While Long Eaton Running Club is very much a running/drinking/cake eating collective, some members do have other sporting interests, and in recent times it's been the running-related sport of Triathlon that has tickled the fancy of some.
Indeed, the sport offers athletes the opportunity of competing for Great Britain at age group level upon reaching specified standards, which is something that two LERCers have been able to do recently.
Darren Pyefinch has qualified for the 2012 World Triathlon Sprint Distance Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand, which takes place in October this year. This is one of the most prestigious events on the Triathlon calendar and everyone wishes Darren the best of luck for the competition.
Meanwhile, Tim Doyle has already competed for Great Britain, last week representing the GBR Age Group Team in the ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships in Den Haag. Tim reports that this is basically an off road triathlon and that racing on sand was very hard work! He described his race as "ok", and came a creditable 58th in a field of 125, but, crucially, 11th in his age group.
The whole experience of being part of the GB XTri team was ace and I loved it. On pre race day, we all rode the route, practicing descending down steps, steep slopes etc…and then riding along the beach…..which was draining/almost impossible. With 40% of the ride on the beach, I thought id bitten off more than I could chew…oh, how different it was to Sherwood Pines!
A practice swim in a stormy north sea with 10ft waves was also interesting, to say the least…
Race start time was on Saturday at 5pm and with high winds and stormy rain, the swim was reduced to one lap (500m) around the buoys. I'd never swam in such rough conditions and had to learn quickly about diving through huge waves to come out the other side and pull thin air, to then get pinned down in the next huge wave. Sighting was out of the question, as I could only see a sea wall and had to swim to allow the tide. Some didn’t make the buoys and then couldn’t swim against the tide to get round them!! The swim back with the current took me some way down the beach, away from where I was meant to get out, so I was pretty shattered once I got washed up on the shore!
The bike was hard work (30km). Very hard work! And it was impossible to pedal in the sand in places (this was meant to be the hardest off road tri in Europe and I can see why now!), unless you were on of the Dutch athletes who had massive wide tyres that appeared to float on top of the sand. I could hold my own on the technical stuff, but was no good at grinding through the sand. I appeared to go deeper into the sand, as the orange parade of Dutch teams came effortlessly past.
The run was up/down/up/down through all the sand dunes. It felt like a luxury when we hit a 20m length of concrete path, but I did manage to pull a few back.
Most importantly, the post race party included fireworks on the beach and then joining the Dutch on a fairground carousal at midnight after a few beers. Overall, it was a fab experience.
This report was brought to you by deano
anom wrote; Body amazing effort from our triathletes. Well done
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