from now on, for now water for a bit and flat coke.

Loads of people were walking the long, long, long hill now but I'm a bit bloody-minded and decided to run. I knew for me that to alternate walk / run would be the start of a downward spiral to just walking everything. I was like a slow snail creeping past fractionally slower snails! Some of the slower snails sped off on the downhill but others didn't. It mattered not as I wasn't battling them... I hadn't walked… an internal fight won.

So no gels but I need energy still so it's tiny bites of banana and tiny sips of coke and energy drink. I had to pop up a dark side road for a wee so I'm OK hydration-wise so no more water, that will dilute salts.

Back in town on the second half of the third lap and Tenby was a disco. The bike shop literally had disco lazer lights strobing the street. In fact it was becoming a bit overwhelming. Once more past the finishing chute seeing people enter it... but you're peeling off for another lap.

But there's Rose again and it's the LAST lap! What a mental pickup. I tell myself it's a lap of honour. I thanked every supporter that I passed on the bike and now I thank these ones doubly. It's raining and they're still out. Every tiny child on the run wanting a high five has got one. Their excitement at that small act is such a positive buzz that I feel like they transfer a small bit of energy to me.

I'm running slow but OK. I'm not an Ironman yet but my quads feel as hard as iron. My knees hate the downhills. ITB pain is bearable due to the taping. I'm so happy it's the last lap, everything's good now. There's even some chats to be had with other last lappers and a few laughs. We're on the way home.

The finish chute is loud and red and a blur. I high five Paul Kaye,  he tells me I am an Ironman. I search for Rose, she's there, but too much music and faces to see her so I cross the line arms raised. I see Rose on the other side, there's hugs and a few tears.

A long, long journey, four years since not finishing Bolton but absolutely worth it. The last lap was definitely the last lap, it doesn't get much harder than Wales, no need to do it again!

Trevor's times:

Swim: 1.13.27

Bike: 7.48.20

Run: 5.46.03

Overall: 15.16.03

Ironman Wales and Conquer the Chilterns


Ironman Wales at Tenby

Seven members went to Tenby in Pembrokeshire to compete in the Ironman Wales event on Sunday 18th September.

IRONMAN Wales is now well established as having one of the most challenging bike and run courses on the IRONMAN calendar.  This is counterbalanced by Tenby's North Beach providing the most spectacular swim location, possibly of any IRONMAN event, and the inspiration gained from one of the most vocal and enthusiastically-supported events, with tens of thousands of spectators, who turn out on race day for all three discplines. This is a full Ironman with a swim of 2.4 miles, a bike ride of 112 miles, together with a marathon (26.22 miles).

Dr James Graham came home in 11.27.04 placing 17 in the 50-54 age group.  James said," Tenby is simply the best Ironman race in the world. Beautiful swim. Hard technical cycle but nevertheless pretty. Amazing hard hard hard run. The very best crowd support of any Ironman. So much banter and music and lovely friendly crowds". James goes to Kona in Hawaii in early October for the World Ironman Championships.

Colin Chambers was the second club member to finish, in 12.28.25 placing 35th in the 50-54 age group.  Doug MacTaggart was the third club member to finish in 13.07.12, placing 109th in the 45-49 age group. Doug commented , "A month ago my plan A was to try and sneak a sub 14 at Vichy IM and then just get around at Wales. Never did I think I could get a 12:41 at Vichy and then be only 26 minutes slower with a 13:07, at what is definitely the toughest IM I have done at Wales.  Time for a month's rest before I attempt a 100 mile trail run".

Sharona Harrington did very well coming in 20th place in the Women's 35-39 group in 14.29.42, Charlie Langhorne, also in the 50-54 age group, finished in 14.49.54 saying he was delighted to have completed the course but felt really tired. Trevor Moore finished in 15.16.03 and Cliff Wilson in 16.31.21.

Conquer the Chilterns Sprint Plus Triathlon at Henley on Thames

Sarah Hinton and Ricci Lennon went to this inaugural event which featured a 750m swim, a 30 km bike ride and a 5km run. The swim was in the River Thames and navigated the world-famous Henley Royal Regatta section. The bike leg followed a multi-lap rolling course with one large climb per lap, and the runs featured an undulating climb which required competitors to to push their legs to their limits. Sarah was the 8th woman to finish in 1.58.07, whilst Ricci was 10th in 2.01.19. This was Sarah's first open water triathlon.

Bodiam Castle Triathlon: 11 Sept 2016


Three men in a moat

A beautiful bright morning saw 3 of Mid Sussex' finest triathletes in action at the Bodiam triathlon amid a high quality field of 260+. The early mist gave way to sunny skies and a friendly vibe as waves of 50 were sent on their way to swim 400m around the castle in the moat. Surely this is worth the entry fee alone?

As I lined up in my wave alongside Callum I heard one competitor say "What a load of carp". Thinking he was commenting on the race briefing I was found to be incorrect in my assumption as I looked into the depths of the moat.

Now I have had pre-race nerves before but not about being eaten alive!

Happily the poor fish/ beasts of the deep had enough sense to keep clear of the thrashing riot of rubber that constituted the rather riotous start of my wave.

The water was warm and not unpleasant on the palate and Jo, Callum and I made it out without mishap and all limbs accounted for.

The bike course is a scenic (read hilly) ride in and out of the valley over 21km or so and very enjoyable in the good conditions. Jo enjoyed his bike ride longer than the rest of us as he had a rather deflating experience with his front wheel. However he still managed to get back to transition, mend his puncture and complete his triathlon quicker than others who had no misfortune.

The transition is in front of the Castle and was quite hectic with people coming in and out from all directions. The 5.5k run takes you from transition and behind the castle to some pleasant fields and then to the footpath beside the canal and ESKR railway. The castle is in sight for quite a long time before you actually get to the finish and makes this a really enjoyable event. After the finish you can mull around the castle grounds and enjoy the end of term atmosphere made all the better by the weather.


Loz 10th, 1st age group 1.08.14

Callum, 6th age group 1.22.19

Jo, not last but awaiting correct times from race director