Liz Battles it out at Leeds Castle while it’s Decisions, Decsions for Andy at TriFarm and taking a dip in Alton water

25 June 2018 - By James Montgomery

With the short traithlon season well under way, several WRC triathletes were in action in events on Sunday with several more taking to Alton Water in one of the Great Swim series of events, which has become a club regular outing in recent years.

Leeds Castle Standard Distance Triathlon

On Sunday Liz Stuckey was up at the crack of dawn for the Leeds Castle Triathlon, what with registration closing at 6.30 and a 7.35 start time.

It’s a lovely venue for a tri and a very picturesque run, but a very tough event. The swim takes place around the moat of the Castle. It’s very shallow and you can stand up all the way round, but with that it’s also very murky and you can’t see the bottom. The swim was brutal, resembling a World Cup group match, with lots of kicking and punching and Liz had her goggles kicked off and had to stop and sort them out.  This may have been because the event was also a GB age-group team qualifier, so a more competitive bunch to race against!

Into T2 and then out onto the bike. It was meant to be an out and back route along the A20, but due to some temporary traffic lights in place meant there was a diversion in both directions through little villages and along horrible narrow roads making use of the aero bar extensions tricky. The roads on the rest of the course weren’t in the best condition either and the course was more undulating than expected.

Back into transistion and then onto the run. This was 2 laps of a 5k course through the grounds of the castle and was all on grass paths and was quite hilly. One hill reminded Liz of the first hill at the Hadleigh x-country in steepness, although not quite as long!

Swim:      00:33.00
Bike:        01:30:09
Run:        00:48.25
Overall:  02.55.15

Trifarm Summer Series Sprint Triathlon
A little closer to home, not quite-so-early but chilly start was the order of the day for Andy Notley taking part in the 2nd race of the Tri Farm 3-part summer series of sprint tri races.

With speculation on social media beforehand of whether the 22°C wetsuit/non-wetsuit rule would be triggered, the water temperature was recorded as 21°C pre-race and so with wetsuits optional, decisions had to be made with regards to the pros and cons of wearing one; having seen a few tri suits in the wave one starters, Andy decided to go without. His swim wave was the usual busy start before thinning out, and exiting the water in 8th place and in just over 14 minutes. The benefit of no wetsuit was soon evident with a rapid transition and out onto the bike in 3rd place. Andy quickly passed the front riders to then lead the wave 2 race!!!

For those that know the route, the climb up the west side of North Hill isn’t the nicest and Andy was soon regretting his early enthusiasm in overtaking, although holding onto the lead to the summit, before repeatedly trading places with another competitor on the delightfully long down-hill section into Woodham Walter. After finally pulling away from him on the lower stretches of the hill, the slower riders from wave 1 were soon in sight and so they had something to aim for up ahead. Sadly his bubble was burst by a competitor who seemingly breezed past at around mile 8, although he didn’t disappear too far over the horizon and Andy was pleased to finish in just under 33 minutes.

Out of T2, and as has been the case in past races for Andy, the run was his nemesis, although off the back of a few Thursday efforts sessions he’s been feeling much more confident & able, and so was not dreading it quite as much as in the past. 5 laps of the 1k tri farm lake path were required, and with the wave 1 athletes all on the track at the same time there were again plenty of targets to aim for. With the sun now well up & the temperature increasing the run was a warm one, and so he was pleased to see a reasonable pace on his watch & cross the line in just over 22 minutes.

A well organised & friendly event and being so local, no excuse not to do it again.

Swim:      00:14:11
Bike:        00:32:56
Run:        00:22:06
Overall:  01:10:28
8th overall, 7th male, 3rd in age group

Great East Swim, Alton Water
Several WRC members took the plunge into Alton Water on Saturday for the Great East Swim. This is one of the “Great Swim” series of events that also includes swim events in Loch Lomond and Lake Windemere.

2 members took on the 2 mile event (There should have been a fourth – me! – but a well-timed summer cold put paid to that!). Although still shorter than the “Ironman” triathlon swim distance, it is still – and I quote here – “a bloody long way”! However, conditions were excellent with water temperature around 19/20 degC, unlike as it has been in previous years.
Stuart Mills: 01:01:30
Wendy Martin: 01:01:39

In the 1 mile event, Anita Grainger took a late decision to enter, as a build-up to her first triathlon in a few weeks time and was glad she did.
Anita Grainger: 00:31:32

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