Race Reports

Mid Sussex Tri Olympic Distance race

The Olympic distance race will be held on Sunday 24th July at Ardingly Reservoir.

This race is open to all members.  We want to encourage everybody to have a go at the event given that the emphasis for most is on having the opportunity to do an Olympic distance event in a familiar and supportive environment.  It is also cheap and involves little traveling or additional costs. We don't have marshals around the course although the bike and run routes are well signed. 

The 1500 swim will be a 2 lap course in the reservoir.  For those who are a little worried about the swim distance, rest assured that the route is along the normal swim lanes for Saturday morning swimming and there will be a safety boat and a canoeist in the water  at all times. 

Transition area is set up on the grass adjacent to the car park.

The 40 km bike course is essentially a slightly shortened route of the course used for the middle distance event last year.  It is a bit lumpy but not that bad and quite enjoyable - especially on the down hill parts on the return section.

The 10km run is on the paths around the reservoir.  It is wholly off road and, while there is likely to be some pedestrian traffic, it is safe and flat. 

The briefing is at 0645.  The swim starts in one wave at 0700.

We really want people to have a go at this -irrespective of ability or speed or any thing else.  The main point is having a go at this distance and seeing what happens.  Mark Jordan and Steve Alden are more than happy to speak to any body who wants to ask any questions that are not covered in the information sheets and entry forms.




Middle distance
The middle distance event will be held at the same venue on Sunday 29th August.  Again we want people to have a go at the distance, even if it is as part of a relay team or to do one or two of the elements.  The course is exactly the same as that for last year and, as such, an extended route from that of the Olympic distance.

The middle course has been set as:
1. an open water swim over a 1.9 Km course in the Ardingly Reservoir.  The course is 3 laps of an out and back route of 600 metres per lap (300 metres out - 300 metres back) with an additional 100 metre swim to the finish at the slipway.  

2. a cycle route of 79.25 Kms that will be held entirely on open public roads, where there will be unrestricted vehicular, pedestrian and other traffic.    It is a relatively hilly, testing and technical course.

3.  a 20-ish Km run over a course that is mainly on off-road, public footpaths and bridleways adjacent to the Ardingly Reservoir.

The start will be at 0700, just after a briefing.  Arrangements will be similar to those for the Olympic distance but with a water station for the second lap of the bike course and a water station at the run turn round point. 

Middle Distance Documents:

Steve Alden, James Dear and Mark Jordan are working on the admin at the moment and will get the entry forms etc out in the next couple of weeks.

Dorney Lake WomenOnly Triathlon - 2nd July 2011


On Saturday, the 2nd July, there were many different ladies only races going on at Dorney Lake, with Clare, Jean & Sharon in the Challenge triathlon and Fiona in the Sprint. So here are two race reports for you:

Author: Sharon

Left the house at 7.30am which is not too early; apart from my teenage kids thinking that they have been woken up in the middle of the night. My crew in the car were: Gordon (hubby), Sean & Alina - the kids. We were hoping to catch up with the other car - Clare, Jean & Rob (Jean's hubby). Unfortunately 15mins up the road and we are straight back to the house for the forgotten camera.

No sign of Jean's car but the M25 was blissfully quiet and drama-free so we made great time to Dorney Lake.

There were loads of parking and a bit of walk to the boathouse so support crew were handed equipment to carry & off we went. The walk helped to settle the nerves a bit - worrying about all the unknowns for my first open water triathlon; the mass swim start, spotting & getting out of the spray-on wetsuit.

Saw three lovely smiling faces waiting for us outside the registration tent - Rob was trying to stay cheerful as when he had first spotted the large registration tent, he thought it was full of beer.

After collecting my number, we headed for the posh boathouse and upstairs to the balcony & café, which gives great views of the Lake and an excellent place to settle all the support crew who immediately organised themselves bacon sandwiches - oh crikey I'm going to hurl, there goes the nerves again.

As Clare, Jean & I racked our bikes, we were able to watch the first Wave enter the water. The first group were the Relay team and there didn't seem to be many of them so gave us all the wrong impression that the groups were going to be small. Not long before it's our time to wander down to the start position & there were LOADS of us (our wave - under 30s & over 40s). Clare was the bravest - going in without the wetsuit - whereas Jean & I just went "NO WAY - gives us the rubber".

All in the water, treading and trying to find our space while listening to the race briefing - excellent place to tell you the race details - knowing full well that you couldn't escape at this point. Then went the Starting Gun & wow! Arms, legs everywhere, all trying to head for the 1st buoy. Had to stop as goggles were knocked off and then tried to avoid the kicking breast stroker. Going round the first buoy, someone actually grabbed my ankle. First time ever I was actually kicking!

Swim was 2 laps - bizarrely 800m in open water doesn't seem so long or so hard compared to a pool environment. After the race I discovered from the support team that the girl who was leading mistakenly starting heading back to the first buoy instead of the finish ramp & had to be chased by the speed boat to correct her. Even with her extra 200m-ish, she still managed to beat the rest of us.

Hit the finish ramp with my hands, straight up and running (first fear dealt with as I thought my legs were going to be too wobbly). The wetsuit came off so smoothly - shock - (2nd fear dealt with) but then I had to sit on the floor to put shoes on as felt a bit dizzy. Out of T1, next came Jean - who absolutely loved her first experience of open water racing and then Clare.

I loved the cycle ride as it is SO flat, no cars and the surface is lovely & smooth. Its 6 laps around the lake and some excellent corners to take. Only time in each lap you had to slow down was when you return to the boathouse as caution was required from cyclist coming from the T1 slip way and supporters crossing the path. All our support crew were giving us great encouragement as we went past them on each lap - is that bloody ice-creams in their hands?????

T2 was okay, and then onto the run. A bit of a boring route as up & down the same path for 3 laps. Excellent option to check that everyone is okay. Saw Clare (looking strong and happy) while on my 1st lap but where is Jean? - getting worried now! The positive aspect of the run is that it is as flat as a pancake, so my currently sore knees weren't suffering too much (last fear sorted).

Finally last lap & it is so hot, just kept looking straight ahead, counting to 100 and not worrying what other ladies were doing & then finally, I would love to say a sprint but more like a crawl to the finish line. Here I was met by a group of sweet cheering marshals, our screaming support crew and a dodgy looking man with a garden hose splashing everyone with cold water. In other circumstances he probably would have got a slap but this time I was truly grateful. Not long after a beaming Clare & then a smiling Jean crossed the finish line.

Now to hear "what had happened to poor Jean" - to be honest we are not really sure as number of laps are not officially counted, but we think that most probably Jean did an extra bike lap - I told you the bike route was so good - you just want to do more!

After we packed up and were ready to go home we were lucky to have a chance to cheer Fiona as she headed to the finish line - my god that girl can run.

To summarise I think I can happily say from all 4 of us that Dorney Lake is an excellent venue for competing and for your spectators. All the races were very well organised and had a great buzzing atmosphere - but no beer tent - sorry Rob.

Here are our results:

STANDARD DISTANCE (800m, 30km, 7.5km):








































Author Fiona:

Managed to get round the M25 with relative ease so hoped that was a good omen for my 2nd attempt at triathlon.

On arrival the nerves really began to take hold and it seemed an age to walk from the car park to the boathouse and race registration.  After collecting my numbers and timing chip there were lots of green hats in the water.  Wondering if this could be Sharon, Claire and Jean in the challenge event.  The hooter went and there was flying arms and white water.....crikey that's a mass start then!

Racked the bike trying to remember the tips Steve B gave me at East Grinstead and then it was just a case of waiting.  This was probably the worst part of the day as thoughts of getting stuck in my wetsuit or further bike malfunctions did nothing to calm my nerves!  Standing on the balcony at the boathouse looking down on transition I was trying to spot the others but sadly didn't see them before the start of my wave.

I was glad that I had a couple of Ardingly swim sessions under my belt as I made my way to the water and chatting to some of the other competitors who were first timers I started to enjoy the moment!  The marshals friendly banter certainly helped and by the time I'd swam round the second buoy I was really enjoying the swim.  Was surprised to get a mouthful of weeds and realised that I'd veered off to the left on the final approach to the pontoon - idiot! I didn't struggle with the wetsuit as I'd thought but my 2:51 T1 will need some work!  The bike course was great fun and cycling with two fully inflated tyres makes it all the more easier.  I knew I would have been slower on the swim but wasn't sure how many people were in front of me on the bike.  It was also difficult to work out who was who as they were different waves out on the course so I just kept pedalling and praying for incident free cycling.  At the end of my final lap I was expecting a marshal to point me in the direction of transition but nothing so I was glad that I'd kept count myself.....it was 4 laps, wasn't it?  Now for the real test, running off the bike.  Dodged past some milling competitors in transition and made my way out onto the run course.  Getting off the bike I realised just how warm it was out there and hoped that my legs wouldn't cramp up.  I heard some shouts of encouragement, which was a real boost.  I certainly found it harder to run a 5k after the swim and the bike, and kept thinking to myself that I really should have practised some more brick sessions.  The sight of the finish arch after my second lap was a welcome sight and crossing the line I was very surprised and pleased to be given 2nd place in my wave.  I'd completed my first tri and it was worth the wait!

My results:

SPRINT DISTANCE (400m, 20km, 5km):



















Pontevedra 2011 ETU Championships


The GE Great Britain Age Group Team delivered a phenomenal 81 medals including 27 gold across the sprint and standard distance races at the ETU European Championships in Spain over the weekend of 23rd to 26th July 2011.

The two age group races gathered from all over Europe 1.500 to 2.000 athletes and as part of the GBR team, 3 of our own MSTC athletes were there: Rachel Baker, Margaret Hollamby and Steve Alden.

On June the 25th the sprint distance race (swim 750m, bike 20km, run 5km) took place which included Margaret who achieved an amazing 2nd place in her age group (55-59).

Next day, Rachel and Steve took part in the Standard distance race (swim 1500m, bike 40km, 10km), coming a proud 16th & 11th for Great Britain.

The GBR Age Group recorded the fastest overall male and female triathletes in both the sprint and standard distance races. In the sprint race, Mat Clarkson (35-39) from Hertfordshire crossed the line first in 1:01.50, with Anna Turvey (30-34) from Newcastle leading a British one, two, and three in the women's event finishing in 1:08.12.

In the standard distance event, an equally impressive race saw Roger Witz Barnes (25-29) from Manchester finish first overall in 1:58.40, with Nick Dunn (30-34) from Nottingham crossing the line in third.

Final results:

















































Author: Sharon


Dambuster Olympic Tri - 18 June 2011

1.5k swim - 42k bike - 10k run 

The night before

The Dambuster adventure started the night before as our MSTC athletes battled their way up the Motorways for a long journey up to Leicestershire. Exhausted Rose & Trev arrived at the Travelodge at 11pm, after driving for 4 hours navigating around the closed A1 which didn't stop Trev loading up on route for his pre-race dinner of chips and baked beans. Trev managed 4 hours sleep and surprisingly felt rested on the morning of the race! While poor Rose was up at 4am for the day to begin.

Jeff had his support team (Sue & two of his daughters) with him at the Travelodge to give home encouragement - again an early start for them all as checkout was 5am - now that's what I call a support team!


Nancy had all her support team in the campervan, but next time she is very keen to leave it at home and book a hotel (don't blame her!).


Poor Steve & Kay didn't arrive at the hotel until 00:30, so not a good start. Kay made the wise decision that with the lack of sleep, over worked and a bad cold that it was time to pull out and - oh it was so tempting for sleep-deprived Steve to do the same. Good job Steve found the strength to compete as he ended up thoroughly enjoying the swim and achieved a fantastic 9th in his age group.



The swim


So Suited and ready to go...... the girls' warm up included a lesson in lip gloss application from Julie!!!..... a complete dance routine for which they won an award!!! "For best warm up"


So all warmed up and ready to go on the start line in bib number order were James, Ant, Steve B, Trev, Steve Mac, Jeff, Sam, Hazel, Pippa, Nancy, Rachel, Jules, Rose and our lovely lip-glossed Julie.


To best grasp the atmosphere and high/lows of this race, I can only do the report justice if I now hand over to the athletes' own words:


ANT - "I kinda went a bit off course on the swim, following a group of other swimmers to the right on the back leg of the swim. Maybe that was why my swim time was so slow?"


TREV - "I spent half of the swim drafting Ant - I can thoroughly recommend it as he swims in a very straight line and I would have stayed there if some idiot hadn't rammed into me from the side. Even after I lost him it all went very well and I loved the swim."


Nancy - "I was SOOO nervous beforehand but hanging out with the club members and some spontaneous wetsuit dancing helped to calm the nerves.  I had a dreadful swim - kept going in the wrong direction, more practice at Ardingly and Southwater required!"


STEVE B - "Swim - sat at a comfortable pace, middle of the pack... Tried not to drink too much water as it was a bit choppy out there."


Rose - "Totally loved the swim.... made the mistake of waiting at the back to start which meant I got kicked by lots of breaststrokers :(.... but once I swam through and found clear water it was a joy..... so came out the water with a big smile on my face.... fabulous support from Kay... suspect I lost time telling her how much I enjoyed the swim..... Fell over in transition think the body was still swimming!!!!!......"

Jeff - "I was disappointed by my swim after having done quite a bit recently, I was a good 5mins over my normal time for 1500m, but just didn't get into a comfortably rhythm.. Longish T1 so plenty of room for improvement."



The bike


Ant: "On the bike transition I got shouted at by a Marshall for mounting my bike before the bike start line, even though I asked her if it was OK - she was too busy speaking to the other Marshall and got very upset when she noticed I had got a 'leg over'. Muttered stuff like 2 minutes time penalty, which fortunately I didn't get.


The bike was a bit of a nightmare for me. On the big downhill my rather large 90cm front wheel caught some turbulence and oscillated all the way to the bottom. How I managed to stay on is beyond me. That kinda shook me up so all the other descents were taken a lot slower! Traffic was also a problem in some parts as the slower riders were holding up the cars which left no overtaking room.


I was looking out for Macca on the bike, and was quite surprised not to have seen him. Little did I know what a superb swim time he had done"


Trev - "Enjoyed the bike but found it pretty windy. I've no idea which was the Ripple bit, it all seemed ripply to me."


Nancy - "I felt like I was flying on the bike and over took loads of people uphill so my bike confidence is brimming - which is lucky since I've signed up for the Brighton 100 miler.  Unusually for me I wasn't the slowest person in transition - not fast but I did actually try for once."  


Steve B: "- with front 82 section wheel and lots of wind..... Not a great combination for the conditions ...  (but looks good) ...Had some very scary moments down the hills with the wind blowing me into the centre of the road, hanging on for dear life as bike front end wobbles... I still managed to clock 67 km/hr (41.6 m/hr) top speed, and could have gone faster!!!"

Rose: "Out on the bike.... Great to be greeted by Lucy along the route shouting support and encouragement, it's this that makes our club special and made me more determined...... So now I understand the meaning of the word ripple.... if it went down it went up and again and again and again.... Thought I was lost towards the end as lack of signage but finally made it into transition...."


Jeff: "Cycle ok but steady stream of people overtaking me - including Rachel who gave me words of encouragement - sorry if you didn't catch my laboured response Rachel! Then I saw Lucy running along the cycle route which confused me somewhat........"


Steve Mac: "the bike was a bit blowy so the deep section wheels made it interesting and although being bigger means you can control the bike easier when the head winds come up you really suffer, my main thought was not to get taken by Ant, so I was very relived to get to T2 ahead of him but I knew he was coming"



The run


Ant - "At the start of the run my quads felt completely shot, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to manage the full 10km but after a few minutes the pain lessened enough to establish sub 7 minute mile pace. By this time I had spotted Macca, a quick goose on that barn door before I pressed on, fast enough I hoped to stay in front of him (and to try and hide how tired I felt). The run section was ace, lots of high fives with Macc, Steve B and a quick Hi to Trev on the switchback section. I was starting to get tired on the second loop, the run pace was going over 7 minute mile pace now but I felt I had a big enough lead to keep in front of Macca. I even seemed to be catching up with Steve B, but then I hadn't realised he was running his iron man speed in preparation for his forthcoming event."


Trev: "The run I found hard but somehow did my best 10km time for a triathlon and my 3rd best ever for a solo 10km. All this despite my bad foot, which seems to have meant I protected it and in the process sprained my big toe. But I never felt this to afterwards so that was ok. I then demolished a wall at Roses and dropped a concrete block on the same toe! Even so I still really enjoyed it, a brilliant event. Totally recommend it."

Nancy: "With the run I managed to tuck in the 10k within my target of under 50 mins so I was happy with that.  Smiling faces to cheer me on at the finish was great and made up for the heavy rain showers and hail."


Steve B: "Paced out for a 9 min mile (as I want a 4hr marathon for my Ironman) making sure I did not get sucked into racing other bodies... It's harder than I thought, as my mind and body want to race.... Dambuster was a training race for me - used it to pace out for my Ironman...Had a great race felt very comfortable and could have gone round again, oh and again and some more..."


Rose - "..Again all the women in the club either passed me or lapped me but all with encouraging words.... Took time to get legs working but a fabulous playlist from the music guys really helped.... By the time I got to the dam it started to heavily rain then hail that stung!!!!.... So abandoning myself to the elements I had my Kate Bush moment along the top of the Dam!!!.... you have to laugh... and then Julie swept past me!!!!... but I kept going aware that Joules was just ahead of me ... but there was no catching her!!!!!..... last bit I knew you guys would all be there and you were.... i could have finished then... Superb moment.... I'd been worried that the marshals would have been packing up but thankfully they were great.... So I maintained my usual place in the last 10 in every Olympic I have done ... but this time it felt good and I truly enjoyed it :)"

Jeff - "T2 not bad and the legs took a bit of warming into the run - suffered for the first 15 mins or so. Again, sorry Steve, you saw me and shouted me, but I think I had my eyes closed at the time. I caught up and overtook some of those who went passed me on the bike, but by the end of the run I was pretty knackered. Glad to beat the 3 hour mark, but sure I can knock 10-15mins off the total time next time."


Steve Mac - "I was not looking forward to this as I had not run that far since October so I was getting ready to suffer, Ant caught me in the first mile as I was doing just over 8 min miles then it was high fives all the way round, I think I could have gone faster but didn't want to risk further injury. Good run though really enjoyed the whole race."



Final quotes from the Dambuster gang:
"I must say WE are a great club, the support and encouragement shown to all members is fantastic..."


"Awesome outing from everyone in the club :)...... This was a real personal achievement for me and still on a high...."





Our deepest sincere apologies to a particular pub in the Derby area for Jeff meeting up with his brother & family, while still wearing his tri-suit under his clothes and stunk the place out. His excuse was no shower facilities at Rutland. Lol. Didn't stop him partying all night in Crewe either!





Pos Cat Pos     Name      Total Time    Swim     T1       Bike         T2          Run
99      21 JAMES DEAR           02:15:36  28:32  01:21  01:07:33  00:58    37:12  
262    32 ANTHONY GREY       02:28:29  30:12  02:16  01:13:04  00:58    41:59  
311    04 RACHEL BAKER        02:31:24  26:24  02:04  01:17:23  01:15    44:18  
321    46 STEVE MCMENAMIN  02:31:53  22:55  02:08  01:19:20  01:19    46:11
391    71 STEPHEN BIRCHALL  02:36:42  26:59  02:46  01:19:18  00:56    46:43
482    18 SAM ANDERSON       02:43:28  25:10  02:29  01:28:47  01:28    45:34
572    89 TREVOR MOORE      02:50:29  30:49  01:54  01:27:41  01:12    48:53
586    10 HAZEL TUPPEN        02:52:05  29:54  03:47  01:31:01  01:31    45:52
621    51 JEFF WOODALL       02:56:05  32:17  03:47  01:27:48  01:41    50:32
660    28 NANCY DOYLE         03:01:54  34:21  03:29  01:32:28  02:09    49:27
701    22 JULIE WILLIAMS      03:13:54  31:48  03:10  01:40:00  02:25    56:31
712    34 PIPPA CROUCH       03:20:10  28:45  03:54  01:41:05  02:39  01:03:47
728    23 JULIENNE                03:30:09  34:23  02:52  01:44:06  02:25  01:06:23
730    26 ROSE RYAN            03:34:30  34:16  03:52  01:48:25  02:13  01:05:44



Author: Sharon & quotes



Bintan Island Indonesia, Olympic Tri


Saturday 21st May, Bintan Island Indonesia (Olympic Distance Triathlon)

Having hung around in the heat, 38c and the humidity 93%, for nearly four hours, I was almost looking forward to the start at 14.00hrs. This was going to be my first triathlon abroad and my first sea swim tri. So you can imagine I was feeling a little nervous.

About an hour before the start I had to sit in a chair on the beach and get my arms stamped with the race number, that made me look quite professional! Lining up on the sands waiting for the start was amazing, just being there with all the different nationalities. Then we were off racing across the sand to enter the water, very different to a lake start!!

The water temperature was 29c and very salty!! Running through the water eventually it came up to my neck, I then realised that this was the swim leg not the run leg!! Once I got into my rhythm I was fine, I was even out swimming the jelly fish and the sharks!! The swim course was two laps, so we had to run out of the water around a marker on the beach and back into the water. No problems on the second lap except that as I got nearer to the beach I went to stand up and the water only just reached my knees!!! Didn't want to be accused of the not swimming the full distance!!!!

I was in and out of T1 in 1min 22sec and out on the one lap bike course which was very undulating on wide smooth roads. I was flying on the bike and managed to overtake loads of people, making up for the time lost on the swim!! No problems on the bike and I made sure I was drinking plenty as the temperature was rising.

In and out of T2 in 1 min 3 sec and on to the two laps run course which was on and off road and very undulating. I was feeling good coming off the bike and soon got into my stride. Although it was extremely hot luckily there were drink stations every 2K which had isotonic drink, water and cold sponges!!! With lap one out the way I managed to pick the pace up a bit overtaking a number of other runners and before I knew it I was sprinting down the finish chute!!!

What a fantastic experience and a great setting matched only by my lovely daughter and her husband cheering me on!!

My results:

  • SWIM 1500m               47min 59sec
  • T1                              1min 22 sec
  • BIKE   40k                   1 hr 15min 33sec
  • T2                              1min 3sec
  • RUN    10k                   57min 51sec
  • OVERALL TIME              3hrs 3min 48sec
  • OVERALL POSITION       239

 Author: Del Hastings