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1st Sep 2008Issue 76

Welcome to the newsletter

The Olympics may be over, but there is one British triathlete who currently seems to have the Midas touch. The name is Wellington, Chrissie Wellington - license to thrill triathlon watchers all over the world.

Yesterday, as she has done all year (Ironman Australia, Ironman Germany, Timberman, Alpe d'Huez...), the talented Miss Wellington delivered another demonstration of long-course power by battering her opponents into submission, taking the ITU World Long Distance Championship in Almere, Netherlands by a frightening (for her opponents...) margin of almost 18 minutes. It was only two years ago tomorrow (Tuesday), that Chrissie was winning the ITU Age Group World Champs in Lausanne. Of course, she won that by a decisive margin too (in standard distance terms anyway), of four minutes. Chrissie will be defending her Ironman World Championship crown in Hawaii in six weeks time - and in this form, must go into the race with an awful lot of confidence. Fingers crossed she can stay fit and well until Kona.

Looking ahead to next year (if that's allowed...), logic suggests that there could potentially be an almighty tear-up at a mid-summer iron-distance event in 2009. After winning Ironman Germany in a stunning time of 8:51:24, in some quarters Chrissie was criticised (!) for not racing to the line, and beating the then Ironman world record of Paula Newby-Fraser. That was soon rendered irrelevant a week later anyway, as that time was beaten in both Ironman Austria and Quelle Challenge Roth. In Austria, German Sandra Wallenhorst recorded 8:47:25, while on the same day in Roth, Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) and Erica Csomor (HUN) did 8:45:48 and 8:47:05 respectively. Let's not forget too that Chrissie isn't even British record holder any more - Bella Comerford went did 8:51:15 in Klagenfurt!

So, it's interesting to see that one of the athletes the 'Chrissinator' left trailing in her wake yesterday was... Yvonne Van Vlerken! Which then naturally leads to the question: "how fast can Chrissie go in an Ironman"? So, I'm going to put my prediction hat on now, 10-months in advance, and predict that Chrissie will race in either Roth or Austria next summer. I would be amazed if the respective race directors haven't already been in lengthy discussions with her management team to sign her up, and I would certainly love to see it. And, given the welcome and joy she experienced in Frankfurt, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Chrissie lining up again in Germany next year, but this time in Roth... We'll see!

Perhaps not quite at that level, but congratulations all the same to Sam Gardner for winning his first Xterra World Tour event in Japan. Sam has been a long-time supporter of XTERRA, so great to see him pick up a victory.

Plenty of good stuff in store this week, as we're less than one week away from Ironman UK!

In this issue:

Results

Weekend action

At the ITU World Long Distance Championships in Almere (now thankfully back at its proper 'Nice-style' distance of 4k 120k 30k), Julien Loy (FRA) took the championship with a 5:43:22 while Chrissie Wellington decimated the women's field and is now the undisputed long distance queen with a 6:12:44 (17th overall). Chrissie looked completely relaxed on the run, taking time out to 'high five' other GB athletes and spectators and, after crossing the finish line once, still found time to go back and do the 'Blazeman roll'. That's five wins from five major races for Chrissie but in her post-race interview she said that she was "surprised to win against the strong competition". The evidence suggests that the other athletes were pretty much resigned to the outcome and had no expectations of getting the win once she was into her stride on the bike (mixed metaphors, but you know what we mean...) She also said that she felt the race was good preparation for Hawaii and that's something we are all looking forward to in six weeks time. It's also possible that she's the first female athlete to hold the two long distance crowns concurrently - the only other athlete we can think of who won Hawaii and the Worlds in the same year was Karen Smyers but her ITU title was over the standard distance. Looking back we think Luc Van Lierde may have held both simultaneously, with Hawaii 1996 followed by ITU Worlds (Nice) 1997. But, let us know if you know different!

In the age group championships, the first of the British contingent was Dion Harrison who picked up Gold in the 25-29 category with Alex Fairman getting Bronze in the 20-24 category. Also in the medals were David Lewington with Bronze in the 70-74 category and Julie Payne who picked up Silver in the 30-34 category (although this last result may be subject to change, according to Dawn Hunter who's over there with the GB team). A set of unofficial results by age category can be found here, we'll load a copy as soon as they are confirmed.

Reports from the venue indicate that either there was a bit of a current in the swim or the course was a bit long as the times seem a bit longer than expected. We enjoyed the live coverage on the Dutch Triathlon website all morning and, even in a language we can't understand, it put a lot of other event live coverage to shame. Plus, it was nice and warm and sunny out there while the view from the office window here was of grey wet murk all day...

Pos Men Women
1 Julien Loy (FRA) 5:43:22 Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 6:12:44
2 Francois Chabaud (FRA) 5:45:36 Charlotte Kolters (DEN) 6:30:15
3 Martin Jensen (DEN) 5:46:59 Yvonne van Vlerken (NED) 6:31:56

If would hardly count as being a weekend if there weren't some sort of Ironman race going on somewhere in the world and this weekend it was the turn of Ironman Louisville where the high temperatures saw some exciting action. Those expecting a repeat of last year were in for a bit of a shock as Maximillian Longree (GER) romped away with the win leaving last year's winner, Chris McDonald (AUS) to settle for second place some 21 minutes behind. Looks like we've got some Google research to do because we haven't had Longree on the radar before... Reports on Ironman Live have Andrew Johns leading out of the water and for the first 60 miles of the bike but he seems to have faded badly early on in the run and may have dropped out altogether while his partner, Lisbeth Kristensen was driving the women's race for much of the day but was overhauled in the closing stages of the run and had to settle for third. Not bad for a new mum scarcely back in training! Get all the details on IronmanLive.

Pos Men Women
1 Maximillian Longree (GER) 8:33:58 Mariska Kramer-Postma (NED) 9:54:17
2 Chris McDonald (AUS) 8:54:52 Heather Gollnick (USA) 9:56:53
3 Sergio Marques (POR) 8:59:15 Lisbeth Kristensen (DEN) 9:58:33

Winding the clock swiftly back 24 hours to Saturday and the domestic scene, the Kirkwall Middle Distance Triathlon was won by Team Angus Pedan (Orkney Tri) in 4:45:41 but the fastest solo effort was by Jake Vellacott (Fleet Feet Tri) in 5:00:21. The fastest, oldest and only woman was Susan Gray (Ayrodynamic) in 5:55:23. Full results are here.

Also on Saturday, although news only reached us 24 hours later, was XTERRA Japan which, just a week after Julie Dibens cleaned up in Austria, saw Sam Gardner winning his first XTERRA World Tour race. The site's all in Japanese so we are struggling with the translation but you can check it out here.

Tri247's Editor was up at one of his favourite races on Sunday morning, the Rugby Sprint, where the winners were Hywel Davies in 0:54:13 and Rowena Nuenhoffer in 1:03:01 with Colette O'Neill taking the second female slot and the first female veteran. Fastest team in the relay event was captained by Paul Harwood and they finished in 1:08:12. Full results are on Stuart Steele's StuWeb site.

At the Woking Aquathlon the winners were Ben Smith in 22:43 and Elley Bradshaw in 31:54, full results are here. The organisers also put on a junior race and the results for that are here.

The Blithfield Triathlon organised by Punishing Events fell victim to fog, and was turned into an aquathlon. Following the conversion of Worthing to a duathlon three weeks ago, the Mazda National Triathlon Ranking Series results could start to take on an odd look. Let's hope all goes to plan in Northumberland in two weeks time, else it's not beyond the realms of possibility that someone could win the series without ever doing a triathlon. Still, it didn't stop the World Triathlon Champs in Vancouver did it!

The 'standard distance' race was won by Andy Tarry (2XU TFN RT) in 48:05 and Nicola King (Tri Preston) in 1:01:35 while the 'sprint distance' race was won by David Bishop (2XU TFN RT) in 25:03 and Caroline Sutton (Derby Tri) in 30:08. Provisional results are available on the organiser's site and we'll load a local copy in due course.

The Borders Sport and Leisure Trust sneaked in the Gytes Duathlon at Peebles as part of their summer-long series of races while we weren't looking. Winners here were Iain Grant in 1:07:07 and Alison Rowan in 1:15:21. A full set of results is here.

At the Emily Prosser Sprint Triathlon organised by Cardiff Triathletes the winners were Richard Wilder in 0:49:20 and Jessica Parry-Williams in 0:58:07. A full set of results is here.

At the Llanrwst Triathlon the overall winner, and by nearly two minutes, was Rhian Roxburgh (Carneddau Tri) who completed the sprint distance in 1:06:37. First man, and second placed overall, was Paul Williams (Wrexham Tri) in 1:08:25. A full set of results can be found here.

The Guernsey Granite Man half-iron distance event was won by Alan Rowe in 4:10:07 and Joanna Swallow in 4:53:39. Full results here.

There was a busy weekend of racing at the South Coast Triathlon which took place on Saturday and Sunday, in Standard, Sprint, Fun and relay forms! The standard distance 'classic' winners were Colette Aubert and Ed Hole (Saturday), and Manuela Capazoria and Peter Campbell (Sunday). Sprint distance winners were Keith Brown and Victoria Collins (Saturday), Christopher Kiely and Ruth Jones (Sunday). Fun distance wins went to Sam Flaherty and Caroline Eastaugh (Saturday), Christopher Hepworth and Sarah Bucknall (Sunday). Full results of all events can be found here.

The Teesdale Triathlon was actually cancelled back in August! Also cancelled, this time through lack of numbers rather than issues relating to the bike course, was the Scottish Aquathlon Championships.

No news from the World Firefighters Games about their triathlon at Rivington but they do have a very swanky website for the whole week of events and there's a dedicated results page here.

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.

F3 Events approaching capacity

The Orca Triathlon on September 14th at Eton Lake, Dorney, is getting close to full capacity, with both the standard and sprint distance triathlons on the same day. There are some great prizes, including spot prizes that are going to be given away after the race, courtesy of Enzo-direct.com, with two pairs of carbon wheels worth over £1600. More details at www.f3events.co.uk

Heroes wanted - are you ready for Mighty?

Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres and Tri247.com need heroes to take on Mighty Bike and Hike, the latest dual-discipline challenge, this autumn and help people fighting their own heroic battle with cancer. Mighty Bike and Hike is an exhilarating, challenging, unique, heart-thumping, adrenaline-filled team challenge and a first in Wales. Mighty is a team event for groups of two to six friends, colleagues or family members. Mighty is 30 miles on and off road cycling followed by up to either 15 miles (Bronze), 27 miles (Silver) or 45 miles (Gold) on foot all in 24 hours.

Your support for Maggie's does make a difference - your support makes our Centres a reality - Centres that provide a unique programme of support and care to anyone affected by any kind of cancer, at any stage. Centres that help over 60,000 people a year.

Register your team now by calling 0845 602 6427 or email Isabel.davis@maggiescentres.org or visit maggiescentres.org/mighty

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