The weather gods were kind again as we had another big weekend of racing. We may be a multi-talented club taking on varied events, but the London League is where it’s at – and finally we stuck in a massive performance.
Orbiting around the edges of the Rumble at the Theme Park were also some swimming, more Ironman racing, a spot of leg-crunching cycling, and middle and standard distance triathlons.
But first, an omission from last week’s newsletter (entirely my error):
On Friday 5th July, Rob Argles raced the Phoenix Aquathlon at Guildford Lido. He belted out a fantastic race performance, and came first in his category, only 2 minutes behind the overall race winner!!
Previously, on the London League…
With the season spluttering to life in Stratford: Crystal Palace, Clapham Chasers and Thames Turbo stole an early lead in this duathlon (abbreviated to a run in the poor weather). It was going to be down to the remaining Aquathlons and Triathlons to decide where we stood.
At Kingfisher aquathlon, we were pipped to the post by a strong London Fields men’s turnout, but demonstrated we could field a good 10 person mixed squad.
At the first triathlon, the Thames Turbo sprint, Clapham Chasers just stole the show for Women’s and Mixed results (with former club member Amy Ellerker helping them nudge the balance). Whilst we still got 10 people out, other clubs threw the kitchen sink at this race, with Clapham even getting 59 members onto the course!
Crystal Palace triathlon saw us fall back again on team points, despite some strong performances – with 6 we simply lacked the numbers and depth of talent in comparison with the leading teams of London Fields and Crystal Palace.
Tooting aquathlon saw us back on form – 10 racing (the second highest on the day) – and giving Clapham Chasers, Crystal Palace and Thames Turbo a decent run for their money.
We were though still missing that elusive maximum team score across all categories.
The next two races were, sadly, a step in the wrong direction. Low turnouts at The Bridge triathlon (3 people) and Windrush aquathlon (5 club members) meant we could only muster one solitary 4th place team score for the women in the aquathlon. Annoyingly, for Windrush, despite Euan winning the race, and Rob coming 11th, we scored no male points for lack of just one other male competitor! That is how much we depend on club participation in League races!!
By this stage, the club was languishing in 3rd, 4th and 3rd for the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed team results respectively – based on the best four team results (including at least one triathlon).
For one of the fastest and well-populated clubs in the London League, something was going to have to change.
Thorpe Park Standard Distance – LONDON LEAGUE
Step forward the standard distance Club Champs at Thorpe Park – tougher than the tea cups ride. In mercifully cool and calm conditions, Ful-on Tri fielded a whopping 29 racers crossing the finish line – the biggest turn-out of any club on the day! If we can even do half this number at the remaining 3 races it would be amazing.
Crossing the finish line were: Tony Banner; Alistair Chappelle; Lizzie Matthews; Haukur Heimisson; Sarah Watts; Alexie Calvert-Ansari; Mike Powell; Kenneth Murray; Alejandro de Miguel Solano; Pete Doubleday; Thomas Masters; Jason Parrish; Helen Fagan; Nick Goodfellow; Eszter Szadeczky-Kardoss; Rob Argles; Jonnty Bloomfield; Peter Moore; Will Manns; Sean Clancy; Andrea Sala; Katie McCreadie; Ursula Hankinson; Jane Osborne; Trin Head; Daniel Montilla Navas; Lawrence Burton; Stephen Flexer; and, Sybille Schorm.
In the men’s race, regular weekend racer Alistair claimed the club standard distance prize, in addition to placing 6th overall and 2nd in his race category, finishing in a time of just under 2 hours (tres rapide!) He clearly had too much momentum though, as he was gone before Rob could give him his Curly-Wurly. This tasty prize was therefore claimed by Haukur, who finished barely a minute later, and rounded up the Men’s 30-34 podium!
Hot on Haukur’s heels was the ever speedy Alexie, not even a minute behind, and grabbing a silver podium spot! 5 minutes later, and finishing in a 2 minute window, were Kenneth, Pete Doubleday, Jason, Nick and Rob (who just missed out on a podium spot)!
Jonnty, Will and Andrea all then finished within 1.5 minutes of each other – some close competitive racing, which is great to see!
Lawrence, Stephen and Andrea rounded up our finishers below 2hr 30min!
Sean, Peter Moore, Thomas, Alejandro, Mike and Tony completed an epic male turnout and a full set of strong race performances! Chapeau to all!!
In the women’s race, it was the mercurial Ursula who snatched Champs victory, barely a minute ahead of Trin (that’s some speedy work on Roth legs!!), also claiming a bronze podium spot and finishing in just over 2hr 17min! We also have photographic evidence that the Curly-Wurly prize was successfully handed over this time.
Sybille, Jane and Katie rounded up those finishing below 2hr 30min, with Sybille hurling herself into a 3rd on her race category podium!
Eszter, Helen, Sarah, and Lizzie completed the women’s turnout, with Sarah continuing a great racing season, nearly claiming a podium place!!
Now, the overall results are still somewhat provisional, but it looks like this was a fantastic day for the club in London League terms.
We almost certainly grabbed our first maximum points score in all three team categories – men’s, women’s and mixed!
If the results stand as they are, then:
- By a quirk of fate (London Fields also scored max points to add to a perfect tally of 100’s), the men’s team probably move down to 4th place, but the max score provides a fighting chance of nudging into the top 3 again. Doing this would be a big challenge. Whilst we have one maximum point score, our rivals (Clapham Chasers, Crystal Palace and London Fields) have at least 2 apiece (with London Fields having a fairly hard to assail 4!). Coming out in numbers and fielding our fastest athletes in the last 3 races will give us a fighting chance. If we could bag three more maximum scores, we may then come down to Mob Match points against London Fields – which would be very close. More likely is a chance to unseat Clapham Chasers or Crystal Palace.
- In the women’s team results, our latest performance keeps us in 4th place, and our new max score gives us an edge over 3rd placed Thames Turbo! However, we face the same challenge to unseat Clapham Chasers or Crystal Palace from the top 2 positions. It still comes down to our strongest possible racing (with good turn-outs) in the final London League events!
- Mixed team standings look to be the biggest success – moving from 3rd to 2nd!! Clapham Chasers however look pretty invincible in 1st (with some fantastic Mob Match points at their disposal in the event of a points tie).
All of this means we need to get as many entrants as we possible can into at least the final aquathlons (Capital Tri and London Fields – 1st and 22nd of September). As Rob says: “Capital Tri and London Fields are both great little end of season aquathlons that are not too taxing and can be cycled to. London Fields on the Sunday is also doable after the Fix relays and party on the Saturday!”
The Fugitive – Standard Distance Triathlon
Further up the Thames Valley, Marlow was hosting the annual F3 Events multisport weekend. This year, 2 of the club (Pim Kalisvaart and Bastiaan Trommel) entered the Standard Distance triathlon. The course in scenic Marlow takes in a crowded river swim, followed by cycling into the hills around Henley, before finishing with a fairly flat riverside run.
Pim continued his great form this season by winning the whole race in a time of 2hr 5min! Bastiaan also put in a rapid effort, crossing the line well under 2hr 30min!!
Over in Docklands, Gina Siebler and Suzie Rylatt were getting their feet wet in the Dock to Dock swim – a 5km aquatic navigation of London’s former ship berths.
Both completed the distance in well under 2 hours, and fantastic to see regular racer Gina’s swimming at this level!!
As the Tour de France was getting into the bumpy stages, Colin Frew and Mike Chapplow took on the UK Etape in empathy.
Colin, back on fantastic form, smashed the Gran Fondo course in just under 5hr 15min, whilst Mike powered his way around the, no less hilly, Medio Fondo in a little over 6hr!
Ironman UK – Bolton
Sunday’s weather must also have brought some small comfort to those racing Ironman’s revamped Bolton – particularly given the tougher bike course, introduced this year.
Out racing for the club was Nicky Huskens – who has a crazy affection for hilly cycling – so it goes without saying that she did very well. A solid swim and bike saw her move from 10th to 8th in her race category, with a do-or-die marathon crystallising an awesome 9th place, a top 25% overall position, and a just under 12hr 57min finish time!
Looking at the latest analysis on CoachCox, this race may now be in the same difficulty league as Lanzarote and Wales, with a huge number of DNFs by the end of the bike course, so Nicky’s performance is up there as one of the gnarliest of the year so far!!
Over in Coventry, Will Averill picked a 10k run for his weekend’s adventures, finishing in the top quarter of the field, and bagging a PB time of 42:25!
Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim
Rounding up the UK races, Ruth Macdonald entered the Bournemouth Pier to Pier swim, finishing the 1.4 miles in 1hr 6min, in the top half of all female competitors!
Finally, in sweatier weather, Jonathan Montoya Saunders was out in Vietnam racing Challenge’s latest Middle Distance triathlon.
Despite the heat and humidity, Jonathan swam to 3rd place (race category), battling it out on the bike (often in 2nd place), before a strong half marathon cemented a 5th place, 23rd overall, and a finish time of just under 5hr 30min! That is some fantastic racing in crazy conditions!!
That then is a wrap for this weekend. Please do look as hard as you can to enter those last few London League races of the season – many A races are now dealt with, so let’s turn our attention to giving the club the best performance of the season that we can!
As usual, if you are missing from the above, or if you have races coming up, please email me on [email protected]
A few of you have mentioned challenges using the race calendar over the last couple of months. Sadly, it is still awaiting a fix by Trinitech, so, please, for the time being, use the old school method of emailing me what you’re up to.