A hugely fun and successful event - thanks again to Karen for all the hard work that made it possible.
Most improved female swimmer:
Nominations: Petra Vymetalova, Elizabeth Haigh and Lola Lewis
“Swim times have come down because she listens intently to coaching tips; as a result technique has also improved.”
“She listens and applies what she is told which is rare!”
“When she joined she could hardly swim. We thought of sending her away for lessons but the Saturday coaches (and Lola) persevered and what an amazing result. First 1500m OW swim a few months later and nowhere to be seen I n the bottom lane nay more.”
The winner: Lola Lewis
Most improved male swimmer:
Nominations: Marc Roberts, Andy Ford, Tom Harman
“Not quite zero to Hero just yet but he’ll agree he started at zero and has already managed to seriously compete in triathlons. Wow.”
“At the beginning of the year we had him standing in the shallow end dipping his face in the water. Now, thanks in no small part to his extra effort in his spare time, he’s swimming properly in triathlons and improving all the way.”
Winner: Andy Ford
Most improved female cyclist:
Nominations: Petra Vymetalova, Sally Freeman, Sarah Proud, Laura Mulcahy
There was a draw in this one. We couldn’t separate the two.
“Sarah has been out on lots of club rides and has visibly improved. She never gives up and is always determined to keep up with the quicker riders.
“Petra spent last year with her seat too high. Since getting it right she has flown with some great bike-leg performances at Liverpool and in the World Champs.
Winners: Petra Vymetalova and Sarah Proud
Most improved male cyclist:
Nominations: Rob Evans, Julian Bullas, Matt Proud
“He has monstered the time trials (as has Rob Evans). More than this he participates at the club rides and helps others. He has completed some hard core cycling events through the year and also leads and organizes mountain bike trips. In the process he has become a bit of a bike demon, shedding a few stone in the process. Safe to say he is now a bit of a bike addict.”
Hours in the saddle have proven to be what‘s needed; only wish I had the same free time and dedication!”
Winner: Julian Bullas
Most improved female runner:
Nominations: Sarah Roberts, Karen Hilton, Emma Yates, Lola Lewis and Laura Mucahy
“After applying herself to some serious training this year she has come close to 40 minutes for 10k and had the treadmill flying at 16.5kph”
“I could just keep up with her last year; no chance now and my times have actually improved slightly. She has a good forefoot landing and push-off technique, plus high cadence as well.”
“Takes note of all the coaching she has received, works really hard and has consequently improved”
Winner: Laura Mulcahy
Most improved male runner:
Nominations: Rob Evans, James Wilkinson, Julian Goodwin, Josh Hand and Neil Dooley
“Always a good performer, but has excelled this year and been placed well up in several road races. Deserves the award after two years of good effort.”
“James has focused on his running and it shows”
Winner: James Wilkinson
Coach of the year
Triathletes Triathlete of the year (by a landslide!
Having entered Tockington Triathlon in 2012 with Claire Ford after having only completed 2 super sprint distances, we decided that 2013 was no exception, and enrolled Andy Ford (who only learnt to swim this year!) along as well. All of us were going head to head for the first time, and Claire and I were looking to beat last years time, particularly as this year we had 6 months of training behind us.
Andy started at a lovely time of 8am, and after travelling 40 minutes down I arrived in plenty of time to cheer him on with the phase he struggles with – swimming! This year, the exit from the pool had changed, and must admit I preferred it as it was a shorter run to transition, but none the less a bit slippy on exit! Claire started at 9.30am and then myself at 9.55am, giving us plenty of opportunity to support each other and shout much abuse when we were dawdling!
Once the 400m swim was completed in the pool, out we go onto the hilly bike course – still a fast course, but with 2 laps and 2 laps of a nasty uphill, I struggled but Claire and I still managed to beat last years time – I think we’ll both be attending the Stanway bike sessions this winter!
Next came the running part, slightly shorter than 5km, again with 2 laps and partially off road. The volunteers and competitors here are so supportive and are constantly shouting words of encouragement! It comes across as a local team event, but there are competitors that come from all over the country, including a few GBR and AUS competitors as well.
In 2014 I plan to move up to middle distance, but I think I will still be entering Tockington again as it’s an event I truly enjoy and is a fantastic event to finish on a high.
We are finally here at the World Championship London 2013. It is 6 am September 15th and after a walk through Hyde Park with Bri and our 2 dogs in the dark we arrive at transition. The air temperature is 7 degrees and there are athletes all over the place from all over the world but all is very quiet. It’s the tension of course as all of us have put in enormous amounts of training over the past year with jobs, children, grandchildren and just the hum drum of life to contend with.
I rack my bike first as we all have to be out of transition by 6.30 even though some are not starting a good 2-3 hours or more later. I am in a good place near a tree and with my helmet I can identify my bike easily. We are not allowed anything in transition except shoes helmet and small amounts of racing food. We are all racked so close as there are 3800 bike racking positions, and boy did it look like that.
I meet up with Ellie who is freezing but looking well up for the challenge, although annoyed the swim was cut short because of H & S. In hindsight I should have been too as we had done a lot of training for 1500 metre open water swimming but hey that’s what happens in triathlon sometimes and we have to get on with it! I was fairly warm as my son who was in the Special Forces had all the survival gear with him and gave me layers of merino tops to put on. I also had a t shirt and arm warmers on under my uniform as I knew it would be cold.
My swim start, in the Serpentine which was at 8am, came fairly quickly and after a short talk by officials we were off. I was was 3rdto the first buoy, however as we turned the second buoy the sun was low and guess what? After all my nagging I had clear goggles on, I could not see a thing! I had not give it a thought as the weather had been so grey and wet all week that I totally forgot. One big lesson! I manage to navigate in some way only to be bashed up at the end by a couple of women (over 60s too!). The transition was long but easy to navigate I have to praise the organisers as I did not see anyone go wrong so it was well planned.
What can I say about the bike course - just amazing. Very technical, very fast in places and very scary at times with so many athletes racing full on for their countries. I was a little cautious on my first lap as the last Worlds I raced in Hamburg I got knocked off ending up in hospital with a broken shoulder and a very bruised hip. It was laps of the bike riding though all the iconic sights, round Buckingham Palace, down the Mall, through Trafalgar Square, and along the Embankment to Tower Bridge, even going out of Hyde Park and down Park Lane the wrong way was exhilarating. I don’t suppose many of us will experience that again in our lifetimes, especially in my age group!
I came into transition only to see one of my main rivals about to go out on the run. I had a better transition than her and set off only for her to catch me in the first lap. From then on we were head to head until the last half mile where she surged and I could not hold on. The support was wonderful I was hearing come on mum, come on Sue and come on Bathgate all the way round. On reflection a longer swim could have turned it around but I have to say she was strong to the finish and the best gal won on the day.
At the finish I met up with my son, Bri and Petra who had had a really good race and still looked very fresh (youth!). It was a day of some disappointment for some, celebrations for others but an honour for us all to race for our country on home ground.
The Llanelli Triathlon is a fast course. The swim is 2 laps of the North Dock. Calm water only 2m deep. The cycle is on smooth roads and the run is on the sea front.
It was a mass start of 180 but in a wide space so not too hectic.
This year the weather was perfect. Sunshine and light winds.
The organisers and crowd were very friendly and all routes were well marked.
I'd strongly recommend this race to anyone wanting to see how fast they can go after a summer of training.