Having signed up for a hilly ultra in the summer never having raced more than 17 miles I figured it would be a good idea to do a flat marathon at this point as a stepping stone. So I signed up for the Marriott's way trail marathon which was run last Sunday. Most of this is run along a disused railway line from Norfolk to Aylsham and the first half was much as I imagined it would be: either tarmac or hard packed earth and pretty fast going. The second half was quite a contrast: muddy in places (fun, but not fast) and involving dodging through the undergrowth to avoid the half marathon runners who were working hard and didn't feel able to move aside, although later on they were good targets for motivation! There was also a sting in the tail in the form of a 2 mile loop on farm tracks at mile 23 (I love trails but can't admit to having been overjoyed with tractor ruts at that point!) I finished in 3:36:46, 8th out of 99 runners and 1st woman. The race was very well organised and marshalled and I can also rather red-facedly report that the first aid at the finish was excellent as well (think David Wyeth at the end of the 2017 London Marathon!). No photographer I'm afraid and a photo of me at the end would scare the horses but I've attached a photo of the medal, I'm not normally one for the bling but I did like this
In this section you will find an archive of race reports previously published in WTtransition.
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On Sunday 20th January I raced the Dark and White Events Wildest Peaks trail race, which starts from the Longshaw estate near Hathersage. Fog and snow had forced the organisers to re-route the long course so it became 2 laps of the short course which made it shorter (13 and a bit miles), but with a bit more ascent (1650 feet) as the climb to Higger tor was included twice. I did manage to make the course unintentionally longer as I was determined to stick on the heels of a faster competitor so followed them off course! We crunched through firm snow on the tops, sprung through wet peat lower down (my feet will be black for weeks) and enjoyed great technical running in the woods. And there was excellent cake at the end. I came 4th woman, 3rd in my age group.
This was a big race for me as this is my first year in the 45-49 age group and I was hoping for a good result after finishing 15 in 2015 and 11 in 2014 at the European Championships.
On Thursday 14th April afternoon, I road-tripped to Kalkar in Germany for the European Age Group Duathlon Championships. After crossing 5 countries and wasted one hour around Antwerp due to traffic jams, I arrived just on time for dinner with WaldenTRI member Matt Baindbridge.
Kalkar is a small unassuming town on the border of Holland and Germany. It is notorious for its nuclear reactor - built in the 1970s but, as a result of ongoing protests and political wrangling right through to the 1990s, never actually brought online. It cost in excess of $4 billion dollars. In 1995 it was sold on for around $3 million to become a theme park called Wunderland, complete with rollercoaster and rides built into the old cooling tower. Where else would you hold an International Duathlon? A very weird place for a race. The whole facility wouldn't have been out of place in an episode of Scooby-Do, it appeared tired and rather desolate.
On Friday morning, Matt and I familiarised ourselves with the 2.5km run course (of which there would be 2 laps on the first run and 1 lap on the second) putting out a handful of fast efforts. Then we rode the 10km bike route (which would be tackled 2 times). It was a smooth pancake flat out-and-back route, with a single roundabout, one 90 degree turn and a dead turnaround at the far end. The bike course was totally suited to TT specialists.
Race day came and my start time was 18:30. That is comfortably the latest I have ever raced so difficult to plan the day. We racked our bikes in the indoor transition area which was fantastic, well organised and efficient, as you would expect from the Germans. Weather forecast was sunny spells, scattered showers and wind. Temperature was about 12°C.
I made sure I had a good starting position at the front (for the photo J). And we were Go! Spot number 543.
The pack went out of the blocks hard and I tried to stay ahead of the pack for the first 1km which twisted and turned through the park. I glanced at my watch – pace was 5.30 per mile which was my target. Then we hit a long open, windy stretch across a dyke and it was imperative to find some shelter from other athletes. I stayed behind an athlete from a younger age-group who was slightly faster than me at Bedford this year and entered into T1 in 3rd position after 17:54, 16 sec behind a British competitor and 14 sec behind an Irish competitor.
My first transition was very smooth with the best time of my the age-group and I overtook Mr Irish when exiting T1. On the bike, I negotiated the technical site exit and put the power down on the open road. I was pleased to see Mr British come back almost immediately and disappear behind. I was now leading the race!!! I knew some strong cyclists would catch me at some point but I had a feeling I was now in contention for the medals. The first TT specialist (his 10M PB is 19:17!) passed me like a bullet on lap 1 after the turn around at the far end. I kept working hard to ensure other cyclists could not close the gap and to stay in 2nd position. Towards the end of lap 2, despite all my efforts, 2 strong cyclists passed me on a headwind section. Arghh, I am now in 4th position. My bike leg came in at 30:33 (average speed over 23.5mph) the 4th fastest of my age group.
So, another transition later – again the best time of my age group, 50 secs which was 5 secs better than the 2nd T2 time. After winning some precious seconds, I exited T2 about 30 meters behind Mr Belgium and closed the gap very quickly. Back in the top 3. I could see the competitor in 2nd position about 100 meters ahead and I tried to pick up the pace. I closed steadily to around 20 seconds by midway through the lap. Unfortunately, thanks to the turnaround he knew I'm coming and increased his own effort to hold me off on the return stretch. A final sprint to finish in 3rd position (I think – provisional result), 16 secs behind the silver medallist. We congratulated one another - for what we are not sure. No-one was able to confirm our placings. But I am very pleased with my race and my first ever sub one hour time for a sprint distance.
Then it was a very long wait for the final results to be confirmed by the officials and ETU. I went back to the hotel, had a shower and then dinner. Plenty time to reflect on the race with Matt. Finally, I went back to the main hall at 9.30pm for the prize ceremony and was relieved to hear about my 3rd place from our Team GB manager.
A very good performance from Matt Bainbridge who finished 9th in the 30-34 age group!
The next “Rendez-vous” is now the World Duathlon Championships taking place in Aviles (Spain) on 5th June. Three WaldenTRI members are qualified for this event: Georgina Dunlop, Matt Bainbridge and myself.
On Saturday 14th November 2015 the annual British Triathlon Awards Dinner took place at The Chessington World of Adventures Resort. The event is to celebrate triathlon throughout Great Britain and Home Nations; acknowledging achievements of age-group and elite competitors, coaches, officials, volunteers and event organisers, who have succeeded in their personal triathlon challenge in 2015.
Local paratriathlete, George Peasgood, had been shortlisted for the 2015 British Triathlon Male Paratriathlete of the Year, along with fellow paratriathletes Andy Lewis and Ryan Taylor. Members of the British Triathlon Federation were able to vote for whom they thought was worthy of the award. George was elated to be the recipient of the award.
George has had an excellent race season, which began in March with a race in East London, South Africa, where he finished in second place, bringing home a silver medal. In May George won his first triathlon at The National Paratriathlon Championships, held in Llanelli, South Wales. He went on to win a further silver medal two weeks later, at another of the World Series races, held on home soil, in Hyde Park, London.
In July the squad travelled to Geneva for the European Championships. Unfortunately George suffered heat stress and so finished in 9th position in exceptional heat. Two weeks later George was lucky to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the Paralympic Test Event, where he finished in a very commendable 6th place. Two weeks further on George travelled to Detroit , where , with a beautiful backdrop, he achieved his third silver medal of the season.
Unfortunately George had a serious fall from his bike during training 10 days before his last race of the season, the World Championships, in Chicago. Despite suffering a haematoma to his thigh, a minor whiplash, road rash and soft tissue injuries to his shoulder, George managed to finish in 9th position.
Winter training is now underway, preparing for next season and working towards qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro.
We are delighted to confirm that WaldenJNR won the mob match against Cambridge Tri by a score of 537 to 617, with the lowest score winning. We now trail Cambridge 4-2, but having won the last two we can be confident of closing the gap further. Next year the Mob Match will be based on results at the Rob McLean triathlon so they will have home advantage for the first time.
Rob McLean saw another wet day of racing but that did not dampen the spirits as we set up our base camp near the finish line. We had some great performances from everyone, including some interesting warm up routines with hide & seek and twister games! Ross Broomfield came out of T1 did a great flying mount and then his chain came off. A quick fix and keeping calm under pressure he set off like the clappers and despite his hiccup he got the fastest time on the bike for his age group. Just shows never give up and he came second overall. More podiums followed:
- first places for James Fraser (TriStar 2), Helena Dyce (TriStar 3);
- 2nd Alex Astbury (TriStart) Jake Latham (TriStar 1), Jack Stanton-Stock (TriStar 3), Ross Broomfield (Youth):
- 3rd for Annie Donker & Edward Ormsby (TriStart), Angharad Evans (TriStar 2)
We are now eagerly waiting for the IRC team to be confirmed but with strong performances from the team we are hopeful that a couple more JNRs will be joining Helena and James in the team.