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11th Aug 2008Issue 73

Welcome to the newsletter

And so the huge event that is the Mazda London Triathlon is over for another year, and no doubt the clean up operation is well and truly underway at the venue today. The Tri247 team were on-site all weekend, and we will be bringing you interviews and news from the event through the week ahead.

So, how was it for you? For sure, the event itself isn't your typical triathlon. When the rain hit hard on Saturday, those of us inside the warm and dry confines of the ExCeL centre were certainly grateful of an indoor transition area. The expo too is growing year-on-year, and so now as well as racing, you can shop in what resembles a triathlon-specific mall. Plus of course, your average triathlon doesn't have something like 5,000 novice triathletes taking part, providing a valuable entry point to the sport...as well as a few interesting choices of kit! Many of these people will be providing the next wave of athletes into the triathlon clubs and smaller scale events around the country.

From the outside, the event certainly feels a lot more slick and polished than it did three or four years ago, which given an event of this scale, can't be an easy task. There were certainly a lot of happy and excited athletes pre and post race, who seemingly enjoyed their London experience too. No doubt some will have 'ticked the box', never to be seen near a triathlon again, but all things considered, I think the event delivered a very positive experience to the vast majority.

So, is 'big' beautiful? That, as they say, is in the eyes of the beholder! I think it's appropriate to say that in this case, big is simply 'different'. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I feel the event plays an important part in the calendar and promotion of the sport in the UK. And for almost everyone, that must be a good thing. A job well done.

Also doing well this weekend was Scotland's Catriona Morrison, who retained her ITU World Long Distance Duathlon title in Belgium. Congratulations to her on yet more bling for the trophy cabinet.

And of course, the Olympics are finally underway, and Team GB are already on the medal table! We'll be continuing our Olympic coverage this week with an in-depth look at the Beijing course, and we'll put our cards on the table with where we think the triathlon medals will end up. If you fancy having a bit of fun, and perhaps raising a few pennies for club funds or charity, why not try our Olympic sweepstake kit!

In this issue:

Results

Weekend action

Well, there is certainly no denying that the Mazda London Triathlon is BIG. A reported 13,000 entrants were signed up in all manner of super-sprint, sprint, relay and standard distance options. So, with a transition area the size of several football pitches, and 5,000 odd bikes in it at the time as a clue, quite how someone, genuinely, asked a race referee "can you tell me where the bike transition is please" I'm not quite sure...!

The elite races proved to be very exciting, but for different reasons. Ladies first, and it was Julie Dibens, these days more commonly seen on the XTERRA, Ironman 70.3 or non-drafting circuits, who took the chance to use her biking ability for a big win. Eight athletes left T1 within 20 seconds, including Dibens, Joelle Franzmann (GER), Jodie Swallow, Kerry Lang and World Junior Champ Kirsty McWilliam. Crucially though, Andrea Whitcombe a multiple winner on this course was 35 seconds back in the swim, and in the chase pack. Dibens then set to work on the bike and pulled away, building a lead of 1:30 at T2 over Swallow, Franzmann and Lang, while Andrea lead out the chasers three minutes down. Would it be enough? Franzmann proved to be the closest pursuer, at one time reports suggesting she closed to 10 seconds, but Dibens ran a solid race, breaking the tape 21 seconds clear, Franzmann second and Jodie Swallow third. Though still troubled by an achilles problem that blighted her Olympic bid, Whitcombe still recorded the fastest run split of the day, before crossing the line and immediately seeking out an ice pack.

"Wow, that was a surprise!" were Julie's words moments after crossing the line, for a thoroughly deserved and brave win. We'll be bringing you a video interview with Julie over the next few days.

The men's race was due to kick off at 1045, 25 minutes after the women's race, but some rather over keen competitors jumped the gun and one of the largest men's fields ever seen at the London triathlon was called back after a false start was announced. This is no easy feat for the canoeists, who monitor the race from within the water, as once the race starts, trying to then stop some 60 plus frantic swimmers is no easy task. Thankfully the race was successfully halted and with a ten minute delay the men's 2008 London triathlon got under way. With the absence of swim expert Richard Stannard, (it was the first time he missed a London triathlon event since the race began 12 years ago), it was still expected that there would be a small pack of faster swimmers exiting the water first, but over 35 men exited T1 within 30 seconds as the field was still very tightly bunched. There was little change at T2, as a huge pack hit the transition en masse. In fact, so many entered transition together that the elite racking area may need to be widened next year to ease the congestion... Stuart Hayes, Stephane Poulat (FRA) and Maik Petzold (GER) were among the first to hit the run course, but not far behind Aussie Peter Robertson looked liked a man on a mission. No one was able to make a decisive break on the run either, and we were treated to the site of three athletes in the finishing straight together going for the win. Petzold proved to be the strongest, with Robertson and Hayes in close attendance.

So, all in all, two exciting elite races, despite the absence of the Olympic star names. Elite results are here.

Pos Men Women
1st Maik Petzold (GER) 1:47:10 Julie Dibens (GBR) 1:59:03
2nd Peter Robertson (AUS) 1:47:13 Joelle Franzmann (GER) 1:559:24
3rd Stuart Hayes (GBR) 1:47:18 Jodie Swallow (GBR) 1:59:57

The London Triathlon are publishing the provisional results of all of the weekend racing on their results website (www.triathlonresults.co.uk).


While domestic attention may have focussed upon London, Catriona Morrison was busy doing what she does best - winning more World Championships. This weekend she retained her ITU World Long Distance Duathlon Championship in Geel, Belgium. We have a full report and results on the site. Congratulations also to our age-group team who will be bringing home six medals:

Gold
M60-64 Mick Anglim
F30-34

Emma Dews

Silver
F40-44 Valerie Martin
Bronze
M45-49 David Warner
F35-39 Anna Troup
F50-54 Jane Fruen

Congratulations also to Jenny Gowans of Serpentine Tri Club, who on Saturday won the ultra-tough Norseman Xtreme iron-distance event in Norway, reaching the finish line (at a mere 1883 metres altitude!) resplendent in club kit, after 14 hours and two minutes. Results are available here.

The latest round of the Mazda National Ranking Series took place at the Worthing Triathlon. Well, sort of! Strong winds and dangerous conditions led to the cancellation of the swim, replaced by a 5km run, and so the race was run in duathlon format. We have a full report on the race, won by Colin Dixon and Niki Treacy. Results can also be found here.

Swanage Beach, Dorest saw the popular Swanage Classic and Sprint Triathlons. Henry Budgett reports on a cracking race: "Tracy Cook and James Gilfillan were the dominant force with James literally destroying the field from the get go. An over two minute advantage at T1 was increased on the bike where he averaged 40kph - and that's on a windy day and on one of the tougher standard distance bike courses - before he turned in a 37 minute 10k over the legendary run course that sees most folk reduced to a vertical walk. Although the wind blew, because of the odd configuration of Swanage Bay, the sea was remarkably calm and the skies were far brighter than they had been on Saturday and it was even slightly sunny at times. Other races might have all the headline status this weekend but over 400 people chose to make their race an altogether more authentic experience and, from all the comments we overheard, thoroughly enjoyed it". The sprint was won by Jack Wiltshire (Driven to Tri) in 1:22:30 and Fran Bungay in 1:31:53. We have the results online for both Classic and Sprint events.

There was more standard distance racing taking place at the Cambridge Triathlon. Army Tri athlete Glyn Painter secured a narrow eight second win from Oliver Milk (Tri-Anglia) in a time of 2:03:00. It was also close for the ladies, as Melissa Dowell took the win by just 25 seconds from Beverley Mason. Full results are here.

Pouring rain didn't dampen the spirits at the Cymmer Off-Road Triathlons in Afan Forest Park, South Wales. In the full distance event, Jon Wilkinson and Elizabeth Steiler took clear wins. The novice race was won by Iestyn Harrett and Annette Mcinnes. We have results loaded for the full, novice and also the children's races.

Castle Combe race circuit saw some multisport action of the petrol free kind, as DB Max hosted the Prostate UK Rowing Triathlon and the DB Max Duathlon. The duathlon was won by former national champion, Wayne Smith and Alison Bagnall, while the rowathlon wins went to Marius Kwint (Southampton Tri) and Louise Dobby. We have results loaded for both events - duathlon and rowathlon.

Last UK event we report on, though the first one of the weekend to take place was the Surrey Summer Aquathlon Series Round Three from Friday. Ladies dominated, with the overall win being taken by Meera Siva in 25:07. The first man home was Jonathon Monk who finished 12 seconds further back. Full results here.

Finally, internationally, the headline results from Ironman 70.3 Germany are below. In depth reporting can be found on the race website, along with full results.

Pos Men Women
1st Faris Al-Sultan (GER) 4:10:26 Virginia Berasategui (ESP) 4:43:38
2nd Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) 4:11:17 Andrea Brede (GER) 4:49:26
3rd Uwe Widman (GER) 4:14:01 Meike Krebs (GER) 4:55:38

Win a year's supply of Taut

Tri247 has linked up with the British Triathlon Federation and Taut (the official drink of the British Triathlon Federation) to offer everyone that signs up to an account on Tri247 the chance to win a year's supply of Taut. Unlike many special deals, if you have already signed up to Tri247 you don't need to do it again - we have already entered you into the draw!

The promotion is currently being promoted on the British Triathlon Day Licences for England and Wales but the competition is open to anyone; you don't have to be a member of Triathlon England, triathlonscotland and Welsh Triathlon - just registered on Tri247.

If you haven't signed up, just follow this link to register: additional benefits include getting our weekly newsletter which features all the latest results from the weekend's racing, the ability to post comments to articles on the site and, best of all, the facility to collect all your race results from our archive which goes back over ten years!

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British Triathlon is now a Federation, whose members are the three Home Nation's Associations of Triathlon England, triathlonscotland and Welsh Triathlon. British Triathlon is responsible for matters such as the Great Britain Elite and Age Group Teams, British and International events, anti-doping and international representation. British Triathlon also manages a number of services that are shared with the three Home Nations. For more details on membership and information on how to join see the website on www.britishtriathlon.org or telephone 01509 226161.

Mazda Stockholm Triathlon travel packages

Sports Tours Triathlon, as official Sports Travel Partner to IMG events, is pleased to announce the sale of travel packages including race entry to this year's Stockholm Triathlon at the end of August. Staying at the Mornington Hotel, Sports Tours has organized this great package to take the hassle out of arranging your own travel. For more details call 0161 703 8161, email triathlon@sportstoursinternational.co.uk or visit the website at www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/triathlon

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Get Triathlete Magazine through Tri247

Tri247 are delighted to announce that they have partnered up with Triathlete Magazine to bring you all the latest news from across the pond and around the globe. For over 20 years Triathlete Magazine has been the voice of triathlon worldwide and routinely brings the best international news and race reporting plus stunning photography to the newsstand. They have also recently launched a digital edition which means you can get your immediate fix of triathlon information sent direct to your inbox and have the printed version sent to your home for a more thorough read later on. For full details on the subscription offer see this page on the website.

 
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