Without time to pack away the Christmas decorations or to recover fully from the New Year celebrations Jackpot Racing Athletes were back in action for 2017. The Temple Newsam Ten featured a good turnout of local Jackpotters.
Conditions were muddy and heavy over what was largely a bridal and country paths course featuring views of Leeds and the 17th Century House and Gardens.
Richard Knell-Moore was first home for Jackpot completing the 10 mile course set in the 1500 acres Temple Newsam estate in a time of 1:09:56. Richard finished 29th overall and 5th in his age group. Very closely followed was Eddie Howarth in 1:10:36, sixth in his age group and 32nd overall.
A little off the two stalwarts was Emma Stoney who ran a blistering 1:14:49 as the fourth female home and second in her age group. Well done Emma, Eddie and Richard.
Another Jackpot competitor with a much stated ‘pleasing’ debut performance was Richard Roberts; 1:20:26, while Robin Simpson posted a respectable 1:26:24, with little hours of training under his belt.
Following his lead role as Santa at the Trinity Wakefield, Peter Kidd had recovered to post a time of 1:31:19 with Andrew Collings 1:35:42 and Gary Simpson venturing into the winter run season from his endurance time trialling events finished with a time of 1:50:51.
OK, so chronologically inaccurate, but this was a weekend that (a) probably saw more Jackpoters racing than any other weekend and (b) a lot of them were going long.
Let’s start with the top achievements: Colin Hill and Eddie Howarth both raced in the 70.3 Ironman World Championships at Zell am See in Austria. For some reason the organisers set the athletes off at 11:30, making sure they’d be running in temperatures well into the 30’s.
Eddie was soon out of the water in just 25:43, closely followed by Colin in 27:31. fantastic swim times from both. That form followed the pair onto the bike, with Colin edging the honors this time in an amazing 2:27:19, with Eddie sniffing Colin’s wheels in 2:28:54. Looking at equally awesome run times of 1:37 and 1:41 for Colin and Eddie respectively, it is difficult to imagine how much suffering will have been endured. In Eddie’s words, ” all I did on the first half of the run was drink water and cool down. Very disappointing run time, every mile just hurt”. The rest of us will take your ‘disappointing’ run anyway!
Eddie finished in 53rd position in AG and 383 overall. Colin, meanwhile, fulfilled a lifelong ambition by finishing in the Top 10; 10th place in AG and 272nd overall.
Back in the rather cooler climes of Yorkshire, Jackpot kit was very-much in view at The Rubicon middle distance race taking place at Newby Hall. testing the othe end of the clock, most athletes surfaced around 4:30 or 5:00 in order to be registered and racked for the briefing at 6:15. Naturally that meant a chilly start for the river swim, and air temperature stayed on the cool side for the start of the bike. By the time the run section came around, however, the mercury had risen just enough to make it uncomfortable.
The results were rather confused with individuals turning to relays, others taking individual spots and a couple of drop-outs, plus the race (dis)organisers aren’t eactly reliable! But attempting to unravel the situation… First home for JP was Ben Garrard, just 30 seconds ahead of Alistair Cooke in a top time of just 4:29, with Francis Riley following in third at 5:01. Frank will be very surprised since he only swam for Team Morley (see below). Matt Wilson will also be surprised to finish as fourth Jackpoter in 5:21 after (yet more) bike problems at the start and given his ‘love’ for running.
That surprise will come from knowing that both Matt Pears and Tom van Rossum were well ahead of him. But both Matt and Tom decided to pull out on the run whilst in good positions in the race; Matt to avoid injury and Tom to keep his powder dry for the forthcoming Ironman Wales.
There were two relay teams in the race. Tom Bishop put Team 1 into first position with the fastest swim of the day in just 25:36, before handing on to Chris Brown on the bike and Matt Hallam for the run. The team came in at 4:07:53, losing out to a team of ringers by just 1:30. What a shame, particularly when the Relay Prize was a water bottle and two out-of-date energy gels!
Team 2, better known as “Morley and Grandad Morley” were led off by the real Francis Riley, who handed over to Dave Morley and on to their own ringer from Wakey tri, Chris Gorse, finishing in 4:45:26.
Exhausted yet? Well, no time to rest…
Back on the Continent, Richard Knell-Moore took on the longest event at full Ironman Vichy. Again temperatures came into play…
“All was going well. Swim to a bit over plan, bike to plan allowing for a fair headwind and temperatures up at 36C in the shade. I read reports about the heat at this race but thought I’d prepared well with training specifically.
“First 10k of the run was going ok, good rhythm and right on pace.
“Then the heat caught up with me. Cramp began to set in and I suspect some sun stroke. Focus on keeping cool and keep moving. Descended into short run intervals before cramp kicked in again.
“Anyway, it became operation finish as my goal slipped away. A bit disappointed to have missed my goal and not bettered my previous result but hey ho.
“Thanks to the best support team I could wish for on the day who kept me going as it got tougher.”
All this talk of heat is making me sweet, so let’s cool down again and get a bit muddy. Tom Linton-Neal was racing the Xterra European Champs near Cranleigh. In “More slippy than slippy” conditions, he took the National 20- 24 AG title and second in the European championships !! Maui next stop!
Next stop…Rutland…and to the Vitruvian where Andrew Whiteley was in fine form again to guide the brilliant Haseeb Ahmad around the middle distance race. It was Haseeb’s first middle distance…and what a tremendous race Haseeb and Andrew had. Paced well on the swim and the bike to an awesome half marathon in a time of 1:33, finishing in 4:43 overall. This put Haseeb 8th in his age group and 66th overall. This put Haseeb 8th in his age group and 66th overall. An excellent day and superb photo to match!
Let’s hop across the pond again…almost feels like we are completing our own triathlon doesn’t it… to the Castle Series at Chantilly where Cat Jameson takes yet another win at the Olympic distance race! FANTASTIC! Cat was over two minutes ahead of the next lady and was 7th athlete overall over the finish line. Just an outstanding season you are having Cat!
A short update this week, with only two Jackpoters racing. Is this another lull before the storm of the forthcoming relays? Perhaps.
Neither Ben Garrard nor Kathryn Dickinson were in Utah. No, Ben took part in the Lake Stevens 70.3 which is in Washington and known as a gorgeous race venue and ideal for a family vacation, which is probably how Ben got it past the missus. He also got to meet a celebrity triathlete. Can you spot him? Answer below*
Once freed from the petticoat strings, Ben put in an excellent day’s effort. A 31:40 swim put him in 19th position in AG. One scenic cycle and not a little effort later, Ben was up into 14th place with a 2:45 bike. On to the run, Ben produced some consistent splits and even managed to negative split the latter stages for a 1:41 overall split, putting him in 16th AG and a decent 72nd overall!
Back in the UK, Kathryn was in action at the Salty Sea Dog triathlon (fresh from competing in her first Crit race during the week and finishing as first lady), starting on Boscombe Beach. The, obvious, sea swim gives way to a bike course with a short but steep climb up the cliff. The run, on the other hand, is pan flat along the prom. That comfortable run (if running can ever be comfortable) is just what Kathryn’s poorly ankle required, allowing her to place 6th lady and 1st Junior – Whoop, whoop.
Two Jackpoters were using racing as an excuse for a relaxing holiday in France this week. Catherine Emma Jameson managed to haul herself out of bed to record yet another win – that’s four on the trott – despite not really being there to race in the first place!
And Tom Bishop put some good names behind him when he romped to fourth place overall [we’ll overlook you racing for Versaille Tri instead of Jackpot , Tom ;-)] ahead of Vincent Luis and Aurelien Raphael and featuring a sub-16 5k run.
Here’s Cath’s description of race day…
“This morning my alarm clock went off at 4:30am as I decided to race the Olympic distance event out here in Embrun. I’m actually mainly here to support Joel who is racing EmbrunMan, the crazily hard full distance race here on Saturday but I could not resist having a little hit out myself. The good news is that I raced hard and won, whoow.
“I actually surprised myself as I have just done three races on the trot and had ten days since my last race in which I travelled out to Annecy to fit in a hard, short training block. The race today was amazing in many ways. I lead right from the start which is always a bonus for me, even though I feel like I’m looking over my shoulder at times!
“The swim was pancake flat, the bike was ridiculously hilly and the run was really pretty round the lake. The best part of the race though was the amount of support out on the course. Where did all the people come from?! There were massive crowds lining the roads.. Literally packed in, even on the 16km climb out of Embrun.
“It was so refreshing having people around and it definitely made me lift my game when everyone is cheering you on, in French of course. It was a fun morning and I’m sure I’ll do again even if it’s just so I can rack my bike in a crazy way (see picture).. Only in France! I can now relax a little for a day or so and help Joel out preparing for the big one!”
Allerthorpe (in the words of Chris Brown): ‘Despite the poor forecast during the week, it turned out to be a lovely day. Water temperature a balmy 20-degrees. This smash-fest nearly turned to disaster, though, when the marshal at the run turn-point, having just one simple job to do, failed to do it. Mika (leading) and the William Atkinson (second) were told to go on to the next junction. When I arrived, I was told the same. With my distaste for running, I know exactly how far I’ve gone, and knew that was the turn around. Nevertheless bashed on in an ever darker mind set.
One minute later the chief marshal is driving towards me indicating to go back! So I turned and legged it towards the lake, trying not to spit feathers as I see the guy in fourth closing on me and now having just ‘gained’ 400m on me out of the blue. Mika reeled me in on the last half click, but William didn’t, so I stopped one metre short of the line to wait and let him claim his proper position – I’d done an extra 400m but they’d gone more like 1km. You should have heard the cacophony of people shouting to me that I hadn’t crossed the line and seen the incomprehension when I told them, “I know!”. Mind you, if Mr Fourth Place had shown his face, I’d have been over in a shot!
1st Over 50 for me (chocolates) and 3rd overall (wine)
1st overall for Mika (“I’m taking both anyway”) Brown
Super Sprints are the future.’
Claire Pickersgill also took to the stage in the standard race. Heading out of the water in 8th, absolutely smashed her way through the bike popping a supersonic 64 minutes over the 40k into 2nd position onto the run. Claire finished seconds behind 3rd after a niggling hamstring injury which has stopped her running for a good few months this year. Claire was second in age group. I would love to say Claire won a free holiday, just because Chris won choccies and wine ;-). Fantastic racing all of you 🙂
Down at Eton Dorney, Andrew Whiteley raced at the Para Tri as the guide for the infamous Haseeb Ahmad in the elite section of the race. The event is the first of it’s kind with mass non able athletes participating in different races and distances. Andrew and Haseeb WON! The race will be shown on Channel 4 in September…we will keep you posted on when!
And it does not end there…all the way from New Zealand we have Craig Boggon who finished 2nd in the Gibbs Hill Challenge race on the northern tip of the South Island – a bike-run-bike! Craig gives his account of the race below – get comfy kids, you are in for a good read:
‘I was fortunate enough to gain one of only 70 entries to The Gibbs Hill Challenge (due to damage on the course), a 23km cycle followed by 21km off-road run and ending with a 23km cycle back to the start. The run was held around the Abel-Tasman national park. And boy did it deliver! Unfortunately only 59 turned up which spoilt a fantastic day for those on the waiting list!
In the last few days the weather has been extremely poor winter finally seems to have arrived here in NZ after a very warm July! The preceding days saw hail, gales, rain, thunder and snow! And on Friday this happened on/off all day!
Stark contrast this morning was glorious not a cloud in the sky, but with the temperature change over the last few days this meant a heavy frost! So required caution when cycling around the windy coast line!
The roads in the Golden bay are lovely though there storm drain placements are questionable, one such caused my water bottle to go over board 4km into the race! This meant having water at the two aid stations along the magnificent run. Being a national park I didn’t want to leave rubbish so in my cool down I found it again. NZ like to make things different as well as the alternative order of racing the last 3km of the bike was along unsealed surface which made for a fun choice of paths when bunch cycling! I was in the second pack of cyclists there were some pure cyclists sharing the race (for part of the team event). It was only the technical bends (as well as the hesitancy of not knowing the road, ice and grit!) that kept me behind the first group otherwise on the flats and hills (up hill) I was with the first group.
Again NZ like to do things differently transition was the normal car park at the end of the dirt road, as I had no support the organisers took my shoes to change into. After resting my bike in a bush I collected my shoes from the organisers car and set about the run! As soon as I hit the run I was in my element these trails are so well established here and this trail had less awkward stones than the Routeburn or Milford tracks so it was kinder on my feet! The run wound round the hill side tempting you with beautiful views and when trees cleared it was breath taking blue skies and seas! Not to mention encompassing a couple deserted golden beaches! I quickly caught everyone up bar one individual who was 10 minutes ahead at the second check point and 8 minutes at the third and final check point on the run.
The ascent to Gibbs hill was gradual and when at the tip I could see right along the farewell spit and across Golden Bay. The descent was long, steep and harsh but all run able. Overall it was crucifying on my calf’s! I hit the bike and held my 2nd position on what seemed a little more familiar a road still taking caution on the gravelled bends and those that hadn’t seen the sun. I was continually changing gears to nurse the encroaching cramp in both calf’s! Over all I finish in second 10 minutes behind first place. A phenomenal race, lovely organiser and the scenic photography etched in my brain it might make a new favourite race!’
Last, but certainly not least, David Bishop and Kieran Hill both headed down to London. Ignoring the advice that Super Sprints are the future, David and Kieran entered the Elite Standard Distance instead. In an exciting race, David came third overall, with Australian Peter Kerr taking top honours. Well, at least it shows an Aussie can win something if they get lucky 🙂
Kieran finished 30th overall and 20th in his age group and went sub 2 hours in a time of 1:58:13 – tremendous going chaps!