Race Reports

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.
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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



European Championships Eilat Israel

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Where do i begin? When i first got the email informing me that i had been selected to represent GB i just could not believe it! So i sent the BTF an email asking if they had made a mistake!! NO they said we haven't!!

I arrived in Eilat via Tel Aviv on Weds. 18.4.12. On the coach between airports in Tel Aviv i saw a sign for Jerusalem, it made me think of all those thousands of years of biblical history.

Wednesday was basically a free day after putting my bike together and setting it up. There was a swim recce at 17.00 and most people swam without a wetsuit as the water temperature was 21c. Most people after the swim were discussing the pros and cons of wearing a wetsuit.

Thursday and it's my BIRTHDAY!! Up early and out on the road at 06.00 to recce the bike course. Good road surface but very windy and open, lots of steep inclines on the way out. On the way back the traffic was starting to build up, luckily on race day the roads will be closed. Once back at the hotel it was out again to walk and jog 1 x lap of the run course. Only one incline which was on the way out of T2 against the wind, otherwise a flat course mainly on tarmac surface and gravel track. Then it was back to the hotel again for breakfast. At 09.00 it was registration time, then at 16.00 it was the race briefing and team photo. 17.00 it was bike, helmet and race kit check and racking of the bike in T1. I let some air out the tyres so that they didn't explode in the heat overnight!

It was all sinking in now, the enormity of what 1 would be taking part in. It was time then for the evening meal, plenty of pasta!!

It's Friday RACE DAY!!! Up at 05.00 and had two pots of porridge that i had taken out with me [good old Tesco ] At 06.00 i made my way to transition, luckily i was staying in the Team Hotel which was only 5 mins. walk.

Once in T1 pumped up my tyres and laid out my kit. By now i had made the decision to wear a wetsuit for the swim. Obviously NOT for the BIKE and RUN!!!! 
The majority of the age groupers had also decided on a wetsuit as the water temperature had dropped a few degrees. The organisers were very strict about what you could leave in transition, any excess clothes, track pump etc. had to be placed in a bag in an adjacent hotel. We had to leave transition by 07.00 with our wetsuits half on and make our way to the swim area approximately 400m away.

At the swim start there were huge crowds and music playing over the loud speakers, great atmosphere. At 07.50 our wave was called forward and you had to line up on this long matting that was laid out on the beach. Suddenly the music stopped and all you could hear was this really LOUD heartbeat over the speakers. As if i wasn't nervous enough!! Then on your MARKS and then the claxon. We're off!!!

We had been advised before the swim that there was a strong current moving from left to right so kept to the left side of the pack. I managed to keep a pretty good line out to the turn around buoys even though the water was a bit choppy and then it was back to the beach and the swim exit. The run from there to T1 was hard on the feet even though they had put matting down covering most of the tarmac surface.

My T1 time was a bit slow due to the run from swim exit and taking off the wetsuit. It was another 50m run with the bike to the mount line, then it was down on the tri-bars and go!!!

The ride out to the turnround point was extremely hard against a very strong wind and undulating inclines, average speed out was between 14 and 16 mph!!! The return leg was fantastic with the wind behind and averaging 30mph. Heading towards the finish of the bike i removed my feet from my shoes and performed a good dismount!!  [ i had been practising at home in the local school playground !!! ]

Into T2 a quick turnaround and out on the run, the first 500m was up an incline against the wind and then settled into my pace.The run was 4 x laps and by now the it was pretty hot but i dug in and even managed a faster last lap. 
What an amazing feeling as you run up the blue carpet towards the finish gantry and you hear your name called out over the loud speakers and the crowds are cheering!! I've got a lump in my throat just writing about it!!!

I may not have won a medal but i did bust a gut trying!!!

Swim  : 1500m              39 mins 42secs [ a PB my previous time was 47mins 23 sec !!]

T1      :   4 mins 42secs

Bike    :  40k                    1 hr. 22mins 50secs

T2      :   1 min

Run    : 10k                     57 minsOverall:  3hrs 4mins 14secs

Overall Position : 10th

Dambuster Duathlon Race Report

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The Dambuster Duathlon is a qualification event for the Short Course Duathlon World Championships 2012 - Nancy, France.


Dambuster Duathlon took place in perfect conditions on 10 March 2012 at Rutland Water, Leicestershire 10k run - 42k bike - 5k run



Margaret put in a fantastic performance and was runner up in her age group to last year's World Champion.


Steve did terrific race times and transitions but his effort was messed-up by a puncture towards the end of the cycle. However, he completed the cycle on the wheel rim rather than waste further time fixing the puncture. His form seems superb, so he is certainly capable of achieving a GB age group qualifying time on another day.


Jim thoroughly enjoyed an exhilarating event but was out-classed on this occasion by a fiercely competitive field in his age group. However, Jim has been selected for his GB age group to compete at the World Long Course Duathlon World Championships 2012 in Zofingen, Switzerland.





Margaret Hollamby  2:44:48 overall....45:30 10k....1:32:14 cycle.....23:51 5k

Steve Crocker         2:27:02 overall....39:34 10k....1:25:10 cycle.....19:46 5k

Jim Graham            2:19:12 overall....39:24 10k....1:17:03 cycle.....20:02 5k