2011 Race Reports
Cheltenham Ladies sweep the prizes at Westonbirt Triathlon which took place in the beautiful grounds of Westonbirt Girls School.
Nikki Weatherly from Cheltenham Triathlon Club won the overall ladies prize at the Westonbirt Triathlon on Sunday May 29th in a time of 1:17:40. Nikki has been a very competent runner for many years and took up triathlon with the Cheltenham club in 2010. Not a swimmer Nikki trained with the club every week to enable her to get to a good enough standard to compete at a high level. Nikki's biking has also improved considerably by cycling with the club and picking up tips from the coaches.
Sue Bathgate won her 60+ category in a time of 1:21:45 and Cathy Booth won 3rd place in her super vet category in a time of 1:32:28. Fastest man home from Cheltenham was Doug Waymark 6th in his category with a time of 1:08:45. Jez Preston Jones was 5th in the male vet category.
The swim was in a heated indoor pool and because of the narrow lanes the swim was in most part crowded which lead to fairly slow times. Out of the 400 metre swim the transition was long but once onto the 24k bike the scenery was outstanding, passing the world famous Westonbirt Arboretum and the Royal Residence of Highgrove. The bike course was flat but on the day very windy so a challenge for all competitors. The 5k run was once again in the beautiful school grounds around Westonbirt village.
Here's my race report from the Bradford upon Avon sprint tri this morning.
After a very early start I arrived at transition about 7am in a beautiful setting down by the river Avon. Surrounded by whippets talking about their lowest gearing and seeing the marshals had 4x4 I began to wonder what I'd let myself in for!
The swim was 750m up and down the river or down and up, anyway with the current to start with. Just before we got in we were told because of the temperature it was wetsuit optional. I didn't see see anyone without a wetsuit and after wading out to the start and acclimatising to the water I could understand why. It's quite a narrow part of the river and space was tight to the turn. The return was straight into the low sun that made sighting very difficult, I could just make out some splashing in front of me and followed that. In the end the current wasn't noticeable and the biggest effort was getting out of the water by beaching myself seal like onto a jetty.
Now for the bike, normally my favourite bit but I was now apprehensive about. The first couple of miles were out of the valley, small chain ring but not too steep. Once on top the wind started to factor and made hard work of the first half. After the turn the ride got hilly and technical, there were two climbs on a par with Bubbs Hill and caution was needed on the descents due to sharp bends and poor roads.
The run however was great for me, flat and along the canal. It had a couple of U turns so I could see how I was doing against my opponents. Finally into the finish to collect my medal.
My final time was 1-21-42 which given I've never done the event before was a PB and as I believe no one else from the club was there was a club fastest as well. Definitely in the hard sprint category, worth a go if hills are your thing, me I've decided I prefer flat tracks.
James Wilkinson (pictured finishing) and I completed the short (107km) route on Monday's Cotswold Sportive. I did see Gwyn Williams at the start but he was off doing the 107 miles.
Starting in Cirencester and going as far south as Blunsdon before heading all the way back to Bubbs Hill (Green Dragon).
We both got Silver standard by completing in just over 4 hours. Lovely morning cycling in fantastic weather with good organisation.
Would recommend it for next year if people want a local sportive.
Actual times were:
Julian Bullas 4:25:52 James Wilkinson 4:28:24
Gwyn Williams 6:19:16
After a chilly start, the course began at Speech House and then followed the trails through the Forest of Dean to return to the finish at Speech House. Varied surface of road, forest trails and some nasty cobbles, together with some tough up & downhill sections, including an uphill struggle around the last few miles, BUT, it was a great event with a total of 1834 finishers (1179 men, 655 women).
Fastest time was 1:13:20, the slowest 3:52:12 with an average time of 1:59:29. We experienced the usual massive queues for the loos but I don't think anyone got stuck in the loo when the race had started this year! A tough event I thought (the course has changed & Neil reliably told me it's much tougher now) but the boys humour generally kept everyone going, and for the first time ever in a running event, I finished quicker than the average finish time, albeit by one second!!!!! Something must be going right ... Karen.