Weekend live updates
UK Ironman 70.3 Word from the depths of Somerset where there was no internet or phone coverage is that Julie Dibens blitzed the swim and course records to win in 4:49:28 - and apparently did all but ten miles of the bike on a broken handlebar! Katja Schumacher was second in 4:57:09 and Michelle Lee was third in 4:59:23. In the mans field Fraser Cartmell saw off the opposition with a solid 4:24:32, James Gilfillan was second in 4:26:12 and Paul Ambrose was third in 4:26:36. The weather was overcast but dry. More news as people return to points nearer to net connectivity! Nokia Royal Windsor Triathlon Headline news is that Richard Stannard finally got his dream and won his local race - but he had to work for it. He and Harry Wiltshire led out of the swim and had a clear 30 seconds at the exit on T1, an advantage that they held through and onto the run at which point Stannard lit the blue touchpaper and left like a rocket. Of course, as we all know from November 5th parties, rockets only have a finite amount of fuel and it was going to be an interesting game to see how far Stan would make it down the road before the young guns and hopefuls started to make inroads. As it turned out he was home and free but Ritchie Nicholls, who did roughly the same a week ago at the Corus race in Wales, showed that being a duathlete isn't too much of a handicap and steadily chewed into Stannard's lead and came home a very solid second. Steve Worthington stole third place, Harry Wiltshire couldn't hold off the attachers on the run and placed fourth while 1993 winner, Colin Dixon, proved that triathlon really is a lifetime sport and took fifth. The ladies race was going to go only one of a limited number of ways and Sam Herridge took up the challenge from the off leading out the swim by over a minute. And, as far as the win was concerned, that was that because she never looked challenged right through to the end - one very happy lady. Yvette Grice stepped up for second place with Karen Sindall closing out the podium in third. Eloise Crowley and Jodie Stimpson completed the top five. The one question in our mind, and we'll need to check the times when they come through is, if that really was the Nicole Best we think it was who shot past in the age group wave, would she have been up with the winners is she had raced elite... European Duathlon Championships In the elite and U23 mens race the legend that is Benny Vansteelant (BEL) took a leaf out of Catriona's book and blew a three minute gap in the field on the bike leg. He took an easy win in 1:56:26. The resulting scramble for second and third saw Tom Lowe come through the field and pass Benny's brother, Joerie, so saving one place on the podium for GB. Rob Woestenborghs (BEL) was second in 1:56:54 and Tom's time was 1:56:58. Bart Aernouts (BEL) won the U23 event. The elite and U23 women's results give a win to Catriona Morrison in 2:11:31 with Vodickova Radka (CZE) in second on 2:15:59 and Alexandra Louisin (FRA) was third in 2:16:02. Fourth woman home was the only U23 woman, Charlotte Gauchet (FRA). Catriona's tactics, and she did have a significant home advantage, were to break the field on the bike and her four minute advantage at T2 showed that those middle-of-the-night sessions riding the route the 'wrong way' really did pay off. Full results for both the male and female elite race are now online here -- cracking job up there in Edinburgh, Kevin! In the Junior race the womens result went to Sophie Coleman with Kirsty McWilliam second and Alexa Giussani (ITA) in third while the mens title went to Joao Silva (POR) with Mark Threlfall second and Oscar Vicente (ESP) in third. Full results here. The provisional results for both the age group duathlon and the sprint triathlon up in Edinburgh are now online. Good to see Tri247 columnist Bob Holloway making it round safely, we are looking forward to a report early next week. Category Gold Silver Bronze 20-24 Freya BloorDavid Roper Rachel StoakesMathias Graute (GER) Carla MolinaroSteven Lawley 25-29 Emma SmithMatt Cullen Louise KellyRené Hordemann (GER) Keira-Eva Mooney (IRL)Félix Pérez (ESP) 30-34 Robyn GoldingManuel Salinas (ESP) Esther EvansLee Piercy Rachel HobbsMatthew Pullen 35-39 Caroline ToshackFergus Maclean Nicky BushellPaulo Goncalves (LUX) Jane WibleyHaimo Kiefer (GER) 40-44 Fiona LothianMassimo Torsani (ITA) Nicky BarronGrillo (NED) Valerie MartinJésus Carrillo (ESP) 45-49 Anne Paul (IRL)Geoff Ayres Bruna Cancelli (ITA)Darren Hodgkinson Varry McCullough YoungUgo Moroni (ITA) 50-54 Penny EdwardsJohn Field Christine BuckleyPeter Wheddon Hilary WalkerAlistair Stewart 55-59 Miroslav Krsek (CZE) Francisco Morales (ESP) Howard Doe 60-64 Mick Anglim Bert Streumer (NED) Scott Balfour 65-69 George Black Horst Wittnebel (GER) Bob Luck 70-74 Theo Herberger (GER) Les Bailey Arnott Kidd Peter Holmes reports that the conditions were very wet for the age group race this morning with some slipping and sliding. It was very windy as well, so back wheels were stepping out quite a lot… the descent from Arthur’s Seat was apparently a lot of fun! The weather has improved now and it has stopped raining and the wind has dropped, but roads are still pretty greasy, as Kirsty McWilliam found out. Nokia Royal Windsor Triathlon Down here in Windsor we can report that there's a steady stream of athletes registering and racking and despite the odd blustery shower the weather is holding up pretty well. Great coverage for the race on Craig Doyle's Capital Radio show this morning which included a live chat with Richard Stannard who was doing some last minute training down at Liquid Leisure. There's a few images now uploaded onto our PicasaWeb album for your amusement. Oh, and we think that we may have fallen in love... The new Trek Madone is on show at the Trek tent -- just one bike (the ONLY bike in the UK) hanging off a set of scales in the middle. To start with it's a sloping top tube - so, surely, it can't be a Trek then... and then the tube shapes and the detailling are clever optical tricks that make it all look just slightly curvy - sort of like a Specialized Tarmac's top tube. If this were a typeface it would be Eras (and you'll either know exactly what we mean or think we have finally flipped!) -- the proportions are just perfect. Of course, we have no idea what the ride will be like but the frame looks very stiff in the bottom bracket area while the external seat tube sheath is, apparently, nice and compliant which should give a comfortable ride. Well worth a look and the pricing of the Performance geometry models isn't bad at all, that 2008-spec graphite coloured Ultegra also looks dead sexy.
Bike Doctor in Switzerland
Kevin Worster (aka The Cycle Doctor) will be providing bike checking services in Zurich for those competing in IM Switzerland on 24th June. He'll be based at the Hotel Ascot on Friday and Saturday and will be charging £20 or €30 for a checkup. If you are interested contact Kevin by email (email@example.com) or on 07899 756192 from Thursday 21st June
Instant Interview: Dan Empfield
Welcome to our regular Friday lunchtime feature: the Instant Interview. A little something lighthearted to make the work week end just that little bit quicker. Triathlon isn’t just about the triathletes. There’s a whole army of people in the background from volunteers, organisers, officials, shop owners, facility managers and the whole sports infrastructure as well. We thought it would be fun to mix them in with famous, and some not so famous, athletes and get them to answer our 21 Question Instant Interview. This week’s interviewee is Dan Empfield, a man whose opinions we hold in high regard, as readers of these pages may well be aware. Dan founded triathlon specialists Quintana Roo and is, in many ways, the father of lots of stuff that we take for granted in the sport like decent wetsuits, steep seat angles and consistent, triathlon-oriented bike fitting through his FIST system. His opinion is sought, and freely given on pretty much anything to do with the sport through the legendary Slowtwitch website where you can read about subjects as diverse as the latest trends in bike design, rule aberrations and how to install an endless pool in your backyard. Dan is also not averse to pointing out the failings in things; be they national governing bodies, an race organisers selection of a venue or a manufacturers choice of a component on a bike. However, unlike many of his imitators, you know that his reasons will be properly founded and almost invariably correct. Enjoy! Name? Dan Empfield Do you have a nickname? Call me anything except late for the carbo load. What’s your favourite/most enjoyable race? It used to be the Nice Triathlon. I’m hunting for a new favourite race. What race/goal/personal achievement would you most like to win/attain? Fully funding my retirement sometime before I no longer need it funded. What achievement would you most like to be remembered for? Something I haven’t done yet. I don’t know what it is. What’s your most embarrassing moment? It’s a much longer story than can be recounted here. Are you a member of any club? No. To my chagrin I just became eligible for the AARP. But I’ve resisted membership. [Ed: AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons...] What’s your favourite racing distance? They don’t have it yet, officially, but half-old-Nice distance is what I’m holding out for. Who is your sporting or cultural inspiration? Historically the triathlete whose style I most admired is Scott Molina. Within the sport, who would you most like to meet? When you’ve been a triathlete for 27 years you’ve come across everyone at one time or another. What book/magazine/comic are you reading at the moment? I’ve always got something on early American history going. What’s currently playing most on your stereo/radio/iPod? Everything late 60s to mid 70s. What is your favourite training session? Up a long forested climb, on-road if it’s cycling, off-road if it’s running. What is your favourite food or drink? Narrowing it down means excluding some real favourites. Oh, the horror. What’s your favourite animal? The domestic dog. I have quite a collection of them, or they have me. Tyres or tubulars? For racing? Tubies, no doubt. Tattoos or transfers? Body painting is for Queequeg, and his ilk. Shave or wax? I had one leg waxed once. It hurt so much, I just shaved for three weeks until the other caught up. Trisuit or two-piece? Neither. This sport is so gay. Talc or Vaseline? Old-school it, I say. Lube is for pussies. Shades or hat? You aren’t getting my drift. No hat. No shades. No fuel belt. No M-dot tat. And really, no shaving. Close-cropped leg mowing. That’s it.
How to succeed at: Windsor
The Royal Windsor Triathlon occupies a pretty special place in the pantheon of British triathlons. To start with it's in the shadow of Windsor Castle with the bike route going around the Great Park and the run going through the town and then over the Thames into Eton - an historic setting that's pretty much unrivalled anywhere else. Add to the superb location the fact that it has been voted Triathlon of the Year by the BTA membership on no less than seven occasions (and it picked up a 220 award as well) and it becomes clear that this is an event that people really want to do - again and again. For 2007 the race has a new headline sponsor, Nokia, and a smart new logo so we can expect lots of nice corporate trimmings - they already had the hot air balloon out at Eton a couple of weeks ago. Vital facts Race dates 17th June 2007 (registration and racking on the 16th) Future dates TBC Website http://www.humanrace.co.uk/ Location http://www.tri247.com/location_event_3361.html Race distances (advertised): Standard: 1,500m river swim, 42k bike, 10k run. Sprint: 750m river swim, 30k bike, 5k run. Series / Qualification / Championship Status None in 2007 Background The Royal Windsor Triathlon fits firmly in the 'Premier League' of triathlon events in the UK, if not beyond. Organised by John Lunt's 'Human Race' team, Windsor has been a firm favourite on the race calendar for over 15 years. It's one of the country's biggest events, with over 2400 entrants registered for 2007. It's also one of the most popular, with entries for this year closing in January - five months in advance of race day. If you are looking for an early season 'A' race, Windsor may be the one for you. A sprint distance event (750m/30km/5km) is also held in conjunction with the main race. The swim The swim start is a good few minutes walk from the transition area (in bare feet across tarmac) - so do listen to the PA announcements, and make sure you are ready for your wave start in good time. Every year you will see people running along the bank to get in because they've missed their start. Because of the river closure during the race all the starts go bang on time in order to get all the age groupers through. You've got up early, and paid the entry fee, so you may as well start on time! If you do miss your start DO NOT just jump in and go, let the start team know and they will re-allocate you to another wave. The swim does NOT start and finish in the same place: it's roughly 900m upstream to the Windsor Relief Road bridge, turn around the buoy, and then 600m back for the full distance. The sprint distance turn is, obviously, earlier and is just after the metal railway bridge - do not make the mistake that the elite field did a few years back and turn there, all bar three were disqualified! Generally, the first half of the swim is against the current, and the return leg will be with the current. However, in my experience in recent years it's not been excessive. (That said, there have been years when the flow has been really strong...) This means it will be faster to swim to the 'right' (against the bank) on the outward leg, and in the 'middle' of the river on your return. However, don't get too paranoid about this - if you go too far over to the bank, you'll more than likely get caught in reeds, fishing rods or swim into boats (yes, people have!) than save time... TAKE NOTE! The swim exit is 'hidden' behind a long island that you swim past (to your right). As the return leg is both 'short' and with the current, it is very easy to miss this - very frustrating (I know, I've done it!). The exit is a specially constructed platform that is located at the steps just upstream of Barry's Café, there will be helpers here on race day to assist you out of the water. It is very well worthwhile taking a walk along the river bank on the Saturday after you have registered and racked your bike to check out the swim start, the swim exit and the state of flow in the river. After exiting the swim there is a long (circa 200m) run into transition, all on tarmac paths. While running, look to have the top half of your wetsuit off before you get to your bike (it's easier to remove a 'wet' wetsuit). The bike The bike course is neither excessively hilly or technical. If you are in the lucky position of choosing between a 'road' bike and a 'time trial / triathlon' bike (with bar end shifters), I would go with the TT/tri bike. You cannot get onto your bike when you leave transition until you get out of Alexandra Gardens and onto the road. Given that the transition area is very large, and walking/running in cleats is awkward, it is well worth considering either running with your shoes in your hand or, if you can practice the technique beforehand, have the shoes already clipped into the pedals. The bike course is one of my favourites - plenty of long straight roads and chances to get into a nice aero position. As always, beware of vehicles as the roads are not closed to traffic (though typically, they are quiet). We rode the route for our Garmin Route of the Month feature and you can also follow it here on MotionBased. The exception to this is the section in Drift Road which is partially closed to traffic. Beware, while this section is known as 'Draft Road' in some quarters there are static draftbusters on site, and they DO issue penalties. You know the rules - NO DRAFTING! When you get back to T2, you DON'T get off your bike at the same point you got on (but beware of people who do!). Slow down, go up onto the pavement, through the park entrance and keep riding on the path down the edge of the transition area to the dismount line (actually a whacking great pole!) which is at the far end. The run The run is three laps for both the full and the sprint distance - the sprint race does not do the section which goes over the bridge into Eton. The route is virtually all pan flat except for a nasty hill up to the Castle and back about 300m into each lap. If you are racing neck-and-neck, this hill provides an opportunity to try and break away. At the end of the first lap you will turn around a structure in the middle of the road at the start of Barry Avenue. Here you must collect a coloured band from the marshals (to indicate you have completed a lap). Repeat this process at the end of lap two. You DON'T need to collect a band at the end of lap three, you just continue straight on into Barry Avenue, which is the finishing straight, and go under the gantry. UPDATE! Apparently there will be no lap bands this year - all athletes will be chipped and the organisers believe that everyone can count to three... I except that there will be a timing mat somewhere in the run loop as a double check! After the really hot race in 2005 the organisers added an additional water station into the run loop so that both the sprint and the full distance runners get two drink stations per loop. The water stations are at the foot of the hill and at the Eton College end of Eton High Street. Transitions The transitions at Windsor are LONG. As noted above, you have a significant run to do after the swim to get to your bike and then it may be another 100 metres to the bike mount. Because the transition area is so big (capacity is around 2,500 bikes!) you REALLY need to remember where you left your bike. The ends of the rows are numbered but it is a huge help, pre-race, to walk through the various entry and exit gates to transition and prepare yourself. You'll need to remember which row of bikes and how far up the row you are. Look for a landmark - are you near a large tree for example? Note, you CANNOT 'mark' your transition spot with talc, something tied to the racking or fencing, a flag and, no not even a Nokia hot air balloon... Transition is also live - in other words from 6am there are people racing, people getting ready and people finishing. Because of this you CANNOT remove your bike until after the elite wave has finished their bike leg and are out on the run. Please be aware of other athletes at all times - your race might be over but theirs is still going on and it only takes one thoughtless act to ruin someone else's day. Other information Read your race instructions! The race website has detailed maps and race information. Don't ruin your race through ignorance! Registration and racking is on the SATURDAY - no exceptions, they mean it. Remember to bring some form of ID and your BTF licence or you will have to pay for a day licence. As you leave your bike in transition overnight (security is provided) it may be prudent to cover your bike, especially the gears, etc, with a large black plastic bag or similar in case of rain. If it is a hot day on Saturday do remember to deflate the tyres a bit, every year there are some that go bang! Mechanics are available in transition on Sunday morning to help in emergencies. Timing is done by a 'chip' around your ankle - don't forget it. As you'll have plenty to think about (and possibly forget...) on Sunday morning, why not put it on on Saturday night? If you are sharing a room do make sure you have the right chip and numbers, every year someone manages to muddle theirs up and then all the results go horribly wrong... Don't expect a 'PB' time - because of the long transitions and slightly long bike course, don't be surprised if a 'great' performance doesn't translate into a fast time - it's eight years since an Age Grouper broke two hours at Windsor. Parking is at Windsor Boys School, you pay on Saturday for both days, and it is a good 10 minute walk to the transition area. Given the large number of people racing and the potential queues, do plan to arrive in plenty of time on race morning. As well as the inevitable line of Portaloos there is a large toilet block at the end of the coach park behind Alexandra Gardens. It's about 200m away, which often means the queues are significantly shorter, and it always has toilet paper... Windsor has its own website (www.windsor.gov.uk) which has information on the town and local facilities. If you are looking for somewhere local to stay you can try Windsor accommodation hotline: 01753 743900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated by John Levison (June 2007)
50m pool re-opens in East London
London Fields Lido has re-opened for the second time after being closed since 1986. An outdoor 50 metre pool with 5.6 metre wide lanes, it offers excellent training facilities for triathletes and swimmers. Being heated there is no need for wetsuits and one lane is roped off for the majority of the pool time with pure lane swimming for the first two hours in the morning and last hour in the evening. First opened in 1932, and built by the London County Council, it closed during the Second World War and re-opened afterwards. During the 1980s, when the Greater London Council was abolished, leisure facilities had to at least break even to survive and many of these great outdoor swimming pools and Lidos closed their doors. London Fields remained derelict until an action group lobbied for its resurrection. It was extensively refurbished and opened to swimmers in October 2006. I recently visited the pool for the first time in 30 years and had an excellent swim there. The pool is very spacious and feels completely different to my normal 33m indoor pool - no stuffy humid conditions. I expect it will attract more swimmers during the summer months. The Lido is within parkland so would provide a great aquathlon facility. Check the Hackney council website for pool timetable and prices: www.hackney.gov.uk or ring 020 7254 9038.
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