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Headed to North Yorkshire on Saturday to take part in a team relay. There was to be a full weekend of racing centered around Castle Howard just outside York.
The two-day triathlon festival sees the addition of the Mixed Team Relay, the new triathlon race format that has recently been added to the program of events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Mixed Team Relay comprises of 2 women and 2 men individually completing an ultra-short triathlon of 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.5k run before handing over to the next team member to do the same. I’m told the course here today for the bike section was slightly longer at 6k.
Jemma, Steve, me then Harry was the order we planned to race in. I met these guys at University, part of the Leeds Triathlon Developmental Squad. I’m in the BUCS squad but we do get to train alongside each other sometimes. I was really excited when they asked me if I wanted to take part today.
The weather forecast for the morning wasn’t good, the heavens opened on our drive up so started to think about the wet conditions on the hills but it started to dry up and by the afternoon the sun was out.
The relays didn’t start until the mid-afternoon so had plenty of time. Met up with everyone about 12:00pm sat in front of the live band for a while before registration opened. But before we could register we had to choose a team name and decide what order we were to go in. So funny, laughing at the crazy names we came up with. In case you haven’t heard the team was called “Whitney Warriors” I said no choose something else but was out voted.
So we registered then got ourselves set up in transition. After a race briefing which served to remind us of the rules Jemma headed off to the lake ready to start. The first team member would start in the water at the Great Lake in front of the boathouse. It was a deep-water start for all the first athletes. The rest of us had to wait back at transition. We would have to wait to be tagged before we could start our run down to the lake, wade in and swim along the front of the boat house then go between the start buoys to do our loop, we would then exit again were we got in, the muddy water and weeds added to the fun.
We all decided to race without wetsuits today to save time in transition, it was optional but the water was warm also after we were tagged we didn’t want to have to run to the lake in our suits. It was a short swim so more reason to go harder, basically it was a straight up sprint with our heads down. Everyone had a tough end to the swim section anyway with the long up hill 400m run back to transition.
Jemma was first back out the water having a cracking swim, back from the bike leg she had opened the gap up even more, by the end of her run I think she had gained the team about a 5 minutes lead.
It was really exciting to watch, stood in transition waiting for the next racer ready for the hand over, I had a long nervous wait. We all kept cheered each other on each time we came into transition.
It would take to long to do a running commentary individually but basically Jemma, Stephen and Harry were amazing, I felt like a newbie amongst these guys.
Simple Race Report
T1 this was quick and easy with no wetsuit and only the helmets to put on, it was out of transition and onto the bike course. Let’s just say it was not a flat course but pretty straight forward, an out and back.
T2 again everything went as planned, bikes racked on with trainers. It was an undulating hilly cross-country run leg round the spectacular estate grounds.
Coming in over the finish line to a swirl of noise and lifting the banner over our heads. The announcer once again shouting out our team name, echoing those words “Whitney Warriors” it was so funny.
It was such a great event in fact the whole day was just fantastic fun loads of team spirit around. Thanks to the organizers, marshals and volunteers they did an amazing job cheering us all on.
A big thank you to these guys Jemma, Stephen & Harry for doing an incredible job, they are so talented.
We took our spot on the podium
To help celebrate the opening City Road Club Hull launched a race evening, running two circuit races on the 1km long traffic free cycle circuit.
The first race was the Women’s (all categories including Junior females) that started at 6:30pm followed by the Men’s Category 3 & 4 (including male juniors) and this started at 7:30pm.
I wasn’t sure what kind of form I would have because I haven’t done any efforts like this for a long time, I don’t get to race often for the Cliff Pratt Racing Team being away at University this year but now I’m home for the summer I’m hoping to get out on my bike more. I went quicker than expected and I always like to give it a go. The plan tonight for me was to see what I could do by the 20k mark, was quite pleased with the time, a PB for me 34:39.
Well done to everyone who took part it was a great night!
You won’t meet a nicer bunch of people than City Road Club Hull. Loved it! Thanks for a really well organised event and to the volunteers for their shouts of encouragement. It was such a hard race on that circuit with a headwind.
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Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds Weekend
SWIN - NO BIKE - RUN
Rolled out of bed for pre-race breakfast on Saturday morning, none of the travelling or staying over in hotels this weekend for me. Dad drove up early Saturday morning to pick me up so had quick cupper before we set off – sorry it wasn’t Yorkshire Tea ha ha.
Roundhay Park is a lovely venue and I had raced the course last year. Quick ten minute drive from where I’m living we pulled into the parking area, grabbed my bag and had a steady walk to registration. Even though I have raced here before I still wanted to go over to check out the route to run in and run out then spent a couple minutes in transition setting up. Warmed up with some gentle jogging and drills had plenty of time to get to race start, which is always good no last minute panics.
Feeling pretty good on my swimming at the moment was looking forward to it. I was very happy with my time considering I went of course as well, I was heading for the wrong blue matted area to exit the water until the man in the canoe pointed me in the right direction but can’t complain over half a minute PB from last year. The plan was to come out sub-10 min but would have achieved that if I hadn’t taken the scenic route so all good.
Wanted to make up time after the, shall we call it a small error so no messing with the wetsuit on the run to T1 which pulled back the time. The night before I had looked at the maps of the route, I’d call the run section for me a challenging course – as you know I hate up hill running. What’s that saying? Hills are speed work in disguise. I would never put me; speed or hills in the same sentence unless I was going down them, love the downhill. If only I could find a triathlon with an all down hill run course – heaven.
It was a decent transition out on to the run with a solid pace, a lot quicker than I had expected. Slippery in parts but all added to the fun, I really enjoyed my run today.
It was great to cross the line, all the hills and thrills and to find out I had finished 3rd for the Bronze Medal in my category and to come 5th overall is a sign that I’m over injury and proves what a difference consistency makes, very pleased with my progress.
After the race we did the usual ritual of having a wonder round the expo village, dad had another cup of tea, this time it was the good stuff. Then we headed back to the parking area to find the car. I say this because we did loose the car believe it or not. We had no idea were we had left it. It was a field full of vehicles and all we knew was that it was amongst them all somewhere. We walked round and round for ages just couldn’t find it. Upside at least all the extra walking was good as it helped to ease of my legs and stopped them stiffening up too much.
Women's Team - Bronze Medal
Lately I’ve been feeling pretty positive, I am really enjoying the University life and the training. This year I am not trying to qualify for the Europeans or World’s; it was a decision I made before starting University.
Since my last update I have pretty much had my head down with revision for exams, balancing training and done a couple of events with podium finishes. The thing is when it comes to writing my race reports I’m always full of good blogging intentions.
A few weeks have passed since I crossed the finish line, it’s a little late but here it is:
It’s known to be very competitive and the depth of competition was amazing, ask me if I was nervous!
Saturday we travelled down to the seaside town of Southport or maybe I should be saying across from were I live. Registration opened between 13:00 – 17:00 so this allowed me to collect my race pack and timing chip to minimize stress on race day. Later at the hotel I got my bike and helmet stickered up with my numbers so on Sunday morning this only left me the temporary number tattoos to do.
I always think after I’ve entered a standard, what have I done? This will be my second full size triathlon comprising of 1500m swim, 40k bike finishing with the 10k run.
Race day came and my start time was slightly inconvenient time of 9:05am only because we had to be at the event early because my brother was racing his first open water sprint today and he was in wave 1 at 7:00am so early start, would have a couple of hours to hang around.
Because we had registration the night before it was straight to transition to rack the bikes. It was a massive transition; I set up early as I was already there so thought might as well get rid of my bike. I was very organized and my bike sat on the racking rather lonely. I then decided to take anything that wasn’t vital for the race back to the car whilst my brother went to warm up. I had plenty of time to watch the start of the first few waves.
On with the day!
I said my goodbyes to mum and dad and went off on my own to warm up. In seemingly not time at all I was changing into my wetsuit at the swim start. The swim is in the bay in front of Waterside Lodge, and the route is two loops around an island before exiting via a slipway on the opposite side of the bay. Allot of great athletes here today, you could feel the excitement all wanting to do well for their University. The plan was to try maintaining contact with the swimmers at the front. I felt good on the swim, following some pretty quick feet to the first buoy, I even decided to pull past as felt comfortable so wanted to step it up a gear and exited the water feeling pretty chuffed with myself.
A decent T1 and a quick jump onto the bike course aboard my Cervelo. This was a day for none drafting. My cycling is feeling stronger than last year and I focused on going as fast as I could even though it was windy. The course that was brilliant for this style of racing – two laps on a fast and flat closed road with a few roundabouts thrown in to add to the fun. I was in a determined mood and really enjoyed my time out there.
T2 wasn’t pretty for many today, the dismount line was very awkward, hard to explain but for those racing they’ll know what I mean. Saying that I dismounted my bike without any issues, my thoughts were now focusing on the dreaded 10k run ahead.
Bike was racked the trainers went on, that’s all there was to it and off I went. I was feeling good with a strong start onto the run course. Two laps of the course, largely taking place on the pathway around the Marine Lake and wide boulevards on the Promenade before back passed transition to complete a second 5k loop. I’m finding new confidence on the run thanks to the change in approach to my run training this year and all the great advice I’ve been getting. The first lap went pretty quickly – I passed a few athletes that were ahead of me. I worked hard for the remainder of the run and wanted to run as evenly paced as I could – no tactics I just focus on getting from point A to point B. The back end of the second loop was definitely the highlight for me: I just knew the finish line was at the end of it.
Cheers and shout outs I got were a massive help, mum and dad was the support crew today. I received nothing but encouragement from our university coaches, so big thanks to everyone.
So not a bad day all in all, I now need a rest, my legs hurt, I have the biggest blister ever and a puncture hole that wouldn’t stop bleeding on the heel of my foot not to mention my knee is swelling up. If I am out of training because of this recurring knee issue, well let’s just say I wont be happy. In a nutshell I had a great day and solid in all three disciplines.
Making The Podium
I get on the podium and didn’t even know about it, well I never expected it so after the race I just packed up my things and headed home not knowing I was part of the team win in the Women’s Team Result: Bronze Medal (3rd Place)
As result of my finish, I also received a prize purse of £66 – Cha-Ching! Again, nice surprise and unexpected.
There are so many people who have helped me on my way to this race; training is going really well at the minute, thanks guys! It is so much appreciated and as always, MASSIVE thanks to my ever-supportive sponsor, they are the best: Bulkpowders.
Just before I sign off, just want to say a huge well done to my brother Gabriel on his result – went to just gain experience and practice the longer distance whilst I was here racing, ended up taking his own Bronze Medal home, which would have seen him qualify for the Sprint Distance European Triathlon Championships next year.
Taking advantage of good weather when you get it, well that was my excuse
66-mile ride, no ruthless headwind, I am happy
Having a quick selfie-stop, riding with friends is double the fun
Impressive facility, was very exciting to ride the expertly designed route. Had to pretend the cameras and news team wasn’t there, we had massive smiles on our faces the whole time.
It is the first UK’s purpose-built triathlon-training base. The facilities are amazing and it will combine strength and conditioning training suite as well as physiotherapy along with medical and other support services. It will provide world-class facilities for triathlon training in the region and much more.
The 1 mile (1.6k) closed road cycle circuit is one of the longest in the country. The site is on the Bodington Playing Fields North Leeds. This will allow cyclists of all abilities the chance to train in a traffic-free environment. For me this facility will stand out, cycling this track is absolutely exhilarating.
You can read the full article on the Yorkshire Evening Post Link
Check Out The Link: First Look At Leeds’ £5m Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit
Brownlees Launch £5m Cycling & Triathlon Facility
Find All The Details For The New Centre On The Following Link
My name is Whitney and I mainly participate in sprint triathlons, consisting of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5k run. I have just finished my second year with the Triathlon England Yorkshire & Humberside Region Talent Academy and was placed onto the GB Academy in October 2012