Arriba Cozumel! And Yorkshire and Gloucestershire!

One of our age groupers and a few elites headed to the sun and extreme heat of Cozumel for the ITU Grand Final and World Champs for the age groupers.

Ian Gilham raced in the aquathlon as well as the triathlon and reports back to us as follows:

‘Started the week with a run out in the Aquathlon on Wednesday morning. Unusual format of a 2.5k run, 1k swim and a 2.5k run (due to there being no chance of a wetsuit swim) required a new skill in putting on goggles and swim hat on the run (and the unusual sight of people doing the first run actually in swim hat and goggles!). Had a decent race coming in 15th overall (nice one Ian!) though the heat and humidity by the end of the 2nd run was a wake up call of what to expect for the rest of the week. (Later that day the men’s U23 race was delayed as the temperature was 34 degrees and way above the maximum temperature for racing!!).
Thursday morning brought race day – setting up in the dark for a dawn start. A large wave led to inevitable scrum around the buoys and missing my wetsuit came out of the water in 40th place (we heard back in Blighty that the water was 28 degrees!!). Managed to organise a group of 8 on the bike with another Brit, and 6 other willing workers. Had a great ride – at one point we passed a group of Mexican riders from a previous wave who jumped on the back of our group. My new best friend from the Cook Islands went back and asked them if they would care to take a turn – they declined so he told them to jeff-off – and being polite hosts they did just that and we didn’t see them again – oh how we laughed!! Had a good run making up quite a few places but felt myself starting to “do a Jonny” with 1k to go so eased off a bit as I don’t have a brother…. 21st overall out of 65 starters… Not long now till the Duathlon season……’
Congratulations Ian on your year so far – a busy one!
Ian Gilham - Cozumel
Ian Gilham – Cozumel

Then it was the elites turn which has hit headline news internationally! (about time!). Adam Bowden had a spectacular race finishing in 10th in 1:47:55 – just less than a minute behind Henri Schoeman. Adam ran a 31 min 10k.Just fantastic!

Tom Bishop was also out in force finishing 33rd but just less than 4 minutes behind the race winner – times put things into perspective and just how fast these elites are going.  Tom was 6th out of the water ahead of the usual Richard Varga – a tremendous feat!

Jess Learmonth held her own in the ladies elite race with the fastest swim and third fastest bike leg.  Jess finished 30th in 2:02:55, just 3 minutes behind the winner Flora Duffy. Simply brilliant racing Jess!

Back in sunny Yorkshire it was the annual Ilkley Triathlon and it was a WIN for Tom Linton-Neal.  This was Tom’s first triathlon 4 years ago! Awesome bike on the tough 3 lap course which includes an infamous hill!

Tom - winner - heading home to a chicken dinner :-)
Tom – winner – heading home to a chicken dinner :-)

Mika Brown podiumed (silver!) in his age group at the same race and finished 5th overall! Mika had one of the one of the fastest swims of the day.

Matt Wilson scored a 5th in age group (same age group as Tom and Mika) – welcome back Matt!

Craig Boggon headed down south back to his home town of Gloucester for the Newent Triathlon:

‘I had my last tri of the year, a local one back home in Gloucester and at my old School. Newent was the first triathlon I ever did at 16 years old with a few school friend, 400m swim, 18km bike and 5km run. Back then my swim time including run to transition was 07:46. My cycle on the faithful hybrid was 38:26 including T1 and the Run was 19:02 including T2. Overall 40th in a time of 01:05:14. Fast forward 6 years and they’d gone back to fully manual timing system (which kept this event cheap!) Swim was 5:45! Bike on the TT including T1 was 30:46 and the run including T2 was 16:48. Overall 2nd in 53:19. So a little bit of an improvement… and 1:50 from first and 1:52 from the course record… I’m knackered though! It’s been a long season!’

 

Weymouth 70.3 + Vitruvian + Leeds Tri

Pop that kettle on and get yourselves a brew (Yorkshire!)…

…The golden sands of the South coast of England awaited some of our athletes on Sunday at the Weymouth 70.3. With blue skies, 18 degrees in the sea (I did not know our waters could get that warm) and little wind the inaugural Ironman 70.3 and Full races were bound to be a success.

There were 5 ladies in the female PRO female including our very own Hannah Drewett.  Jenni Muston and Colin Hill raced in the age group fields – sadly Colin had to pull out of the race due to illness (we hope you are better now Colin).

With the Pros off just before 7am (two of the ladies might I add from Yorkshire!), the age groupers started on a rolling start immediately afterwards. The sea was like the Med with one loop for the 70.3ers and an Australian exit for the Full-ers. Transition was a bit of a run away before out onto the rolling, unforgiving hills of Dorset – which were stunning.  The bike leg was a working one and continually broke athletes pace – nobody seemed to mind – it was beautiful. Onto the flat as a pancake run along the crowd lined seafront with 2.5 loops along the Esplanade and through the town.  By this time the sun was beating down and we were all topping up our tans. A really lovely race…but we did have the weather on our side (unlike Vitruvian!).

Hannah had a brilliant race and finished as 3rd lady overall in 5 hours 1 minute – Hannah’s swim was exceptional – 7th overall (inc. men I mean overall) out of the water – she swam 25:02 minutes, biked 2:51 on a week old bike (!), and ran a 1:37 half. Many, many congratulations to you Hannah!

Jen didn’t do too bad either 😉 Jen was 12th lady overall, 1st in her age group (40-44), swim 34 (I’d like to say I was enjoying the swim too much and didn’t want to get out of the water looking at Han’s swim time but this would be a blatant lie!), biked a 2:53, and ran a 1:38 half – and wants to do the race again next year!

The Vitruvian Triathlon sparkled with gold through the pouring rain for Will Cowen as he smashed his way to a fantastic win in 3 hours 54 minutes! A full 4 minutes ahead of 2nd place! Will’s stats (watch and learn people): 24:10 swim (1.9k), 2:07:24 bike (52 miles), 1:20 run (21k). A brilliant race and win! Will is now crowned as the National Champion for Middle Distance 2016! Many congratulations Will!

Claire Pickersgill was robbed on the day with an injury that has been plaguing her in her calf and had to withdraw on the bike section – get that calf right Claire and the podium is yours next year :-)

Gordon Kilroy popped a podium in his age group classification at the Leeds Triathlon on Sunday bringing home a silver and 16th in his age group overall. Gordon writes:

‘Due to an early set up for a concert next week, there were a couple of last minute changes. The swim was changed to a 2 lap course, which worked a little better than the original one lap. Transition was further up the hill which added a few minutes to the swim times. The bike course was unchanged, we had fun trying to get past a sportive that was sharing some of the route. The run still had the joy of tackling Hill 60 three times (ugh!), but at least the finish line was a bit closer. I finished in 16th overall and 2nd AG. An enjoyable and well organised race!’

Fast finish for Gordon at Leeds!
Fast finish for Gordon at Leeds!

Challenge Penticton

Challenge Penticton
Challenge Penticton

And news in from Ben Garrard across from the Big Pond:

Challenge Penticton Canada 3k, 120k, 30k. Penticton is a super cool location and was the home of IM Canada. In 2017 it will host the ITU World Championships in all race disciplines. 2017 in Penticton will be an amazing multi sport experience it’s a great race location (get qualifying guys!).

All those pre-race nerves (I had a few having not raced long for a few years and not deciding until June to come and race) disappeared when the gun went off and the race is on. I swam a controlled 2 lap swim but was still pleased to find my way to T1. I had to dig deep on the bike and get my head sorted (unusual headache and stomach unhappiness) but I tried to relax, took on water, a little food and felt much better heading out on to the second lap. I rode really ‘cruisey’ knowing a 30k run could easily bring me down. By now the sun was firmly out and the temperature rising towards 80. I set off running and felt a million dollars, not something that happens very often. I couldn’t have been happier with my run performance and apart from a little leg muscle discomfort in the final 5k I ran super strong and consistent and way beyond my expectations to finish the race off. I had an amazing week here in Penticton and thoroughly recommend the location and this slightly unusual race distance.

Swim 52:32 Bike 3:45:59 Run 2:33:09 Total 7:20:05 21st in AG, 98th overall

Cracking race Ben!

 

ITU Edmonton + Helvellyn + Bala

ITU Edmonton ladies were off on the sprint distance on our screens on Sunday evening GMT with Jess Learmonth leading the way in style on the swim and out into T1 in first position. A hiccup with Jess’ helmet meant that she missed the front bike pack giving Jess and a 24th position and a speedy 58:34:30 but what a swim to be proud of – 9 minutes! Superb racing Jess!

The men’s race was just has nail biting with Tom Bishop coming into his own finishing 5th (seconds behind Jonny Brownlee who won the race) – to explain: Tom’s finish time was 52:10:20 – Jonny’s 51:39:90. Tom put in one of the fastest 5ks of the day with 15 minutes dead on. By golly what a race!  Many congratulations Tom!

Adam Bowden, like Tom, was seconds behind the winners finishing 7th in 52:19:50 – this was racing at it’s finest! Thank you for the spectacle!

Heading back to sunny England, Tom Van Rossum (TVR for short and TVR for speed) headed straight for the podium at the infamous Helvellyn triathlon at the weekend.  Even the Tour of Britain had a go at the climb ‘The Struggle’ yesterday. Whilst Wiggo did a Froomey in shocking conditions yesterday, TVR attacked the climb with clear determination…in his own words:

‘After a typically slow swim for me, I moved up to 3rd place coming off the bike and held on through the run, narrowing the gap on 2nd place but coming up a bit short and finishing 3rd overall (Editor: YEY!).  The course is a brutal test, climbing up The Struggle on the bike and then exiting T2 to head straight up to the summit of Helvellyn via Swirral Edge. The unusual distances and route design make the race a tough but enjoyable alternative to the standard offerings on the calendar.’
Wiggins - Struggling on the Struggle
Wiggins – Struggling on the Struggle
TVR - attacking The Struggle
TVR – attacking The Struggle
Swirral Edge at Helvellyn
Swirral Edge at Helvellyn
TVR - 3rd overall at Helvellyn!
TVR – 3rd overall at Helvellyn!

Katie-Jemima Synge bagged a WIN at the Bala standard distance race at the weekend! Katie finished in a spectacular time of 2 hours 7 minutes AND was 15th overall finisher 13 seconds ahead of Emily Whitmore! What a win and what a race! Tremendous going Katie! Enjoy the Erdinger!

National Triathlon Relays (Champs!) + Chiltern Aquathlon + IM Copenhagen

Good morning from Jackpot HQ! Grab a cup of tea for this week’s spectacular!

It all started on a grey Saturday at Holme Pierrepont – thunderstorms and lightning, very, very frightening indeed.  But not enough to put off the Saturday team racing this weekend at the National Triathlon Relays Championships 2016. The team made up of Craig Boggon, China Clarke, Paul Freeman and Gordon Kilroy won the non BTF Open Category…to cut a long story short, there is a large number of teams in this category.

The race format is 500m swim, tag the next person – 15k bike, tag the next person – 5k run, tag the next person. The cumulative time is taken.

Some very fast times came out of the race including Craig’s 16 minute 5k run! Also, this was China’s second run since completing Ironman Zurich a month ago and he still ran a slightly longer 5k on the finishing lap in 19 minutes! It made for tremendous racing and tremendous watching!

Moving onto a dry Sunday where the races allow for teams of people to mix up from different clubs.  The format is different to Saturday whereby each person in a team of four completes a mini lung buster of a triathlon before tagging the next person – 250m swim, 5k bike and 1500m run.

Interestingly this year, most people raced without a wetsuit…people are starting to do the maths. There were also more rat traps on bike pedals to save the changing of shoes. Jackpot had two Men’s, one Ladies and one Mixed team. There were many men’s teams meaning competition was high. The men’s team ‘2’ just missed out on qualification for the afternoon race but the team of Chris Brown, Alistair Cooke, Paul Freeman and Tom Linton-Neal still belted around the course finishing in a superb time of 1:21:06.

The top ten teams from each category (Mens, Ladies, Mixed and Open) from the mini triathlon went through to the final at noon. The final was double the distance of the morning race but drafting only within your own team all the way through. Jackpot’s Men’s ‘1’, Ladies and Mixed went through to the big one.

The ladies teams were off first at minute intervals. The ladies team was made up of Claire Pickersgill, Chloe Scotchbook, Jenni Muston and we had borrowed the very speedy Jenny Latham for the day.  The ladies had discussed tactics after the morning’s race. Jenny and Chloe led the swim, Jenni and Claire drafted…Jenni needed to stop at the first buoy for air and in search of a defibrillator and the team carried on, overtaking two teams already in the water. Onto the bike. Magic. Chaninganging all the way through (though annoyingly slowed by a draft buster as the team became stuck behind another team), the ladies shifted into first place. Onto the run and the team increased the gap between them and 2nd positioned ladies to finish with a glorious gold! The ladies showed true grit and determination – they also worked extremely well as a team.  Thank you Jenny for lending us your superpowers!

Winning ladies with the bubbly!
Winning ladies with the bubbly!

The mixed team consisted of Jess Learmonth, Hannah Drewitt, Mika Brown and Kieran Hill.  They put on a spectacular performance for the ticket holders and demolished the competition with a wonderful win! Second gold of the day and third of the weekend! The photo below shows the team in action…currently we do not have any photos of Jess where she is NOT chatting 😉

Jackpot's Mixed Team
Jackpot’s Mixed Team
Mixed team on the podium!
Mixed team on the podium!

The men’s team went in to defend their title. Competition was strong and the day was getting warmer. Max Hazell came back for more punishment after last year’s absolute best performance and raced again with the Bishop brothers and Jack Hall. The weather was getting warmer and sunnier – unfortunately Jack Hall suffered with cramp in the run. The men’s tea were first to finish in the morning however had to settle for fourth in the afternoon. Still great racing from all of you!

A great set of results from the weekend!  Best of luck to Chloe who moves to The Netherlands this week for a year!

Ian Gilham was back out in force this weekend podiuming overall at the Chiltern Aquathlon and winning his age group! This is Ian’s last race before he heads over to Mexico for the Worlds in September! many congratulations Ian and best of luck to you too!

Finally, Richard Knell-Moore set tongues wagging with his cracking race at Ironman Copenhagen last weekend. Richard finished in a time of 10:20:29….wait for it kids….putting in a 5:01:57 bike! Absolutely brilliant!

Rich - thumbs up on your race!
Rich – thumbs up on your race!