It was a busy weekend for triathlons last weekend as Liz and I also raced so race report from Nottingham Sprint Tri.
The race was at the Holmepierpoint rowing lake, the same venue as the Outlaw Half but fortunately with much shorter distances. 750M swim round 2 buoys and back, 4 laps on the bike of a pan flat course round the lake, then a reverse lap of the lake running with a couple of slight undulations to avoid the bikes coming into transition and make up the distance.
Liz’s brother, sister and nieces and nephew came to watch and the venue is ideal for spectating with grandstand seating looking down on the transition areas and finish and you can see competitors all the way round the lake.
The race was split into 4 waves with each wave finishing before the next started which reduced congestion.
I lined up at the swim start with 200 other competitors. As the race was a European Age Group Qualifier for Glasgow I knew the competition would be fierce. I always dread the swim leg and try to start at the back and keep out of trouble. However with qualification places up for grabs I decided to get as close to the start as I dared. Lots of splashing arms and feet at the start but only got bumped a couple of times and the field started to spread out. Time to concentrate on stroke and try to keep up. I came out the water about half way down the field and after many nightmare swims in the past I can say I actually enjoyed the swim!
The bike leg was quite busy but everyone kept to the left and overtaking was easy. A couple of people overtook me but I don’t think they were in my age group so kept the effort up trying to catch up. On my 3rd lap a bike came flying by, the eventual winner lapping me, and I watched that smooth powerful style with envy. Into transition and saw loads of bikes racked so still some catching up to do. Out of transition Liz’s nephew cheered and called for a high 5 from the gantry which raised my spirits for what was going to be a hot and painful run.
The slight undulation felt like a mountain with tired quads from the bike but tried to keep driving. Fortunately the run is my strongest leg so I kept gaining places. Towards the end I had one more competitor in sight. He kept looking back to check on my progress. As the finish banner came into sight it was time for the sprint. The commentator explained to the crowd that a mad sprint for 169th place was because qualifications were at stake! My competitor had held just enough back to hold me off so I congratulated him and headed off for water to rehydrate.
That meant 6th place in my age category and a long wait to find if my time was fast enough to get a fastest loser “roll down” qualification place.
Liz had a great race finishing 3rd in her age category, David Fryer-Winder had a fast time but being in the first wave he had finished before we even arrived so we didn’t see him and we bumped into Nicky Dick now representing Peak Performance.
David Fryer-Winder 1:05:32 12th (20-24)
Jon 1:07:00 6th (55-59)
Liz 1:12:07 3rd(50-54)
Nicky Dick 1:19:42 10th (55-59)
Proud to wear my new High Peak Tri suit, great organisation at the event and great day out!
This event wasn’t a true relay for us guys unlike the elites. We were "tribes" and what bloody amazing "tribes" we were! From HPTC Garry, Lucas Jones and David Heathcote made up the men’s tribe whilst Caroline Pimblett, Nicola Longden and Courtney Beattie made up the girls tribe. I was part of another tribe for another club (I know I know I’m a traitor).
All members of the tribe set off together and each had to complete a 750m swim, 18km bike and 4.5km run. The total times for everyone within the tribe is then calculated to give you your tribe time.
The swim was in the river Trent and consisted of 1 lap upstream followed by down stream. The swim start was from the pontoon which we had to slide into the water and hold onto the edge ready to begin. I didn’t slide, I flopped, nearly drowned, got asked if I needed assistance by the marshall on the side and then missed the start of the race as I wasn’t ready at all!
The swim for me wasn’t ask quick as I had hoped however it wasn’t bad and I found myself a nice spot on the far left side by myself. The only encounter I had was around one of the buoys where I had to stick to my guns and not let 2 people swim over me.
The run exit was long…..too long for my liking but hey ho. I was ages in transition as always but my wetsuit didn’t come off as quick as normal.
The bike was 6 laps of a pan flat 3km course which had some deadly hairpin turns at either end. I am still shocked that I didn’t see one person fall off or be knocked off. The bike was uneventful for me apart from one bloke saying to me "remember to keep to the right buddy" as he passed me. Now I was on the right so you can only imagine my response!
It was lovely to see the rest of HPTC on the course and to get encouragement from them as they ALL lapped me but I don’t mind, I quite like my position at the back now I’ve got used to it. Into T2 and Dave was following me in, I thought about chasing him down and re over take him but I didn’t want to show him up.
The run was 3 laps of a 1.5km course over 2 bridges. The support from the crowd was amazing and definitely kept me going. At the end we were interviewed by various people (Nott’s TV, British Triathlon) and had photos with Rebecca Adlington and Louise Minchin.
It was a fantastic event, a fantastic day out and once again super proud to be part of HPTC.
Well another race report this time from the Deva Triathlon at Chester. Four triathletes from High Peak Tri Club competed in the standard distance race this Sunday. Myself, Liz, Lisa Cox and Simon Somerville.
Many of you may have done this race before but for those of you that haven’t, a brief course description. The swim leg takes place in the river Dee with 850m upstream then 650m downstream. The 40km bike course starts on closed roads through the city of Chester then undulates its way through the countryside before returning to Chester. The run course consists of 3 laps going over a suspension bridge over the river along a road through the meadows then back alongside the river, back over the old bridge then towards the finish then repeat.
The weather on race day was fantastic with wall to wall sunshine and water temperature at 15C.
The standard distance race race was split into 7 waves of around 100 people in each to reduce congestions with 15 minutes between. Oldest last meant a more relaxed start time of 9.30 for me.
So the swim started with a deep water start and as this race was a qualifier for the world age group championships there were plenty of fast swimmers. I kicked and splashed arms at the start to keep people away from me, which seemed to work, then did my best sprint start. After about 100m I was exhausted so had to slow down to recover as all the decent swimmers disappeared into the distance. As I swam upstream I felt strong surges of current against me and occasionally hit the ground with my hands. There is clearly a technique and some local knowledge to a fast swim on this course which I missed out on! After what seemed like age I reached the turn around buoy and headed back down stream trying to find people to slipstream.
Onto the bike leg and a twisty start with speed bumps to negotiate. Despite studying the map before hand I had no idea where I was on the course. The course was constantly changing gradient and terrain so no chance to settle into a rhythm. Eventually a coned section indicated we were back in the city. Had I pushed too hard on the bike or not hard enough only time would tell. As the coned section widened I stood out of the saddle to over take Louise Minchen (of TV triathlon and breakfast tv presentation fame (anyone read her triathlon book yet?)) and instantly felt cramp in my calf muscle. Would I still be able to run?
The run course was really crowded with previous waves on their various laps so lots of dodging around other runners. At the end of the first lap my legs were burning and the commentator announced here comes Jon on his second lap “looking as fresh as a daisy but probably not feeling like that himself”. How right he was that looks can be deceptive! Another two laps of agony to come. When I picked up my number at sign on, I noticed it had my first name in large letters which I thought was strange. However as I struggled through lap 2 and 3 instead of being “Johnny no mates” lots of the marshalls and spectators called out my name giving a real boost. Some kids at the end of the lap called for a high 5 so I obliged, great to see them enjoying watching the race. Through the finish at last, downed a can of coke (which is supposed to ward off any bugs ingested while swimming through the murky waters of the river Dee) find out how the others have got on and find somewhere to lie down and collapse.
It turned out Liz and Lisa had a really close race with Lisa declaring “the worst run of her life”and Liz just pipping her to the finish. I did not see Simon before or after the race and would be interested to hear his story.
Jon 2:21:21 6th (M55-59)
Liz 2:34:23 7th (F50-54)
Lisa 2:35:05 8th (F50-54)
Simon given DNS but 2:34:56 after swim bike?
Entries are now available to be made online! Please visit https://www.entrycentral.com/festival/1491
A quick(ish) race report on what turned out to be a near perfect day for racing (if a little warm by British standards) at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. It’s the third time I’ve done this event and would highly recommend it for anyone looking to go longer than sprint or standard distances for the first time. First things first, I’m not a superhuman athlete by any stretch and my bike is a fairly standard alloy framed Bianchi with a set of clip on aero bars and a simple Strada computer with cadence and speed/distance; I hope that alone can inspire people to give the 70.3 distance a go without feeling the need to be super fit and have £3k+ worth of kit!
It’s an early start (first wave 0610) with a big field split into several waves of about 300 swimmers. Racking is numbered and fairly tight (no transition bags – just the bare minimum) but well organised and there’s a bag drop area to keep your other bits and bobs safe whilst racing. The swim is technically a deep water start although you can take the option to wait in the shallows for the start which is only 20m or so from the pontoons. It’s an out and back 1900m swim in the rowing lake which is usually about 15-16C although this year it was definitely warmer than that – maybe because I was in the third wave after the "heating effect" of 600 swimmers 😉 The only downside to the swim is that it’s straight into sun on the way out so tinted goggles are a must! I managed just over 42 minutes – a little slower than planned but was trying to pace myself a little knowing the bike and run would be fairly warm with a 22-23C forecast. I’ll also unashamedly admit to a mix of breastroke and crawl in the first 500m or so to get my breathing calmed down a little before settling into a nice steady pace.
T1 was fairly swift – there are no "strippers" or "slappers" (wetsuit and suncream helpers!) so it’s the standard wetsuit wriggle plus a mess of suncream before getting out on the bike. The bike route’s a nice gentle start around the lake before heading out onto a mix of closed, managed and open roads. The route is split into a North and South loop before retracing your steps (ish) back to the NWSC – there’s a "hill" (that’s how it is described at the briefing) midway through the first loop although it’s not much more than a rise compared to anything in our neck of the woods! After the hill there’s the first feed station and then a fairly gentle descent around the rest of the loop before joining the second loop which is generally flat but more exposed to the (thankfully light) wind and also has the second feed station. The last couple of miles is rough, really rough, to which there’s no alternative that the organisers can find. Speed bumps, pot holes and gravel (no puddles this year though!) make it more like cyclocross and gives you a good shakedown before the last mile on smoother tarmac to T2. The last run into T2 is a short descent, over a speed bump before turning sharply into transition. I’m ultra cautious so no running dismounts/feet out of shoes for me – particularly after 3 hours on the bike in increasing temperatures. The guy ahead of me took his feet out just before the speed bump, hit it skew whiff and promptly launched himself….
A gulp of water and suncream, hat and shoes on and it was off on the run. It’s a 2 lap run going around the rowing lake with an excursion up and down the River Trent. It’s a great run with loads of support, feed stations every mile or so and your always with other competitors. I was out on the run by about 1020 and it was starting to warm up – particuarly around the lake which had no shade and just bare tarmac to beat the heat back up. The feed stations were essential in the blazing sun and I (and everyone else I saw) took the opportunity to take on water, get some water over your head and grab a sponge. The air temperature was about 22C but the heat beating off the tarmac and no breeze made it feel closer to 28-30C so the brief sections in the shade along the river were a good chance to up the pace a little and try and cool down! The final couple of K were tough and my pace dropped from 6:00/km to 7:00/km but kept going to complete the run in 2:11 to give a total time of 6:11:21. A little disappointed since I was aiming for sub-6 but a lack of training on my part and the warm weather had put paid to that; it was still a great feeling to finish for the third time and only a little slower than my PB of 6:06:35.
The only sad news of the day was that a competitor a few minutes ahead of me was seriously injured on the bike leg when he came off on the first descent – there’s no news yet on how it happened and he’s still in hospital in a serious condition. A sobering reminder of the dangers of road cycling 😦
Overall, it’s a great event with a fantastic family atmosphere, great expo and a real professional feel to it all without the slightly over corporate nature of Ironman. There’s also the price tag of just over £150 which is a bargain compared to m-dot events. I’d highly recommend this event and this is echoed by anyone’s who’s done it before; it’s very, very popular and sells out within minutes when entries open in August. Anyone up for it next year?
NEW NEW NEW
High Peak Triathlon Club are so excited to bring to you a brand new COACHED run session starting on Tuesday 5th June.
These sessions will take place every Tuesday at 6:30pm at various locations around Buxton and will NOT be just a straight forward run. We will be doing all sorts of other fun stuff such as interval training, repetitions etc etc. These sessions will no doubt improve all of our running capabilities.
The first session will be a repetition session, designed to help get the legs moving and help us all with our 5km times. We will meet at Buxton pool at 6:15pm for a 6:30pm start. The session will be 1 hour long!
The new amazing coach we have got ourselves is Mrs Caroline Miller. Some of you may know her if you swim with High Peak Triathlon Club on a Wednesday evening. Caroline has a wealth of knowledge and experience in relation to running and we are very privileged that she has agreed to coach these session’s for us.
Caroline began running at 13 years old and won her 1st county cross country championship at the age of 15. This was followed by multiple more county cross country and track titles. Caroline gained a love for fell running and represented England at the World Mountain running championships in Italy. At the age of 18 she gained an athletics scholarship to Boston, USA where she studied and competed all over the USA for 2 and a half years. On her return Caroline ran for the best club in the country at that time, Sale harriers Manchester and trained regularly with Olympians. Caroline has represented the County, North of England, England, International select teams and gained a call up for the Great Britain under 23 team on the track.
2 of Caroline’s personal bests are 5km – 16:35 and 10km – 34:04!!!!!
Caroline now mainly runs for fitness and coaches our local kid’s athletic club, High Peak AC.
Caroline is a qualified assistant athletics coach and leader in running fitness, both gained through British Athletics and she can’t wait to pass on all of this knowledge and experience to us!
As always when a club manages to secure a coach there comes a fee. We would charge £2 per session to High Peak Triathlon Club members and £4 to non-members. We feel that this is great value for money. Remember this is an hour’s long session and is coached! These sessions are suitable for ALL abilities.