With so many event option this past weekend, where should we head to? How about, almost, the very end of the country. Not quite, but single digit miles away from Lands End and to Marazion for the inaugural Human Race Festival of Sport.
"The Glastonbury of mass participation sport"? Having not been to Glastonbury myself it would be unfair to comment first hand - though I didn't see anything stronger than an energy gel or a Cornish cider being consumed (!) - but we had a fun and full weekend nonetheless, there was lots of variety, food, drink and music too.
The setting is quite stunning, the backdrop of St. Michael's Mount just calls the camera towards it every time you see it... even though you know you've already got that shot more than enough! There was something of a laissez-faire feel to the weekend. Yes, there were lots of races and events - triathlons, sportives, open water swim, beach runs and more - but on the whole it always felt a little less serious and laid back than you would find at your average age group qualifier for example. Plenty of faces appearing in multiple events across the two days too and entering into the spirit of the event.
The courses were surprisingly tough too - those Cornish hills have a real sting in the tail - with care needed on the relatively narrow descents not repaying the effort required to go 'up' them! Is the event the finished article yet? Absolutely not, and that is acknowledged by the Human Race team. But with some nice touches such as mobile showers provided, changing tents, secure bike storage and camping just yards from the site hub, it is trying to offer something different to the norm and certainly has potential to grow further: 2013 has already been announced for 20th-22nd September. With year one done, plenty of positives to build on and negatives to address, I feel this one will be bigger and better a year from now.
You can definitely blame this one on poor time management - that's the late arrival of the newsletter/weekend roundup rather than any burning desire to reset the alarm clock - so apologies up front for the brevity of the content that follows! With so much going on at so many different venues we just had to roll the dice and hope we were where the action was...
Our video crew went to Challenge Henley and brought back some great pre-race interviews with the pro athletes and some key age groupers plus we have finish-line video HERE and a great photo gallery as well. The race itself gets coverage HERE and our congratulations go to Stephen Bayliss who racked up another Challenge title and Gina Crawford for the wins. The Bayliss household - or at least the adults - did pretty well with Bella also getting second in the women's race. Looks like they can afford the au pair now!
Ironman Wales racked up new course records for the bike and overall in both men's and women's races - it also re-affirmed that the weather out there on the western fringes can be a bit of, well, pretty much anything you want in any 24-hour period! The new champions, Sylvain Rota and Regula Rohrbach, might not be instantly recognisable to iron folk - these are their first wins - but it was good to see Eimear Mullan establishing herself as a serious contender with her second place giving her two wins and two seconds out of the four 'domestic' Ironman events - the "Ultimate Challenge". Jo Carritt's third and Daniel Halksworth's fourth place only server to highlight the tremendous strength in depth we have in long distance racing at the moment. Check out our race report HERE.
Another race that was celebrating a second birthday this weekend is the Anglesey Sandman. With wind and rain adding to the challenge and shortening the swim it was Peter Brook who sealed the win finishing with a 37:52 off-road 10k while Celia Boothman took the women's title. Winners in the sprint event were Greg Cherry and Emily Evans. Results for the full distance event are HERE, the sprint ones are HERE and we have a report up on the site HERE.
Scotland had it's own selection of tough events this weekend with the Big Ben, Half Big Ben and Highland Warrior events all taking place on and around Ben Nevis. Wins in the Big Ben went to Paul Crowther (Glasgow Tri Club) and Mairi Meldrum who placed seventh overall, full results are HERE. The off-road crew got stuck in to the Half Ben which was part of the Scott X Tri Series and Graham Wadsworth (Specialized/USN/Sugoi) had a commanding lead over Jim McConnel (Madison/Genesis Bikes) with the first lady Kerry MacPhee taking third place overall. Full results are HERE. Sunday's Highland Warrior was won by Graeme Stewart (Dundee University) and Jennifer Stewart (Dundee University) - we're guessing there's a connection! Full results are HERE.
With the Festival of Sport taking up much of the headlines for the weekend down in Cornwall the Votwo crew managed to get a pretty decent field turned out for the USN Padstow Triathlon. The standard distance race was headed bu Simon Thornton (BAD Tri) and Libby Free (Met Police) - results are HERE - while the sprint race has Dan Williams and Sarah Jarvis taking the prizes. Full results are HERE for that one.
Plenty more sets of results in including those from Petersfield with Mal Rose and Gayle Vickers (eighth overall) taking the wins (results HERE). The Ipswich Duathlon had a home club win with Ross Fawcett while Becky Schofield (Tri-Anglia) headed up the ladies field, results HERE. The crew at Burnham on Sea expanded their repertoire with a standard distance race; Andrew Martin (Pencoed Tri) and Diane Hier (DB Max Tri) topped the leaderboard at this one with full results HERE.
There are LOTS (!) of other results in the UK's number one triathlon results database - click below to find yours. Remember, where you see the triVIEWER icon, you can replay your race in graphic simulation form.
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Celebrate 2012 with For Goodness Shakes splendid discount
For Goodness Shakes are offering a rather splendid 20.12% off at their checkout. Enter the code 2012 to get a massive saving. Buy and save HERE.
FGS are also running a competition for a whole year's supply of NECTAR Fuel and For Goodness Shakes - check out the details HERE - the extra bonus is that all entries get a sample of NECTAR Fuel as well.
Visit Cycle Show 2012 - and save with the Tri247 tickets offer
The Cycle Show (www.cycleshow.co.uk), the UK's #1 for all things bike related returns to The NEC, Birmingham from 28-30th September. What better way to end a year of British success in cycling than with a visit to The Cycle Show.
To find out more - and take advantage of the special Tri247 readers ticket offer - CLICK HERE for more details and for the latest news from the show, including details of the road and MTB test tracks CLICK HERE.
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Offer runs to Monday 24th September 2012.
Goals are Dreams with Deadlines webinar
Simon Ward's next webinar is titled 'Goals are Dreams with Deadlines' and is scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday September 25th. This is one that you shouldn't miss if you are planning your target races for 2013 and with FREE places limited to 100 you need to sign up NOW! Register HERE.