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Eton SuperSprints: Pro memories
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 10th May 2016


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Eton SuperSprint winners look back on 15 years of racing at Dorney Lake

We've just published (see link below), a full results history covering the 15 years of the Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprint events, which have been a staple of the Human Race Events annual racing calendar. As we highlighted, there are some exceptional athletes who have won one (or more) times at this event before going on to win at the very highest levels of the sport covering almost every discipline. We then thought, let's get their memories of racing at Dorney Lake, so got in touch with many of them.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ETON SUPERSPRINT RESULTS HISTORY

Entries for the 2016 edition are open on these links: Saturday 21st May | Sunday 22nd May

Here's what some of the very distinguished past winners have to say about the event:

Benvenuto Baldelli: winner of the first Eton SuperSprint event...

"I still have the trophy! It was in waves and I know there were some nippy juniors there who weren't too happy being beaten. Only one side of the lake had a proper road at the time, so it was a lot of out-and-back.

"I met an old school mate there called Richard Macnamee who then started a small team called FEBA with myself, Colin Hill and Dave Gamble. He supplied us with bikes and great kit and we raced for a year or so. He was high up in the SAS and all of a sudden disappeared from contact and I haven't heard from him since!

"I've raced at Dorney a few times since and been on the podium there for a duathlon a couple of years ago, but no outright win since."

AquaPura Eton Super Sprint trophy

Chrissie Wellington: 4-time IRONMAN World Champion...

"Eton was my very first foray into the wonderful world of triathlon! I was a total novice and had cages on my pedals instead of clip-in shoes. My laces got caught round the cranks which could have ended in tears ... and I mistakenly ran through the finish chute after only one lap of the two lap run.... Muppet!

"I loved the race and it was the perfect springboard to a slightly more illustrious career than the inauspicious beginnings would have suggested! Happy birthday to a truly great British event!"

Helen Jenkins: 2-time ITU World Champion and headed to Rio for her third Olympic Games...

"It's hard to believe Eton SuperSprints have been around for 15 years, it makes me realise how long I have been doing triathlon for! I have great memories of Eton as we used it a lot for junior selection races so I have been racing there since I first started triathlons. It's a great location for a race and I always find there is a great atmosphere of support and fun. "

Emma-Kate Lidbury: 6-time IRONMAN 70.3 winner...

"Eton SuperSprints was one of my very first triathlons and I absolutely loved it. I returned several times and loved beasting myself around that fast, flat course. I remember it being a fun and friendly race that was exceptionally well-organised with a great camaraderie among racers. It's no surprise to hear it has such a distinguished history or that former champions went on to great things - it was a fine training ground for learning the art of fast and furious racing. Long may this continue!"

Eton SuperSprints

Stephen Bayliss: 4-time iron-distance winner...

"I did a few of the races, not many, but what I remember is that they were always competitive and well organised races. Overall it is such a perfect place for triathlon, the rowing lake is like an enormous swimming pool, then to have safe closed roads is absolutely perfect for everyone, young and old, new and experienced athletes. They were great races to test yourself in."

Stuart Hayes: World Triathlon Series winner (Kitzbühel 2010) and London 201 Olympian...

"I can't believe its been 15 years since the first Eton SuperSprint's began, time flys. I did not race much down at Eton as Iv been travelling all over the World, but when I did its was a great venue and a place where you could really test yourself in a safe environment. A lot of triathlete today would have stared off at Eton so its a major back bone in triathlon development and UK history for elites and age groupers.

Matt Dixon: Head Coach, Purplepatch (www.purplepatchfitness.com)...

"My memories: chilly water (as I was a Southern California based pampered athlete!), great enclosed atmosphere with the setting (especially for a sprint), and traffic free, windy fast bike and a run that had me running scared all day. Most bizarre was being cheered by many family members who had never seen a triathlon before! A great experience."

Eton SuperSprints

Richard Stannard: 3-time ITU Aquathlon World Champion...

"It is fantastic that the relatively young sport of triathlon can now start celebrating these milestones, 15 years and counting, long may it continue. The Super Sprints at Dorney have proved a great location for triathlon and continue to develop the sport from the very youngest future super stars to the 'has been' pros (I am racing on 22nd May!). Happy Anniversary to the Eton Super Sprints."

Jonathan Hotchkiss: multiple Vitruvian winner and Ironman 70.3 Taiwan champion...

"Eton was the second triathlon I'd ever done, having been bitten with the bug the year before at London. One thing I remember so clearly from those enthusiastic, naive and impressionable days is at my first Eton (2003 maybe?), I racked my new £1,000 Specialized bike and began to peruse the rest of transition. I spotted an awesome, super expensive, carbon fibre bike (I would later know it to be the iconic P3), and as I gazed at it and wondered at the athlete that was good enough to ride it, I noticed the bike right next to it on the rack, was more akin to an Etonian's shopping bike! It literally had a basket on the front and a bell on the handle bars. And yet, there in transition, there was no elitism; no arrogance; no dismissal of anyone. Lean and ripped, or not, carbon fibre or woven basket, everyone chatted happily and set about their day and their races with a real enjoyment of it all and everyone else who was there. There were some Junior Elites racing in GB kit that day, they were incredible and yet here I was, a newbie, stood alongside them, riding and running the same course. Having come from a professional football background, this kind of 'mixing it with the stars' was amazing. A P3 next to a basket fronted shopping bike... but all in the name of triathlon!

"I guess there's so much more that comes to mind about Eton, but all in all, its been one of those events that was a staple for local triathletes. It offered great spectator access to every single part of the race; safety and fast racing as well as great competition."

Entries for the 2016 edition are open on these links: Saturday 21st May | Sunday 22nd May

Eton SuperSprints


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