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National League Update #2 2012
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 10th July 2012


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Kevin Robinson reports in with his second update of the 2012 season from the UK National Triathlon League.

If you have any queries or corrections on the scoring etc, please direct them to: kevinrobinson@cambridge2.freeserve.co.uk.


Hello Leaguers,

Have you been out in the floods lately, or had your car, bike or house hammered by golfballs - sorry, hailstones - or have you been swindled out of thousands by your friendly banker? Yes? Well, at least we've still got triathlon, or at least sometimes, duathlon, to keep us happy, and we are so happy aren't we?

Well, some of us are. Derby Tri, for example, are up there once again in their familiar place at the top of the UK League. What's more, League Champions Tri London are in their familiar place on Derby Tri's shoulder, from which they sometimes emerge, as they did in 2011, to take the Championship. Behind these two leading clubs are various others who certainly have an excuse if they need one, which is that our weather has been so unhelpful this year that training and competition have been really hard hit.

So far, I've scored the first dozen or so of the League-listed events, and there are still more than twice that number to come, which means that things at the top of the League may change, so if you leaguers are straining like greyhounds in the slips, now is the time to get yourselves unleashed, 'cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war'. Here's how things have gone so far.

Black Country Tri made a good start to the season at the National Duathlon Champs hosted by the Dambuster event, where they just got the better of Derby Tri by scoring 470.489 to Derby Tri's 465.660 League points. Tri London started their season at the Cambridge Duathlon where they were the only League club to finish a complete team, their score of 442.393 points putting them into third place behind Black Country Tri and Derby Tri. The order of the two top clubs soon changed however when Derby Tri were next in action, at the Ashbourne Duathlon, where they scored 471.115 points. In mid-May another League club opened its account at the Swashbuckler, with Coventry Tri 456.821 earning points. Ful-On-Tri would have scored well but one of their three finishers was not registered with the League. On the same weekend there was a notable absence of complete League teams at the Lanzarote Ironman, but Swindon Tri, returning to League competition after several years, did finish a complete team of Tim Hallett, Catherine Smith, and Ali Hardie, who earned a total of 438.696 points.

By this time, of course, many leaguers were either completely fed up with the weather or saving their money for later in the season. The Crystal Palace Tri however, a well-organized event where, moreover, competitors do not have to contend with low water temperatures, continued to attract League teams. The tariff is lower there, but Ful-on-Tri this time opened its account with 467.00 points, and their ladies' team also got the better of Tri London, with the FOT ladies earning 459.939 points to Tri London's 458.798. Had FOT scored at Swashbuckler the points they subsequently earned at Crystal Palace would have enabled them to jump over Derby Tri and lead the League.

After this, the weather and other factors continued to take their toll, and although hardy leaguers were present at both the Weymouth International and the Little Beaver events, no League club finished a complete team. Incomplete teams may have been due to the fact that there were big events in the offfing, and perhaps also to a delusory belief in the immenence of better weather.

On 10th June there was the very tough Bala Middle Triathlon, an event which, on occasions, has almost been regarded as a benefit for the Black Country Tri. They had only one finisher, Ian Moore, at the event this year, but Derby Tri were there and in force with eight finishers led by Mark Skelton, Andy Thornton, and Adrian Howlett, who achieved the highest League-score of the season to that date with 493.833 points, which increased Derby Tri's lead at the top of the League table.

Next up on the League List of events was the Dambuster Triathlon, where Derby Tri were again in action. They scored 418.40 points and thus brought their tally for the season so far to 1848.69 points from four events. Coventry Tri were also at the Dambuster, and had several finishers, but I have a query at the moment over the composition of their squad and so a score for them cannot at present be confirmed. One week after the Dambuster came the Windsor Triathlon, a great event by any measure, but one at which, by the very nature of the excellent level of the field it attracts, it is very difficult to earn League points. Tim Don won in the superb time of one hour 36 minutes and fifty-one seconds, which I think might well have been intended as something of a riposte to a situation that has some connection with Olympic selection. Great credit therefore is due to two leaguers who also finished in under two hours: G. Painter, 40-44 age-group, of Army Tri, who achieved fifth place in a time of 1 hour 45 minutes and 14 seconds, and Oliver Bradford, 35-39 age-group, in eighth place in 1 hour, 46 minutes and 27 seconds (these two age-groupers were scored against the first age-grouper, not in relation to Tim Don's time). There were also several other prominent finishers from League clubs, but none of them were, in fact, registered with the League, so I'm afraid the points they would have won went begging.

One club, however, had been saving its firepower for what many would regard as an even tougher battle. The Windsor event has a League tariff of 180 points. But on the same weekend there is another mighty event down towards the West Country, I refer of course, to the Wimbleball triathlon, effectively a half-ironman epic with, it is said, more than fifty hills in the 56 miles of the cycle leg, and which has a tariff of 200 points. This is one of the few UK League domestic events that I've never done, but I do think that all those who finish at Wimbleball deserve the respect of fellow triathletes. That fine cyclist Phil Graves won the event in 4 hours, 19 minutes and 45 seconds, with Eimear Mullan proving top lady in 5 hours, 2 minutes and 59 seconds.

There were individual finishers from Derby Tri and FOT, but only one League club finished a team, that of Tri London, courtesy of Robert Brundish, 30/34 age-group, in 4 hours 44 minutes and 27 seconds, Steven Lord, 40/44 age-group, in hours 47 minutes, and 35 seconds, and Amy Forshaw, in 5 hours, 7 minutes, and 11 seconds. These three were well-backed up by Andy Bruce who finished in 5 hours, 30 minutes and 35 seconds, with the first three scoring the highest League score of the season so far and achieving 532.530 points, which brought Tri London's tally to 1433.72 points for three events. So after Wimbleball we had a suggestion of the situation I described at the beginning of this Report, with Derby Tri out in front at the top of the League table, and with Tri London, our current Champions, in hot pursuit in second place.

In 2011, Ironman Regensburg was very popular with leaguers, but this year there were none there. At A Day in the Lakes also there was only one leaguer, Nick Malynn of FOT, who finished in 4th place in 5 hrs, 8 minutes, and 27 seconds, an excellent performance for a 40+ triathlete This leaves just one more event on which to comment before I conclude this report. This event is the BTF Championship at Shropshire, which was well-attended by leaguers, with three League clubs finishing teams. The event was won by Carl Shaw in 1 hour, 51 minutes and 46 seconds. Amy Forshaw, competing for Tri London, won the Ladies' event in 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 5 seconds. Darren Milne, our League Champion in 2011, also competing for Tri London, placed seventh overall in 1 hour 55 minutes 57 seconds, again a very creditable performance for a 40+ male. Milne and Forshaw were backed up for Tri London by the ever-faithful John Griffin, who has ensured a team finish for his club across the seasons more times than I can remember, and whose time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 58 seconds brought the Tri London team total to 478.380 points. Tri London's score was better than that of Coventry Tri, whose Mark Stewart, Martyn Brunt, and Jo Reynolds scored 427.883 points, but was not enough to beat the Black Country Tri team which achieved 492.366 points courtesy of Lee Moreton, Chris Wood, and Dave Nash, in 32nd, 44th, and 116th places respectively.

These results suggest that Derby Tri, Tri London, and Black Country Tri are all clearly in the mix with a chance of winning the League Championship. Ful-on-Tri can get into the mix as well but has a little ground to make up. Some of you may be wondering why I haven't mentioned results for Army Tri. Well, that's because I'm still working on them. I'm also still trying to resolve the query over the composition of the Coventry Tri squad. I'm sure that these problems will be resolved, however, and also that the second half of the season, which began effectively with The Outlaw and the Northumbrian Tri, is going to be very interesting. Meanwhile, here is the League Table for the first half of the season to the end of June:

UK LEAGUE TABLE

POS
CLUBS
SCORE
# OF EVENTS
1
DERBY TRI
1848.69
4
2
TRI LONDON
1433.72
3
3
BLACK COUNTRY TRI
962.86
2
4
COVENTRY TRI
884.654 **
2
5
FUL-ON-TRI
467.00
1
6
FUL-ON TRI LADIES
459.94
1
7
SWINDON TRI
438.7
1
  • ** Coventry Tri's score and number of events is subject to possible alteration.
  • Army Tri's score is still work in progress.
  • Other League teams have not yet scored.
  • Watch this space!


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