Triathlon Race Directors Travel The Globe

As the SLSC aquathlon and triathlon races go from strength to strength our Race Directors found time to take their quest against middle age across the globe this year! The action started close to home at the Box Hill Fell Race where Paul Leddingham demonstrated that fatherhood hasn’t slowed him up at all. This tough 10k hill run in muddy January served to remind us all future quests had to involve swimming. Next stop, wet and windy Dorney Lake for the annual May Eton Super Sprints (I’m almost embarrassed to mention the 400m wetsuit swim) where Mark Thomas won his age group and Tim T came 3rd to collect our first ever podium finish and ‘pro’ winnings with a highly prized £50 tri&run voucher.

Life got much harder for Tim at the European Triathlon Championships, Age Group Olympic Distance Race in Holten, Holland in July, where the hot weather (30c+) enforced a non-wetsuit 1500m lake swim (mass panic all round!) and somehow the 42km cycle route found the only hills in Holland. Tim managed a credible 2hrs 30mins and even got a well done from fellow age grouper James Cracknell who was holding court at the after event Euro-pop street party - fresh from his trek to the south pole!

All this time Mat Record was slowly building stamina (or losing the beer gut) in deepest Sussex ready to take on the Vitruvian Challenge at Rutland Water in early September. Mat posted a brilliant time for the 1.9k swim, 85k bike and 21k run in 5 hours 17 mins (30.15 swim, 2hrs.47min bike, and 1hr 53min run). Next year he tells us he’s ready for Ironman Hawaii!

Saving the famous to last - Mark had a fantastic year, modestly cashing in on being one of the youngest in his age group. Eton was only the start with other incredible highlights - age group winner in the Hyde Park Dextro Ultra World series, bronze medal at the National sprint champs Milton Keynes, and rounded off with a fantastic 10th place at the World Champs sprint triathlon in Australia’s Gold Coast. Apparently Mark only kept his wet suit on to keep the sharks off. Mark’s planning a well earned rest and even has a bet to do the Christmas day-race (no wet suit of course)!

I asked our 5th race director, Vanessa Yardley (who actually keeps whole Aquathlon show running) if she wanted to add anything. The reply wasn’t printable other than she’s a long way off needing our mental pursuits, just happy to keep an eye on the triathlon talent on Wednesday evenings!

By Tim Thomas