Welcome to the newsletter
It's been a very strange, and at times disturbing week - and apologies in advance for the late arrival of this weeks newsletter...
Monday was a real 'ends of the spectrum' for your Editor. Having been working to recover from my 2011 'major service', and moving slowly back from zero fitness to 'something', it has been a case of two steps forward, once step back for much of the last 18 months. There have been some highs along the way including, strangely, lifetime best times in the swimming pool, but the cycling and running has been hit and quite a lot of miss for most of this time. I have managed to take part in a few open water swim races, and earlier this year I got around a 10km trail run in one piece too, but cycling and anything 'multisport' was the next step. Box ticked on Monday night; a very small, very informal but great fun relay duathlon with my triathlon club meant I finally got to 'race' on a bike as well. It wasn't that long, and I wasn't that fast - but it was much better than I had expected and I really enjoyed it. A bit of exercise, good friends, a mug of tea and some smiles. Excellent evening...
...and then we get home, switch on the television and, with the wonders of modern technology, we're watching the scene at the finish of the Boston Marathon live. Like most of you reading, a serious case of bubble being well and truly burst. Why?
The Atlantic may separate us, but I'm sure that like many of you, it all feels very close to home. This weekend's Virgin London Marathon of course, is a part of that, and having spent time this week with both the elite athletes, celebrities and regular runners at both the press conferences and Expo, the desire to not be moved or intimidated by the actions of the mindless is total.
Our sister site www.run247.com has been running a superb countdown series to the race, London Calling, for the past two weeks - CHECK IT OUT HERE - with almost everything you could want to know whether you are running, spectating or watching from home. It's even got triathlon voice Steve Trew on his love affair with the marathon, in his own style - well worth a read in itself.
Runners have a 98.3% chance of completing the marathon - but despite the efforts of some in the U.S. this week, I reckon London will show it has a 100% chance of not being intimidated this weekend. Good luck to all of you.
In this issue:
There's a pretty basic benchmark that I use to determine whether it classifies as an early start to the weekend and that's when you get to a service station and find they are still assembling the Sunday papers and there's no breakfast rolls in the hot food cabinet... Well, either it really was early or the folk in East Anglia just don't do Sunday! And, given that when I wrote the weekend preview the forecast was showing the possibility of temperatures in the high teens and significant sightings of sunshine, what happened to the weather? Several organisers described the conditions as challenging, mainly due to the wind, and certainly there was nowhere to hide out in the Fenlands.
International racing has, as usual, been well covered by the Editor with write-ups on Challenge Fuerteventura HERE and the racing at Ironman South Africa with the men's HERE and the women's HERE. One day, Jodie, one day (and soon).
||Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) 8:11:27
||Jessie Donovan (USA) 9:10:58
||Cyril Viennot (FRA) 8:19:51
||Jodie Swallow (GBR) 9:17:00
||Bas Diederen (NED) 8:20:09
||Lucie Reed (CZE) 9:27:07
||Horst Reichel (GER) 8:22:34
||Simon Brändli (SUI) 9:32:24
||Francois Chabaud (FRA) 8:29:30
||Diane Mcewan (RSA) 9:37:45
Elsewhere, at XTERRA New Zealand it was the turn of Renata Bucher to take the top spot alongside Ben Allen while Jacqui Slack had to settle for second place. Will those two get a weekend off any time soon? Daz Parker was ninth. Results are online HERE. Ireland's Bryan Keane finished second at the ITU World Cup Series race in Ishigaki which might lead you to believe he didn't have any bike issues but apparently he did manage to fall off... At least the wheels stayed on this time!
One under the radar event which produced a decent set of results for GB athletes was the Triathlon de Elche in Sapin where Holly Lawrence topped the women's podium with Eleanor Haresign in third and Amy Forshaw fourth while Fraser Cartmell took fourth, Joe Skipper eighth and Nicholas Ward Munoz 11th.
Saturday's racing at home saw the first outing for the off-road duathlon crowd at the Hurtleberry where a small but select field was headed home by Sam Gardner, recently returned from a month chasing the XTERRA circuit round the Pacific Islands and Zayne Crow. Results are on the allabouttriathlons website HERE.
Over at Dorney Lake, F3's Maxifuel Duathlon the standard distance was won by Tony Garbett and Frances Malin, the sprint by Alex Milne and Clare Elms while Jamie Stentaford and Adele Watkins lead the supersprint distance. Full results are on the StuWeb site HERE.
Up in Scotland they finished off the three-race Winter Feast duathlon series with the Big Puddin. Winners here were Stephen Burns and Caroline Vance, full results are HERE.
The purpose of Sunday's trek to Cambridge was for the Cambridge Duathlon which was playing host to the English National Duathlon Championships. A sell-out event but the wind obviously deterred a few people come race morning although I did count three disc wheels in transition and more than a few extremely deep section as well which only goes to prove that some people are very confident of their bike handling skills! With four wave starts it's always hard to call the racing as it happens but there were some very competitive athletes out there and more than a few last gasp sprints for the line at Bottisham Village College. With slots up for grabs for the World Duathlon Championships as well as national medals and prizes and trophies for the race itself it was also good to see so many people stay for the presentation ceremony. Overall winners were Sam Baxter (Team Freespeed Virgin Active) and Gill Fullen (Bedford Harriers) and provisional results are HERE. We'll load the final set once the BTF have finalised the qualifiers.
No report from the Dragonslayer Duathlon at Redbridge Cycle Circuit but based on past experience we would reckon that the wind would have been helping up the big hill. Rob Parry (Crystal Palace Triathletes) and Vicky Gill were the winners and the overall results are online HERE.
The Hereford Duathlon organisers had not only the wind and rain but an unexpected set of traffic lights to deal with, always a nightmare. Winners here were Daniel Geisler (Worcester Triathlon Club) and Vanessa Lawson (Chepstow Harriers) and full results are online HERE.
Mounts Bay Harriers staged the Penzance Triathlon with Neil Eddy (Cycle Logic) and Alice Nicholas (Mounts Bay Harriers) taking the wins. A full set of results are HERE.
Claimed to be the largest pool-based triathlon in the country, the Skipton Triathlon certainly isn't the easiest, no athlete dipped under the hour and that included winner Mark Livesey (Functional Fitness) while the leading female was Emma Wolff (Wakefield Triathlon Club). Full results are on the StuWeb site HERE.
The wind was strong enough at the Clitheroe Triathlon to blow a timing point over which is why there are a few missed splits after the swim. The rest of the system held up (and given the weight of this stuff that wind must have been pretty strong!) and a full set of results are HERE. Winners were Tony Cullen (Bury AC/Chester Tri) and Samantha Howard (Mersey Tri).
Since this morning's round-up on the website we've decrypted a few more sets of results and added local copies to the archive where we can.
Click below for links to all the results from this weekend, and remember, where you see the triVIEWER icon, you can re-live your race in graphical simulation form!
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The New Avenger
This new addition to the triathlon calendar is set in the stunning grounds of Ragley Hall, right in the heart of England, and takes place on quiet roads and paths. Whether you're a first time middle distance eventer or a seasoned triathlete wanting to race in a stunning setting, the Avenger will have something for you. Find out more HERE
Great Escape Challenge
Has your team got what it takes? Hike up rugged trails, bike across mudded terrain and canoe through racing rivers as you take on ten physical and mental team challenges with your workmates. Join us next May in North Yorkshire for in the ultimate out of office adventure. Find out more HERE