As the alarms went off for the first race of the year, what first was a dark chilly 7am departure became a beautiful day in the southwest. With every turn of the coach wheel, the almighty sun rose, and the hearts and minds of these once weary eyed triathletes reciprocated.
We arrived early, however, the bus driver, taking a particular dislike to grassy areas, soon fixed that problem after twice parking in the middle of the run course. To him we say “Gracias” and wish him all the best in his further attempts to entertain University students (and a good luck to Colin for the further travels they may take together).
Finally, we left the coach, still with 2 hours until the first wave would begin. In the meantime, we were able to experience a sense of nostalgia as Niall Rennie (47:58.9), UoN Tri graduate with first class honours, who once stormed the BUCS race, was now storming it up in the public event. If 16th place overall wasn’t good enough, then revel in the fact that he narrowly missed the start of the race. Being fashionably late however, doesn’t have any worth in a duathlon.
Onto the BUCS race. The first wave included those elite men where GB tri suits are as common as terrible secret Santa presents. However, this year, the club stocking would hold both BUCS points and some fantastic PBs all round (and the return of Ross “My Wednesday morning alarm clock” Laycock!) The second wave included the elite women, and then the third were those most modest about their expected times.
As the race started with uprising flames, the feet of Adam “Thorpedo” Thorpe (44:13.3) caught fire running an impressive 9:49 for the first 2 mile run placing 17th overall in that discipline and 30th overall, but one of the main events for some UoN Triathletes was in T1. Kathryn “Official Exposer” Hewitt (55:12.3) was again in the hunt for the all famous T1 championship but this year Sam “Moana” Broomhead (45:28.6) claimed the title with a T1 time of 32.4 seconds, 12th overall!
Once the madness of T1 had past, it was time for the madness of the circuit. The 5 lap, 3k loop was the perfect opportunity for those hard core Harvey Hadden goers to put their practice to the test. For one regular, Emily Walton (52:56.8), this was made apparent with a fantastic and consistent 4 bike laps after just warming up the legs during the first. Stewart Somerville (50:50.9) was also incredibly consistent on two wheels; we rarely see this as usually he stops before finishing the 5 laps.
Run 2, aka “The Calve-Killer” was more like “The Stomach-Stirrer”, and after stirring up an impressive second run to finish, Jake Gluyas (49:47.3), found out what was also stirring during that run (thankfully I had gone by then and can only use my imagination). Sterling efforts from both Alex “On the Sesh” Retief (52:55.9) and Lauren Crisp (54:30.2) saw them rewarded with rare negative splits. Even the first for the University only came very close to this accolade. At 18th overall, Thomas Trimble (43:47.3) crossed the line with only a 3 second difference between the first and third leg. An amazing performance which resulted in a 7th place finish for our mens’ team (Trimble, Thorpe and Oskar De Schynkel (44:34.5)), and some delicious BUCS points to celebrate over at the upcoming Christmas social! Unfortunately, our womens’ team narrowly missed out on points, but Rosa “Just one glass” Lavelle-Hill (51:24.0) continued to dominate the University team for another year finishing 22nd overall.
Massive thank you to everyone who raced and came to watch. With so many PBs it great to see that the coaching and the hard work that everyone puts in at training is all working. Sadly, now Peter Bates has gone, I will have to search for another honourable foe to face this year. Any takers @James Harkin?
Until the next event,
Tom Bish…oh no erm Matt Phillips (48:13.2)