STRATFORD Triathlon Club members enjoyed an exceptional outing at Upton Triathlon on Saturday when 13 club athletes completed the Fish Meadow-based course as ten achieved top ten age group placings, writes Victoria Jeffs.
The down-river swim was made all the more challenging as plenty of boats were still out on the water enjoying the sunshine and cheering competitors, yet oblivious to the wake their craft were generating.
The swimmers were hauled out of the water on to a pontoon before climbing steep steps up the riverbank to head into transition.
The bike section was a nicely undulating course around the Worcestershire countryside. The standard distance was a two-lap course, where if you blinked it was easy to miss the marker for the second bike loop. This small challenge ensured many athletes on the day added some extra miles to their cycle ride but, not to be disheartened and being cheered by the crowds of spectators, they all battled on.
Leading for much of the race was STC hero Richard Shephard who was so quick the race organisers had not quite arranged the entry into the second run loop, meaning he went off course for almost a kilometre before having to resort to a bit of steeplechase activity to get himself back on the right course.
Once this was remedied he proved his running ability once more to come home in first place overall. The Stratford Triathlon Club finishers came through in their droves thereafter, with multiple top ten age group achievements on the day and notable first placed finishes for Kate Wright, Richard Eden and Mike Barrett.
Results: (Standard: 1,500m river swim, 40km bike, 10km run) – Richard Shephard – swim 21:27, T1 1:14, bike 1:03:03, T2 1:10, run 37:51 – total 2:04:45, 1st overall; Matt Lyness – swim 23:32, T1 1:21, bike 1:07:48, T2 1:19, run 47:34 – total 2:21:34, 10th overall, 4th in AG 45-49; Andrew Speechly – swim 24:20, T1 1:38, bike 1:13:46, T2 1:15, run 46:32 – total 2:27:31, 17th overall, 5th in AG 45-49; Dan Lynch – swim 28:54, T1 1:24, bike 1:13:40, T2 1:29, run 43:19 – total 2:28:45, 21st overall, 5th in AG 30-34; Kate Wright – swim 21:53, T1 1:42, bike 1:23:43, T2 1:42, run 48:07 – total 2:37:06, 1st in AG 50-54; Carl James – swim 24:54, T1 2:12, bike 1:19:32, T2 2:00, run 59:22 – total 2:47:59; James Fidoe – swim 33:13, T1 1:30, bike 1:17:20, T2 1:11, run 54:49 – total 2:48:03, 12th in AG 35-39; Sarah Odell – swim 22:11, T1 2:04, bike 1:36:10, T2 1:31, run 55:30 – total 2:57:26, 5th in AG 45-49; Dave Clarkson – swim 27:47, T1 2:01, bike 1:21:47, T2 2:21, run 1:06:53 – total 3:00:48; Richard Eden – swim 35:06, T1 3:13, bike 1:37:56, T2 2:32, run 1:15:48 – total 3:34:34, 1st in AG 65-69.
(Sprint: 750m river swim, 21.5km bike, 5km run) – Simon Taylor – swim 13:17, T1 1:45, bike 46:11, T2 1:25, run 24:18 – total 1:26:55, 6th in AG 45-49; Emil Gudfinnsson – swim 13:09, T1 2:51, bike 47:37, T2 1:42, run 28:59 – total 1:34:18, 10th in AG 35-39; Mike Barrett – swim 18:41, T1 3:46, bike 45:52, T2 2:04, run 26:12 – total 1:36:36, 1st in AG 60-64.
FOUR Stratford Triathlon Club members were in Geneva, Switzerland, at the weekend, competing in the European Championships with the very best athletes in Europe.
The event, which athletes must qualify for by achieving top results in the previous season, meant the quality of the field of athletes was the very best Europe had to offer.
The swim course was based in the lake, with Yvonne Caswell stating it was a lovely place to swim. The bike course was undulating with some stunning scenery whilst the run course, however, had plenty of mini hills to keep the body challenged and add in the dozens of twists and turns it meant it was difficult to get into a good rhythm and stride.
In the sprint event Caroline Furey was competing having battled injuries just to get herself to the start line, whilst Alan Coley-Smith was super pleased with his time and 23rd in his age group.
In the standard distance event, Yvonne Caswell and Rob Ford both put in sterling performances to come 19th and 30th in their age groups respectively.
Results: (Sprint: 750m swim, 20.4km bike, 5km run) – Caroline Furey – swim 14:30, T1 2:57, bike 49:11, T2 2:14, run 31:39 – total 1:40:33, 26th in AG 16-19; Alan Coley-Smith – swim 13:18, T1 2:36, bike 39:33, T2 1:51, run 21:29 – total 1:18:48, 23rd in AG 50-54.
(Standard 1,500m swim, 21km bike, 10km run) – Yvonne Caswell – swim 26:23, T1 3:13, bike 1:18:10, T2 1:49, run 48:46 – total 2:38:23, 19th in AG 40-44; Rob Ford – swim 24:11, T1 2:21, bike 1:02:37, T2 1:36, run 40:30 – total 2:11:17, 30th in AG 30-34.