Well, its been a while since I have posted results of all the athletes, as a result of travelling around Europe, hospital visits, and general hobbling around, So, where do we begin!
Whilst I was being operated on back in July, Jon and Derek were taking to the mountains in the Short and Long Course Alpe D Huez Triathlon. This year, with the sun on their backs, Jon, won his age group, after a tough week of work, and Derek posted a pb swim bike run! Next year we will be there! ….. Stunning event, well organised, and on our doorstep…literally! Already a few Goalspecific athletes are signed up for next years race, and if you want to experience the environment, and get some quality training in on the course, places are running out on the May training Camp!
Next up were Mark, Evan and Clodie in Germany at the European Championships. Another hilly course, well organised, which is just as well due to the split transition, and fair bit of walking around. However well worth it, as a great bike course and run throughout the streets of Wiesbaden. I am not sure they quite get the rolling start right here in the swim, I had the worst swim experience ever last year here, and Clodie was beaten up well and truly in the swim this time. From watching Vichy (more on that later!) I think they forget to pause entry into the murky water between athletes, and its more like a beach start!
However, Mark, went to work in the swim and bike and was first back into transition with a 2:51 bike split, none too shabby on that course! A solid run put him at not far over the 5 hour mark, which for his first fit 70.3 event this year is a fantastic result. Back next year for a sub 5?? Meanwhile Evan was finishing his last lap of the run course! Evan, not long after Bolton, was easing back into racing again, and also illustrating just what an engine he has on him! Didnt even look tired at the end!?? The challenge here was to get him rested, and fit and fast again for Weymouth Ironman….next weekend now!
Next up were Russ and Jon (again) racing Swanage Olympic Distance. This was Russ’s first triathlon and after a solid swim and bike posted one of the fastest runs, which is pretty impressive bearing in mind he hasn’t been running for months due to Achilles tendonitus! Placing him overall 5th in Age Group. Jon, again won his Age Group, and all is looking good now for the final preparations going into Weymouth Ironman.
Then last week we headed out to Vichy for the 70.3. Last time we were here was when I competed in the Challenge 70.3 (when the long course was cancelled due to the heat, – last time it was also a non wetsuit swim evidently) and the Long Course when it was the European Championships Event. Also run by Challenge. So, it was interesting to see how different the course was, and how Ironman had changed the event. Well the swim course was the same but the start VERY different. I have to say it was the most civilised rolling start I have ever seen! Quite fancy that, letting 3 onto a pontoon at once, walking to the end, jumping in to have a very relaxed non crowded start!.(Just a shame no wetsuits aye)
Well, it was quite an eventful race. Paddy, Laura and Ade were lining up for their first 70.3 . It was only Laura’s second ever triathlon, so big step for it to be a non wetsuit as well! Also not only was it Ade’s first 70.3, but it was after a really tough year here due to family illness, looking after injured frustrated triathlete (….yep that would be me!) and long work hours, his training was intermittent to say the least. I can honestly say, even days before we were not sure if we would make it to the event. However, we had to break the list of events he had missed, so it was a step in the right direction, just getting to the start. And although training had been limited, we did work hard at keeping the training as consistent and of quality work as possible, so it was interesting to see how it would pan out on race day! Also lining up with them was Tripurbeck Cheryl, and most of Bustinskin I think!!
So, despite all of the added worries of a non wetsuit swim, everyone got through between 40-55 mins, with smiles on their faces! Ade, (who I might add had one of the best racking places in transition as he had been given my Gold AWA racking slot by mistake! – not that I was jealous or anything) was out first and went to work on the bike, and came back in only 2 hrs 40 mins later! Laura, was having a great bike, until disaster struck! The chain somehow pinged off and got jammed by the frame. 30 mins of several athletes stopping to help to remove it, getting covered in oil, frustrated, didn’t stop her from getting back on that bike with little time to get back to the transition to make cut off. A huge thank you also has to go to Cheryl, who sacrificed the cut off time to wait with Laura until the mechanical problem got sorted. What an amasing thing to do.
Unfortunately Laura missed the rather short cut off by less than 2 mins! Despite the situation, and the fact that the cut offs for this race are shorter, (and no time difference between men and women) she was not allowed to go out on to the run. Gutted doesn’t do it justice. However, 48 hours after a very emotional finish to this race, she has entered another 70.3 AND completed a triathlon out in Lanzerote…….what a show of guts and determination!
Paddy, had a great race throughout and despite being held up on the bike due to unauthorized traffic on the road, he went from strength to strength, finishing 5:30. As for Ade, well, he got through the swim, had a great bike, and finished it with a sub 1:50 run to post a 5:21. Very impressive considering the lead up to the event. AND, he has signed up for another one! ….Now the arguments are going to come in the house of who’s turn it is to get on the computrainer!! We were meant to race this one together, first time! . Unfortunately surgery meant that this wasn’t going to happen, so fingers crossed, we can both line up at Staffs 70.3! (Thank God we are in different age groups :))
So, whats next? We have Clodie and Jenni racing in the European Middle Distance Championships this weekend, and Jon and Evan and Adam lining up to do the Weymouth IM and Mark 70.3. Also Adam R and Terri teaming up for Terri’s first taste of 70.3 event in her first triathlon season! Russ and David are also heading over the Bournemouth for the standard and sprint triathlon. Lots of racing still happening!