Ardingly Sprint Tri - BAR Race 3

Ardingly Sprint Tri - BAR Race 3

The results were outstanding with our 5 Great Britain Age Groupers finishing in the first 8 for the men including Neil Giles winning overall, James Dear 3rd, Rob Hoodless 6th, Steve Alden 7th (first over 50), and Loz Wintergold 8th.


Rachel Baker - another GB Age Grouper won the women's race overall, with both Hazel Tuppen (3rd lady) and Fiona Bussell (6th lady) winning their respective age groups.


We have all been getting used to competing in poor weather and this day was true to form. There was a massive storm the night before with nearly an inch of rain, so the bike course was covered in debris (and a strategically placed fire engine!), whilst the run route was soggy, muddy and slippery. Luckily the swim was meant to be wet.


The day started with registration. Most people commented that it was a joy having Kay and Pippa in charge as it became a stress free zone. Sam and Alex were also on hand in various places including cheerfully encouraging everyone. Dave Lashbrook left it particularly late and was the very last athlete to register, although he was in plenty of time.


The swim had many of us racing in the same lanes simultaneously and most people gave way to the faster swimmers (sorry Dave).  Phil was sure he had done 2 extra lengths but as it was he was the club's second fastest swimmer (only Neil 'the fish' Giles was faster). It is clear from the times that all the swim training and coaching is paying off. Martin Shoesmith's impressive 9.06 is a good example after only a couple of seasons. Ant Grey and Loz counted lengths before they raced, but no-one paid them enough get away with fewer lengths. As the ground outside the pool was so rough it was permitted to leave clothing and shoes outside. Steve Crocker took it a stage further by rapidly donning a pair of slippers before racing up the hill. However in a post-race interview he admitted they were handmade Italian leather shoes with special soles for grip, which enabled a super quick run into transition.


The bike course is well known to be challenging for a sprint course. The damp conditions reduced visibility with glasses steaming up, whilst also making the ground slippery. There was gravel everywhere just to add to the challenge. Charlie Langhorne recorded a remarkable 37.09 bike split some 3 minutes ahead of James Dear in an equally amazing 40.15 (including both transitions) and Neil was only 17 seconds behind. Colin Chambers slowed down to admire the fire engine on the fastest section of the course and still managed to be a few seconds faster than Steve A, who in turn was delighted to be a few seconds faster than Rob. Phil Couch was racing up behind Steve Mac, and was preparing a suitable witty remark as he passed, when his chain came off, and it took him till well into the run to catch up again. By this time his 'wit ability' had long since left him and he could only manage a grimace. Following his problems with an errant horse at East Grinstead he has not been enjoying the bike legs lately. By contrast Ant Grey's new bike has been a great investment - nothing significant has fallen off - yet! In Balcombe many of our athletes were cheered on by Mat Record as he happened to be out walking as we all passed through. This did not help Julie, when she punctured in the village and had to start the long walk home before eventually being picked up by the broom wagon.


Transition is always interesting. Although Jim was doing the 'other' race, he caused great amusement by spending seemingly several minutes putting on extra articles of clothing and reportedly putting gel in his hair! Dave Lashbrook completely forgot to put any trainers on at all and was called back by the referee to dress properly. Lucy Williams managed to get out of T2 having lost both her numbers and Loz struggled through transitions largely due to being affected by the wet and cold which clearly slowed him down.


The run was a real challenge compared to a dry day. There was a long slog up the soggy hill, followed by tricky corners on thick mud. 4 times! Grip was a real issue and the course was also about 200m longer than previous years. Getting elastic bands became tricky as sometimes there wasn't one available at just the right moment. The 'bandsmen' sorted it all out though and everyone did the correct number of laps, although David Ricketts made hard work of it by dropping the bands every time! Claire Cresswell even managed to give the marshals a version of the 'Cresswell Wiggle'


The nicest thing about the run was being cheered on by Pippa, Kay and Jim on most of the laps - that and finishing!


A special mention must go to Helen Graham doing her first triathlon. She was cold, wet and miserable and cheerfully shouted 'never again' as she completed each run lap. But she carried on and finished well, and I am sure she will be racing again soon.


One final note! We found out after our triathlon today that Steve Crocker and Fiona Bussell each won the Weald Sprint Triathlon series. Congratulations to both of you. What a fantastic achievement!!


Men Winner 1.08.53


Neil GILES                   1.08.53     10pts       0%  1st overall

James DEAR               1.11.26      9               3.7    3rd   

Rob HOODLESS        1.14.48      8             8.59  6th

Steve ALDEN             1.16.06      7           10.48 7th

Loz WINTERGOLD  1.16.16      6           10.72  8th

Phil COUCH               1.16.39      5            11.28 10th

Colin CHAMBERS    1.17.08      4            11.98

Dave LASHBROOK  1.17.36      3            12.66

Ant GREY                   1.18.57      2            14.62

Steve CROCKER       1.19.27      1            15.35

Mark JORDAN          1.19.28      all get 1pt 15.37

Martin SHOESMITH   1.21.26                18.22

Steve McMenamin      1.22.27                19.70

Paul WILLS                   1.24.52                23.21

Charlie LANGHORNE 1.25.12                   23.69

Robert COX                   1.27.34                27.13

Graeme FITZJOHN     1.30.20               31.14

Callum MURRAY         1.31.34               32.93

Trevor MOORE            1.33.17               35.42

David RICKETTS         1.33.49               36.19

Peter CLARKE              1.39.12                44.01

Tim CRESSWELL         DNF fatigue (uncomfirmed!)





WOMEN Winner 1.22.11


Rachel BAKER          1.22.11     10pts    0%         1st overall

Hazel TUPPEN          1.27.17       9         6.19         3rd

Fiona BUSSELL         1.30.35      8         10.21     6th

Lucy WILLIAMS       1.34.59       7        15.56      9th

Sharon CHLADEK    1.35.54      6         16.68    10th

Nancy GILBERT       1.36.48       5        17.78

Claire CRESSWELL 1.49.43       4        33.48

Emma ALDEN          1.49.58        3        33.79

Angela MURRAY     1.50.36       2       34.57

Rose RYAN               1.57.42       1       43.21

Helen GRAHAM      2.16.44       1       66.36

Julie WILLIAMS        DNF puncture and long walk!  1pt