Members of Letchworth-based triathlon club Freedom Tri spread their wings far and wide over the last weekend in April to compete across four countries and two continents.
Stevenage duo Anne Tryssesoone and Simon Jackson travelled to Spain to race ‘IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella’, a middle distance triathlon which involves a 1.2 mile sea swim, 56 miles on the bike and a half marathon (13.1 miles) run. Ann enjoyed an outstanding race, finishing third in her age group (50-54 year olds) in a time of 5:57:22. Speaking from the bar afterwards, she said: “Absolutely delighted with my race. Survived the swim, smashed it on the bike, legs a little weary on the run but overall an incredible experience.” Simon finished in a credible 35th place in a highly competitive 40-44 year old age group, completing the three disciplines in a time of 4:54:40.
Rob Sedgwick took his family, friends and race gear across the pond to compete in the ‘IRONMAN North American Championships’ in Texas. Rob swam 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles and ran a full marathon (26.2 miles) in 30 degrees Celsius to finish in a superb 12:39:07. Rob commented: “Well that was a tough one, unbearable heat on the run and up to 25 mph headwind on the bike, but got the job done.”
A bit closer to home but still a fair distance, six brave Freedomites took part in an epic trail run along the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. Facing down Storm Hannah and 35 mph headwinds, Sarah Taylor, Sarah O’Callaghan, Jackie Livings, Angela Phillips and husband John Phillips all finished within seven seconds of each other to complete the ‘half-marathon’ 15-mile race in approximately 3 hours 40 minutes. Liz Aitken competed in the ‘10k’ class, which was really 8 miles, finishing in 2:01:30.
Last but not least, Freedom was represented at the London Marathon, with Tracey Palmieri and James Parsons running 26.2 miles around our nation’s capital in great race conditions and through a wall of sound created by the millions of spectators. Tracey finished in 3:37:19, with James coming home in 2:58:34.
Three other Freedom Tri members competed in local running club colours and ran their best ever marathon times. Michelle Reeves (3:14:02), Jenny Cotter (3:37:20) and Matthew Sayers (2:41:18) all ran through London like they’d stolen Sir Mo Farah’s mobile phone, smashing their PBs – Michelle by a good 20 minutes.
All in all a cracking Spring weekend’s racing from Freedom Tri.
Sadly it was a no show from Robbie Williams at today's Herts Half Marathon at Knebworth House. But there was a great turnout from Freedom Tri. Putting in some quality winter base work in the shape of a 13.1 mile hilly jaunt around the closed lanes of Hertfordshire. With the mercury in single figures runners were treated to an high energy warm up session in front of the main stage followed by a Cadbury's hot chocolate (flake optional). 9.30am and the runners were off. The first mile being an scenic lap of the grounds of Knebworth House which included a cheeky little climb to serve as a taster for what was to come. By mile 4 the hard work began. A slow uphill climb towards the Langley turnaround point that seemed never ending. Eventually the race leaders were pounding past in the opposite direction. Time to knuckle down and focus. Luckily the weather improved as the course unfolded with runners finding their rhythm slowly ticking off the miles back towards the finish. As always race organisers like to put a sting in the tail and today was no exception. The final drag towards the finish was a lung busting ascent, rewarded by the welcoming cheers of friends and family. Race over. Time for maybe one more hot chocolate before heading home.
Results: Ben Field 1:25:51 (17th in Cat); James Parsons 1:28:02 (8th in Cat); James Thomas 1:32:53 (14th in Cat); Adrian Robinson 1:51:03 (55th in Cat); Christine Caine 1:58:11 (18th in Cat); Lynda Robinson 2:06:04 (26th in Cat); Emma Clark 2:07:51 (52nd in Cat); Greg Blount 2:24:40 (15th in Cat).
A misty start welcomed runners to the Herts Half at Knebworth House this morning.
Race report curtesy of Tracey Palmieri:
"Brecca Coniston Sprint - its not a sprint! It was definately the hardest thing I've ever done especially with swimming being my least confident activity. Two laps around the Blue Lagoon is a real push sometimes also the cold was one of mine and Rachel Carling's biggest concerns. I actually cut an old wetsuit in the end for desperation of a little thicker neoprene!The course was beautiful and I realised how much I love off road running. It is a really well organised, well marked, route although looking for red markers can be a little tricky when you are so cold you can't form words because your lips are still frozen from the last swim as you head to the next. We only made one little detour but we took a couple of teams with us so could have been tactics rather than a mistake! We had five swims each in a different lake/mere. One was actually a very enjoyable swim, the last one seeming to go on forever and the water even went pitch black at one point which was odd so I looked up just to make sure it was only the water!! Having a good team mate is essential. Rachel Carling and I were well matched although none of it seemed to phase her except maybe the hill at the very start was I think perhaps Rachel's moment of realisation of what we had entered! It was very steep and long and then slippery tree roots with a stoney decent to the first swim. We were very hot at this point expecting it to be a good thing but only heightened the shock of the water temperature. My realisation of 'what the hell had we got into' was in Lake Windermere part way through the swim, this lake had proper waves - I was not expecting that! I did have a moment wondering how was I going to do four more swims, and how long would Rachel hate me for if i climbed into the rescue kayak!! At this point Rachel realised my dilemma and was very kind and patient and offered to do breaststroke, but I had already given that a go and it doesnt work very well especially with trainers and a pull bouy. So only one other option 'get on with it' so we did and we survived. Many words of encouragement that people from the club have given me over the years got me throughthe swim. Greg Blount's calm, smooth and lots of bubbles and Jane Britten's encouragement during most events and training sessions together. Remembering James Knight's elegant smooth swim stroke and attempting to mimic it! Anything but thinking about the waves, distance and the rest of the race! Thankfully that was my lowest point, the rest was enjoyable fun and I would love to do it again, especially knowing what's coming; BUT a little warmer would be nice!! Need to say thank you to Rachel for being a brilliant and lovely team mate, Suzy Hawkins and Michelle Reeves for very kindly lending us their kit which I know is not cheap, but they didn't hesitate. Also their tips for the event and Chris Clark and James Parsons for their tips and bringing it to Rachel's attention in the first place. Finally the club, coaches and members, without whom I would never had got to the start line of many races, especially this one. It is a fantastic club, thank you xxx."
Tracey Palmieri and Rachel Carling set off on the Brecca Coniston Swim Run.
Weymouth, normally an ideallic Dorset seaside town sheltered in a bay at the mouth of the River Wey in the English Channel. Not this weekend though, as Ironman was in town with their annual 70.3 suffer fest. Torrential rain and blustery winds meant the worst conditions in years, forcing the organisers to reduce the swim split from 1800m down to 1150m. Subsequently by the end of the race 500 athletes had regretably pulled out. Freedom Tri's finest athletes were in attendance and were not to be peturbed! In the women's race Suzy Hawkins was 36th in 5:24:45; Michelle Reeves 46th in 5:32:39; Ann Tryssesoone 108th in 6:06:46 with Leigh-Ann Beel 290th in 7:17:21. Over in the the mens's race Simon Jackson came 234th in 5:12:57; Hamish Sabey-Corkingdale 256th in 5:15:57 closely followed by Richard Springall in 277th place with 5:18:12. We congratulate them all for an outstanding day of racing prowess, where grit and determination with the help of freedom wings proved an unshakeable combination.
This year we are proud to mention two members who have entered the 'London Classics Hall of Fame'. Carol Paul & Karen Parnell. Both have competed in 1) The London Marathon 2) The Prudential Ride 100M & 3) The Swim Serpentine 2M. Carol is a veteran of no less than 22 London Marathons with her best time being 3:46:52. Karen has run the race twice with both ladies completing the medal haul in 2018 in less than ideal conditions. Superb effort, we salute them both!!
RESULTS COMING SOON!!
As the nights start to draw in, Human Race held their last 'Season Finale' olympic tri for 2018 down at Dorney Lake. Freedom triathletes Carol Paul & Verity Fisher successfully took on the 1500m swim, 40k bike & 10k run. Carol crossed the line in 3:32:40 1st in AG , 335th overall with Verity completing the race in 3:17:28 9th in AG, 299th overall. Excellent racing ladies!
Carol Paul with her well earned Mr Whippy (and medal) at the Season Finale Olympic Tri.
Mid Week League captain Angela Phillips travelled up to Newcastle for the Great North Run this weekend, completing the 13.1 mile race in a time of 2:08:42 in 12,573rd place. She was particularly delighted to beat her running nemesis, chart popster Olly Murs, who trailed in after her in 2:10:49. The race was won by everyone's favourite Olympic champion Mo Farah in a time of 59:27.
Angela Phillips is all smiles having completed the Great North Run. Photo credit: John Phillips.
Former Tri Trier Adrian Mariadas successfully completed his first ever standard triathlon at St.Neots today (1500m / 40k / 10k) in 237th place (33rd in AG) with a very impressive time of 2:52:29. His splits as follows: swim 27:28 / bike 1:30:08 / run 50:22. After the race he had this to say: "When I started with the Tri Triers in January, this wasn’t even a consideration that I’d manage a standard this year and I must say it is all down to being part of a club with such an amazing ethos. From all the coaches that give so much of their time, fellow Freedomites with all the high fives and fellow Fly Flyers for feeling like we’re in this together. I owe you all so much."
Meanwhile Lucy Patterson was up in the Lake District at the Coniston 5.25 mile end swim. Arena Chillswim Coniston has been sold out every year since its inception. It's a unique swim with a highly experienced management team. The team work across the world on international events, including the Olympics Games, so they know what makes a good event and how to deliver that to their swimmers. Chillswim is proud to be based in the Cumbria's Lake District. Lucy completed her mammoth swim in a time of 3 hours 16 minutes 26 seconds in 313th place.
Also in the mood for a big swim were Paul Lovejoy and club coach Andrew Jones. They took on Raw Energy pursuit's 5km river swim down at Shoreham By Sea. This iron distance event saw some impressive times, swimming with the tide athletes were allowed to wear a pair of fins, whilst dodging sandbanks and bridges! New to long distance swimming, Paul was 8th in the Vintage Cat. in 1:33:01 whilst Andy was 35th in the Vets Cat. in 1:19:04.
Paul Lovejoy and Andrew Jones enjoy a warm cuppa after the Fin Swim River Adur.
With a last minute cancellation of the swim due to high levels of blue green algae making the race a duathlon, Freedom Tri were not fazed and rose to the occasion fittingly, setting new records at the same time. With a last minute format of 10k run / 40k bike / 5k run, Freedom set off apace to scoop a phenomenal bag of trophies along the way. Matt Sayers led charge with 7th place in 2:05:54 (1st in Age Group); followed by Luke Nicholl 20th in 2:16:08 (7th AG); Martin Hawke 21st 2:17:09 (5th AG); Ben Field 33rd 2:22:03 (12th AG); Ann Tryssesoone 57th 2:38:14 (1st AG); Bettina West 65th 2:44:03 (1st AG); Matt Cotter 74th 2:50:26 (12th AG); Jane Britten 83rd 2:56:29 (2nd AG). With three age group winners plus some overall great performances meant for the first time Freedom Tri won the overall team prize too! Go Freedom!! Sean Trimble also took on the sprint event and came 23rd in 1:17:07 (4th AG).
Age group winners Bettina West, Matthew Sayers & Ann Tryssesoone at the Hertfordshire Duathlon.
Team Freedom celebrate their win at the Hertfordshire Duathlon.
Imagine a sport that takes you to beautiful, wild places; over craggy hilltops, through mountain tarns, along rugged coastlines and across glittering lakes. Now picture doing all of that with friend by your side - two trailblazers together in the world of endurance sport. Welcome to Breca, a series of extreme SwimRun adventure events. This was going to be a race like no other, where athletes went hard or went home. Two Freedom teams going the full distance, on the mens side: Dexy's Midnight Swimmers aka James Parsons & Chris Clark and the womens: Fearless Freedom aka Suzy Hawkins & Michelle Reeves. In total the race covered 6km of swimming and 38km of running. Swimming in your trainers and running in your wetsuit, all perfectly normal! The womens team came home victorious in 16:36:56 (5th women's race) with the mens team not far behind in 16:49:26 (18th men's race). Awesome!
James Parsons & Chris Clark feeling confident at Breca SwimRun. Photo credit Emma Clark.