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 (?)
Last weekend Ann Tryssesoone took on the L’Etape London organised by Human Race in conjunction with Le Tour de France. The 117 mile (188km) countryside looped course took riders out from Stratford to Saffron Walden via Chelmsford. Despite having to refuel with copious amounts of cake enroute, Ann was delighted to place 855th in a time of 8:06:53.
Richard Pitcairn headed over to Rotterdam for the ITU World Olympic Triathlon Championships series final. Hampered by ongoing foot problems, having to negotiate two transition areas and tackling an awkward bike course; Richard still managed to place an excellent 21st in his (70-74) Cat. in a very respectable time of 3:04:21.
Richard Springall completed the Rutland Water Vitruvian Triathlon, 1.9km Swim 85Km Bike and 21km Run in a time of 4hrs 53 mins.
Other middle distancers were at the Weymouth 70.3 Half Ironman race enduring a choppy sea swim and very cold bike segment. Mickey Day was first home for Freedom in 5:36, followed by Suzy Hawkins 5:44, Rob Sedgwick 6:06 and Rachel Kelly on her first attempt at the distance in 6:32. Rachel was racing in memory of a special friend and managed to raise over £2,500 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.
Over at Eton Dorney nr. Windsor, Adrian Robinson raced the Duchenne UK Olympic Triathlon in aid of Muscular Dystrophy. He was very pleased in achieving his target time of 2:57:04.
Thomas Sauka raced one of the toughest triathlons in the UK - The Helvellyn. The race incorporated a 1mile lake swim, 38 mile bike followed by a gruelling 9 mile fell run up to the top of Kirkstone Pass. Thomas completed in 4:28:09.
Freedom Tri's Christine Caine slayed the monster at the Ely Monster Middle distance triathlon. Taking on the 1.9km open water swim, 92.8km bike and 21km run, Christine did fantastically well, finishing in 7:21:31.
Racing at the Hertfordshire Triathlon Summer at Stanborough Lake in Welwyn were Ann Tryssesoone, Jonny Pennell, Suzy Hawkins, Michelle Reeves, Richard Sprignall, Hannah Sypula, Rob Evans and Jon Sypula. This "standard" distance was raced over a 1,500m swim, 40km undulating bike and 10km cross country run on grass. Tryssesoone finished 2nd in age group in 3:00:14, Pennell 3rd in age group in 2:29:50, Hawkins 3rd in age group in 2:37:07, Reeves 4th in 2:47:10, Sprignall 7th in 2:36:36, Hannah Sypula 7th in 3:50:31, Evans 12th in 2:45:05 and Jon Sypula 22nd in 3:21:44.
Taking on the Breca Gower Swimrun were Chris Clark and James Parsons. This team event, at Wales' iconic Gower peninsula includes 40km of trail running on Gower's spectacular and incredibly challenging coastal path, and 6km of ocean swims will make Breca Gower a true swimrun test and an unforgettable experience. The pair completed this epic journey in a fantastic 7:50:36.
Further afield in Penticton,Canada, Rob Sedgwick and Micky Day raced at the World Duathlon Sprint championships. Comprising a 5km run, 20km bike, 2.5km, this race featured world class athletes from far and wide. Day finished 18th in category in 01:09:56, and Sedgwick was 41st in age group in 01:20:49.
Udderly fantastic racing at the Cowman
Milton Keynes was the setting for the ‘Cowman’ middle distance triathlon organised by Big Cow Events. The race consisted of a 1.9km swim / 92km bike and 20km run. Simon Jackson was very pleased with sixth place overall in 4:29:59 followed by Matthew Sayers in 5:00:17; Kevin Smart in 5:29:07; Mark Allen in 5:37:10 and Ian Robinson in 5:56:15. Over in the women’s race Emma Kinsey placed an excellent ninth in 5:45:47. Also competing at the same venue in the ‘Calfman’ triathlon comprising a 950m swim / 46km bike and 10km run was Lucy Patterson who came 75th in 3:12:28.
New to triathlon this year, Jon and Hannah Sypula completed their first triathlon at Active Training World Dorney Triathlon. Racing over the sprint distance of a 750m open water swim, 20k bike and 5k run, Jon finished in 1:26:05, 16th in category, and Hannah in 1:35:56, good for 5th in category.
Louisa Suff and Terry Sawyer raced at the 113 Cotswold Middle Distance Triathlon. Swimming 1.2 miles (1.9 km), cycling 56 miles (90 km) then running 13.1 miles (21 km) Louisa Suff finished 67th in category in 5:37:45, Terry Sawyer 165th in category, 5:33:00.
Liz Aitken and Sara O'Callaghan went long in the water, and took part in the SwimRutland 4km swim at Rutland Water. Both performed superbly in their wetsuits, Liz Aitken finishing in 1:46:28, and Sara O'Callaghan 1:57:23.
Further afield in sunny Australia's Bondi Beach, Matt and Jenny Cotter raced the 14km Sydney City to Surf race. Matt finished in 1:17, while Jenny completed the race in a fantastic 1:08:51.
Rob Evans completed the EDF Alpe d'Huez short course triathlon in France. This picturesque race kicked off with a 1.2km swim lap in the chilly waters of Lac du Verney at an altitude of 700m. This was followd by a 28km race to the 1800m summit via 21 hairpin bends. Finally after the gruelling bike there followed a 6.7km run loop of the legendary ski resort made famous by the Tour de France. Rob completed the race in an impressive 3:00:29.
Also in this week's news, 13 Freedom athletes took part in the challenging Herne Bay Pier to Hampton Pier 3km swim organised by Active Life Triathlon Club. First for Freedom was Monica Corcoran in 49:51; followed by Rachel Carling in 59:35; Richard Springall 59:40; James Parsons 1:00:58; Lynda Robinson 1:01:04; Mark Bullivant 1:06:13; Rebecca Reeve 1:10:59; Joanne Bywater 1:11:14; Jane Britten 1:11:19; Ann Tryssesoone 1:13:48; Christine Caine 1:15:16; Liz Aitkin 1:15:38 and Emma Croxon in 1:25:20.
Freedom Tri’s athletes become Outlaws for the day.
Nottingham’s National Water Sports Centre played host to the Outlaw long distance triathlon organised by One Step Beyond events. Racing against a nail biting 17 hour deadline Angela Phillips completed this legendary swim/bike/run race in 14:33:28 with David Wright despite feeing unwell on the day finishing in 15:56:53.
The world’s largest triathlon, the AJ Bell London Triathlon in the heart of docklands was held over the weekend. Rob Sedgwick completed the sprint event in 1:23:51. Over in the standard event Matthew Sayers crossed the line in an impressive 2:17:51, with Matt Cotter finishing in 2:36:31 and Terry Sawyer close behind in 2:37:56.
The Ironman brands flagship UK event was held at Bolton over the weekend. The tough long distance course was a challenge even for seasoned athletes. Steffan Lestyn Ford was first for Freedom 182nd in 11:18:20 followed by Paul Sowter 451st in 12:28:13 and in his first ever Ironman event Mark Bullivant 1227th in 15:11:02.
Robert Clarke headed to Roth in Germany for their Challenge event completing the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in 14hours and 33minutes.
Bournemouth was the setting for Pier to Pier 1.4 mile charity swim in aid of the British Heart Foundation. Matt Cotter battled the tides to complete the event in an impressive 35:56. Finally Weymouth Middle Distance Triathlon organised by Bustinskin Events saw Chris Clark come 31st in 5:17:44 and Dean Heuer 68th in 5:53:39.
Hertfordshire’s largest triathlon club Freedom Tri spread their wings both here around the globe this weekend to achieve fantastic results.
Hitchin Triathlon 400m outdoor pool swim / 20k bike / 5k run
Hitchin Swimming Pool played host to this years inaugural Hitchin Triathlon organised by the Hares.
Graham Hill was first over the line for Freedom in 1:02:31; Louisa Suff was 1st female overall in 1:12:08; Gareth Bates 1:10:53; Jenny Lucas 1st in 20’s AG 1:13:24; Helen Cairns 1st in 40’s AG; 1:14:50; Matthew Newton 1:18:30; Christine Caine 1:22:02; Andy Fenton 1:24:02; Emma Clark 1:36:22 and Emma Croxon 1:42:57
ATW Bedfordshire Triathlon 1500m swim / 40k bike / 10k run
At Box End water park.
In the standard distance race Mark Allen was 9th in AG 2:41:13 whilst Emma Kinsey was 1st in AG in 2:44:27. In the sprint distance Chris Belcher unfortunately took a tumble on the bike and had to pull out due to injury.
IRONMAN FRANKFURT 2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / 26.2 mile run
Suzy Hawkins first for Freedom in 10:54:03 followed by Michelle Reeves 10:57:58; Rob Sedgwick 12:23:36 and Ann Tryssesoone in 13:51:37.
CHALLENGE ROTH (Germany) 2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / 26.2 mile run
Rob Clarke finally completed this legendary long distance race in 14 hours and 33 minutes.