It’s that time of the year again – the London League has arrived once more – and, pending the official LL table, it looks like we put a good first shot across the bows. We also had our first triathlon of 2020, a bevy of long and hilly trail runs, more half-marathon action, an alternative duathlon, a 10k, and a sportive!
Thanks to the many that emailed me with races done and upcoming events – amazeballs, keep’em coming!
Importantly, we also need your help with a survey! Martin Bruwer has asked you all to help get feedback on Wednesday Turbo. The survey link is repeated below, and please, please, please do fill it out:
LONDON LEAGUE – RACE 1 – March Madness Duathlon
Well, it has begun. The London League is our main multi-sport series that pits our club in direct competition with other clubs in the London area. Whilst we can advertise ourselves in many other ways during the year, the League, more than anything else, markets our capabilities to field more than just talented individuals.
There are 11 races in total. As a club, we win points for top 3 men, top 2-3 women, top mixed (minimum 3 men and 2 women), and mob (number of entrants). The best 4 races count, with at least one needing to be a triathlon. Last year we had a shaky start, a strong middle, and clawed back a respectable result in our last race. This year is our opportunity to shine as we should!
In 2019, the March Madness Duathlon was abridged to a run, due to stormy conditions. Thankfully, Dennis, Jorge and others were not around to disrupt proceedings this Sunday, and the race went ahead as a normal sprint Duathlon – 3.2k Run, 16k Bike, 1.6k Run.
We had a valiant band of club members out on the course: Gina Siebler; Richard Harper; Ursula Hankinson; Alejandro de Miguel Solano; and, Euan Lees.
First across the line was Euan, in 44 min, coming 6th overall and grabbing 2nd in his age group! Richard was next, just under 1.5min behind, and narrowly missing his own podium spot! Just over 4min later came Ursula, also bagging a silver medal place! Alejandro and Gina powerfully rounded things out, finishing just 10min apart, with Gina only 4 places off a podium spot herself!!
So, what does all that mean. Well, although we had a good turnout, we didn’t quite climb onto that elusive top spot – in part due to a massive and powerful turnout by Crystal Palace across the board, and Clapham Chasers’ men. Provisionally it looks like we scored 3rd place across the board, with a 2nd place for Mixed teams. Not bad, but we really do want to secure some 1st and 2nd places in our next 2 races. Crystal Palace start the League series in 1st place in all categories. Clapham Chasers hold 2nd Men’s and Mob positions. Greenwich Tritons hold 2nd Women’s.
However, this is still better than our 1st race last year, where we only managed 3rd Men’s, 5th Women’s, 3rd Mixed, and 4th Mob, so this is a much, much stronger start!!
The next race is “The Mad Hatter Serpentine Duathlon” on 19th April in Hyde Park. Let’s see if we can get a minimum of 7 out on that course and chase down those maximum points!!
Trans Gran Canaria Mountain Race
Over in the Canary Islands, Nicola Anderson and country member, Lucinda Springett were taking part in an Ultra Marathon over the islands rough, volcanic terrain. It looked utterly brutal.
Racing through the night, and over 40 miles of technical ground, Nicola finished in a strong 12hr 37min! Lucinda unfortunately was plagued by an injury, yet still managed to complete almost 25 miles and 2,000m of climb before having to pull out!! That’s some epic running by both!
RunThrough Victoria Park Half
[Originally unknown when the report came out] New club member Joe Croft ran the Half Marathon in Victoria Park on Saturday, finishing in a PB time of 1hr 27min and coming in the top 10% of the field!!!
Thames Meander Half Marathon
On Saturday, we had a trail half marathon, out and back along the tow path from Kingston. Megan Whewell was our sole adventurous club member on the course and scored a sub 2:30 PB – fantastic considering she hadn’t even imagined that was possible! Those hills sessions are clearly paying off!!
Spa Francorchamps Circuit Half Marathon
Jean de Villeneuve was running in Belgium, taking part in a half marathon around the Francorchamps racing track finishing in a great 1hr 39min!
Racing a 4 lap, 20 mile course near Hillingdon, John Borton and Tomoki Tanemura were out testing their long distance legs.
John finished in a spectacular 1hr 59min, coming 2nd overall, whilst Tomoki finished in a still speedy 2hr 34min, coming well within the top half of the field and his age group!
Despite transport there being somewhat flaky, and the race centre perhaps being designed for a smaller field, Freddie Skarbek and Luke Hardman both successfully completed this half marathon near Woking.
Freddie smashed out a PB time of 1hr 16min (one of our fastest half marathon times of the year so far), finishing just outside the top 1% of the field and the top 3% of his age group! Luke also had a fantastic race, crossing the line just 1 minute over 1:30, within the top 10% of the field and top 20% of his age group!!
Cambridge Half Marathon
Over in Cambridge, club member Kostas Leontaridis was racing his own half marathon. Finishing nearly a whole minute sub-1:30, he crossed the line well within the top 10% of the field and the top 20% of his age group!
Cape Town Cycle Tour
Tim Dearden is now a regular face in the annual cycle race around South Africa’s southern Cape. It’s long, beautiful and frequently windy (so much so that it had to be cancelled not too long ago).
Despite some challenges (including a crash), Tim completed the 75 mile course in a great 3hr 28min!!
Tough Runner Buckinghamshire Duathlon
Over in Wendover Woods, near Aylesbury, Shaun Wood and Ben Sutton were racing our other Duathlon of the weekend. Running on trails either side of a road-based bike leg, this is essentially a Sprint length race – 5k run, 20k bike, 5k run – although with the off-road twist.
Shaun smashed this race, coming 1st overall in a time of 1hr 26min!! Ben also had a cracking race, finishing in just under 1hr 51min, 8th in his Age Group, and within the top 20% of the field!!
Further West, Matthew Steggles completed a 10k race near Chester, finishing in just over 44min and in the top 15% of his Age Group!
Ironman 70.3 Taupo
In our first Triathlon of 2020 (!!!), Antony Lindon and Vanessa Gershanov took on Ironman’s middle distance event in Taupo, New Zealand.
Racing literally side by side, they set off separately, with Antony gradually chasing Vanessa down, before running the final half marathon together to cross the finish line within seconds of each other – notching up times either side of 7hr 18min!!
And that’s your lot for another fab weekend of racing – busiest so far this year, if not ever.
As mentioned, it is great to have so many of you letting me know about your upcoming races and being keen to share with the rest of the club – absolutely the spirit of Ful-on Tri!!
If I’ve missed anything, or you want to keep me in the loop on future events, email, as usual, [email protected]
Have a great week!!!