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National League Update #4 2011
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 6th September 2011


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Hello, Leaguers. My last report was rather long because I combined two reports as one, but this one will be shorter. Various adjustments and corrections have been made, particularly concerning Ironman Austria where I thought Tri London had not finished a complete team, whereas in fact they had (Steven Lord, Gabriel Sayer and Richard Stabler, who together earned 574.171 points). I am indebted to Lotte Carritt, of Tri London, for pointing this out to me. The mistake would probably have emerged in the end-of-season checks, but at least you can all know now that Tri London has a bigger lead in the League table than you all thought it had!

Tri London ladies' team, however, has lost its only score. Ful-on-Tri is still in second place, and Army Tri is still in third, but resurgent Black Country Tri has overtaken League champions Derby Tri and is now in fourth place. Derby Tri has won the League Championship more times than any club in the eighteen year history of the League, Black Country won the Championship four times in a row, and Tri London has also won it before. These clubs all know very well how the League works and, perhaps most importantly, that when they have completed four events, higher scores achieved in the latter part of the season replace scores achieved earlier in the season. Clubs new to the League should remember that, as the saying goes, it isn't over until the fat PERSON sings, or something like that.

So in the period from early July to the end of August, only Tri London and Black Country improved their total scores. Individual leaguers were of course active, and some produced outstanding performances (for example, Richard Hunt (Army Tri, fifth at Wensleydale in 4:41:44), but such lone achievers were unfortunately unsupported and could not therefore contribute to a team score. Another example of this was seen at the Outlaw triathlon where Bill Speake of Derby Tri finished in 7th place in 9:22:23, a first-class result. He was well backed-up by Thomas Peoples, who finished in 10:20:05, but these two leaguers were unsupported. Back up, however lowly, is essential if the achievements of faster leaguers is not to be wasted as far as team scores are concerned. At the end of July, TL provided a positive example of this at Ironman UK. Gabriel Sayer, one of TL's faster leaguers, was not only supported by Tim Cook nearer the middle of the finisher's list, but also by Mark Whitworth, still further down the field. Widely separated, these three leaguers earned 507.309 points, an invaluable contribution to TL's charge for the League title.

Furthermore,when a club can organise several members capable of high scores and get them to make a 'raid' on a major event, very high scores can result. TL did this at Lanzarote and at Ironman Austria, and Black Country Tri did it at Ironman Regensberg. Perhaps leaguers will remember the BCT 'packing' at the Bala Middle in June where, led by Lee Moreton, Chris Wood, and Kevin Duckworth, the club scored 512.116 points on a tariff of 195. Well, at Regensberg, BCT did it again, where Chris Wood, Dave Nash, and Lee Moreton, supported by Neil Millward, Kevin Duckworth, and Ian Moore, achieved 585.726 points on the 220 tariff. So, as I've been saying for years, if club members compete as a club they have a chance of winning as a club, as well as distinguishing themselves individuals.

Of course it's an obvious truism, but sometimes it is worth repeating, and to a large extent it's why the League exists. There are a lot of individual trophies to be won in the League, but individuals can do this in the same races where they show a spirit of collaboration with other members of their sports community.

But what's left now for this year's eighteenth season? Quite a lot actually, no less than, as I write, thirteen events, two of which are held abroad, and eleven in the UK. Can anything that happens in the September/October period change much in the League? It's possible, and although TL has a significant lead at the moment, it's still too early to get out the champagne and start making more room in the trophy cupboard. These last few weeks can, in fact, be quite exciting. There are, however, only two high-scoring events left, one in Zofingen and the other at Challenge Henley, but there are also Helvellyn, the Vitruvian, the New Forest Middle, and the Richmond Park Ultra duathlon. Shorter events are Gijon, the Leeds triathlon, the Bala triathlon, the Derby triathlon, the Richmond Park Challenge duathlon, the Carsington and Oulton Park duathlons.

So there are still opportunities for team scores, as well as for individuals looking for trophies in the various competitons held within the General Classification of the League table. It's not over yet, and clubs and individuals should remember that it's not just the champion team that wins a trophy. The League awards a trophy to each of the top three teams in order to recognise collective effort over the whole of the season. Have you put your feet up already? There'll be time enough for that when the geese are getting fat! Watch this space. It's a much better space now that John Levison has worked his magic at Tri247.com.

UK League Team Table
1 Tri London 2195.481 4 events
2 Ful-on Tri 2028.578 4 events
3 Army Tri 1960.550 4 events
4 Black Country Tri 1589.423 3 events
5 Derby Tri 1399.992 3 events
6 Hartlepool Tri 1004.765 2 events
7 Army Tri ladies 893.333 2 events
8 Ful-on Tri ladies 435.766 1 event
9 Coventry Tri 406.927 1 event