Race Reports

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


BAR Race 1 MST Duathlon

In the past we have never had more than 6 athletes racing a Duathlon. This time we had 18 starters, and had it not been for the clashes with Marshman and Steyning Triathlons it would have been quite a few more! Mind you - the Marshman turned out to be a duathlon because the water was too cold!

The weather was the main talking point before the start. Cold and wet and with increasing wind, but compared to the conditions the weekend before it was something of an improvement.

The race briefing does not usually provide any interesting material for reports, but James was so focused on the forthcoming race that he could not get his head around the idea of a circuit of the car park for T1 and had to have it explained in words of one syllable. However, he had written the risk assessment for transition himself!

The first 10k at least got everyone warmed up.  Neil and James set off at a blistering pace. Whilst this would be a quick course in the dry, the wet conditions were totally different. There was mud, standing water, some technical turns where it was slippery underfoot and one dead turn to be negotiated every lap, but it is a great scenic route and an accurate 10k measured with a wheel. Neil (37.29) had the edge over James (38.37) and it would have been more but for a small error on the first lap which cost him 10 seconds. Rob, Steve and Mike were much closer together with only 24 seconds separating them at T1 - all about 41minutes. Rachel (46.44) led Hazel (47.42) in the ladies race. In the short Duathlon Fiona had a very fast 5k in 20.38, well ahead of Callum and Jade.

There were no great issues for anyone in T1 in the end but John MacTear became completely disorientated once he got out on the road. He first tried to cycle in completely the opposite way to that which he was supposed to. Fortunately David Ricketts was on hand to scream at him to go the other way - which he duly did - straight down the muddy Downslink path! David shouted at him again, and by process of elimination (he had now gone down every incorrect route he possibly could) John did a muddy U-turn and finally went the right way.

The bike route featured a patented, height co-ordinated marshal system to make sure everyone turned at the correct roundabout. The short course featured a short marshal, and the long course a tall marshal at the respective turn points. It clearly works as no-one went wrong on the bike circuit, and the only challenge was the weather. It was very windy and whichever course was being ridden it was into the headwind for the entire first half. Of course this made for a much quicker second half. It was also now steadily raining, just to make sure everyone got extremely cold, especially hands and feet.

James overhauled Neil on the bike as expected, with a 61m05s transitions and bike split time, and gained 3 minutes in total, to exit T2 2m23s ahead. Rachel overtook Martin, and Hazel overtook John on the bike leg, and Del had the vision of Trevor overtaking him like he was part of the Tour de France! Both Trevor and Del overtook Kate, but she did not have any aero bars which would have made a huge difference. Callum had the fastest Short course bike split with 41.48, which was not quite enough to catch Fiona, who left T2 34seconds ahead. Jade(49.07), Jean(49.42) and Julie (50.51) all completed the bike leg in the same order as they had left T1. Rose had a very steady ride and having been round the course 2 weeks earlier was much more confident with her riding and did 57.36.

T2 caused many more problems, mainly for the long course athletes because with frozen fingers and blocks of ice for feet it was very difficult to do anything. Rob was so cold he needed a hand with his helmet. Pete was happy to oblige! Hazel nearly resorted to doing the second run with her hat on. It was difficult to get shoes on with such cold hands, but eventually everyone was out running again.

Fiona easily pulled clear of Callum to do her last 2.5k in 10.43, Callum finished second with a 12.18 split and Jade made up some time with a 12.03. The long course race was proving quite a spectacle. It was clear that Neil was not giving up and ran an incredible 19.08, gaining on James all the way round. James had paced it well however and had 69seconds spare at the finish. Rob ran an impressive 20.38 to finish 3rd and was always pulling away from Steve who lost a minute over the 5k, finishing 4th and maintaining a 3 minute advantage over Mike.  The next fastest 5k was run by Kate in 24.15, making up a lot of time, comfortably faster than Rachel and Martin and much faster than the others and clearly enjoying it in spite of the conditions. Alan commented on her big smile as she was running round (and honourable mentions went to Julie, Fiona and Mike for being especially cheerful in the conditions). Apparently Rob looked as frozen as he felt, and Trevor looked positively pale by the finish.

The marshals enjoyed the race and several have told me how fired up they now feel about getting race fit. It was great watching the tussle between James and Neil - hopefully the first of many. As is now typical of out own races, all the earlier finishers cheered in the later ones and both Del and Kate had huge cheers when they finished. Several people have commented on how good the camaraderie is within the club - and the fact that everyone feels like this after a race in difficult conditions is great testament to what is now being achieved. For many of the athletes this was their first Duathlon. Well Done to all of you.





Author Steve Alden

Jade's 24 hour running challenge


I am running in memory of my Grandad, Jock who died in June 2011 after suffering from heart conditions for several years.  He was very active and a keen runner, running many half marathons, and only stopped on doctors orders in his seventies due to his heart condition.  His favourite past time was walking his dogs around the local country parks.  I know he is very proud of all my achievements to date, and I wanted to dedicate this challenge to him.  This challenge would only have been made better if he was here to see me do it.

So the challenge itself... The event starts on the 19th May at 1pm and I will be running as many laps of a 6.55 mile loop as possible in 24 hours.  I am hoping to run at least a minimum of 50 miles, and hope to be capable of more on the day... but you have my promise that no matter what I will do my very best!  There will be an area at the race HQ where I can rest/eat as and when I feel necessary, but the rest of my time will be spent running.

The British Heart Foundation save thousands of lives every year thanks to their ground-breaking research and innovative health initiatives.  They rely on the generosity of people like you to help them to continue their vital work.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it's the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
So please dig deep and donate now.


Inaugural Haywards Heath Triathlon

Her first triathlon, East Grinstead last year, was a DNF because of a puncture, but on Sunday Fiona confirmed her potential by winning the senior women's category in atrocious weather at the inaugural Haywards Heath triathlon, staged by Hedgehog Tri.


Fiona's win was underpinned by an impressive 11thplace overall in the run category in 22.17 - and all on the eve of her birthday. What a way to celebrate!


It wasn't an easy race in which to score your first victory, with the wild wind and squally rain making for a perilous bike ride in particular and (look away Steve Alden) some lengthy transitions as competitors struggled to find the right combination of clothes to beat the weather.


James Dear, who joined the club as a cyclist, also based his second place on a storming run, a 20.23, the fastest of the day. Lawrence deserves a special mention for his seventh place, including coming fourth overall on the bike, despite his recent health problems. Just think what he can do when he's fully recovered.


Lawrencewas just one place and 43 seconds ahead of Phil, who, in his customary style took first place overall in the swim with a time of just 5.23 for the rather unusual distance of 384 metres. Barely time for a warm-up there, Phil.


Two places back, in tenth, was Ant, showing that all those death rides and the Wimereux trip haven't been wasted as he scored an eighth place overall on the bike leg, with an impressive 50.17.


Then came Martin Shoesmith, Mike and Steve Crocker, separated by less than a minute in 18th, 19thand 20thplaces: superb results for three relative newcomers to the sport/club. Mike's wife Emma was fifth out of 23 in the novice race, her first ever triathlon. We expect to see her application to join the club imminently.


Fiona was in 36thposition and then came a bit of a gap before Callum in 49thposition with a decent bike leg, a slightly disappointing run and his usual disaster in the pool.


Tim had an excellent swim in 84th place and Angela was delighted to finish her second sprint triathlon ever three minutes faster than her first, East Grinstead last year, coming in comfortably under the two-hour mark in 1.56.09.


The real heroes/heroines of the day were the marshals, though.  Respect, thanks and a warming cup of coffee to Mark, Rose, Ian, Claire Cresswell, Jon Webster, Jools, Hazel, Roger, Sharon and anyone else I've forgotten.  Not only did you make the race possible for the rest of us, you also helped to forge even closer bonds between our club and Hedgehog Tri.






The race was held on Sunday 29th, at the Dolphin Leisure Centre Haywards Heath and MSTC were well represented with 12 competitors. Club members did fantastically well, with Fiona Bussell winning the Women's event and James Dear coming second in the Men's. With Ant Grey's 10th, Phil Couch's 8th and Lawence Wintergold's 7th, MSTC took 4 of the top 10 places.  Competitors were greeted with strong winds and heavy rain, and this was the first time I have laid my kit out in the pouring rain! The bike was getting soaked and I carefully laid my kit out in a giant Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Carrier bag. As I left it, secured by my front wheel, I wondered which end of the car park I might find it when I emerged from the pool. This was my 3rd Tri and I looked on at my more experienced competitors, with their heavy duty water tight giant tupperware boxes, grinning at me whilst they put their gear in. Not to worry, the smiles and support from the fantastic MSTC marshals restored my confidence. The pre race briefing was excellent and we were told we had three policemen, with marshals, patrolling the 3 right hand turns on the bike course, with a "foot-down" instruction at the mini roundabout right turn by the Dolphin pub.
I noted 96 competitors made it to the start, from an original starting line up of 131, which goes to prove that not all tri-athletes are daft. In the pool we had the luxury of a 32m  length, just 12 lengths for a total swim of just under 400m. Oddly we entered at the opposite end from the pool emergency exit, which meant a 32m "walk" down the pool length before exiting. Running poolside was band, so competitors had to walk. I watched in amusement as early competitors tried to get away with "lifting" , the incidence of which increased with the increasing competitor number. I did try and "feel" the water in my swim as "Coach Jones" tells me, but the water was having none of it, so I fought it all the way. Out of the pool I gave an outrageous demonstration of "lifting" , got away with it, but on exit I was totally disorientated by all the bike park, the layout looked very different from the pool exit. I spotted my giant blue carrier bag, which to my relief was still on the floor and not up a tree, and it was sitting by my bike which looked a lot cleaner than when I last saw it.
The bike routed took us around the Sainsbury's one way system and you were then soon warmed up going up Paddockhall, the foot-down was very sensible at The Dolphin mini roundabout and a massive 25mph NE wind then rocketed you along the A272 and down the Cuckfield bypass. There was a lot of debris on the road and a sapling tree down just south of Ansty, there were very strong cross winds here and I held on to the tri bars like never before. We then knew what was coming.... a turn North into Issacs Lane and a massive head wind to fight. Fortunately there were always lots of cyclist to chase down here, but as we all crawled along, catching them was sometimes impossible. At the top of Issacs, you had to dodge the road works barriers which were now half way over the road, and for me a Crocodile Dundee hat,  which blew off a marshals head as I passed. A left turn, for another roller coaster ride on the Cuckfield Bypass, Ansty, Burgess Hill, Issacs lane circuit, before heading back to the Dolphin. I mad dash down Paddockhall before a dismount, and another scan for my bag, still doggedly standing where I had last left it.
The run exited the centre left, up the tiny Pasture Hill Road, left up Harlands Rd and once you had got to the top and would have a reasonable flat run, you turned left and down the very steep Lucasters Rd. Up the other side of Lucasters and once you were almost at the top, a left turn into a footpath, for a steep decent back down to the centre and around the back. You then played a bit of dodgems with the bikers coming back, and had 4 loops of this 1.25km roller coaster of a run! I had a bit of an issue with my number, I had lost the front number pinned to my cycle top, so I had to rotate my cycle top 180 degrees, to get the number on the right way around. This of course meant my top was on the wrong way around, I must have looked rather odd, especially as my neck zip was undone pretty much all the way down to the bottom of my back. The nice point about a small loop is you get to see all your team mates, especially when you run as slow as me. I was undertaken by Mike Jaffe, looking fresh after his impressive 3.14 in the Brighton marathon, Fiona Bussell on her way to her historic victory, James Dear overtook me several times, Ant overtook me and put his arm around me offering support, either that or he was trying to slow himself down going down Lucasters.  
The presentation followed soon after the race, I cheered very loudly to the thank you to the Marshalls, many of whom were MSTC members and did a fantastic job in the wind and pouring rain, and an even loader cheer for Fiona's first place, congratulations to her. I will be back for more next year.        






2nd 1:11:16 115 James Dear, Mid Sussex Tri Club 6:36,:44:17, 20:23

7th  01:16:52 106 Lawrence Wintergold, 07:07, 46:58 22:47

8th 01:17:35 125 Phil Couch ,05:23, 51:08, 21:04

10th 1:21:03 105 Anthony Grey, 7:13, 50:17, 23:33

18th 1:26:16 82 Martin Shoesmith 7:25, 53:11, 25:40

19th 1:26:41 68 Mike Jaffe, 8:17, 56:42, 21:42

20th 1:27:13 55 Steve Crocker, 08.10, 55:33, 23:30

36th 01:31:52 49 Fiona Bussell, 8:20, 1:01:15, 22:17  (1st Lady)

49th 01:34:32 24 Callum Murray, 9:28, 58:56, 26:08

84th 01:53:10 74 Tim Cresswell, 07:21, 1.08.54, 36:55

86th 01:56:09, Angela Murray, 11:31, 1:14:52, 29:46