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30th Apr 2007Issue 7

Welcome to the newsletter

The open water swimming season kicked off on Saturday with about 100 turning up at Heron Lake and 80 at Liquid Leisure to enjoy water far warmer than usual. The guage for both lakes seems to be hovering just above 15�°C and at Liquid Leisure the resident pair of pure swimmers returned to knock out two or three laps in just a set of Speedos. The promise of warmer weather this week to boost the thermometer even higher, and the imminent approach of major open water races both here and abroad, should see numbers swell over the coming weeks.

In this issue:

Sam and his elephant

People in interesting places

We thought the hits from New Zealand might have been Ken Maclaren, ex-220 regular and publisher of the Kineli books... ...but it wasn't! Instead, we got a picture of a cute little elephant from Thailand -- well, we think it's a little elephant as opposed to Sam Renouf having grown an awful lot since we last saw him. He's based out there training with Team TBB and a bunch of other Brits who have signed up with the team.

Can you do better? If you're based outside the UK and have a story to tell us about life abroad as a triathlete then do drop us an email and we'll add you to the Hall of Fame.

Looks like a lady Shark

The shark goes pink!

Our infamous Shark wetsuit tester has been in the lake trying to establish some degree of separation between the two winners of the wetsuit test but, after repeated laps of the Liquid Leisure lake he is still unable to get a meaningful time difference between them. However, it looks as though the Shark's style is catching because he has been joined by a lady Shark -- although it would be fair to say that this one isn't quite as quick through the water...

Results

Weekend action

Main event of the weekend, at least on the national scene, was the National Duathlon Championships at Ashbourne. The conditions were bright but cool with a stiff breeze offering some interest on the already tough bike course. Phil Wiley obviously was intent on not hanging around in the shadow of the more famous and stamped his mark on the first run, leading Tim Don home by a clear 20 seconds with Matt Moorhouse in third nearly a minute behind. Out on the bike Tim asserted his authority on the race and took the lead with Oliver Mott turning in one of the fastest bike splits of the day to move up into second place by the time they came into T2. The second run was always going to be Tim's but Tri UK's Mott was never that far behind and at the finish he had just a 5 second deficit. Wayne Smith held onto third place despite a late charge by Moorhouse. In the womens race an uncharacteristically poor T1 saw Catriona Morrison head out onto the bike behind Michelle Lee although she had regained the lead by T2. Felicity Hart, who was being tipped for a podium slot, had to drop out as a result of an injury received in training abroad and so Robyn Golding took the third place.

In terms of team GB representation at the World Long and Short Course Duathlons it looks as though Tim Don and Wayne Smith will get the nod for the Long while Oliver Mott is a certainty for the U23 race. Catriona Morrison has a half Ironman race scheduled into her calendar just two weeks before Gyor which probably makes Michelle Dillon more of a podium favourite. Oh, and incidentally, talking of podia, we thought that the Corus sponsorship was only for triathlon -- or have they been persuaded to support the other multisport at which we seem to do rather well? Of course, it could just be that the BTF only has one podium backdrop... (Full results here)

Pos Men Women
1 Tim Don 2:01:48 Catriona Morrison 2:14:30
2 Oliver Mott 2:01:53 Michelle Lee 2:15:38
3 Wayne Smith 2:03:37 Robyn Golding 2:25:24

Overseas, the GB ladies were definitely in the driving seat at the traditional opener for the US triathlon season. At the St Anthony's Triathlon in Florida Michelle Dillon took the win in 1:57:45 ahead of Sarah Haskins (USA) and Julie Dibens, who had led the race up until T2. Michelle, who has recently signed with 2XU as a clothing sponsor, broke the course record and had the fastest run split. In the mens race we were without representation as Andrew Johns had stayed in Australia and the winner was Matt Reed (USA) in 1:46:10 ahead of Greg Bennett (AUS) and Craig Alexander (AUS).

Mark Cathcart (aka tritraveller) reports that there was a big row going on afterwards as two of the elite women were DQd for illegal aero helmets, something they are getting very hot on in the States. Apparently they didn't check helmets on the way into transition, but the refs went around and checked them on the racks once transition was closed! Spencer Smith also put in an appearance as pro-athlete liason, Mark says he was looking tanned and relaxed, and he hinted at doing the Triathlon 101 series finale at Woodlands later in the year, and will probably turn out for the Morton Pease race in his (Spencer's) backyard in July. Mark himself managed 10th place in his Clydesdale division.

At the SWP Hyde Park Triathlon it was clear that the clock really had been turned back -- this was "old school" triathlon in a way that many of you won't have seen for a decade or more. The fact that the race was taking part in Hyde Park itself and was, in a way, a foretaste of what will happen there in 2012 was largely unrecognised. These were triathletes for whom the transition from swim to bike meant a casual stroll back from the Serpentine and a full change. Odd, therefore, that a passing American couple, out for a walk in the Park and curious to see what was happening, should turn out to be the transition and run course directors of a rather larger and more serious affair: the Hawaii Ironman!

The triathlon was fully sponsored by Speedo, which meant that all the funds raised by competitors was able to go direct to SPW to further its life-changing work with young people in the UK, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The top fundraising prize went to MP Bernard Jenkin who raised over �£8000.

The Park authorities had kindly closed off the South Carriage Drive for the 15k bike (five laps for the distance) but the run route to Hyde Park Corner and then a surprisingly undulating loop around the central portion of the Park before finishing by the bandstand remained open to the public. The spectacle drew a reasonable audience although the distance between the swim/transition area and the finish did split the numbers a bit. Speedo's Mark Foster, who started the race, was even heard to say that he would be back next year with a cyclist and a runner -- and that would be worth watching. Team Tri247 lost one of its members due to some spurious last-minute domestic excuse but Richard Downey took on both the swim and the run while Paul Shanley used the 15k bike as a training session for his attempt on Ironman Switzerland -- there probably is about 15k of flat road on that IM bike course... However, Team tri247 kicked some serious butt and recorded the fastest overall time of the day: a case of walking the walk as well as talking the talk!

Pos Individuals Teams
1 Kate Mapham 0:52:28 Tri247.com 0:48:40
2 Mark Dayrell 0:52:45 Pink Badgers 0:57:24
3 Ean Brown 0:53:23 Jack's Team 0:59:21

Down in Devon the Earlybird Duathlon Series rolled to a close with the final event in Honiton. We have the final series results online as well as (the race results here)

Pos Men Women
1 Junior Heffernan 0:23:19 Stephanie Maclean (Otima Racing) 0:26:09
2 Darren Walker (Packet of Three) 0:23:49 Kristie O'Connell (Taff Ely) 0:26:34
3 Neil Ferguson (Army Tri) 0:23:58 Sue Walker (Exeter Tri) 0:30:00

At the Hereford Duathlon a cloudy and overcast dawn soon gave way to a sunny morning, providing competitors with almost perfect racing conditions. James Ratcliffe of Black Country Tri produced a commanding performance to win the mens race, finishing almost five minutes ahead of his nearest rival. Meanwhile, Marianne Day of Worcester Tri won a highly competitive female event which saw only 58 seconds between the top three finishers.

As usual the event contained a field of diverse experience, with all competitors seemingly enjoying a lovely Spring day in Herefordshire. With the club's next triathlon only three months away this provided a perfect appetizer for those looking for their next challenge. (Full race results here)

Pos Men Women
1 James Ratcliffe (Black Country Tri) 1:22:26 Marianne Day (Worcester Tri) 1:48:36
2 Adam Thompson 1:27:17 Lorna Shaw (Chepstow Harriers) 1:49:10
3 Andrew Shipton (Stroud AC) 1:28:04 Helen Russell (Redditch Tri) 1:49:34

At the Lymington Triathlon it looked a bit like the old Southern Region Championships with a host of local clubs battling it out for the top honours. (Full race results here)

Pos Men Women
1 Dave Woodgate (Total Fitness Bath) 1:13:56 Rachael Elliott (Team Kennett) 1:27:06
2 Simon Biddell (Total Fitness Bath) 1:14:47 Nina French (Wight Tri) 1:27:13
3 Daron Perkins (Wight Tri) 1:16:02 Christine Jackson (Wight Tri) 1:30:59

Down in Steyning Raw Energy Pursuits ran a Sprint and what they call a "Long" triathlon - actually an 800m pool swim with a 36k bike and a 10k run -- almost like the original East Grinstead race of the mid-90s. (Sprint results here, "Long" results here)

Pos Men Women
1 James Third (Cambridge) 1:35:17 Sophie Whitworth (Planet X) 1:47:01
2 Gary Pearce (Team REP) 1:41:32 Niki Treacy (Team REP) 1:50:48
3 Phil Gall (Kingfisher) 1:42:13 Kate Balchin (Thames Turbo Sigma Sport) 1:57:30

Wrecsam Tri have been organising the Chirk Sprint Triathlon since 1998 and it's pretty much always a sell-out event for athletes in Wales and the North West. (Full race results here)

Pos Men Women
1 Paul Hawkins (Planet X) 0:57:24 Rhian Roxburgh (Carneddau Tri) 1:05:16
2 Andy White (Chester Tri) 1:00:43 Anna Frost (Wrecsam Tri) 1:09:42
3 Paul Skipper (subsixty) 1:01:03 Rachel Shepherd (Tri Team Wigan) 1:09:51

At the Peterlee Triathlon, the race was won in emphatic style by Tony Dixon of hartlepooltriathletes.com and Donna James of Durham Tri Club. (Full race results here)

Pos Men Women
1 Tony Dixon (Hartlepool Triathletes) 1:02:14 Donna James (Durham Tri) 1:08:09
2 Phil Gray (One Life Racing) 1:02:47 Caroline Findlay (Alnwick Tri) 1:12:23
3 Colin Robson (NE31) 1:04:13 Amanda Cantle (Sun City Tri) 1:12:58
 
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Top 10 Article Of Last Week
  1. Wetsuit survey 2007
  2. Shark spotted in local lake
  3. Swim for Tri: full stroke
  4. Wetsuit survey part 3
  5. Wetsuit survey part 2
  6. Don and Morrison Du Champs
  7. Improve your 10k
  8. Bill Black's Training Guide part 3
  9. Done in an hour: Bike
  10. IMUK - aiming to finish

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