There is “going Long” and then there is “going really Long”. And some real Girl power this weekend!
It has been a very busy couple of weeks as ever for Total Tri athletes with some truly inspiring performances from some very hard working individuals.
Maybe some Bias here, but let’s start with what can only be described as an inspirational show of courage and determination from Total Run Coach Zoe Mclennan. She began her journey from marathon runner to Ultra runner this weekend and straight in at the deep end with a 75 mile race around some of the hardest terrain in the UK at the Pen Llyn Ultra in North wales. We had a feeling she might be a little bit good at this and so she proved, showing that not only did she have the athletic ability to be fighting for the overall podium at the last checkpoint, she also had the mental strength to overcome a very bad hip issue and fatigue on a scale that most people (even Ironman athletes) will never have to deal with to take 3rd overall on the day including the men. Just over 16 hours of running in a race that 40% of the competitors failed to finish.
And while we are on the subject of amazing Ultra performances from amazing women we had another one this weekend as well. Claire Riding battled through the night and pouring rain to complete a bucket list race for her, the Lakeland 50 Mile Ultra. 10,000 ft of elevation in 50 miles along with appalling weather make this achievement all the more incredible for Claire who was unsure all week if she was going to even start having raced at IM Frankfurt 3 weeks ago.
Finally before we get back to our real business of Triathlon, Coach Andy Hamilton and friend Iain Murray took on and completed the Breca Swim-run Race in the Lake District with 38km of Mountain running and 7km of Open water swimming. They finished in the top half of the field and reading between the lines, I think they actually really enjoyed it. The pictures look stunning and do the race justice on the internet………….. They are some STEEP hills! Well done both!
Yesterday saw two massive performances today at Ironman Zurich….
Mike Gunter completed Ironman Zurich in 11:56 finally hitting his long time goal of going Sub 12 at this distance. After a solid swim & bike, he started strong on the run, but a recurring stomach issue meant he had to back right off but dug deep and hung on for a strong finish for his best performance over his 7 completed Ironman races.
Chris Kemp was attempting this distance for the first time, and had no real expectation on finish time but just wanted to finish. He swam well, but the heat took hold on the second lap of the bike which saw his pace drop below that he wanted. Undeterred, he set off on the run and held a perfect target pace for his first 2 laps and felt strong. But similar to the bike, heat kicked on lap 3 so the going got tough, then his Garmin dyed on Lap 4 meaning he had to run by feel. He crossed the finish line in a fantastic 13:07 and apparently, is already looking to go quicker “next time??”
Louise Minchin had her first win at the JLL Property sprint triathlon in Salford on Friday, she is over the moon and we are really pleased for her as she has been training around various niggles this season and this win will be a huge boost to her confidence moving forwards.
Charlie Edmondson also saw her first win at the Salford Sprint Triathlon on Sunday winning by a clear 2mins from 2nd place. Looks like Charlie enjoyed the race judging by her smile in all the race pics. Charlie is an athlete who has trained consistently and made fantastic progress across all 3 disciplines and this is a very well deserved win, congratulations… Just the small matter of the world duathlon Champs in Canada followed by her wedding day!
Victoria Roberts was back racing again this weekend at the Snowdonia sprint Triathlon, a tough race in stunning scenery, apparently the water was a bit chilly, she loved the bike and got cramp on a tough hilly run, but a great day out and really enjoyed the race! Well done Vic another race in the bag!
Heather Standidge, Chris Standidge’s wife, showed him that he isn’t the only one in the house that can turn out a result! Heather came 2nd in her age group at the Property Triathlon last week – well done H. We all hope you then came home and sat on the sofa dishing out demands for cups of tea and Beans on toast “cos my legs are tired”!
Kieran Morris, our latest 16 year old recruit who has come from a swim and bike background is converting well to Triathlon with an 8th Overall in the Senior field at Salford Sprint Tri yesterday. He swam easily with the leaders and was in contention off the bike as we thought he would be, and lost a few places on the run which is very new to him. But signs of great improvement already for this real talented youngster.
Liam Cotterill and Will Turton did a great job in winning the Team prize for Mersey Tri at the Birkenhead 25 TT on Sunday with Liam going 5th overall in 58 mins, with will at the hour mark in very windy conditions!
Winding back the clock to the weekend before the success continues!
Ian Peers raced IM France in Nice in very hot conditions, he had a solid swim followed by a very hot and hilly bike including a 20km climb and then hit the run 8h 14mins into the race with an aim of a 12 hour total time but disaster struck 6km in when he broke into a run after walking through an aid station to tip water over his head (it was about 31 degrees) at which pointy his “dodgy hamstring” decided to go ping, Ian spent 20 mins trying to straighten out his leg apparently aided by a very nice Frenchman who also randomly gave him shoulder massages as well! It was agonising for him but unfortunately he had to give up the race and face a demoralising ambulance ride to the med tent, complete with effeminate French siren for dramatic effect. They insisted on wheeling him in even though he could hobble, which apparently led to some sympathetic nods and thumbs up from the pros who were all in bits after finishing. Ian worked incredibly hard to get to the start line of IM France and has made huge strides in all three disciplines particularly the swim. So we wish you a speedy recovery and hope that hamstring gets sorted ready for the next challenge.
Matthew MacDonnell took on the Jenson Button Triathlon Trust event at the weekend which involved morning heats with the fastest 60 athletes going through to the 2nd round in the afternoon. The first heat was over super sprint distance with a 200m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run followed up in the afternoon with a full sprint distance 400m swim, 25km bike and 5km run. Matthew yet again showed his talent at only 16 years of age qualifying in the 1st round and then competing in the afternoon sprint race with some of the UK’s top triathletes. He recovered in between events with a massage and a sleep apparently and went on to post a super fast time of 1hr 2seconds to come 50th in the Mens final. He was super chuffed with his performance and said he was pretty sure he had seem most of the top 10 men on the TV! Sounded like a great race and fantastic experience. Well done Matthew you are going from strength to strength.
Whilst on holiday down south Jonathan Davies has been taking the opportunity to race in the local Seaton Park run and has posted his fastest 5km to date of 21:14, he says he is still aiming for sub 21! It will happen Jonathan just stick with the training! Top running well done.
Holly Metcalfe raced at Castle Howard, and posted a 3hr 16 on the notoriously tough course and against some of the best AG’ers in the country. Turns out it was a World Qualifier, which Holly didn’t realise ;-). 35th in AG, and posting a very solid 55min run on that brutal and hilly run leg after what looked like a solid bike split. Happy overall, and ready to race again.
Tom Williams also raced at the castle series and came 8th Overall in a field that is always stacked with young talent so a brilliant performance. Tom as ever had the quip of the week with “I was 8th, but 1st if you only count those who had started shaving!”
Castle Howard was also a super tough race for Daisy Pickles who swam and biked well and in her words clung on for dear life on the run to finish 3rd in AG and qualify for Europeans in only her second ever Olympic distance race. Helen Williams racing in the same event punctured early on in the bike and it ended her race.
And finally at the castle series, Ben Williams finished 18th out of 186 others in the kids race! Looking very professional on his way into T1! A future pro in the making!
Liam Cotterill rode a big PB in the Cheshire 50TT with a 1:58 which is 25.5mph for nearly 2 hours – brilliant Liam – great to see you moving on in every race. Tom Garbett, in training for Dublin 70.3, also went 1:58 with a 6 minute PB and is now looking in the shape of his life heading in to Dublin in 3 weeks time. Scott Welsby also rode and missed the 2 hour mark by 10 seconds, mainly due to the heavens opening and nearly flooding the road with 5 miles to go but a big PB for Scotty as well who is on the illness comeback still – all the hard bike work that these guys have done this year is paying dividends now.