As the end of my A levels where looming this meant that the triathlon season was finally getting into full swing. On Thursday the 22nd June I finished my last exam and went straight to the airport which was a little bit of a rush but adds to all the excitement. We arrived in Dusseldorf, Germany late Thursday night giving me Friday and Saturday to familiarise myself with the course and to register. As with larger races we racked our bikes the night before as many keen cyclists may know this can be a daunting time as normally your bike is wrapped up in a blanket in the comfort of your home but for one night I’m sure it was fine. As most nights before a race the major carb load was on and I filled my boots with plenty of pasta and had an early night ready for race day on Sunday.

After managing to get a good night’s sleep I woke up on race day with a mixture of nerves and excitement but as soon as I pulled on the Great Britain kit for the first time I was absolutely buzzing and ready to race. As I walked across to transition there was a brilliant atmosphere, I placed my cycling shoes onto my bike and attached them in place with my elastic bands, placed my helmet on the bars and put my running shoes next to my bike filled with talc so that they can just be slipped on.

As the temperature of the water was hot enough to not wear I wetsuit I chose not to as the run from the swim to transition was about 600m so I thought that not wearing a wetsuit would save time and it was the right decision. When we were given the signal we all jumped off the pontoon into the water and then held on waiting for the claxon for the mass start. I always think that this is the tensest moments of the race, as everyone finally falls silent and everyone is in their ‘race mode’. As the swim started I felt really relaxed and held the pace which I wanted too which resulted in me having a very good swim which put me in a good position for the rest of the race. The exit from the swim was up a flight of stairs which isn’t the easiest straight out of the swim with jelly legs but when I finally reached the top I took off my hat and goggles and started the long run to my bike. Once I was finally in transition I placed my hat and goggles in the box provided, quickly put on my helmet and headed off on the bike.

So far all was going well. I headed out on the bike course feeling good however what was to happen next was not what I planned! I knew that this was a very technical bike course before I set out but what we didn’t realise that when we were in the swim it had rained which made the bike course quite slippery. I took the first few corners carefully but unluckily on one of the corners heading out of the town to go out over the bridge my rear wheel slipped from underneath me and there was only one way I was going and that was down with my bike still attached! It skidded across the floor but I wasn’t going to give up at this point, I’d been waiting and training for a year for this race and this wasn’t going to stop me from carrying on. So I got up knocked my handle bar hoods back into place and carried on. As I looked down I could see a few grazes and blood but at this point I wasn’t in pain as the adrenaline had taken over.

I carried on and was seeing quite a few people in the same state in which I was which ensured me that it wasn’t just my clumsy self that made my come off but that this course was causing a lot of problems for the other competitors as well.

As I got to the end of the 20km bike I dismounted and headed back into transition to rack my bike and get my running shoes on. I headed out on the run feeling quite good and managed to gain a bit of time back which I lost on the bike and managed to finish 9th which I was happy with as I aimed for a top 10 . After I finished the pain then started to set in , I was shown to a first aid tent where I was checked over and thankfully I had no broken ribs just soft tissue damage and a lot of bruises but as this was my first time representing Great Britain it was an amazing experience which could never be replaced. My first European championships where the best racing experience which I ever had and hopefully the Europeans next year in Scotland will go a bit better for me. 

Katie Edge

DanFinish01Ironman Mallorca 70.3

That’s it! I’ve finally done it; I’ve entered Ironman Mallorca 70.3 for May 2016…… Now how do I break it to the new girlfriend that I’m going to be spending a lot of my free time training and our first holiday away together will also be with the SYTri group……. This isn’t going to go down very well.

ky for me Rachel understood what the training would be, as she had researched what would be expected of me.

I had already experienced doing many sprint and standard triathlons over the past couple of years but this was yet the biggest challenge I have faced. I knew the training was going to be a lot harder and that is what worried me the most. How do I fit shift work, a family and my training altogether?

Having booked 2 weeks in Lanzarote for the February of the same year with Sam and the others, I knew then I would get to train in all 3 elements of the sport and in warmer conditions. This would be a good insight to what it would be like on the day, little did I know that wouldn’t be the case.

I trained as much as I could, go to as many swim and cycle sessions as possible. I also did a lot of cycling and running in the area where I lived as the roads around me were perfect, however this soon got harder when I moved in with Rachel, who lived in Wolverhampton. The area was a lot busier and I was now also commuting between Wolverhampton and Telford.

At Christmas, Rachel had bought me my very own custom bike box to transport my bike for the big day so I knew she stood by me.

It all became very real when my Email inbox said I had received an email from Sam which would contain my training plan leading up to the event. I just couldn’t register what I needed to do.

Even though my training had become reduced I was never going to give up. The flights and accommodation had been all organised and I had too many people who had put their faith in me; I knew I couldn’t let them down.

I even joined a local gym that did boot camps and spin classes, just to keep my fitness up on days I couldn’t get out and train for one reason or another.

Well the day had come that we flew out to Mallorca. I was sat on the plane thinking there was no going back now. My parents were already out there and Rachel was traveling with me and the rest of the group. When we arrived at the hotel, it was straight into training. Bikes put together and off we went for a cycle. This was a good thing as it gave me an idea of what the roads where going to be like.

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While out on the road I was amazed at how many people were out cycling and running but like us, this would be preparation for the main event.

Going out on the roads and with the others gave me a confidence boost that I needed. I’m going to do this and I don’t care if it takes me the full 8 hours.

After a couple of days cycle training (would have been also some sea swimming, however I didn’t set the alarm correctly and I missed it) it was now the day before the biggest racing event I ever competed in.

It was a busy day as I had to go for my race safety briefing and collect by bags. I then needed to pack my bags and label them up correctly, to then go back to transition to rack my bike, hang my bags and to get my timing belt. It was a day of organisation and for an early night.

Why the hell is my Alarm going off so early in the morning while I’m on holiday???

That’s when I realised this wasn’t a holiday and today was race day. Not only that but it was also raining. We’ve had lovely weather all week, so today of all days it had to rain.

Never the less I was up, changed and ready to go.  Let’s do this!

DanSwimExit01When walking to the beach there was a wave of people in wetsuits all heading the same direction. The sea was choppy and the rain was bouncing off the ground. Today was not the day to be a hero or to push my limits, today I needed to stay safe. Not just for me but for my family also as they would be spending the next 8 hours in the pouring rain watching me complete this.

That time came and I entered the water…. count down begun.

The swim was very different to what I had done before due to it being choppy, it was harder but I managed to get round and out to transition.

Existing transition was a big boost that I needed; standing there in the rain was my mom, my dad and Rachel. They were cheering and shouting me. Time to make them proud and I cycled off.  This would be the only time they would see me on the cycle part until I returned to transition.

The cycle part was an experience, people had fallen off their bikes and injured themselves, others were standing at the side of the road holding out their inner tyre tube in the hope someone would stop and help but I just had to get my head down and get through it.

On the home straight coming back into transition I heard Sam shouting ‘hurry up Rachel is waiting for you’ and sure enough there were my mom, dad and Rachel standing there in the rain cheering me in…. they were soaked from the rain but they also had the biggest smile on their faces to see me safe.

All that was standing in the way of me and that medal was 13.1 mile run, that was 2 ½ laps of the course.

So back out of transition I go. The rain had calmed down which made it easier, time to put my foot down and get this run finish.

My pace was good but I was getting tired and when I started to think that I was never going to complete it in the time frame, pops up my parents and Rachel again cheering me on.

Rachel being a runner herself and taken on big challenges in the past knew how important it was to shout encouragement. Positive mind back in focus, best foot forward and off I go.

DanRun01I will complete this, not just for me but them also.

The next few miles went by with a blur and before I knew it the turning for the finish line was approaching rapidly. That is when I finally realised I was actually going to complete it.

As I turned the corner to the home straight and the finish line, there they were my parents and Rachel standing there at the finish line waiting for me to cross looking so proud of me and what I had just done

I became so overwhelmed with emotion….. I will not cry!

Then I crossed the finished line. I did it! I have just completed the 2016 Ironman Mallorca 70.3.

And if my emotions couldn’t be any more worse, there was the rest of the SYTri Team waiting for me to finish. Not only had they suffered the past few hours competing in the same event and in rain but they waited around for me to finish.

That’s it I’m a blubbering mess now!

By This point Rachel was an emotional mess and had broken down in tears and as soon as I saw her and held her I yet again turned into a blubbering mess. I didn’t realise how emotional it would be for her as a spectator to watch this.

I was just so thank full that her and my parents where here to witness what I had done but I was also thank full that they stayed out in the rain all day to support not only me but the rest of the team also.

SYTri is a fantastic club to be a part of. Everyone looks out for each other and you are made to feel like you are family. You don’t have to be brilliant at Swim, Bike or Run to be part of the team. You just have to be determined.

Anyway Rachel couldn’t have found the experience of watching the Ironman that bad… I mean she has even joined the SYTri family herself. So it looks like she will get her own back on me but do you know what…. I don’t care! I will be there for her just as I know she will be there for me

Daniel Urquhart

Why do we do it?

IMUK2015_002So after I completed Ironman Wales in 2013 and prior to that publicising my ambition to complete only one Ironman, 2015 saw me put my name down for yet another full distance triathlon, Ironman UK, Bolton!

With the Tenby experience still vivid in my head, I had a fairly good idea about the level of training which was required, what worked for me on and off the bike and how running a marathon off a 112 mile bike felt. Prior to this everything was a concern. I had also developed a niggling leg injury after Tenby and with Sam and Neil’s comments during our Mallorca trip still ringing in my ears “too many wasted miles…..what were you hoping to gain from that session??” I had decided to change my training schedule this time around and cut down on the miles and try and balance the work, family, training balance a bit better.

From discussions I had had with other club members who had completed Bolton, I was reassured that the course was nothing compared with Tenby and there was nothing too concerning. As a result I made the following training plan (This is possibly not advisable to everyone). Monday, rest day, a good start to the week! Tuesday, Mere swim at Ellesmere. This started 3 months out from the event and initially was only one 1200m lap in 12 deg waters. As the weeks went by I progressed to two laps and this was the norm for the last 6 weeks. For Tenby I had also been going to the pool twice a week but my speed had never increased so for Bolton I knocked this on the head. Wednesday was spinning. I decided to give this a go to bring some structure to my cycling/run bricks. The session was 1 ½ hours at a fairly high intensity and the runs straight off the back of this ranged from between 4-8 miles. Thursday night was bike night and these rides were approximately 2 hours long with a pace 4-5mph quicker than race pace. Friday night generally ended the way the week started, another rest day! That said, I did have quite a few 5k races on the Friday which were great fun and a nice social event compared to the many solo miles. Saturday and Sunday would be decided nearer the time to make the most of the weather and avoid the wind and rain which seemed to be the norm in the early weeks. One day would be a run and the other would be a long bike just under race pace with a short brick after, max 3 miles. The bikes started at around 60 miles and ramped up to the 100 mile mark with only 3 rides topping the tonne. That said, one 93 mile ride was off-road with Jamie in the Dorset Gravel Dash. The runs slowly increased to the half marathon mark and this was quite regular. Going much beyond that distance was rarely achieved and only two notable runs went higher. 15 steady miles the day before the Cardiff Olympic distance Tri and a 19 mile run along Blackpool promenade whilst visiting my Father-in-law was about it. My thought was that to avoid a potential reoccurrence of my leg injury and with Bolton being an easier route than Tenby, if I got to 13.2 miles on the day the crowd would get me around the rest.

Race Day.

The Saturday was a lovely sunny day, racking was all incident free and my wife and I shared a table at lunch with Mr & Mrs Mawhinney, everything was good in the world! Sunday morning was a whole new ball game however. The rain was persistent at best, horrendous in the main. The rolling start worked really well and if anyone is nervous about an open water swim, this was a great introduction. For me in a strange sort of way I enjoy the argy-bargy of a mass start and like knowing that if you pass the person ahead of you on the road then you have gained a place. This format leaves you wondering. The swim came and went incident free. Sighting buoys 400m away proved difficult in the rain but I had plenty of people to follow. Despite only one swim per week in training, I exited the water in 1 hr 16 min 44 seconds, 15 seconds slower than Tenby. So far so good.

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One of my concerns prior to the race was what to wear on the bike. My options were my Tri suit (thanks Mr. Ingram) and a waterproof jacket or arms and a cycling top over my tri suit. I don’t cope well with the cold so the rain jacket was winning the vote but after a discussion with my mentors over lunch the day before and the friendly SYTri officials on the day I opted for the arms and cycle top. The weather forecast had promised for better weather later in the day and I am getting better at convincing myself that pain is temporary and it will improve later. As a word of advice I received from Melissa in T1. I knew I had a band of merry supporter’s en-route and I had planned to take my rain jacket off and throw it on the side of the road when I passed them if the sun came out. Whilst this is not classed as outside assistance, it is littering! It needs to go in your back pocket or in a bin. The first few hours on the bike were tough. Horrendous rain, lots of standing water and the real pain, strong headwinds. I stuck to my race plan, kept a real steady pace, and save my matches for the crowds on the top of Sheephouse lane, Hunters Hill and anywhere else my crew of supporters were congregated. The support on the course was amazing (almost as good as Wales) and in truth I probably should have packed some more matches. With 106 miles done I was on the final stretch back to T2 when out of nowhere I past a Mr Dolphin supporting on his bike. This would not be the last time he would provide encouraging words of wisdom as he continued to pop up during the run. His support along with Mr Onions was really greatly appreciated. I entered T2 as I did in Wales to the words “Well done” as Tony Smalley welcomed me off my bike. These little moments stand out in what can all turn into bit of a blur. I finished the bike in 6 hrs 7 min 38 seconds, just under 10 min quicker than Wales.

IMUK2015_001I’m sure in hindsight I could have pushed a bit quicker on the bike but I was so concerned about getting through the run that I had held quite a bit back, and boy am I glad I did. I felt really good during the early stages of the run and went through the first half marathon in about 1hr 50min which considering the early terrain and my goal of under 4hrs, I was well on track. During the first lap of the run it was nice to share the same roads with the pros who were already donning a number of lap bands. It didn’t take long however after the first lap for me to realise something, this run is brutal! It wasn’t so much my legs which were telling me to slow down but more the mind, and it’s a powerful thing when it wants to be. The second lap was a real struggle and my average pace started creeping towards the 9min/m mark and that was dangerously close to the 4hr marathon goal I had set myself. With my Wife, Mum, the twins and friends on the route (as well as Dolphin and Onions), I picked up the pace in sections only for the walk through the feed stations to slow considerably (I admit to a walk!). I was still managing to run between the feed stations which was more than can be said for a lot of the other competitors but the gradient out of Bolton was tough and the early morning rain would have been a welcomed cooler as the temperature increased. The mind however decided to play ball for the last lap. With 1 hour to complete the last 6 mile loop to beat the 4 hour goal, I set off up the drag out of Bolton with a spring in my step knowing it was for the last time. I took my red and final band off a cheery lady who was probably surprised as I gave her a big sweaty hug and told her “I love you”. I reached the top turn in a time of 32min and from there it was all downhill with the mass of supporters waiting in the city centre to carry me along. The streets of Bolton were lined with supporters and the atmosphere was special as I approached the Ironman red carpet. As in Tenby, I had planned to take my trusty Welsh flag off my team and loft it above my head for the finishing photo. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and I had 5 seconds to come up with a plan B. It was at that moment the heel kick last adopted during the Llandudno Triathlon jumped into my head as I took flight across the finish line. I completed that last 3 miles in 23 minutes to finish my Marathon in 3 hours 55 minutes and 9 seconds. Dave Mawhinney was in the finishing tent and I pulled up a chair and enjoyed a chat and a slice (or 3) of pizza which at the end of Tenby, talking and certainly eating were both off limits.

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And this leads me onto my initial question, why do we do it? Yes, I need the structure and something to train for. Yes you gain and reinforce close friendships like Simon Smith who I shared a training lap of the bike route with and who did amazing on the day. Like Andy Griffiths who is doing Ironman Wales this year (and will also do amazing) as I dragged him swimming every Tuesday night and introduced him to the inspirational Mr & Mrs Mawhinney who have been a constant wealth of information and support. And Dan George who I have spent hours running with like the morning of my brother’s stag do. When you think nothing of running 13.2 miles but dread the thought of drinking for the next two days!

The moment I had looked forward to the most and what had pushed me on during all my training days was not the crossing the line but what happens 50m beyond it. Meeting up with my Wife Nikki, Mum and the team of supporters and enjoying that special moment with them. I was really conscious that after my first Ironman I was in a fairly bad way and spent the next few hours after the event hidden away in the big white tent. This time I wanted to enjoy the moment with them and not leave them hanging around anymore after a full day of cheering me on. This was achieved and I managed to get what I missed and had played on my mind since Tenby, the Why we do it!…..A photo with everyone who had provided me with such great support over my journey.

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So is that my Ironman days over? Not likely. I finished Bolton in 11 hours 33 minutes and 18 minutes. 181st overall and 30th in my age group. I’m sure I could have gone a bit quicker in places but for the fear of finishing a mess, I stuck to my plan and knocked 25 minutes of my previous time.

I have a fantastic picture with my wife at the end and one with my full support team on the day but unfortunately not one solely with my Mum. She said it doesn’t matter and she will hate to think she is the reason for my next Ironman but I will get that picture!

Salford Standard Distance

11203046_10153129074269436_80784913762219466_nSunday 26th July 2015-07-30

So it was Saturday 10th January 2015 and I’d just entered the standard distance tri at Salford in July, this was recommended by so many members and seemed relatively flat which was a big plus to me.

It was due to be my second standard distance tri after Ellesmere, however this sadly got cancelled. It meant I was even more nervous than expected due to never completing these distances together; I also mistakenly hadn’t even done them in any of my brick training sessions. Would this prove to be a big rookie error on my part?

For the week beforehand I had been tempted to watch the weather forecast but managed to refrain myself so as not to jinx it, this was because I wanted a dry bike course, as it is my strongest discipline of the 3. On the Saturday I travelled up to Salford in glorious sunshine, it looked so promising until I looked at the forecast for Sunday; light rain starting at 11am, and then getting slowly heavier as the day got on. My swim start time was 10.20am, which meant I would be out on the bike as it started raining.

So Sunday morning arrived and I headed to transition to rack my stuff and there were so many friendly black and orange members there to chat to. What was even nicer, was there were going to be 9 of us in wave 5 (Nick.S, Steve.P, Stephen.D, Dan.U, Ian.F, David.M, Matt.A, Andy.M and me), so there was a lot of friendly banter in the build up which eased everyone’s nerves.

11070169_1183276858365829_4208086085897157540_oThe swim started and went better than I thought. I got out in 34:02, which as a breast stroker I was thoroughly happy with. My T1 time was clocked at 2:40, this included quite a long dash to the transition area and removal of the wetsuit. The bike leg was 6 laps of a 6.6km circuit, this I was pleased about and went really well with me stopping the clock in 1:15:15 (57th out of 352), with an average speed of 19.6mph showing on my Garmin. With 5 laps out of 6 being completed in the rain and on a wet and slippy circuit meant I was really pleased. T2 was again slow at 1:31 but I’d chosen to put socks on to make the run more comfortable, this definitely worked. The run was 4 laps of a 2.5km course and I completed them in a time of 50:51, this I found hard going although I tried to smile as much of it as possible. It may have been easier and quicker though if I hadn’t lost my second energy gel on the bike course. My overall time ended up as 2:44:17, which I was ecstatic with, as I’d set a target beforehand of 2:45:00.

Looking back on the weekend I couldn’t have asked for it any better (apart from the rain) as it was really well organised and marshalled, with everyone smiling, clapping and encouraging you on every lap along with all the spectators who had come out in the pouring rain. The support from all members was amazing both from the sides (Mrs.M) and when seeing and passing fellow members out on the bike and run courses, it definitely felt like we could have been racing at home in Shrewsbury.

All in all a good weekend was had by all members and I am looking forward to going back in the future to try and beat my time.

Deva Divas Triathlon

20006323036_ecece51448_zI entered this way back in March, thinking it would be a lovely summers day triathlon with a lovely bunch of like minded ladies. The lovely bunch of like minded ladies bit was correct, but the weather was hideous. Rain and a cold river didn’t make for a great start. My goggles were shockingly bad and teamed with a cold river, I breast stroked most of the 750m swim coming out the river towards the bottom end of the field of ladies add in a time of 20 mins.

 

This was my first ever transition where I’ve had to ditch the wetsuit and just thought about the tips that Claire gave me from Tri Claire in Oswestry in just roll it down and pull it off – no airs and graces. Transition time was just over a minute – pretty pleased with that!

The bike route was flat with just a few little undulations, I took over loads and loads of the other ladies and powered on. My average speed was just a shade under 18mph for the 25km course. The SYTri interval track sessions have definitely been helping me with speed.

Got back for the run and again my transition time was just over a minute – I think I was faffing with my Garmin too much and could cut this down further. The run was a 2.5km loop which we had to complete twice. It was actually a nice route and reminded me very of the Telford parkrun course. I finished this in 22:53 secs which is only about 30 secs off my 5k pb. I really do need to go and do a parkrun soon to see if I could beat my pb on fresh legs.

louiseTo see the finish sign in sight was a great feeling, lots of cakes and water and even wet wipes! Lovely touch. Goody bag was ace, a whole race pack of High 5 gels and a bottle, some 9 bars and a casual t-shirt that I’d actually wear. It was really well organised and a big thank you must go out to the volunteers and marshals who gave up their time on a cold, wet Sunday morning.

Looking at the results, I came 10th out of 52 ladies in my age group of 34-39yrs  and 53rd out of 272 ladies overall.

Read more race reports from Louise here.

Goddard in peak form with victory at triathlon

2987801940Article By Stuart Dunn, Shrewsbury Chronicle
Shrewsbury’s Annica Goddard, a member of town triathlon club SYTri, claimed an excellent victory in the women’s race at the Peak District Triathlon.
Goddard, 36, from Copthorne, clocked an impressive time of 02:26:07, beating runner-up Hannah Bridger by two minutes.
It was the second Peak District Triathlon with nearly 500 athletes from all over the UK flocking to Chatsworth.
 The new run and the amended cycle route with the challenge of the demanding hill were very well received, and the event was hailed a huge success by organisers, athletes and spectators.
 Many athletes were racing for charity, with Macmillan Cancer Support the official charity partner for the event.
The swim took place in the river Derwent, starting from the 18th century Paine’s Bridge.
The new cycle route was a single loop taking in some of the most beautiful scenes in the Peak District, and the run route was amended to include an extra loop beyond the Hunting Tower for the standard distance athletes.
 In the standard distance race, Paul Hawkins clocked the fastest time in the water and kept extending his lead to take the title in a time of 01:56:16.
Runner up Adam Robinson finished in 02:02:24 and his brother, under-20 athlete James Robinson, took third.
Benjamin Goodall of Durham University Tri Club won the sprint race in 01:10:00 while Alice Sharpe of Manchester Triathlon Club defended her sprint title and finished ninth overall in 01:17:59.

ITU World Triathlon Series – London 30th May

London triSounds very grand!

Nothing like jumping in at the deep end for your first proper adult triathlon! At the end of May, I took part in the Sprint event in Hyde Park, along with just over 1000 other men and women of all ages and abilities.

My race took part on Saturday afternoon, just 24 hours ahead of the real stars of the show – the Brownlees, Christensen!   What was really special was that the race course was very similar to the 2012 Olympic Triathlon; swim in the Serpentine and bike and run around Hyde Park itself.

London tri 2As you’d expect, the race was brilliantly organised and there were triathletes there from all over the world, even in the mass events.   I really enjoyed the swim and posted a good time (36th fastest competitor) and transition was good. My bike (22k) was a lot slower than some of the faster guys, but I was happy with my 5k run and my overall time left me in 148th place overall and the 4th in my age group.
The result was OK, I know now that I need to work hard on my cycling. However, it was wonderful to have completed the race injury free. It was a great experience, and I’d really recommend it to anyone, whatever his or her level. The beer at the end was very welcome (non alcoholic of course!)

Jack Thorpe

Sophie what a Deva……….

Sophie03The Deva Triathlon is an Olympic distance triathlon held in the centre of the historic City of Chester. It is currently in its 16th Year and is run by the City of Chester Triathlon Club members.
I originally entered the Deva Triathlon as a tester for the distance and in preparation for the Salford Olympic Triathlon at the end of July. Little did I know when I entered there were going to be over 1000 competitors and that it was a qualifying event for  the World Championships and European Championships (sending me in to panic as it was my first Olympic distance triathlon). However despite the high standard, there were also a good proportion of beginner triathletes.
The course was great and I really enjoyed the route for all three disciplines. The Swim was 850m upstream and then 650m back downstream. Despite being upstream the current wasn’t overly strong and so was suitable for all abilities.
The Bike route was a single loop on a mixture of open and closed roads into Wales via Eccleston, Rossett and Borras and back into Chester via Alford and Boughton. This was a fairly flat course which suited me well as I am not great at hills!
The Run route was by far the hardest discipline for me. It was a little undulating and included running over two bridges, the Old Dee Bridge as well as the suspension bridge – mostly on tarmac but also some gravel on the riverbank paths. The rest of the route continues out on to the Groves and in the Meadows with the finish being at the Bandstand, a truly City Centre race. Despite the run being 3 loops which seems to make things harder, the support that you were getting was amazing and kept you going when you were having those demotivating low points.

For those of you who need a little more persuading the goodie bag wasn’t bad at all, although you did not receive a finisher medal. You were presented with a great t shirt, various gels, recovery drinks and a drinks bottle along with coke, bananas, flap jack and Jaffa cakes – all provided at the end.
All in all this was a very well organised race with very friendly marshals throughout the whole route, and I would highly recommend it anyone who is either just starting out at the Olympic distances like myself of those of you wishing to qualify for World and European age groups.
Sadly I missed out on the European Qualification by 9 seconds….no walking on the run next time!!

The Tinman 2015

M&S01The original Tinman triathlon was held in Madeley in 1984 and ran successfully for 20 years – it is believed to have been one of the very first triathlons in the UK. In 2015 a team based at Wrekin College in Wellington decided to revive the race with sprint, super sprint and relay formats to encourage both new and experienced participants to take part.

It was probably during one of our many run track warmup chats that we decided to enter – Sarah because it was local to her home and Marilyn…well it was another piece of bling to add to the collection which could be shoehorned in to the only free Sunday in May and had the added advantage of holding a Junior Aquathlon race in the afternoon for Marilyn’s daughters to race in as well.

M&S02The day dawned “a bit damp” and everything was soaked through by the time transition was set up. The pool-based swim was enlivened by a deep-end exit which tested the strength left in the arm muscles and a long-ish (carpeted) run to transition. It was raining quite heavily by now so a good job we were already wet. The bike route was straightforward and easy to navigate and the run was on two fields – one of nicely-mown grass and the other a slightly testing cross country format which drained the small reserves of energy we had left.

Our report would not be complete without mentioning the vast selection of fabulous homemade cakes which were available – always the mark of an excellent event.

The day was very well organised and ran extremely smoothly, with friendly marshals and a fabulous medal at the end. Highly recommended – it would be great to see even more black and orange there next year!

Report by members Marilyn Hunt and Sarah Clues

Sarah and Tracey’s adventure down South……….

S&T01Here is what coaches Sarah Exon and Tracey Hayward had to say about the 3.8K River Arun Swim

Sarah sold this event as a holiday on the South Coast, with sunshine and ice-cream…..reality, freezing wind, grey cloud and £6 parking (being from the North/Midlands, we were not used to Southern prices!).

Thankfully during the safety briefing the weather gods let us glimpse a small patch of blue sky and a break in the cloud revealed the sun – the placebo effect now on board meant we even believed that the river was 15 degrees (understand that is the standard temperature for a river, ask Sam!).

So the water is a beautiful light aqua colour, going with the tide so fast flowing, sadly to Sarah’s peril from leaky goggles the fact that the water was salty soon led toS&T02 stinging eyes.

Phonetic mix of arms, legs, bodies, swim caps follows the blast from the klaxon, but apart from people bashing the swim was glorious, so fast as they started us off a bit late so it was almost at full flow – we will however take the times we achieved as a damn find result, both sub 1 hour for an Ironman swim distance:

Sarah 52:30 Tracey 55:40

S&T03A well organised event and would recommend it, especially if training for a sea swim, that salty taste is just odd……….plus for those with hair, it really wrecks havoc with the locks and don’t get us started on our taste pallets post swim.

We had a great time, even managed to get changed in what turned out to be a very popular car park with holiday makers without being arrested and dragging SYTRI’s name into the mud!

Good Times!

S & T

River Arun S & T still in holiday mode