2022 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
2022 - Triathlons, Duathlons, Aquathlons, Marathons and a Biathlon
2022 saw another corker of a season. Lots of fun and racing for our club members.
With various events carried over from previous pandemic effected years some of our members had a jam packed season of racing!
On top of this we had a team picnic, various away days and even hosted our first Biathlon. Read on for more details!
Although the triathlon season doesn't get going until the summer, there are plenty of opportunities for competition throughout the year.
As winter gave way to spring, we saw a superb third place for Alfred in the March Bridge Sprint Duathlon.
In April Martin recovered from COVID just in time to not only participate in the Manchester Marathon, but also achieve a PB of 3:50:35.
One of our favourite early season triathlons is the 7Oaks Triathlon. As always an enjoyable event, but even more so for Tom, Leo and Jordan who all won their age groups.
In May we had a change of leadership.
Ian stepped down as our Chairperson and up stepped Nicola.
Ian did a great job steering us through the 'pandemic years'. He now earns a well deserved retirement from leading the club, but is still very much an active member.
Thank you Ian!
And May is when it started to get busy...
First up we had Stuart and Mark competing at Age Group level at the World Middle Distance Duathlon Championships in Denmark! They achieved some great times on a tough course.
On the same day Chris was taking part in Ironman 70.3 Mallorca - a race deferred from a previous pandemic effected year. Chris reports...
"...Really pleased with the swim & bike - transitions a bit iffy - and a really tough run. Scenery coming off the mountains was out of this world and had a great day with plenty of learnings!
Feet up now and pizza ordered!..."
It certainly sounds like you earned your pizza Chris!
At the end of May quite a few club members took part in Ride London. For Rob, Dave, Kevin and Dominique this meant completing the London Classics - thus receiving the much sought after Classics medal - and earning a nice pint by the looks of things!
"...This was the last leg of The London Classics - First being Swim Serpentine last September - then the London Marathon in October - then today a 100 mile bike ride through London into Essex and back again. So not only did we achieve the ride but both Dominique and I achieved the London classic medal, which is huge..."
In June Jordan travelled to Romania for the World Standard Duathlon Championships. Jordan put in a superb performance. A big 10k PB helped him on to the podium for a second place finish in his age group.
Kevin and Sophie popped up to the Bridge Midweek Duathlon. Kevin was using this as a warm up for the Leeds ITU World Series Triathlon the following week, whilst Sophie entered the Go Tri event. Great prep for Kevin, almost getting a PB - and a fantastic result for Sophie bringing home the 1st place trophy!
Dave Withers entered the Lakesman 70.3
"...Swim was in the 'Crystal Clear' waters of Derwent Water, but it's not crystal clear with 1300 triathletes swimming in it!
An undulating, one lap, 56 mile ride around the northwest lakes area on good roads. Not closed roads but quiet compared to Kent.
A run around Keswick and neighbouring closed roads.
I finished in 6.43 which with limited training I was happy with.
So, no PB, GB qualifier or age group win but just a satisfied athlete who, in my 2nd year in the 60+ age group and carrying a few extra kilos of beer and crisps, has proved he can still get out of bed at 4am on a Sunday morning and wear himself out with many younger and fitter people.
Don't ever let anyone say you're too old!
A great race in a beautiful part of the country. Well worth a visit. Now for rehydration and rest..."
The Trials and Tribulations of Hever Castle
Every year the Castle Race Series host a couple of big events at Hever Castle. These events are extremely popular with our members - for beginners and experienced racers alike.
At the July Hever Festival Of Endurance David took part in the Aquabike and came away with a first place in his age group.
Then in September lots of club members took part in various races. Claire took a superb third place in the Standard Duathlon, whilst new members Simon, Aidan and Victoria all had their own unique adventure....
First up - Victoria...
"...I did the Starter Tri on Sat 24th. I had three goals...
(1) Not drown,
(2) complete the course and
(3) 80% Fun 20% pain.
The swim went ok. Everyone was super polite and I didn’t get kicked or swam over (one of my fears). Managed to stand in a massive hole on the way out of the swim but luckily a nice race marshal helped me up/out.
First transition seemed to take an age but wetsuit came off like a dream and I was away on the bike. Luckily for me I'd done the bike route a few times so the long hill round/up to Mark Beach was ok and once that was over I really enjoyed the rest of the ride. I was like yes going to smash the run and be home dry.
Transition to the run was fast… perhaps too fast… when I turned into the woody hill my heart sank. It was hard and felt sick (not enough fuel?). Although I had done brick training I was not prepared for how jelly like my legs felt for the first km. Stuck it out and got it done but this was where my 20% pain kicked in. Before I got to the end of the race I was like I am never doing this again. But 3 days later I’m looking at what I should do next.
Everyone at Hever was so friendly and supportive of their fellow competitors. A really nice experience.
It's so easy to look at the negatives or all of the things I could have done better but need to remind myself this time last year I was starting chemotherapy! I finished that in Feb and Radiotherapy in April and then started training everything from pretty much scratch. I hadn’t really swam since a child, certainly couldn’t run 5k and hadn’t biked more than 5 miles in years. So actually I’m really happy I followed through and completed the plan 🙂 I also raised £1590 for a local cancer charity in the process 😃..."
Well done Victoria. A fantastic result!
Next we have Simon...
"...My first Tri in 5 years - and first open water ever!
I had a great day out and my family also enjoyed it, but this is why I need to train...
Swim: Survivable - enjoyed it after about half way.
Transition: What on earth did I do for 7 minutes? I could of had a cup of tea and bacon sandwich!
Bike: Nice ride
Run: A bit slow at Hever - but a nice route
I need to get some training done over the winter 👍..."
Well done Simon. I hope you received your bacon sandwich and cup of tea, however there was a slower transition that day, as reported by Aidan...
"...Set up for the swim. Hydrated well. Caffeine is a game changer! Water a nice 15 celsius. Despite doing front crawl through some rather shallow water a PB over 1500m at around 34 minutes. Feeling pretty good. Transition as always was slow, however feeling good I ran with my bike... hopped on and BAM snapped my chain.
Don't worry they say, go to the mechanics. So across the bike-in mat I go (messing up my chip time) to be greeted by the most laid back and slow mechanic who dutifully replaced the link with a quick link. Cue me having to run back through transition to cross the mats for bike-out (which is now going to be run-out on the chip). On I get thinking here we go, some catching up to do but I got this. BANG. Chain snaps again! So back I go through bike-in (chip timing now likely very confused) to the mechanic. 'Not got any more links mate or any new chains to sell you, not sure what we can do'
At this point I'm contemplating running 40k and rolling downhill with the bike. I asked them if they rent bikes. 'Sure no problem' so they change over the pedals get my fuel and water moved across, on my new steed (£90 for a poorly equipped Raleigh - ouch!) back I go through transition to bike-out and I'm off!
Now having run about 2km in transition already I still feel determined, off I go. Two uneventful and to be quite honest fairly good laps by my standard. Who knew that reciting lines from Lord of the Rings and Braveheart could get you up hills so well? Time 1 hour 30 (ish). In I come through bike-in (third time) and a fairly smooth transition ensues. Not wanting to consume any gels because I'd already brushed my teeth in the morning and who wants to consume 5 tubes of toothpaste in a day? A good swig of electrolyte drink and away I go!
Was that my slowest 10k ever? Yes. Do I care? NO. A couple of good km and a couple of not so good and then to make matters worse they throw in the extra few hundred metres uphill at the end. Did I almost throw up at 7km? Of course I did, was that going to stop me? Maybe just a little... a slight walk through the horse fields being demoralised by seeing how far left and the wide open space. Back on it now for a final blast to the finish. I picked out some guy in a hydration pack and stuck with him determined to outsprint him on the line in front of my adoring fans to make it look like I ran that quick the whole way. 9km we are neck and neck. 10km I've dropped off again (isn't this meant to be the end?) Now pushing I notice the finish following the guy in front I chase him down only to realise the finish was to the right and he was doing the half marathon. I sprint past him at the junction to be greeted by my wife and friends that had come to spectate. Across the line and to consume my weight in fig rolls.
Calories burnt 2500, calories consumed probably 2500 at the finish line. Total time not including transitions around 3 hours 10. Total time including transitions and bike chain issues probably more like 3 hours 50.
All in all a great first standard distance. Feeling good. Feeling pleased. I'm not going to win the Olympics but I might just have won the hearts of the crowd. Maybe that is my calling? Entertainer.
I would call that a successful day. Now to go home and pass out..."
Escape From Alcatraz
This year Sean Callow took part in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon!
"...This was a bucket list event - I thought why not this year - you’ve got to tick them off at some point.
You have to apply through a lottery system to get in and I was one of the lucky ones through on my first attempt.
Up early at 4am - although that actually wasn’t a problem as I didn’t let my body clock adjust to SanFrancisco time beforehand
Even though I’ve got a swimming background that was the element I was most nervous of. The max 15 degree sea, strong currents and wildlife (Whales? Sea lions? SHARKS??!!)
The build up to the swim was great - on a boat travelling to Alcatraz with 1400 others… and go.
The jump in was fine with the adrenaline kicking in.
I was one of the last off the boat as I watched the pro’s start. The swim was a bit of a washing machine as I swam through the masses. I didn’t actually realise how fast we were going with the current.
2,600m swim in 27 minutes will never be repeated! Overall I was 22nd fastest swim! I’ll take that especially as that includes the pro's!
Given the wet conditions my main aim on the bike was to stay on two wheels. The first & last mile are flat, but otherwise San Francisco is very hilly.
Decided to coast down hills and work on the uphills.
Loved the cycle overall with great views around different parts of city and the Golden Gate in the background (through the fog)
On to the run - 13km run on mixed terrain, some tarmac, lots of trail, sand and the sand ladder!
There are two set of steps, first is 100m long and 25% gradient - I thought these were bad enough but then heard the hardest section was to come…. The sand ladder is 170m long and 26% and these ones are up sand. The quickest pace on the day up there was 9.2km/h… I walked in 16km/h. Overall I ran the whole race with a big smile on my face and loved the support and atmosphere.
I especially loved wearing the GB suit and got lots of “go GB” shout outs which is always cool.
Well done Sean. An amazing achievement!
An event local to us is the TriBourne. This year Steve ventured down to Eastbourne and took second spot in his age group. The bike was seriously lumpy but Steve had the best bike split in his age group which set him up nicely for the run, only missing out on first place by a matter of seconds.
The following month Steve took on the IronBourne 70.3. Another great performance on a tough course in hot conditions. At the end his Garmin told him to 'rest until Christmas', however there is no time for that because he qualified for the World Standard Distance Age Group championships in Abu Dhabi!
So, in November Steve flew to Abu Dhabi and reported back...
"...What an experience stepping up to this level was.
Non-wetsuit sea swim - start gun - go - dive in - no messing. Luckily the jellyfish were kind enough to stay deep so I only saw them and didn’t feel them.
500m jog to T1 and straight out onto the bike for 2 laps of glorious flat tarmac on wide roads. My rear derailleur stopped working at the first corner so I had to ride on a single gear - luckily I had set my gear ratio in transition for the circuit and my training was on mixed cadence. Talking with the GBers who did the sprint the day before I opted to increase my hydration volume. Using RacePro mix instead of gels and PH 1500 for hydration and salt/electrolytes.
I expected the run to be a suffering in the heat and humidity and it was just that. The drink stations were well placed and lots of water available. I was surprised to complete the 10 and a bit kms in 53mins and so glad to cross that finish line..."
Well done Steve! A great result and superb race/course management!
As a club we like to target a few specific races each year where we try to get as many members as possible to attend.
Racing alongside each other and cheering each other along adds to the fun of triathlon.
One such event this year was the Team Relay Duathlon at Bridge.
Ocean Lake were represented by four different teams for a bit of inter-club rivalry. A great day out at a local event with an off road bike section around the Cyclo-Park.
The Cyclo-Park is a great venue. As a club we use this for our children / youth training sessions.
Our main base for training is the Leybourne Country Park, especially in the summer where we can practice our open water swimming in the lake.
This year we also held a club picnic there - with a few hours of SUP and Kayaking - some more successful than others...
Our most recent club event of the year was a Biathlon using laser pistols! I think our accuracy with the gun decreased with each lap we ran, however it was another great fun event. A huge shout out to our coaching staff for all the preparation and organisation to make this event happen. We look forward to the next one!
Some of our other achievements this year...
Mark Beardon, Rob Waite and Andre Bekker completing the London Marathon
David Taft third individual at the Cowman Aquabike
Agatha Skelton at the European Age Group Championships in Munich. Led out the swim, onto a lead bike pack averaging 35 kmph, followed by a very tough run. Finishing a superb tenth overall
John Simpson completing IronMan Vichy
Kevin Barnes completing IronMan Tallin
Justin Horsfall-Turner second overall at the Channel Tri
Tom Evans finishing second in his Age Group at the Bournemouth Aquabike thus qualifying for the World Championships in Spain next year
James Evans, Mark Richards, David Taft and Stuart Hall competing at the European Middle Distance Aquabike and Triathlon Championships in Bilbao in horrendous conditions
Chris Riding completing North Carolina IronMan 70.3 - Another race postponed from last year
Leo Hewitt winning the August Go Tri Bridge Midweek Duathlon
Alfred Osborne winning the Turkey-Run Cross Country off the back of setting a new school Cross Country record earlier in the same week.