It's hard to know where to start with the ITU's World Championships in Vancouver; the weather, the sea temperature, the switch from triathlon to duathlon for the age groupers halfway through Saturday's racing. In short, a nightmare for all concerned and a bitter disappointment for many athletes who would not have been able to race to their true potential. GB brought home medals, to be sure, with Gold for Helen Tucker, Al Brownlee and Kirsty McWilliam plus Bronze for Jonathan Brownlee and a serious haul for the age group teams. The performances of both the elite and the age group athletes should be doubly applauded; once for their achievements and again for the miseable conditions under which they did them. John Levison has been out there for the whole week and rather than re-write what has already been said I'll refer you to his excellent 'Vancouver column'.
Was Vancouver, even if it is the ITU's current home city, a sensible choice for such an early season world championships? That's something which will be debated for quite a while.
By contrast, in perfect racing conditions and magnificent surroundings, Jodie Swallow and Stuart Hayes put last week's disappointment in Madrid behind them to convincingly win the Mazda Blenheim Triathlon. With almost 5000 competitors through the turnstiles, and many more there to support and watch (estimated to be in the region of 12,000), it was a weekend of triathlon enjoyment and fun and if the weather was a bit warmer than expected, the sponsor's plentiful supply of Gatorade and Drench water meant no one went thirsty. There were notable participants, three Mazda directors lead by Graeme Fudge, Martin Farmer leading Team Herbalife and Phil Annet, Global Head of Powerbar, which just goes to show that the sponsors are getting into triathlon themselves, and not just positioning their brands within it.
Jodie Swallow led the race from start to finish and was in a different class. First out the water, first up the hill into T1 and cleanly out onto the bike, Swallow was chased hard by a talented group of Holland, Milne, Towl and Herridge. Not known for her biking, she then not only held a 30 second lead on lap 1, but also extended on laps 2 and 3 to enter T2 over a minute ahead. That was an advantage she extended on the first lap of the run as Holland and Towl battled it out for the remaining podium places, with the hard-working Herridge in fourth. That was how it finished, Swallow almost two minutes clear with Holland second and Towl third.
It was a large men's field (65+) that entered the water wondering if they could upset the favourites Hayes and Stannard. They didn’t have it their own way in the swim with Howton leading the out of the water and up the hill into T1. Hayes was taking no risks after last week's double puncture in Madrid by carrying his bike through transition to the mount line, and he was very quickly joined by Howton, Stannard, Cartmell, Threfall and McNamee. This lead group worked well to hold around a 30 second lead over the chase group which included Dann Brook and Mark Bruce. Hayes seized the initiative in T2, storming into the lead which he never looked like giving up. He had 20 seconds on Stannnard after the first lap and won just outside the hour mark (1.00.20). Stannard was second, Howton third. Cartmell warmed up for his defence of Ironman UK 70.3 next week with a solid fourth place, Threfall was fifth and the fast-finishing Brooke was sixth.
Blenheim results will appear on their own results site, here.
||Stuart Hayes 1:00:20
||Jodie Swallow 1:10:00
||Richard Stannard 1:00:56
||Vicky Holland 1:11:39
||Oliver Howton 1:01:18
||Jessica Towl 1:11:50
The two other big international races both saw Brits on the podium. At the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Maryland Paul Amey took the win in 3:53:33 with Jo Zeiger winning the ladies division in 4:22:32, a full set of results are on their site. The Escape from Alcatraz race was won by Andy Potts in 2:01:57 with Leanda Cave the ladies winner in 2:15:37, results are here.
Saturday saw racing at Nottingham University where the NUTS Aquathlon was won by Carl Shaw (Charnwood Tri) in 0:21:20 and Dasy Wilson (BUTT) in 0:27:01. A full set of results are here.
The Tan Hill Duathlon, organised by Kudu Bikes and taking in the highest inn in the country on its bike course, saw wins for Ashley Norie in 2:35:04 and Donna Sdnondson Booker in 2:57:06. The fastest time of the day went to Team Brittleton with a 2:33:51. A full set of results are here.
The East Essex Children's Triathlon results can be found on their site, local copies will be added shortly.
First of the results in on Sunday was the Weymouth Sprint which was won by Dan Hockley (Somerset RC TRi) in 1:10:17 and Lizzie Hutson in 1:17:49. Full results are here. We had to wait a little longer for the Weymouth Middle Distance results, the increasingly warm day took its toll on some of the slower competitors, but the overall winners were Craig Twigg in 4:09:03 and Yvette Grice (Bodyworks XTC) in 4:38:52. Full results are here.
Another early provider was the Peebles Sprint Triathlon with wins reported for Alan Copland in 0:58:45 and Claire Murray in 1:10:10. Full results are here.
Lorraine Ferris organised the second of her Cotswold Women Only events for the weekend and winner of the novice event was Maria Hobbs (BAD Tri) in 0:52:05, full results are here. In the super sprint distance race the winner was Patricia Nash (Tewkesbury Tri) in 0:54:49, full results are here. The sprint distance race was won by Mhairi Muir (RNRM Tri) in 1:07:22, full results are here.
Wantage Leisure Centre celebrated its tenth running of their triathlon and wins went to Alexander Scott (TVT) in 2:00:12 and Laura Southwold in 2:07:48, full results are here. They also staged the Soll Vale Ultra middle distance race and the winners here were Barney Randle (Ful-on Tri) in 3:43:00 and Lucia Singer (White Horse Harriers) in 4:24:33. Full results are here.
The Rossendale Triathlon was won by Daniel McParland in 1:03:03 and Victoria Rusius in 1:13:52. The Golden Oldies team of Garrett, Flanagan and Gold came second overall to win the relay event. A full set of results are here.
The second of the Bedford Trisports Series was won by James Elworth (Bedford Traktors) in 0:59:09 and Leigh Harvey (Shorter Rochford/Exclusive Ranges) in 1:07:55. Full results are here.
Raw Energy Pursuits ran a triple header in Arundel on Sunday. The Long Triathlon was won by Gary Pearce (Team REP) in 1:50:51 and Emma Richards (Tri-UK) in 2:09:26, provisional results are here. The Sprint Triathlon was won by Ian Patterson (Primera) in 1:01:01 and Niki Treacy (Team REP) in 1:03:40, provisional results are here. The Relay triathlon results are here.
VO2's Long Swim at South Cerney saw Grey Shrosbree (VO2) out of the water in 0:47:02 and Joanna Swallow was the fastest lady in 0:53:04. A provisional set of results is all we have at this time.
The other classic early season middle distance race at Bala was won by Mark Stenning of Swindon Tri in 4:03:59 and Louise Collins (TFN) in 4:34:36. Provisional results are here.
The results from the Cosmeston
that the winners were Rhys Jones in 1:02:38 amd Deborah Evans in 1:13:45 but
we now know that we have miscalculated the splits and we'll upload a new
set shortly. The current set is here.
The Tatton Triathlon hosted two races; in the standard distance the winners were Martyn Andrews (Manchester Tri Club) in 2:09:20 and Adele Mitchell in 2:23:35, full results are here. The sprint distance race was won by Chris Joyce in 0:59:58 and Rebecca Brand in 1:12:07, full results are here.