The sun came out for a glorious weekend of racing. And it was a weekend of firsts: first Marathons; first race for our Club Chairwoman (for the season anyway); first middle distance in Greece. With Easter just around the corner, sit back for the last (or possibly penultimate) race report before Tri season officially begins.
Paris Roubaix Challenge:
Anyone familiar with the term, The Hell of the North? Know a race where the field shrinks so dramatically by the end that merely finishing intact is an accomplishment? One where you might be shaken so violently your ability to produce power might literally be taken away from you?
No, we’re not talking about Katie Wright running 100miles in an earthquake zone. This is, of course, the Paris Roubaix Challenge. Over 170km of sheer brutality, involving mile after mile of mediaeval, cobbled farm tracks. If you want to know just how brutal, watch “A Sunday in Hell”, which focuses on the 1976 epic race.
In the wheel-marks of last year’s sweet win by Peter Sagan, our very own legend, Xavier Faux, took part in the amateur event – The Challenge. This year was the biggest ever field – over 6,800 riders (must have been chaos on the narrow roads). Despite the 55km of pave (cobbles), Xavier absolutely smashed it (and himself), completing the race in a time of 8hrs 31min!
Sunday – Kingfisher Aquathlon:
On Sunday, in far less dramatic settings, we had our second London League race of the season. Remember, these are those select races where we compete for both individual and club glory – competing in these events is one of those times you are genuinely giving something back to the club. Located in Morden Park, and run by Kingfisher Triathletes, this is a 2 stage race – 300m pool swim, followed by a 9k run.
A fab field of 10 took part. Most notably, our illustrious Club Chairwoman, Sarah Watts, was out racing, celebrating her birthday weekend with a first race of the year!! The remaining nine included: Euan Lees; Haukur Heimisson; Alexie Calvert-Ansari; Martin Bruwer; Thomas Masters; Richard Bridger; Rhys Davies; Merilee Bridger; and, Theodora Robinson. Fantastic racing by all – certainly one of the largest club turn-outs. Euan came home first for the club, winning his Category, with Haukur hot on his heels. Alexie, chasing Haukur, also won 2nd in his race Category.
Such a performance looks set to give us a great shot at some London League glory – provided we get enough club members to take part in the remaining events!!
[Update on Tuesday] John Borton and Tamsin Ede both ran the Boston Marathon on Monday. John blazed an awe inspiring 2hr 27min time, and we’ll all be waiting to see how that converts into the last leg of an Ironman! Tamsin wasn’t far behind, playing to her strength as a runner, with a finish time of 3hr 14min! Fantastic, epic racing by both!!
A marathon on home soil, yesterday saw the sunny seaside town of Brighton crowded out by nearly 17,000 runners taking part in the Brighton Marathon.
4 of the club were racing: Gina Siebler; Sean Clancy; Mateus Pimenta; and, Ben Harrison. Some fantastic times, with Sean and Mateus coming in under 3hrs 30min, and Ben just off by 31 seconds. However, special mention to Gina – in training for Ironman Switzerland – who ran her first marathon!
Meanwhile, avoiding the gilets jaunes, Brannigan Barrett (and his other half) were off running the Paris Marathon, achieving a fantastic 3hrs 44min finish time! And, a late spot… (always difficult without Strava, Facebook or Race Calendar advertising 🙂 )… Katie Marsh was also racing in Paris, and (assuming I found the right Katie), completed well under 3hrs 30min!! Well done to both.
Greece Ironman 70.3:
Out in scenic Costa Navarino, Greece was hosting its inaugural Ironman 70.3, and of course our club members were out there to try it out. Perhaps though this was a touch too far on the warm side – reports suggest it was 35’C and high humidity – great for the smaller, thinner athletes, but for others a punishing setting.
Sophie Kirk, Robert Gray, Sean Blake, Piere Guilpain, and Stephanie Ede were all out racing, with our very own Number One Fan, Ms Toomey, providing cheermania from the sidelines.
Sadly, it looks as if Rob encountered timing difficulties or did not finish – more so as he was the only one registered as racing for Ful-on-Tri (and therefore counting towards those important Ironman club points) – hopefully all is ok. For the rest, all came well in the top of the field, with finish times from 5hrs 31min down to just under 5hrs – a quick bunch.
Stephanie was fastest (racing for her Precision Race Team). And both Stephanie and Sophie gained podium places (2nd) in their respective Race Categories.
Fulham & Putney ½ Marathon:
And finally, a truly local race was being held on our doorstep on Sunday morning. The Fulham & Putney Half Marathon started and finished at Barne Elms sports grounds, and took in much of the river path on its 21km.
Andrea Sala was running for the club, finishing in a speedy time of 1hrs 29min! And, shortly behind Andrea, with a time of 1hr 34min, was Jose Miguel Cortes (who must have provided very limited info on his race entry – no club, no age, but at least he got his gender there!). Great running by both.
That’s it for now. Do email [email protected] if there’s anything you want to add (here or to the Race Calendar).