The last Sunday in August of 2014 started early at 7am in Yorkshire for some of our athletes at the Rubicon Newby Hall Middle Distance Triathlon. The conditions were close to perfect with sun though a little windy.
First to finish for Jackpot was Ady Stott in a time of 4:59:54 – just clocking in under the 5 hour mark. Next to finish was China Clarke – this was China’s first middle distance triathlon and what a start to that distance. China finished in 5:02:04 – guessing next up is the 5 hour barrier to break, China?
Colin Hill used the race to sharpen up the fast twitch muscles ahead of the 70.3 World Champs in Mont Tremblant next week in Canada. With a planned DNF, Colin cruised around the course dropping out at the planned point in 6th position, going through the first 10k of the run in 41 minutes. All bodes well for Colin next week – GOOD LUCK!
Across to Canada, Mika Brown represented Great Britain in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton in the Sprint distance, smashing out a time of 1:06:19, just minutes behind the leader. Mika was the 5th Brit to finish in his age category (20-24 years).
After fighting off an annoying injury Jackpot Racing sponsored athlete Tom Bishop took to Stockholm to compete in the penultimate round of the World Triathlon series against the biggest names in the triathlon world. After Liverpool triathlon was cancelled it was tough for Tom to know what form he was in, but im sure that was all shaken when he stepped onto the starting line. After a promising start in the World Triathlon series earlier in the year at Auckland it was interesting to see how Tom was doing through his rehab process.
A tough swim in extremely choppy and cold water split the whole field of athletes up and Tom managed to make his way out the water directly in the middle of a very strong swim pack. A harsh transition on an extremely steep hill saw Tom fall back into one of the latter cycle packs, but some incredibly good cycling saw Tom manage to work his way into the front pack. In the process, Tom managed to post the third fastest bike split behind just the Brownlee brothers, which goes to show a running injury isn’t always terrible if it turns your cycling into a huge strength!
The sprint format of the Stockholm race only left a 5km run to complete in the race, but the rain kept lashing down. Training in the Yorkshire weather meant Tom was prepared to deal with this weather better than most, and this showed as he moved swiftly out of transition in 12th place onto the run after leaving onto the cycle in 55th, gaining a smooth 43 places on the cycle discipline! After not getting a lot of running base training in it was incredible to see Tom hold onto his position, and even beat current World Series leader Javier Noya over the first half of the run before the Spaniard pulled out. A 15:02 run over 5km saw Tom come in a final positon of 13th for his best finish in a World Series event.
Seeing as Javier Gomez didn’t finish the race (and was behind Tom, when he pulled out) then technically Tom beat him… so that’s quite a nice scalp to stick in the trophy cabinet!
Jackpot Racing sent a strong quartet of teams to the National Club relay championships on 23rd August to compete in the open category of the first wave of the weekend. The student contingent were put in team 1 whilst a strong quartet of Yorkshire based athletes made up team 2 to give two strong teams to challenge for the win, whilst everyone else was split into two other teams to enjoy the day and have some inter-team rivalry!
Team 1 made up of Kieran Hill, William Cowen, Andrew Whiteley and Mika Brown made an exceptionally strong start to the race, leading the swim from start to finish and coming out over a minute ahead of second place and 3 minutes ahead of Jackpot Racing team 2. Both teams were neck and neck on the cycle, with team 1 only gaining a minute on the second discipline. A strong first run section from Jonny Mclean set his team mates Eddie Howarth, Colin Hill and Kieran Savage in a strong position going into the last three run legs, and with the chance to claw back Team 1. At this point in the race Jackpot Racing had the first place and second place teams in the open category, and 8 minutes ahead of third place!
The gap between teams 1 and 2 yo-yoed between the second and third legs but ultimately team 1 had a gap too big to overcome on just the run. Both teams finished by running down a packed finish line in front of a great crowd cheering them on to take the top two places in the open category in their first year of existence and first time in the race. Team 1 finished in 3:07:17 in tough windy conditions and team 2 finished in 3:09:56 which landed them in 5th and 7th overall for the weekend behind teams boasting Great Britain standard talent. Fair to say it was a successful outing for both teams!
Perhaps the greatest aspect of the club relays is the incorporation of all talent levels that can race at the same time, and this was encapsulated by the other two teams racing at the same time whilst still trying to post the quickest times possible. The third Jackpot team made up of Francis Riley, Jenni Muston, Ben Garrard and Richard Knell-Moore put together some strong performances to finish in 3:39:21 whilst also battling some injuries and last minute change of team members! The fourth and final jackpot consisted of Gary Simpson, Ady Stott, Neil Midgley and China Clarke managed to get round the tough conditions in 3:44:42 and did notably well considering one of their team members was battling his first competitive race in the triathlon scene in his first year in the sport.
It is safe to say that all the athletes had a great day out and there were smiles all round throughout the day (except maybe for the early start) which goes to show this format of racing is to be enjoyed by everyone. Taking home a first place and second place trophy along with two top-10 overall places in the first year of existence for Jackpot Racing, especially in such a competitive race, shows promise for next year. Who knows, maybe they can climb up some places and contend for a National title next year?!
Some impressive racing over the long distance this weekend from Tom van Rossum and Matt Wilson at Ironman Sweden. Tom smashed the 10 hour barrier with 9:38:50 to claim 14th in AG (obviously a very competitive group that one!). His splits were 1:07, 4:56 and 3:31 – good grouping and, as expected, particularly impressive bike.
Matt (no profile yet!) finished his IM debut with an impressive 11:34:55 with splits of 1:12, 5:21 and 4:49 and apparently had stamina to go chasing Swedish girls afterwards.
Back in Blighty, though you wouldn’t believe it from the race title, Ben Gerrard raced the Spanish City Sprint (exotic sounding for the rather bleak Whitley Bay). “Great Race,” said the diplomatic Ben when describing a choppy North Sea swim, a hurricane-like bike and a run which incorporated stairs. So a time of 1:13:03 for a 12th place overall demands respect. Olé!
Kieran Bones-Hill thought he was sneaking under the radar by racing the lesser-known Frome Sprint. But since he finished just ahead of my Coach, Joe beer, the beans were spilled. Kieran came 2nd overall in 1:07, beaten by a local whose knowledge of the very technical cycle section probably accounted for the difference.
The aftermath of Hurricane Bertha, sweeping rain across the country along with high winds, caused the cancellation of the Elite Wave at Liverpool Triathlon. That meant Tom and David Bishop, Kieran Bones-Hill and Will Cowen were all left high and dry whilst everyone else was nearly drowning.
Hardy soles, Ben Gerrard and Richard Knell-Moore were the only two to get some racing in over at Allethorpe. Ben, returning with a “bang” we are reliably informed, clocked a very respectable 2:14:16 especially given the biblical downpour. Richard went a bit quicker in this swim-bike-swimwithrunningshoes race, clocking 58:30 for the third fastest bike on the day and 2:08:18 overall.
Also out and about was Andrew Whiteley sporting his Jackpot kit as a guide for para-triathlete Haseeb at Liverpool. Luckily they got to race before conditions deteriorated too much and Haseeb came third behind the current European Champs and World champs.