Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is famed for its art, architecture and also it’s Ironman 140.6km race. Five Freedom matadors took on what is undoubtedly the longest day in sport. A day punctuated by sweat, tears and flat Coke. We salute Simon Jackson in his first time going long in placing an incredible 143rd in 9 hours 36 minutes and 3 seconds, also Chris Clark 899th 11:02:19, club chairman Kevin Smart 1008th in 11:13:33, Rob Sedgwick who tops off a truly amazing season 1239th in 11:35:21 and Dean Heuer 1711th in 12:26:25. We raise a chilled cerveza in respect guys on a job well done.
Over in a rather soggy Letchworth the mercury wasn’t peaking quite so high at the 30th running of NHRR's Standalone 10K. Spirits were lifted though, mainly due the giddy aroma of Deep Heat and bacon rolls. In a failed attempt to confuse the race organisers there was much swapping of race numbers on the day, but thanks to Rob Evan’s telephoto lense the culprits were named and shamed. In no particular order, the weary 6.2 miler’s results were as follows: Rob Clarke 52:47, Andrew Fenton 54:07, Mark Lacy 48:59, James Parsons 37:44, Paul Fairchild 43:34, Declan McCabe 44:14, Jenny Cotter 46:57, Bettina West 49:00, Lee Gilchrist 43:38, Matt Wainwright 52:46, Richard Springall 40:26, Gareth Sharp 57:32, Sam Sharp 1:17:25, Sarah Taylor 57:19, Emma Croxon 1:17:26, Liz Aitken 1:02:39, James Thomas 43:31, Gareth Charles 40:39, Gareth Bates 43:04, Lee Hayes 41:36, Mark Bullivant 1:01:44, Adrian Robinson 47:52, Jane Britten 59:22, Ann Tryssesoone 50:37, Mikey Day 57:03, Helen Cairns 45:34, Greg Cairns 45:03, Tracey Palmieri 42:41 and Rachel Carling 44:32. There to dish out the prizes at the end was Freedom's very own Jane Britten who holds the accolade of being Standalone's first ever female winner!
To top off the incredible weekend of Freedom sport, four athletes decided to prove their hardiness at the Inspire leisure centre Luton competing in the unique Chilly Tri run by ATW. Starting off with a fast 400m pool swim to warm up, the clock was then stopped as the triathletes entered transition allowing them to don however many layers of lycra seemed appropriate, scoff a second breakfast and pose for a quick selfie before timing re-started and the 20k countryside bike course began. The wet, chilly conditions called for skillful bike handling before the 5k run kicked off to conclude the race. As usual some great results were posted, GB athlete Chris Belcher managed 4th overall in 1:09:02 (2nd in AG), Anna Weller was 22nd 1:23:59 (3rd in AG), Hannah Sypula was 49th 1:40:15 (11th in AG) and Jon Sypula 41st 1:32:19 (13th in AG). Hopefully by now they have warmed up and already filled in next year’s race entry (?)
Kevin Smart at Ironman Barcelona.