Race Reports

Brighton Triathlon Race Series


This is a FREE local event organised by local people! I've no idea who they are except they're called Kimi and Kurt! Kurt wears an Ironman tshirt. Its all 'organised' over Facebook but the details are rather vague except for kick off at 7pm on Madeira Drive, meet up abut 6pm. Just before 6pm I was on facebook at home telling some people who had come down from London where the start probably was... it all felt rather like an illegal rave!


According to my friend who did it last year 10 people took part but this time there were between 50 and 60.

Transition is some poles taped up to some metal barriers beside Madeira Drive. Its all a bit chaotic but everyone is very enthusiastic. And its FREE! I get there early and set up and then spot Steve Mac who is waiting for Kay.. they are both competing but Kay has all the gear in the car and must be stuck in traffic. I go for a quick jog to warm up. When I get back Kay is there with 5 mins to go before the start.


Race briefing and Kurt explains the routes. Swim is diagonally out to a buoy and then straight out to a 2nd one and then parallel to the beach and straight back in. There is no buoy to mark where parallel runs out and straight back starts :s  So a guy ( rumoured to be an ex world champion at Standard distance ) suggests we just go straight back diagonal from the 2nd buoy as everyone will cut the corner anyway. So that's decided and thats what we're doing!... when your used to race briefings being a list of rules you must follow its a rather refreshing change allowing the competitors to change the course :)


So over the pebbles to the sea..  I've taken my run shoes to leave by the start flags ( haha take that you dastardly pebbles ). In for a quick acclimatisation and its a lot colder than Ardingly! I'm really glad I have 2 caps on. Lots of bubble blowing with my head under water, until it freezes and then its out and 20 secs later we're off!


There's actually not too much bumping, probably because its just about impossible to see the buoys when you are at sea level and there are a few heads and arms in front obscuring the view, so everyone goes off in what they think is the general direction and head out in a fan. I generally follow the pack hoping they are better at sighting than me. Its been quite choppy on the way out and I've had a few mouthfuls of delightfully salty water! The waves and current should be with us on the way back. Its does seem much faster going back but I end up reaching the beach early and have to swim along the shore to the flags. So even though the swim was shortened from the original 800m I reckon I easily swam that anyway. Run shoes on and I walk up the beach pulling the westsuit top down and then jog the last bit.


Meanwhile...Steve and Kay start after everyone else and head in the general direction of the pier, get bored or lost and head back!


And onto the bike - not your usual left turn at every junction with this route. Highlights include :

  • a right turn across the busy seafront road, with optional cycling down the pavement until you find a break in the traffic
  • trying to get across to the right lane of a very fast road to go right round the Ovingdean roundabout
  • a fast decent with 180 degree turn at the bottom
  • a turnaround point where you had to go round the 'No' of 'No Through Road' that was painted on the road
  • the other turn point is a planter in the centre of Madeira Drive , basically a U turn in the middle of the road
  • Heavy mist descending and thinking I should have brought a light as all the cars turn on theirs.



Luckily I've cycled in Brighton for many years so aren't too phased by most of this. Unfortunately Kay hasn't and despite Steve's valiant attempt to get Kay to draft him round the course she decides its too dangerous. Personally I think being that close to Steves arse would make anyone stop. So now its full speed ahead for Steve as he attempts to track me down from a long way back!

I actually manage to overtake a few people on the bike and not too many pass me. I take one guy near the end of the 2nd lap and he then drafts me in so I'm determined to beat him on the run , which is helped by him telling me he is crap at running!


Onto the run , a flat 5km on Madeira Drive , 2 laps ... again round the 'No' and the planter. I get into a rhythm and get away from Mr Crap Runner, unfortunately it turns out I'm not that much better at running than him and he catches me up , so we have a chat and run together. Rounding the 'No' another guy passes us and I'm feeling ok so I go with him.. I manage to stay about 20 yards back but its enough to break Mr Crap. Steve's finally off the bike and passes me going the other way making various gestures suggesting he's got me in his sights!


On the second lap I try to catch the faster guy but he's drawing away...  I do catch the Tango man who seems to have entered the triathlon.. or maybe he's Dutch. And across the finish and a medal! And there's a goody bag left on my bike! and a bottle of water ... fizzy :( .. but a hot pasty as well !! And its all FREE!


I set off on a cool down run and pass Steve coming in so I turn around and we sprint to the end and he nearly gets a PB for the 5km :)


I really enjoyed the whole thing, ok it was a little 'different' to other triathlons but we're talking about a free event which a few people have given up their time to organise and it was great fun ... and there was a hot pasty at the end!!


I think Steve liked it too despite the late start , not too sure Kay would do it again though. So its not for everyone I would say :)



Trev Moore




It appears my new approach to Tri's this season is to participate only in certain parts of any event. After the Mini-Marshman confusion which resulted in me delivering a strong 5k but no bike (and no swim following its cancellation), this time I managed the swim and half the bike, but dnf'd due to conditions on the bike course, so did not complete the run.  Hopefully my next race will see me complete all three disciplines.

The Brighton Tri series is great for those who are comfortable cycling in challenging routes which take in right hand turns, dual lanes, roadworks (at the moment) and heavy traffic. My cycling is deliberately limited to quiet lanes of rural Sussex and therefore these conditions, coupled with the seafog that swept in during lap one of the bike leg, proved a step too far for me.   The swim however was wonderful.  With a 7pm start, we swam into a flat calm sea made quite beautiful by the setting sun. To catch sight of Steve in front of me, with his fine swim stroke sillhoetted against the horizon reminded me how rewarding sea swimming can be. The strong current on the way back also reminded my of the power of the sea and I was very glad to have Steve near me as there was no other support out there.  After what seemed to be a very very long time, we made it to shore and despite a 2 minute delay in starting, we still managed to overtake a couple of people on the way.

Would I do it again?  Probably not until the roadworks are gone. However, I would recommend it to anyone who has no issues with traffic. In summary, the event itself is great as a way to manage your race fitness without incurring cost and is informal and friendly, whilst still allowing you to race hard if you want to.  And a free event including a sea swim is a great way to introduce yourself to another style of tri.



Kay Mac







Also some great free event photos http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10150828197615899.397188.713915898&type=1&aft=10150828229515899



Want to know more about these triathlons

If you friend/member of this Facebook group you will get them http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/226519147379576/


more details here /news.aspx?filterby=Free%20triathlon




Jade's 24 Hour Run Challenge


This was my first attempt at ultra running, and whilst a 24 hour running challenge was maybe a little over ambitious, I liked the set up of the challenge- it was a little over a 6.5 mile loop, which you completed as many times as possible.  As I had no idea how far I could actually run I thought this concept was a good idea, as I could stop whenever I needed (no pressure of going point to point) and also could pick up food/drink as I passed through the checkpoint each time. 

So I guess I best give you some background before I talk about the race itself.  I hadn't trained any longer than 26.2 miles, and had only done 2 marathons this year.  I was meant to do another 2 marathons in 2 days in early May but got an IT band injury in my hip whilst running the Brighton Marathon, so had hardly done any running since (mostly just biking).  I had also been asked by several friends and family members to get an ECG test to check my heart was ok and I wasn't in danger of dropping dead at any second, so I got one with my nurse.   The test results were not given to me until the Thursday, 2 days before my race, when the doctor (who had the worst bedside manner I've ever come across) rang me at work and told me that the results were inconclusive and she thought I had a 'Long QT'... when I asked what this was she told me to Google it (really!!) which nearly gave me a heart attack in itself when I looked... oh yeah, it's that condition that causes people to drop dead at any second...great (ironic really as you're not meant to shock people who have that condition!).  She would not give me any further details of my results (she had referred them to a cardiologist but results could take weeks) we finished the phone call with her saying 'I wouldn't run for 24 hours without some conclusive results' and then the final caring words of 'I don't see why people can't just do things in moderation'... Charming!  To cut a long story short I ended up getting an appointment the same night with a cardiologist at the Nuffield in Brighton (hello overdraft), a second ECG, and being told that I was ok to run... phew!!  My long QT is at the top end of the 'normal' range so all is good.  I must admit it was a massive wake up call in the few hours that I had to wait to go to the Nuffield that I realised how quickly everything could be taken away from you... I literally don't know what I would have done if I'd been told I couldn't do any of my crazy sporting antics anymore.  I hope I never take what I'm able to do forgranted again.

Race day- the race started at 1pm on the Saturday, and 34 of us set off.  The course was beautiful, a mixture of mainly farm tracks between fields (if you had hay fever or allergic to rapeseed you would have been screwed!) and a couple of roads.  Whilst some of the ground was uneven it was a very flat course so you could get into a nice rhythm.  My tactic was to keep a steady 11 min/mile pace, and walk through the checkpoint to eat and drink.  This went well and I had a couple of runners to speak to that were running the same pace.  I ran the first marathon in 4.58... way too fast Jade!  Although I had kept my pace I hadn't been walking for long enough through the check point.  I decided at this point that I should just keep running at this pace until I could run no more.  I should mention at this point that my hip started hurting at only 6 miles in, I was worried this was going to cause an issue but with some ibuprofen and the seemingly magical Cliff Shot Bloxs that I always use in races (no, unfortunately I'm not being sponsored by them!) the pain disappeared, and after the first marathon I had no aches and pains at all... this was not to last, I knew that, so I just enjoyed every moment of running and was in quiet wonderment and awe that my little legs kept going.  I think I got to around 40 miles when it got too dark and I had to run with my headtorch.  I'll be honest I'm a complete wimp in the dark, and was pretty scared about this prospect (it really was very dark in the countryside) but apart from the bullfrogs it was really peaceful and calming running in the dark. 

Every so often I could see a headtorch bobbing along in the distance, and I knew I wasn't alone.  I carried on running until 46 miles and then my legs starting to complain, as always my quads were starting to scream at me.  Dinner was served at HQ, so I ate some veggie soup, potatoes and pasta and set off again on a run/walk strategy to cover 53 miles.  All in all just under 12 hours, I was very pleased with myself.  The only problem was as soon as I stopped my legs seized up.  I knew I had to rest, so I somehow got myself in to the boot of my car (back seats already folded down) and slept fitfully (damn cramp) for about 3 hrs.  I woke up and was surprised that my legs felt a bit better, as I opened the car boot I was humbled to see one of the guys (who ended up being the winner) running past to start another loop.  I also felt massively guilty for sleeping and scorned myself for not just pushing through the night.  I had a quick breakfast and set off again with a crazy ironman shuffle going on, it was a pointless and energy zapping exercise, and realised walking was just as fast.  My knee started to become very painful with a shooting pain and cracking/clicks every time I put my foot down, I had to look at the bigger picture and the rest of the race season so I called it a day with just another 7 miles under my belt that morning.  Total distance covered- 60 miles.

Do I feel like I could go further in the future- most definitely.  But for a first attempt I am very pleased that I did my best.  I'm fully aware that had I just walked for 24 hrs then I would have covered a bigger distance, but that was not what my challenge was about, and I certainly wouldn't have felt happy doing that.   I wanted to run as far as I could, and running until you drop is more my motto.   I was more pleased with getting a double marathon under my belt than walking until the cows come home.  But I have learnt that I am clearly no good at pacing myself!  Would I do an ultra again, absolutely!  Phil Couch (I'm sure it was you Phil) told me a quote last year before my ironman from T.S. Elliot that says 'Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go' and that has certainly stuck with me.

I shall stop my waffling now (gold stars to anyone who has made it this far, you're nearly at the end!) but I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone for your brilliant support, encouragement and kind words before, during and after the race, and of course the donations to the BHF who I ran to raise money for.


Jade Overy


BAR Race #2 - 25m TT Broadbridge Heath


It was very nearly only 9 starters when Rachel realized she had a faulty inner tube just 20 minutes before her start time. Rob and Steve tried to help but when it became apparent that they might have to get their hands dirty they very chivalrously headed off to the start. Rachel was left to flutter her eyelids and look helpless at the HQ - a much more effective strategy as it was sorted in the nick of time. She made her start with minutes to spare and it had clearly got her adrenaline up as she then did an excellent 68m36s.


There were also 3 TT newbies - lining up for the first time were David Ricketts, Steve Crocker and Martin Shoesmith. Martin has in fact done a lot of time trialling in the dim and distant past and was actually quite good, but the tough windy conditions were still a challenge. He finished in an superb 67.34, nicely getting even with Steve Crocker, by finishing 3 minutes faster - the same margin that Steve had won by the previous week at East Grinstead. Great effort for a first time though. David Ricketts took some convincing that as it was a race, he should really use his very nice race bike. 79.36 was deserved reward - though without tri-bars - hopefully the first of many TTs.


James Dear led home the men with a blistering 57.53, considering how windy it was. Rob Hoodless was 62.46, with Colin Chambers narrowly behind with a PB of 63.14 - an amazing ride. He then got out his spare bike and took part in another cycling event.  Ant Grey rode 66.35 and Steve Alden did 68.33


Hazel was the only other lady riding and she did a very creditable 74.21, only about 30 seconds off her best but this time in much more challenging conditions.


Well done to all who took part.



Men  (winner 52.56)


James Dear                 57.53   10pts   9.35%

Rob Hoodless         1.02.46     9        18.57

Colin Chambers     1.03.14     8        19.46

Ant Grey                   1.06.35     7        25.79

Martin Shoesmith 1.07.34     6        27.64

Steve Alden             1.08.33    5         29.51

Steve Crocker         1.10.32     4       33.25

David Ricketts       1.19.36     3        50.38



Women (winner 1.01.54)


Rachel Baker          1.08.36    10pts  10.82%

Hazel Tuppen         1.14.21     9          20.03


East Grinstead


Perhaps inspired by the unexpected appearance of a weird, glowing orange object resembling a beach ball in the sky, Ant Grey led home a strong contingent of 18 MSTC athletes at the East Grinstead Triathlon, narrowly pipping Phil Couch to the line by just one second.

It was an outstanding win for Ant, making up for being forced by poor weather into competing in a hastily rearranged duathlon at the Marshman the previous weekend.  Ant finished 15th overall at East Grinstead in 1.17.04, with Phil in 16th place in 1.17.05.

Special mention should also go to Rob Cox, finishing his first-ever triathlon, after a winter of dedicated training, in 127th position overall (out of 381 finishers) and with a very decent time of 1.30.34.

Perhaps the day's other outstanding performance came at the far end of the MSTC field, with Angela Murray crediting her lovely new blue Scott road bike for shaving six minutes off her time at last year's East Grinstead tri, her first ever sprint race.  Actually, her improved performance was also anchored by a very strong run time of 25.33.

In third place among the MSTC athletes (and 26th overall) was mystery man Dave Lashbrook, who does no training that any other member knows of, and then turns up and puts in a storming time of 1.19.00 to take 26th position overall.  Dave was given no split times, having somehow contrived to miss the lengthy queue at poolside for the distribution of timing chips, but was seen scattering hapless beginners from his lane in the pool because he wanted an early start in order to "get home for the birth of Lynn's sister's baby."

Then came a gang of three separated by only a few places: Steve Crocker, Pete Harris and Mike Jaffe, in 34th, 36th and 43rd positions overall, providing the backbone of the MSTC effort on the day, with Pete putting in a particularly strong performance, considering his recent injury problems.

Behind them were Martin Shoesmith in 61st position and Paul Wills in 70th, with Paul showing a massive improvement in all disciplines since last year.  Ah, the benefits of winter training in Australia!

Fiona Bussell was first MSTC woman home in 1.28.11, her usual strong run and an improved bike split just squeezing her into the top 100 in 99th place, followed by Callum Murray in his now customary position three minutes behind Fiona.

Just two minutes behind came David Ricketts, with Callum now firmly in his sights, followed by Peter Court in 1.36.33.

Nancy Gilbert put in her usual live-wire performance to finish second MSTC woman in 1.37.35, including a best-ever sprint triathlon run split of 23.45.

Then came Jean Fish, blonde hair flying and loving every minute of the race, despite her recent marathon exertions, in 1.44.43, followed by Claire Creswell, who said she hates sprint triathlons because they're far too short, but still scored a highly respectable 1.47.38.

Mandie Cawthra, competing in her first triathlon for many years, was delighted to finish in under two hours by a nicely-judged 10 seconds!

The race had expanded this year, but remains the well-organised but friendly club-run model to which we must aspire with our own triathlon.

Innovations this year included numbers that also bore the name of the participant, meaning that marshals and others could call their support for the athletes by name.  Steve Alden, who had loyally turned up to support the MSTC athletes along with Rose Ryan, was heard to mutter: "Suppose this means we've got to have names on the numbers at our race now."  Certainly one to ponder.

The support of Steve, Rose and the athletes who had already finished was, as usual, much appreciated - although I, personally, was in no state to give a detailed and considered answer when the always enthusiastic Steve tried to strike up a conversation as I left transition and set off on the first of the two agonising run laps.

Receiving no reply to his conversational gambit, "How's it going, Callum?," beyond a grimace, Steve was left to provide his own answer: "Hard!"


East Grinstead Triathlon 13 May 2012. MSTC results








Ant Grey






Phil Couch






Dave Lashbrook






Steve Crocker






Pete Harris






Mike Jaffe






Martin Shoesmith






Paul Wills






Fiona Bussell






Rob Cox






Callum Murray






David Ricketts






Peter Court






Nancy Gilbert






Jean Fish






Claire Cresswell






Angela Murray






Mandie Cawthra





Soggy Marshman


Due to the water below being 11C and an air temp hovering around 6/7C the triathlon has been changed to a duathlon on safety grounds - BTF rules say that below 11C, then the swim should not go ahead and so it ended up being a 5.3km run a 56 mile bike and the full half marathon.



Instead of combining the reports into one I have left them separate as the opinions on the race vary.



Training aside, it seemed like I had done no preparation for the race itself as it was only on the Saturday afternoon that I worked out what time I'd have to leave on the Sunday that I decided it would be best to stay over somewhere. After a lot of panicked calls I managed to get a place quite close, it appears that there had been some cancellations due to the water temperature reports. The organiser had informed that the water temperature had reached a balmy 15 degrees, one of the lads at the place I stayed at said that there was a thermometer at the venue when they registered earlier on the Saturday and it indicated a very frosty 10 degrees. Brrr! 


Needless to say the swim was cancelled on the day, but in typical disorganised fashion it was only at the last minute. This was changed to a 5.3Km run, much to Steve's disgust! This threw all my clothing preparations and in my panic I forgot my timing chip. A couple of minutes before my wave started I made a mad dash for the car to get it. I returned clutching the device only to find the rest of my wave disappearing into the distance. I quickly caught up with the tail enders only to find Kay running her own race. I managed to work through about half of the wave before a very pedestrian T1.


Unfortunately I got stuck behind a car that was trying to overtake some of the other cyclists at the beginning of the bike leg.. It took about half a mile of shouting to get around the car before I could start to get motoring. The bike course wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting, fairly flat with a couple of hills. It was wet and a bit blowy so I was glad I had my thermal cycle gear on. I started to get a bit saddle sore after nearly 50 miles and struggled to maintain an aero position after that. It was at this point of the bike course that we started to head back to Camber Sands and Lydd, directly into a strong headwind :-(


Getting off the bike at T2 felt strange as I had no feeling in my feet! I hobbled over to my transition area and changed quickly (too quickly as it turned out) before heading back out on the run. It was at this point that I realised that wearing a soggy thermal bike top on the run was not such a good idea, as was wearing an extra pair of cycle shorts with a super thick pad. Despite this I managed to set off at a fairly quick pace of about 7:40 mins per mile which I managed to keep going for over half the distance of the run course before starting to tire. By mile 9 I was starting to slow down a lot and walk through the aid stations, by mile 10 this started to manifest into the odd 'walk of shame'. What I did like about the run was that the organisers had printed our names on the race number which the few hardy souls that were out supporting used to cheer us on.. That felt good.





Gutted that the swim was cancelled due to water being too cold. Have to respect the officials that enforce these rules for our well-being, however, 30-mins in 11 degree lake wearing a wet-suit would have been ok by me.


Had been looking forward to a decent dress rehearsal with Roth just a couple of months away. However, this race was therefore turned into a duathlon.

Well organised event and the marshals were extremely friendly, despite the horrid weather they had to put up with.


Jamie and Ant produced excellent performances and are looking good for 10 hour finish times at Roth, if all goes well for them in July.


Steve and Jim suffered set-backs with muscle strain and puncture respectively. Nice fast cycle course that is predominantly flat and reasonably free of traffic.

Would do the event another year despite it being a little disappointing this time around. Good value, good half-ironman on a good course with good organisation.







Unfortunately with Ironman training as this was for all of us there was no taper for this race and after a hard week training the half marathon was a step too far for my legs.


I'm still not sure if I am happy about not swimming or not, the first run was all about getting warm, control and taking it easy so had a fairly lesurly jog round once in T1 I had to change into cycle kit decisions to be made and I went with the wrap up warm one instead of the get out quick. As you can tell I decided to ignore my times in transition (11 mins in total) and make sure I was properly clothed and could walk.


Out on the bike and it was not too bad if you like the cold, wind, wet and lots of drafters this all paled into insignificance when my hamstrings started to play up. The bike took us through Camber sands I had never been there before and was looking forward to seeing it, I think I smelt it first which confused me as the smell was old oil in deep fat fryers, not nice when you are putting that much effort in, I went past the source. Pontins, well made me go a little faster to get out of there, very dull uneventful bike so into T2.


Bike dismount is on a serious downhill and quite a few guys landed quite hard. This is where my troubles really began as when I got of my bike I could not move my legs and had to lean on the bike to move around transition quite strange, racked the bike and got out of my warm bike gear and into my trainers. Tried to move and could only manage a poor hobble, hamstrings, hips everything was screaming to DNF, bollox I said so I zipped up the man suit and moved slowly out to the run. Said hello to Kay, Emma Goodhead and kids and moved slowly off into my own personal hell.


The run started bad and just kept getting worse, my hamstrings/legs just kept getting tighter and tighter and after mile 7 or 8 I had to keep stopping every mile or so to stretch them


The day started bad and just kept getting worse in fact I don't think I smiled once well not until 400m from the finish line when Hannah and Sam Goodhead joined me to run to the finish line then I had a smile. Finished 25mins longer than I had planned but glad to have finished.


Would I recommend it. No not even if it was sunny.



Steve Mac




One of the marshals told me after that he had not seen so many DNFs after a bike leg - many were just too cold and/or cramped up to continue and a few who did go on the run, canned it after a few km.


351 on the start list for Marshman - 211 finishers given that there were probably quite a few no shows/DNS then I would suggest around 100 DNFs  that is quite a lot for any race.



Position                     Age group
Overall      Name         Position   Run 1      T1        Bike           T2         Run 2       Total
33       Jamie Goodhead    8      22:23     1:50     2:43:32     2:03     1:47:23     4:57:13
62       Ant Grey              13      26:41     0:00     2:49:26     2:38     1:52:27     5:11:12
96       Jim Graham         10      25:25     2:16     3:07:02     4:05     1:50:38     5:29:27
131      Steve Mac           17      26:54     4:33     3:01:46     6:13     2:10:41     5:50:09