2015 Club Championships Review
Nuneaton Triathlon Club 2015, what a year this has been and what a whirlwind! Over the winter we trained, we swam, we turbo’d, we cycled, we ran, we practised, we purchased and then in the inimitable words of Murray Walker ‘Its Go Go Go!’ we raced!
Well most of Nuneaton Tri Club did anyway, this year sixty-four members competed in Club Championship qualifying events, a fantastic turnout, and the competition levels reached new highs across the board. The distance covered between us this year in club competitions was impressive. Together we swam from Dover to Calais and back (twice!), rode the whole of the Tour de France and then from the Champs Elysees to John O Groats for good measure and after that we ran to Lands End before heading back almost to Nuneaton!
We began and ended our season at a club favourite venue, East Leake, opening with a bang in March with howling winds and driving rain that didn’t stop twenty-eight of us turning up to test out our winter training regime. Those of us slower swimmers had the early starts and we definitely got the best of it, with the rain during Gareth Parkers run almost giving him a second swim leg! Age group trophies followed for Lois Thorne (3rd), Helen Talbot (2nd) and Will Thorne who won the 15-16 category. In the V50 age group a tight battle saw Jez Page take 2nd, Mark Bailey 3rd and Andy Turner 4th with just 4 seconds separating Jez and Mark.
The first Duathlon in club champs history followed courtesy of the Bosworth 1485 Club and it saw defending Club Champion Kurt Hatwell put down a marker for the season coming first overall and racking up a massive 102.6 points, a score that was not to be beaten in 2015 for a sprint event.
Amanda (If only she could swim) Harris competed in her first club champs event in style picking up 3rd female overall, just ahead of the hard chasing Lois Thorne.
Attendance was disappointing at the Southwell triathlon and at the BRAT Lichfield sprint, but that didn’t stop Tom Blades, Anne Grant and Kaje Knight all picking up valuable points.
Coventry Sprint brought the numbers back with Mark Jarvis showing some strong early season form taking 15th overall and picking up an impressive 95.81 points and Lois Thorne going great picking up a 3rd in Age Group trophy.
A disappointing turnout followed at the Barton Marina sprint and Dambuster Olympic distance events, Andy Turner, Carolyn Dyall and Rob Carvell made the trip to Barton and Helen Talbot took on the challenging Dambuster.
31st May brought the Outlaw Half which seemed to have picked up the horrendous weather conditions from East Leake. Ten members took on this middle distance event with Captains Phil Harris and Gowan Miller leading by example by being first NTC male and NTC female home in great times of 5:18 and 6:37 respectively. Chair Dave Tait showed willing too, but couldn’t match his impressive 2014 performance in part down to his now infamous toilet stops.
The Avenger events in June saw a return of numbers with seven taking on the sprint and five the Olympic. Lee Harper led home for the club in the Olympic with an excellent time of 2:57 and a good haul of points. Lee Annis took club honours in the sprint and another impressive performance from Lois Thorne saw her take another 3rd in age group with an especially strong bike leg.
The championships headed North again for the Foremark Hall event at the end of June with Andy Turner and Carolyn Dyall joined this time by Paula Tyler. Disappointing feedback came from the few competitors who took on the City of Birmingham Tri’s in July, but Tom Blades wasn’t complaining after an excellent showing he picked up a very useful 94.32 points.
The BRAT Tri’s at Cliffe Lakes saw the girls take on the sprint and the guys tackle the Olympic. Deb Suffolk was the first NTC’r home in the sprint and Andy Martin in the Olympic. Paula and Peter Tyler also had one of their best results of the year, showing a steady improvement over the course of the season in what was Peters first Olympic distance event and Paula’s first open water race.
Our very own NTC Aquathlon followed and what a club turnout. Twenty-four members competed with Will Thorne leading the way in 3rd place overall. Helen Talbot and Kat Hodgson weren’t far behind and took first and second in the women’s event, great to see Kat back and I’m sure that we’ll see her challenging Helen again in 2016. But what really shone through was the camaraderie and team spirit of the day, let’s hope we can get more non-members to this great event next year!
The Daventry Sprint Tri was slotted in to the calendar to fill gaps left by the disappointing cancellations of the Leamington Tri and earlier in the year the Leicester Flashman. It was very well attended by the club with 17 members competing and it saw Helen Talbot shine through to win the women’s race overall and take an interesting wonky trophy!
Our Club Champs away race for 2015 was the Sandman weekend in Anglesey. Sprint race on the Saturday followed by the Olympic + distance race on the Sunday (or both to become a Savage!). Only the ‘Savage Sisters’ (Helen, Sarah and Michelle) took on the sprint with Helen once again claiming first woman overall trophy and a sprint finish saw Sarah pip Michelle to the line.
Ten members started the full distance event along with two relay teams. The swim was challenging and nearly (literally!) killed off Phil Harris with even our national open water champion Angie Fisher commenting on how hard the conditions were. Andy Turner unfortunately had to withdraw after the bike leg with an injury, but nothing was holding Helen Talbot back who claimed 2nd overall woman and won the Savage while Sister Sarah’s result saw her take second place in the Savage a great weekend for them both. Lee Harper took the honours for the NTC men and all were relieved to cross the finish line after a sandy and undulating run.
Whilst Andy Martin took part in the Bossie sprint triathlon, the clashing traditional end of season event at East Leake was almost as well attended as the season opener! This time we were greeted with near freezing fog which made the bike challenging for the early starters. So much so that Anne Grant required the body heat of Kaje Knight (after she had finally managed to tame the East Leake course) and the ambulance after returning from the bike leg suffering from hypothermia! Will & Lois Thorne and Deb Suffolk all picked up age group podiums on the day and we were privileged to witness the much hyped battle between the male V40 duo Lee Harper and Jimmy Dewis. Lee came out on top this time, getting his first sub 1:10 sprint result into the bargain, Jimmy certainly pushed him throughout but Lee was usurped by 12 seconds and a Sprint PB for Justin Mullis and by Phil Harris (by a little bit more) who had something to prove to the course after his Sandman struggles.
Top 10 Individual Performances in 2015
Kurt Hatwell 112.13 Ultimate Half
Kurt Hatwell 108.55 Lanzarote 70.3
Phil Harris 104.37 Outlaw Half
Jez Page 103.47 Outlaw Full
Kurt Hatwell 102.60 1485 Duathlon
Helen Talbot 99.78 Sandman Olympic
Helen Talbot 97.72 Daventry Sprint
Mark Jarvis 95.81 Coventry Sprint
Mark Bailey 95.92 Staffs 70.3
Andy Martin 94.77 Exmoor 70.3
With the races all over we had clear winners of both the mens and womens competitions with Kurt Hatwell and Helen Talbot successfully defending their 2014 crowns. Helens sisters Michelle Kenny and Sarah Clark made up the podium positions in the womens competition with Lois Thorne tantalisingly close in 4th place, with just over 1 minute of race time over the entire season covering 2nd to 4th places. In the mens championship Jez Page and Phil Harris took 2nd and 3rd overall showing that age is irrelevant by having three different age groups represented on the mens podium.
|Overall Final Club Championship Positions 2015|
|1||Kurt Hatwell||323.28||1||Helen Talbot||291.55|
|2||Jez Page||287.44||2||Michelle Kenny||240.73|
|3||Phil Harris||286.00||3||Sarah Clark||240.31|
|4||Andy Martin||277.12||4||Lois Thorne||239.61|
|5||Mark Jarvis||276.91||5||Debra Suffolk||228.96|
|6||Lee Harper||274.91||6||Carolyn Dyall||222.18|
|7||William Thorne||271.15||7||Hayley Clarke||220.83|
|8||Justin Mullis||268.88||8||Anne Grant||212.46|
|9||Tom Blades||268.48||9||Kaje Knight||191.95|
|10||Andy Russell||266.90||10||Paula Tyler||181.66|
|11||Andy Turner||258.52||11||Zoe Brown||178.98|
|12||Rob Carvell||257.68||12||Theresa Bishop||159.73|
|13||James Dewis||252.25||13||Gowan Miller||159.13|
|14||Calum McCracken||250.84||14||Cheryl Dewis||138.28|
|15||Gareth Parker||247.12||15||Kerrie Slevin||135.08|
|16||Lee Annis||240.71||16||Angie Fisher||133.62|
|17||Peter Tyler||233.25||17||Sharon Singleton||91.34|
|18||David Tait||233.17||18||Zoe Wilkin||81.24|
|19||Shaw Rowcroft||232.07||19||Amanda Harris||80.00|
|20||Nigel Johnson||225.49||20||Kat Hodgson||78.32|
|21||Kevin Wright||219.84||21||Ellie Harris||69.50|
|22||Mark Bailey||185.76||22||Danielle Gunn||68.42|
|23||Rob Debney||177.44||23||Patricia Poulton||67.07|
|24||Rob Matthews||162.26||24||Julia Snowdin||60.52|
|25||Dave Mortimore||159.23||25||Kathryn O’ Brien||53.69|
The Ironmen (and Ironwomen)
2015 saw eighteen members complete half Ironman events and six finish the full Iron distance of a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run, quite remarkable. Each of them has a story to tell, just go and ask them!
Gowan Miller (Ironman Austria) – ‘Survived my first Ironman in Austria, even managed to fall asleep on the bike but highlight was that I had a decent swim despite no swimming for the 5 months leading up to it…. Oh and I did the 4 X 10k’s at the end and (almost) enjoyed it!’
Justin Mullis (Challenge Majorca 70.3) – Targeted a 5:45 time. Smashed it in 5:40. ‘I get asked a lot ”Why do you do these things?” The feeling when you overcome them is the reason…’
Phil Harris (Outlaw Half) – After completing his first half in a great time of 5:18 – ‘Well that hurt! Tough event in hard conditions (again!) with a strong field so really pleased with my result, fantastic NTC supporters group, thanks so much, there was no chance I was going to walk in the run with you guys screaming at me!’
Rob Carvell (Outlaw Full) – Overheard at mile 10, after only 6 weeks training for his first Iron distance – ‘ How the h*** am I supposed to run a marathon, my legs have stopped working ‘ He did and completed it in a very respectable 13:29:52
Full Iron Distance Roll of Honour 2015
Half Iron Distance Roll of Honour 2015
Andy Russell x2
Dave Tait x2
Kurt Hatwell x2
Alongside the Championship results and races came some personal achievements and goals reached
Steve Arnold joined us as a level 3 triathlon coach and is overseeing the setup of the Juniors section along with Junior Chairperson Zoe Brown and her hard-working committee
My highlight of the season was the Eton Dorney Challenge distance which I loved and it made me enter an Olympic in Amsterdam. I genuinely miss the club, people and fabulous team spirit.
I’m pleased just to have had a go at all three slate man series triathlons. Doing the snowman savage was by far the hardest and I’m most proud of that, and that Helen and Michelle got to podium places. I was happy to have come 5th at the Tamworth 10k.
Finally after 2 years of injury or other commitments I made it round the long bog trot route up the Hayes! – thanks to Hayley.
My 1st as a member NTC, The main highlight for me was my 73 mile, 2 day ultra run round the Isle of White (technically not NTC but my toughest challenge I’ve taken on). My top triathlon highlight would have to be winning my category at the Daventry sprint, beating Lee Harper ( who was too concerned with beating Jimmy ) by 12 seconds at East Leake! Has been a great first year for me with the club and everyone has been very supportive and welcomed me along.
Lois & Will Thorne
Here is the low down from us Thornies – My second year competing in NTC colours and still can’t believe that I could barely do 25 metres in the pool two years ago !!!! As for Willy, it’s very short and sweet – he really took the year off to concentrate on GCSE’s – and it was well worth it his best results this year were all academic. He still managed a few club races though and represented the Juniors! Big thanks to the captains, coaches, supporters and team members that make NTC THE BEST club to be a part of.
3rd in my age group in the national championships sprint distance at Belvoir in May even got a bronze medal.
Completed Birmingham half in a PB of 1:55:06
And the Fun Stuff!
Outside of competitions 2015 has seen the club go from strength to strength, with the turbo session growing and the Saturday and Sunday rides growing in attendance (and cake stops!)
There have been some medal envy, crazy races, personal grooming and ‘training camps’
But most important of all are all you crazy, hardy, loud-voiced, cowbelled up supporters
The final ‘word’ has to go to the outgoing chairman and all round awesome head crazy Dave Tait
And of course to all the members of the club that make NTC what it is!