2021 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
2021 - Getting back to normality...
2021 may have started off with just virtual races but by the end of the season we were back to some kind of normality with plenty of racing taking place.
An early season Virtual Race organised by Ironman saw Taylor Mckenna finish 4th in his age group - just missing out on a podium spot.
An early indication that racing might be back to normal saw a successful club trip to the Headcorn Half Marathon. Various members running and many others cycling to the event to cheer them on. Great team spirit!
The beginning of June saw a flurry of triathlons take place with our Ocean Lake members racing all over the country. A large contingent travelled north for the Leeds Championships.
It was a great weekend of fun and camaraderie. Summed up well by Michelle who said...
Just wanted to thank the whole OLT team for the training, support and advice on the run up to Leeds, including the turbo, Sunday cycles, race briefing, track days, injury advice and especially Mark Beardon for taking on the training programme with me, Leo Hewett for making me run up the finish slope (I was going to walk) and Agatha Skelton for IT support at the weekend 😁, but also all the members who are so friendly and really spur you on with training and on the race days. It makes a massive difference. Thank you.
However, not everyone was racing. This was Jackie Hunter's first event as a National Technical Officer.
A long weekend of volunteering for the BTF, with student accommodation and 5am starts, so remember to thank the TO's at your events.
Well done Jackie completing your NTO practical in a big event. No pressure on the next one!
That same weekend many members travelled west for the Coltswold 113. The club was well represented with some great individual and team relay results, as described by James...
A great weekend racing at the Cotswolds 113 race. A fantastic relay performance for the Crist family - a pleasure to watch a family race together.
Likewise a father and son performance with Dave and Adam where they played tag with each other throughout the race.
Also Mark had a good race after recovering from injury.
Nick absolutely smashed his first ever half with a time of 5.28.
James, Tom and Mark also entered as a relay team and finished a fantastic second! Mark ran a blistering fast 1.27.
Mark: What most struck me when I joined OLT, was the deep sense of ‘family’ at the heart of the Club. None more so than this weekend. It was a privilege to race with Team Evans and compete alongside Team Crist. Fantastic performances by all competitors.
A Summer of Racing
Once again we hosted two sprint triathlons and three aquathlons at the lake. These events are a great opportunity for our members to race locally whilst enjoying huge support from other club members.
We also offer the option of forming a relay team. Ideal for those who don't want to do all three disciplines - and great for a bit of fun rivalry as we saw this year with Michelle and Mark's team battling against Olivia's team in a close fought race.
Over the years more opportunities have arisen for children to participate in triathlon. This summer two of our junior members, Imogen and Mollie, took part in some of the KidstriUK races. An extremely enjoyable event, with the promise of hot chocolate, marshmallows and a medal, it's all they needed to encourage them to race.
If they need more inspiration, they need look no further than Agatha's achievements. Finishing 4th in the European Age Group Championships in Valencia. A fantastic time earning qualification for next year.
Also Jordan finishing 6th in the World Duathlon Age Group Championships in Aviles. A fantastic achievement considering his warm up race at Hever Castle didn't quite go to plan. Jordan describes Hever as the hardest Duathlon and most undulating course he's done - and it didn't help that he went the wrong way on the bike and ended up doing an extra 6.5k!
However, despite this, he still won his age group by over 4 minutes.
Back to normality with a full season's racing, there has been many success stories and achievements for our members...
Twenty years after entering the London Marathon Steve Hunter completed his collection of London Classics medals with the Swim Serpentine event.
Mark Beardon achieved his first podium finish with a 3rd place finish in his age group at the Hever Castle Sprint Triathlon.
Stuart Hall took 1st place in his age group at the Hever Castle Sprint Triathlon and finished 4th overall.
Won the Eastbourne Sprint Triathlon.
Won the Hever Castle Standard Triathlon.
2nd place at the British Championships (Junior) and 4th overall (Senior).
Rebecca Phillips won her age group in the Deal Dinosaur 10k.
Mustafa Huseyin finished 2nd in his age group in the Marshman Standard Triathlon. With the fastest run on the day he only just missed out on first place by two seconds.
Lucy Tomlinson completed her 11th London Marathon!
Also running were Claire Stone, Dominique Crist and Kevin Crist.
Martin Glover and Sean Callow completing the Ironbourne Long Distance Triathlon - starting with a jump off the Pier!
Chris Riding completing Ironman UK long distance.
Olivia, Laura and Jo claiming third place at the Bridge Duathlon.
Congratulations to all our members for their achievements this year. It's great to see all the hard work coming to fruition. We've had some great training sessions this season. Pool training sessions are available again. Open water swimming throughout the summer. Various run sessions. Virtual and in person turbo trainer sessions throughout the winter. Some interesting bike handling training (see picture below) and of course the Sunday social rides. It's great to be back to normal. Fingers crossed going forwards!
Kevin Barnes - The Great Norse Run
As triathletes we train for more than one discipline. This gives us a huge choice of different events we can enter. Kevin decided to take that to the extreme this year by entering the Great Norse Run - an eight day run across Iceland - covering 330km with 4400m of climbing!
We caught up with Kevin to simply ask him 'Why?!!'
Why did you do it?
I’ve covered a variety of distances over the years, ranging from park runs to ultras and having a running background, I wanted to see how far I could push my body and also test my mental ability over a multi-day event.
What was the toughest part?
Bizarrely, not the running! I’ve never been a fan of camping and when I was told it would just be veggie food, I knew that would test me too. Having our food choice rotated every few days was tough but surprisingly, I came back heavier than when I went!
How did you feel when you finished?
Having had knee and Achilles issues from day one, I had almost convinced myself I wouldn’t make it.
When we crossed the bridge at the finish, it was a mixture of relief, emotion and sadness. Relief at no more running, emotional as it was hard work keeping your body moving every day for long distances and sadness because it was the end of my toughest challenge with incredible people.
What would you say to anyone thinking about taking on an extreme endurance challenge?
No amount of training can prepare you for the mental challenge you’ll come up against. Be prepared for the unexpected such as injuries, lack of sleep and food struggles. Every comfort zone was pushed and in a way, this motivated me to succeed.
Everyone on the trip had slight niggles but got fitter as we went and it was incredible seeing your body push through each day.
I would recommend a multi-day event if you want to push yourself and have a break from the normal race format and most importantly, be part of one of the best adventures you’ll ever have.
Well done Kevin. An amazing achievement!