With the weather looking on the up now in the UK and open water swim venues getting busier with the water becoming nearly tolerable now, it is starting to feel (dare I say it!) like summer is on it’s way. And with this comes a big increase in the amount of Total Tri athletes racing over last weekend including our newest members!!!!
Ewan and Ben Williams, feature in our round up for the first time so we thought we would give them the headline spot. In their very first Duathlon Ewan came 8th in his age group and Ben was pipped for the win in his age group by 1 second but was happy to still be on the podium. Sounds normal right? Not really, Ewan is 6 and Ben is 8 years old. Well done boys and won’t be long till Mum and Dad (Tom and Helen) will be looking over their shoulders!!
The big UK race of the weekend was in Nottingham with the always popular Outlaw Half Distance race that attracts one of the best fields in the UK. Coach Beth Hughes got her season underway with an AG win and 6th female in a hotly contested race which was won by the incredible Gill Fullen, a 53 year old with a huge amount of talent and who has also just overcome Cancer – inspiration to all of us!!! Beth was using this as her final stepping stone to Roth in a few weeks and was really pleased with a “solid” outing. We also had Alex Ward at the Outlaw. Alex, has really struggled with the work training balance in the last six months but with very careful planning and making sure we utilise his time to the maximum he has once again shown how talented and dedicated he is with a 4:37 finish and 38th overall riding a 2:29 which was the same as several of the top 10 athletes.
Hopping over to Europe now and we had Mark Hadfield representing Total Tri at Barcelona 70.3. No matter how your day goes you are going to have a very hard day out here with what looks like one of the hardest bike courses in 70.3 racing. Mark had a great swim with a 35 min PB and then a solid bike and run getting him in under the 6 hour mark (which is probably worth a sub 5.30 on any other course). Great way to open your season Mark and back there in 5 months for twice the distance!
Daisy Pickles lined up against a really strong field at Eton Dorney Sprint and unfortunately Daisy had a disappointing swim which mean she missed a bike pack at this draft legal event and spent the whole day chasing alone never quite bridging the gap. She finished the day with a really strong run whilst experiencing stomach cramps to give her 13th in AG final position. She is now switching her focus to Olympic Distance racing which will suit her strength development over the winter.
On our home turf Tom Williams defended his Cheshire Sprint title, which in a year where his family commitments are getting more and more, this shows what can be done by keeping training very specific and quality. Keeping it in the family, Helen Williams continues her strong start to the season, finishing female 8th overall in the same race. Unfortunately she had the poorer conditions of the day compared to the earlier wave girls where the wind had got considerably stronger. She consolidated her improvements across all the disciplines to finish in the top 10 and this proves a good benchmark for the remainder of the season.
This was also Andrew Wyrko’s first triathlon, he had a great 1st race and came 9th in his AG in a time of 1:11.25. Fantastic effort and we are looking forward to watching you continue to develop over the coming season. This race also featured a super sprint distance and Jonathan Davies had a great race at the coming 3rd Male over all, a very tight race with only about 90 seconds separating him from 1st place. He is super pleased with his performance knocking a whopping 13mins off last years time. Top work!
Further north at Southport we had athletes in the olympic and the sprint distances. Paul Chesworth finished 5th in his age group despite having a chest infection in the build up so a good result considering and Lisa Jefferies had a “very very cold swim”, which meant she struggled around the initial part of the bike with breathing and to get warm, but ran solidly and managed to come home with a strong 10k run. Sue Clement raced her 1st standard distance event at Southport and had a great race completing the distance in 3:06:51. She said she smiled all the way round and managed a pb on the 10km run! Excellent work Sue well done.
Matthew McDonnell raced in the Sprint distance at Southport coming 1st in the 15-16 age group and 4th under 20 so hoping that this gives him a GB spot for the ETU sprint distance champs next year. A storming performance coming after a stressful week of GCSE’s well done Matthew.
Victoria Roberts was back racing again after her almighty downhill crash at the Grand Fondo a month ago, she only got her repaired bike back on Thursday and managed to complete the Slateman Sprint in challenging conditions and in her words “not a fantastic time or a pb but I did it, sobbed my heart out at the finish”
John Wilding took part in the Full Slateman in much better weather than the sprint race the day before. He came 10th in 50+ AG and knocked 5mins off last years time improving across all 3 disciplines.
Ian Peers also took on the Slateman Full and unfortunately struggled with cramp from the off so the run up the zig zags was a painful affair and costs him a lot of time stretching off. Lots for him to learn from and to take away from this race moving forward towards IM France.
And rounding up the Triathlon antics from the weekend, Coach Claire Sutcliffe and Partner Steve Holliman face the Grafman middle distance race and Claire finished as 9th lady overall and 1st in her AG. Great race and improved run off the bike for Claire who has suffered with a calf issue for months leading in to this season! Steve Holliman also raced the Grafman middle, started with an “ok” swim followed by a storming bike split but suffered as a result on the run but finished a smiles and a pint of Erdinger!
Nat Smith decided to double up this weekend with a 25m TT on Saturday followed up by the Chester Half marathon on Sunday, excellent results in both with a 1:03:35 in the Racing Chance Foundation 25m TT 2nd lady and a great time of 1:26:11 for a 4th place and a massive PB! Well done Nat – pretty incredible to go back to back like that. Holly Metcalfe also raced at Chester with a good day out in 1:45. Whilst not a PB, one of the most solid and consistent runs for her recently, as she focuses on her run into IM Staffs 70.3.
And finally, Chris Kemp completed the Yorkshire Struggle sportive. 110 miles, with 11k ft of climbing in just under 8hrs….. Don’t worry Chris, we won’t mention falling off on one of the very steep climbs!!