No John, don't mention the weather... apologies in advance.
Has there ever been a year like it? I've never known so many races cancelled, postponed or had an enforced format change for such a wide variety of reasons. Too hot, too cold, too windy, currents too strong, blue-green algae, mud on the road (yes, even that!) and probably a few more bizarre ones I've missed or forgotten too. This past weekend the Wasdale Triathlon, billed as the world's toughest half-ironman had to be cancelled due to awful weather conditions. When a race is that tough with, one imagines, a bunch of equally tough nutters wanting to do it and is still cancelled - well, it must have been really bad!
Even the world's largest tri, The London Triathlon didn't escape unharmed last weekend. Having been there myself for glorious conditions on Saturday, Sunday was very different with the final two waves having the swim either shortened or cancelled entirely. Of course, these situations always cause tensions. One well known organiser who had to recently amend his event said "life would be a lot easier if we didn't bother about anyone's health or safety and just let them get hypothermia!!" Unfortunately, just like a boxer taking a beating, we have to be saved from ourselves. If you did race the London Triathlon, do make sure you check out our race specific triVIEWER replays and see your race in simulation form, against the actual course.
I've also got to mention this past weekend the great achievement of 'Duracell Bunny' Lucy Gossage, not only in winning Challenge Barcelona, but also in adding her name to the Sub-9 hour iron-distance club. A brilliant performance to round off a truly fantastic season. Right, now time to recharge those batteries for 2013 Lucy!
Every so often I get a hankering for the good old days when, by and large, being a triathlete pretty much defined what you were. There was none of the charity or social element - you did it because it just felt right. No peer pressure, no needing to 'tick that box' and no expectations that anyone other than you was responsible for your actions. Seeing the pressure that organisers are under every weekend to deliver the 'perfect' event and experiencing athlete's comments both in front of and behind the scenes makes me realise that the culture today is so far removed from that of two decades ago that I'm very glad I no longer bear that burden.
However... One though does occur to me on quite a regular basis. How about a proper old-style triathlon? Entries would only be accepted by cheque or postal order with two stamped addressed envelopes or cash on the day. No website nonsense, all your info would be posted out. No live results, we might (or might not...) send them out in a day or a week. Basic signage on the course - if you didn't read the race pack then that's your problem. Water in a muddy bucket at the finish and a proper burger van for refreshments after. No wetsuits regardless of the water temp - as I was reminded the other day that was one of the real old-school rules! Anyone up for it? Bet we would get a bunch of 40- and 50-plus guys and we would probably all know one another without needing to resort to Twitter or Facebook...
Enough of the prologue - but it sets the scene for the poor guys at the TRI Challenge Team Triathlon down at Dorney Lake who discovered in dawn's early light on Saturday that the Olympic clean-up squads promised road sweepers had failed to arrive. After an hour delay and the realisation that even though they were now sweeping furiously all they were doing was evenly spreading the mud meant that the bike leg had to be dropped and the race reverted to an aquathlon. The decision was undoubtedly the right one but there were a few grumbles and one or two dissenters who tried to come up with varying alternatives. The event data sadly didn't include the club name but the male winners by a clear margin were Team Carlsberg followed in short order by Team Kronenbourg and TVTs Brownlees Fan Club. The women's win went to Team Chardonnay while Team Magners took the mixed (you're getting the picture...) Full results are HERE.
The Markel Castle Series took over Hever Castle for the weekend with TriStar and sprint distances races. Winners in the latter were Andrew Mercer and Tanya Brightwell. Full results for all the events are on the StuWeb site HERE.
Back to Dorney Lake for an even earlier start and it was evident that the day-long sweeping had finally cleared the roads so the USN Dorney Lake Triathlon season-closer was all set to deliver well over a thousand athletes in its final hurrah of this Olympic year. We even had a real bona fide Olympic champion in the mix with the presence of Heather Stanning who last saw the venue when she won Gold in the coxless pairs with Helen Glover. A great day of triathlon and a couple of long swims thrown in as well. All the results are currently linked in and we'll get them loaded in the next day or two.
Hever Castle moved up to standard distance racing for Sunday with David Bishop and Vicky Johnston winning the main event. Full results for all the events are on the StuWeb site HERE.
Thorpe Water Ski Lake closed out its summer-long run of aquathlons and sprint distance races with a final South East Series Sprint which was won by Paul Ryman and Kate Curran. Full results are HERE.
The results from West Wight might not seem to add up at first glance but that's because our system doesn't have a column for 'traffic lights'... A perennial plague for organisers, they got hit with a set of emergency lights and some of the times have a credit built in for hold-ups. Full results are HERE.
Cardiff Triathletes held the Stuart MacCormack Memorial Triathlon, Matthew Wheeler and Rachel Frost taking the wins. Full results are 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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