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National League Update #4 2010
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 26th October 2010


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Kevin Robinson reports in with his fourth update of the year from the UK National Triathlon League.

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


THE TEAM TABLE (Given below)

The UK League has now completed its 17th year. The current recession has had a slight effect on numbers, but new clubs continue to be attracted, and competition and achievement continue at a high level.

The results from the early part of the season were not really unexpected. The Tri London Ladies, with a little help from their male clubmates, were setting a good pace in the shorter events. Then Stephen Lord and Jo Carritt, supported by Lance Conway and Kevin Lineham, posted a very good result (512.219 points) at Lanzarote. But the first real domestic pointer to how things might turn out came at the Bala Middle, where several League teams were in contention. Derby Tri took the League honours at that event, with Hartlepool Tri in second place, Leeds & Bradford Tri in third, and Swindon Tri in fourth. Hartlepool Tri finished only 1.5 points behind Derby Tri, both team scores being very close to 500 points.

Not long after that I received an e-mail from a member of the Hartlepool Tri squad saying that he and another member of the squad would not be contributing much to the Club's team scores in 2010 as they were doing events not targeted by the squad. He said that the Club would therefore not score so well in 2010 and that its real attempt on the League Championship would come in 2011. At least as far as the 2010 season is concerned I would say the prediction was not entirely correct. Soon after I received that e-mail Hartlepool Tri scored 525.28 points at the Day in the Lakes, and then 563.00 at Challenge Roth.

At this point Tri London were still leading the League, mainly thanks to high scores contributed by Jo Carritt and Steve Thompson, and the consistency of the Tri London Ladies, with a strong contingent comprising Amy Forshaw, Lotte Carritt, and Olivia Hetreed. The latter group's consistency throughout the season made an important contribution to Tri London Ladies achieving their highest ever place, fifth overall, in the final Team Table of the 2010 League.

But whereas it is possible for a squad doing mostly standard distance triathlons and short duathlons to lead the League in the first half of the season, the balance tends to change in the mid-to-later months when the longer-distance triathletes come into their own. It doesn't happen overnight of course, or even in the space of a week, and for a while the balance will often tip one way and then another. As the longer events become more available, squads are not always able to manage team finishes, while those doing shorter events can continue to score well. Jo Carritt was supported by Steve Thompson at Ironman UK, but they lacked a third finisher, whereas at Bedford, Tri London and Tri London Ladies had a good turnout, with the men (Adam Chadburn, Stephen Hurley, and Steve Thompson) scoring 484.723, and the ladies (Amy Forshaw, Lotte Carritt, and Olivia Hetreed) scoring 431.076.

But the balance was changing. L&B had scored 522.002 at Cleveland Steelman (Richard Howarth, Paul Freeman, Chris Booker) and then 511.040 (Richard Dunn, Richard Howarth, Tim Ashelford) at Ripon, and as already mentioned, Hartlepool weighed in with 563 points at Roth. It was however, as I anticipated, in August that things really changed. Derby Tri opened their August account with 497.778 points at Blithfield (Mark Couldwell, James Cresswell, and Simon Rolfs), then Thomas Peoples, Chris Nicoll, and Mark Beighton scored 555.308 at the Outlaw, before the champions scored 574.468 points at Challenge Copenhagen and thus effectively put the result of the League Championship beyond real doubt.

Of course, results could have been different if, (but what a big 'if' it is, haven't you heard it before), if Jo Carritt and Steve Thompson had had a third finisher at Ironman UK, or if Hartlepool had had a third finisher at Wensleydale, or at Ironman UK, or at Helvellyn. But Championships in the UK League are not won by two-man teams, so perhaps the correspondent I carefully didn't name earlier in this report wasn't so mistaken after all, even though Hartlepool took an excellent second place in the League table.

At this point there were nevertheless some superb events to come in September, including the Edinburgh Duathlon, Budapest, the Vitruvian, Zofingen, Helvellyn, the Bala Standard. One of these did produce an interesting surprise, namely the result of the Cambridge University Tri Club at the Vitruvian, where James Gill, Andy Collier, and Simon Gilbert earned 480.422 points, and surely gave some indication of even better results in the future. If this result was promising, the Black Country result at the Bala Standard was truly heartening. I mentioned earlier that Coventry Tri was once one of the top UK League clubs; well, Black Country was even more than that, being League Champions in four consecutive years. Some of their 'old firm' squad were there at the Bala event, led by James Ratcliffe, a former League Champion of recent years, and by no means 'old firm' himself. The Black Country team scored no less than 502.856 points. Furthermore, rumour has it that another Black Country member, who was League Champion several times, Paul Mountford, will be returning to the fray next year.

A few words now on a couple of the late scores and some of the mid-table teams. In Budapest, Steve Thompson, Amy Forshaw, and Lotte Carritt scored a very creditable 492.663 points, with Olivia Hetreed combining with Amy and Lotte to score 455.562 for the Tri London Ladies. But both teams were beaten at Budapest by L&B who achieved their best score of the season through Tim Ashelford, Roger Dunn, and Emily Dove, who earned 515.321 points. This brought L&B's total for the season to 2027.792 and it might have been higher if the Club had had a third finisher at some other events.

So far I haven't said much about Bristol (BAD) Tri and Swindon Tri. Bristol were entirely new to the League this year and entered a relatively small squad intended to test the water so to speak. But some of those entered did participate and showed what they could do. Ruth Bradbrook was the highest scorer in the Bristol group, with 496.739 points all gained in the Endurance Competition. Julian Hatcher and Neil Williams were the most prominent of the men, and they were supported by Katherine Broomhall and Lisa Greenfield, but in general the Club needed more team finishes.

The Swindon Tri Club, which entered a much larger squad, were also somewhat restricted in their results because they competed with a chosen restricted purpose of doing well as one Ironman event. The Club did manage two team finishes for the main team, and one for the ladies' team, and if it competes with a broader focus in 2011 we can almost certainly expect them to achieve a higher place in the Team Table.

Before passing on to the Individual Table I'll just say a few words about Cambridge University Tri. I mentioned earlier the problems Cambridge face with Spring and Summer competition. Nevertheless, the Club did surprise me by having a good turnout (8 members) at the National Sprint Championships, and then three members (Andy Collier, Simon Gilbert, and Jenny Brown) at the more demanding Vitruvian where they managed a respectable team score and so enabled the to finish in ninth place in the Team Table.

All in all it has been a kind of transitional season with new clubs coming in, but with the 'old firm' of Derby Tri still in charge. Hartlepool Tri were in second place for the second time in the last four years, L&B were again consistently good, and finishing ahead of Tri London, in spite of the scores of the top Londoners and the consistency of the Tri London Ladies, who achieved their highest ever placing. Is there the beginning of a trend here, and will the newer clubs, following Hartlepool Tri's example, begin to erode of dominance of clubs like Tri London, L&B, even perhaps Derby Tri? I can tell you that it won't happen without a fight! But we'll see, and what I can tell you is that I've already received some enquiries from interesting clubs for 2011. But that's to get ahead of ourselves. Let's now focus on the individual results, which are very interesting in the here and now.

PROVISIONAL RESULTS: UK TRIATHLON/DUATHLON LEAGUE 2010

POS.
CLUB
POINTS
EVENTS
1
DERBY TRI
2119.98
4
2
HARTLEPOOL TRI
2045.70
4
3
LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
2027.79
4
4
TRI LONDON
1995.87
4
5
TRI LONDON LADIES
1706.17
4
6
SWINDON TRI
1063.13
2
7
BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
953.24
2
8
BLACK COUNTRY TRI
950.08
2
9
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY TRI
931.06
2
10
SWINDON TRI LADIES
524.01
1
11
COVENTRY TRI
475.73
1
12
LEEDS & BRADFORD LADIES
447.94
1

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS & TABLE (Given below)

First, and without further delay, I'll give leaguers the news that I've been holding back since I started writing this report (how's that for self-control!)? For the first time in the seventeen year history of the League a female leaguer has topped the Individual List! Yes, it's our favourite lady (unless that is, you're part of the opposition), JO CARRITT. Her total score was not a record (Stephen Lord won last year with 808.16 points), but Jo's total of 773.241 (Lanzarote, Ironman France, Wimbleball, and Ironman UK) put her almost twenty points clear of Tom Williams of L&B, and more than two hundred points clear of Tom in the Endurance Competition, in which Tom again placed second to her. In 2009, Jo achieved a total of 742.52 points, which then earned her third place behind Stephen Lord and second placed Mike Hall of Hartlepool Tri, and again earned her third place behind Stephen and Mike in the Endurance Competition with a total of 588.11 points. So in her first year as a professional, Jo is clearly still improving. Congratulations to her, and long may it continue.

Tom Williams has also had another really good season, with excellent scores at Lanzarote the Bala Middle, the Outlaw, and Ripon, which put him fifteen points clear of James Ratcliffe (Black Country Tri), a former League Champion who showed a return to form to achieve third place this year. Only five leaguers topped 700 points in 2010, whereas nine did so in 2009, when Tom Williams finished in ninth in the Individual List with James Ratcliffe in 11th place. In 2009, Tom scored 708.60 points, and James 686.37, so both these leaguers improved their scores this year with Tom achieving 726.825 and James 711.477. The other two leaguers who passed the truly excellent total of 700 points were Dave Francis of Hartlepool Tri with 708.302 points, and Steve Thompson of Tri London with 702.674 points.

Among those leaguers (see below) who are perhaps moving towards the magic 700 were four ladies who were among the top twenty in the Individual List. These were Amy Forshaw, with 626.824 points, Naomi Warr, 616.615 points, Lotte Carritt, 592.493 points and Olivia Hetreed 561.678 points. Counted with Jo Carritt, these ladies comprised exactly 25% of the top twenty, and as four of them compete for Tri London, it's easy to see why Tri London Ladies have had their best ever year.

Details of the various other winners and placing's will appear in the next and final report for the 2010 season, but in the context of the Individual List it seems appropriate to mention here one member of the Cambridge University Tri Club who has absolutely run away with the Novices Competition – Andy Collier, who amassed a total of 688.811 points! What, I wonder, was Andy doing before he became a novice triathlete? Competing in individual swimming, cycling, and running races? Andy finished just behind John Manders of Hartlepool Tri and achieved seventh place overall, which is amazing for a novice. Could this result be signalling the presence of a future League Champion? Of course, the difference between a top ten place and being League Champion is a very hard road to travel, but as is always the case, time will tell and we'll see. That's one speculation which is appropriate here, now here's another which is perhaps somewhat inappropriate. The World Ironman Championships in Hawaii used to figure in the League List, but when our economy got into trouble recently I removed the event from the list on the grounds that it could given an important advantage at the end of the season to those who could afford to travel so far; I said I would put it back in the list when things at home improved. That may not be for some time. But some leaguers do still make the journey. Jo Carritt was there again, in spite of the heavy demands she had already made on herself this year, and so also did a member of the Cambridge University Tri Club, Lucy Gossage. There were no League to be won for either of these ladies, but both returned very good times. Lucy is not a novice, but she had had a relatively easy season compared with Jo, and just as we could be looking at someone who can sparkle in the League in Andy Collier, so could we in Lucy Gossage. Once again, we'll see.

Time, as usual, is pressing, so just a few concluding points. First, as established leaguers know, I never class those who only finish one League-listed event – two is the minimum. But this year there were not only several leaguers who scored well with only two events, but also several who scored very well with just one – I'll just mention one of these, a lady who competes for Swindon Tri, and who scored 200.983 points at the Swiss Ironman. I could go on speculating like this for a long time, but I'll just say that I hope we'll see more of Claire Smith, and Lucy Gossage, and Andy Collier in the UK League.

Secondly, I shall be discussing age-group winners, along with the top duathletes and novices in the final report, but how can I possibly conclude remarks on the Individual List without referring to those two outstanding 70+ members who competed in the League this year? I'm sure many of you will know who they are. They are of course Nigel Dimmock of Black Country Tri and one Kevin Robinson of Cambridge Camaro Tri. It's not easy, I'm sure you appreciate, to compete at 70+. For some of us, getting out of bed in the morning counts as training! Going up stairs counts as hill climbing, and coming down as a technical descent. So I'm delighted to be able to report that I beat Nigel this year, although I had to do four events to do it, whereas Nigel did only three, but I know he'll be out to put me in my place next year!

Finally, yes, finally, one last point. There is the 'honour' of having to carry the red lantern. That task falls to Bridget Virgo of Tri London. But Bridget shouldn't be abashed. I think she's probably now a better competitor than Nigel and myself. She did only two events, and if she had done four, or even three, would probably have beaten both of us. So get your wheels spinning next year Bridget, and see what life is like in the faster lane!

Kevin

PROVISIONAL INDIVIDUAL TABLE

POS.
NAME CLUB
SCORE
EVENTS
1
JOANNA CARRITT IST LADY TRI LONDON
773.24
4
2
TOM WILLIAMS LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
726.83
4
3
JAMES RATCLIFFE BLACK COUNTRY TRI
711.48
4
4
DAVE FRANCIS HARTLEPOOL TRI
708.30
4
5
STEPHEN THOMPSON TRI LONDON
702.67
4
6
JOHN MANDERS HARTLEPOOL TRI
692.97
4
7
ANDY COLLIER CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY TRI
688.81
4
8
THOMAS PEOPLES DERBY TRI
688.17
4
9
RICHARD HOWARTH LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
686.19
4
10
PAUL ROGERS BLACK COUNTRY TRI
663.63
4
11
JAMIE BRUNNING CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY TRI
663.46
4
12
ADAM CHADBURN TRI LONDON
659.44
4
13
PAUL FREEMAN LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
658.41
4
14
RICHARD HAMILTON LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
657.20
4
15
AMY FORSHAW 2ND LADY TRI LONDON
639.76
4
16
KEVIN LINEHAM TRI LONDON
620.98
4
17
DARREN RIDDOUT DERBY TRI
620.49
4
18
NAOMI WARR 3RD LADY DERBY TRI
616.62
4
19
CHARLOTTE CARRITT 4TH LADY TRI LONDON
592.49
4
20
OLIVIA HETREED 5TH LADY TRI LONDON
573.07
4
21
DANNY EVANS DERBY TRI
549.43
3
22
TERRY BROOKS DERBY TRI
516.00
4
23
CHRIS NICOLL DERBY TRI
512.14
3
24
STUART CORDNER DERBY TRI
500.83
3
25
TIM ASHELFORD LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
499.61
3
26
RUTH BRADBROOK 6TH LADY BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
496.73
3
27
DAVID WILSON HARTLEPOOL TRI
481.45
3
28
STUART EMERTON DERBY TRI
472.99
3
29
DONNA EDMONDSON-BOOKER 7TH LADY LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
454.96
3
30
THOMAS SWIFT DERBY TRI
446.47
3
31
SIMON ROLFS DERBY TRI
403.07
3
32
KEVIN ROBINSON CAMBRIDGE CAMARO TRI
384.48
4
33
JAMES CRESSWELL DERBY TRI
379.45
2
34
JUSTIN ROBBINS BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
371.35
2
35
JULIAN HATCHER BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
368.44
2
36
GARY WILSON HARTLEPOOL TRI
362.00
2
37
MATTHEW NEWMAN BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
349.50
2
38
MARTYN BRUNT COVENTRY TRI
347.79
2
39
ROZALYN McGINTY 8TH LADY TRI LONDON
328.16
2
40
MARK COULDWELL DERBY TRI
324.42
2
41
ALISTAIR COOKE LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
322.81
2
41
JENNY LATHAM 9TH LADY LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
322.17
2‪
42
LUCY GOSSAGE 10TH LADY CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY TRI
319.00
2
43
YOANN BOURGEOIS TRI LONDON
312.96
2
44
NEIL WILLIAMS BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
307.62
2
45
CHRIS KEMPTON LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
303.04
2
46
IAN KITCHING LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
303.04
2
47
EDWARD LEE CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY TRI
300.62
2
48
RAY BRUNSBERG TRI LONDON
296.38
2
49
LISA GREENFIELD 11TH LADY BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
295.46
2
50
SIMON GILBERT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY TRI
292.58
2
51
GORDON DALGARNO LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
290.10
2
52
KAREN HALLAS 12TH LADY LEEDS & BRADFORD TRI
290.07
2
53
ALISON HARDIE 13TH LADY SWINDON TRI
282.18
2
54
KATHERINE BROOMHALL 14TH LADY BRISTOL (BAD) TRI
274.69
2
55
JENNY BROWN 15TH LADY CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY TRI
260.06
2
56
RICHARD HAWKSWORTH DERBY TRI
259.36
2
57
BRIDGET VIRGO 16TH LADY TRI LONDON
248.52
2

NOTES

ATHLETES WHO HAVE COMPLETED ONLY ONE LEAGUE-LISTED EVENT IN THE 2010 SEASON HAVE NOT BEEN CLASSED.

PAUL McCROSSIN of Tri London may have completed four events, but as he, or someone else, was entered in two of them as Paul Martin, he has not, as yet, been classed. I have contacted Tri London about this and an identity check is, I hope, in progress.

LANCE CONWAY of Tri London appears to have completed four events, but his name has not appeared in the final results of one of the events. I hope to publish the scores and placings for these two athletes in my next report, which will also include details of scores and placings in the various additional competitions.


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