2016 NTC Club Championships & Annual Review

First of all apologies for the delay in publishing, time has been a little tight this year! But we wanted to get something out so here you go, hopefully it will bring back memories, good, bad, happy, sad, painful and sometimes tearful….

2015 saw sixty-two members compete in Club Championship events, well this year the members stepped it up with seventy-one giving it a go. That is a significant proportion of current club members being active in the world of triathlon and something Nuneaton Triathlon Club can be very proud of.

Not only did more take part, the standard of performances across the board improved showing significant progression at all levels. To prove the point 286.25 points would’ve been enough for 3rd place in the men’s championship in 2015, this year it was only enough to get Tom Collins a very creditable 8th (sorry Tom!).

In 2016 we established a club calendar with eighteen events, giving everyone plenty of choice. We had seven pool sprint tri’s, four open water sprints, four Olympic distance, two duathlons and one aquathlon as well as any Iron or Half Iron distance event.

We began our season once again in March at a club favourite venue, East Leake, with a record thirty-one of us turning up to put our winter training into practice. Podiums for a number of members, including Kurt Hatwell who absolutely smashed it with a fourth overall in a very strong field, no one was going to take his club title away from him without a fight!

The April 1485 Duathlon in Bosworth followed, Andy Martin couldn’t believe that Cap’n Phil had beaten him by one second on the bike leg and Mrs Cap’n Amanda (Now learning to swim so watch out triathletes!) Harris picked up 2nd woman overall with Lois Thorne also collecting a shiny trophy!


In May the season really got into gear with three events, the Leicester Tri, Coventry Tri and our very own aquathlon. Leicester had a good turn out with great performances from many, with Kurt and Carolyn Dyall collecting more silverware for the club. Coventry Sprint Tri also proved popular with members with nine competing. They enjoyed the event so much we added another at the same venue later in the year….

Our annual NTC Aquathlon continued to go from strength to strength, it was almost a sell out this year. There were strong results from NTC with age group wins from Will, Mark S, Jez, Lois, Simon, Pat, Angie, Jenny and Kathy. Once again a massive thanks to all the volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

The sunshine in June was welcome for the Avenger sprint, Olympic and Middle distance events with good away support from a group of intrepid cyclists.


July was a quiet month for competitors despite having three events on the calendar, only seven members competed in total, but Kurt bagged his third 100+ points scoring event at the Full Boar Bosworth Olympic distance event putting him in an almost unassailable lead in the men’s club champs already.

The popular BRAT events took place in August, Kurt again doing very well, not so good for Zoe Brown who picked up an injury and put a premature end to what had been a very good season.


The Club Relays took part again at the end of August and the club again had a great turnout. Highlights abound for those that were there, it really is a must do event. But the highlight for the club was picking up a top ten finish in the Sunday National Open Mixed Teams thanks to Mark Stokes, Ian Robinson, Lois Thorne and Will Thorne, a great team effort!


September gave members five more chances to pick up some late season club championships points with East Leake, Market Harborough, Coventry and the two Sandman events.


Helen Talbot (who had been relatively quiet until this point other than the small matter of qualifying for Kona at Ironman Austria) used the Sandman to take her from nowhere to first in the league, shattering Lois Thornes dreams of being women’s champion in a league that she had led right from the very first race. Still a brilliant season for the ever smiling Lois where her great (and televised) Sandman helped her secure comfortable second place in the women’s championship.


The season extended into October this year with a second and equally popular 1485 duathlon wrapped up the events with another good turn out from members at this local event.

Top 10 Individual Performances in 2016


Kurt Hatwell      112.90   BRAT Olympic

Mark Stokes       112.26   Cotswold 226 Iron Distance

Kurt Hatwell      112.14   Full Boar Bosworth Olympic

Kurt Hatwell      109.33   Leicester Sprint

Phil Harris         109.04   Outlaw Full

Kurt Hatwell      108.39   East Leake Spring Sprint

Jez Page              108.00   Outlaw Full

Phil Harris         104.15   Outlaw Half

Alex Papadop.   103.92   Outlaw Half Holkham

Alex Papadop.   101.99   BRAT Olympic


Helen Talbot       107.16   Ironman Austria

Helen Talbot       104.49   Sundowner Half

Helen Talbot       101.27   Sandman Olympic

Helen Talbot       94.84     Sandman Sprint

Lois Thorne         87.65     Sandman Olympic

Lois Thorne         85.19     Avenger Olympic

Lois Thorne         83.23     Coventry Sprint

Lois Thorne         83.03     East Leake End of Season

Carolyn Dyall      82.34     Leicester Sprint

Lois Thorne         81.55     East Leake Sprint

With the racing complete for the year, we once again had clear winners of both the mens and women’s championships with both Kurt Hatwell and Helen Talbot successfully completing a hat trick of Club Championships, brilliant performances by both adding their names again to the overall trophies! Helen was joined on the women’s podium by Lois Thorne in second whose excellent year had her finishing 20 points ahead of Carolyn Dyall in third. In the mens championship Phil Harris moved up one place on his 2015 result to second and was joined on the podium by Alex Papadopoulos who also topped the magic 300 point mark, something only achieved by six athletes in NTC’s relatively short history, surely the highest achievement in Alex’s year???

If you want to find out who has one the 2016 Age Group trophies, the Rookie of the Year and who are the mens and women’s Sprint Champions (as well as a few ‘special’ awards) then you’ll have to attend the clubs AGM and Awards night on Friday 3rd February….

Final 2016 NTC Club Championship Positions


Mens Leaderboard Womens Leaderboard
1 Kurt Hatwell 334.37 1 Helen Talbot 312.92
2 Phil Harris 306.72 2 Lois Thorne 256.07
3 Alex Papadopoulos 302.85 3 Carolyn Dyall 235.75
4 Mark Stokes 297.05 4 Debra Suffolk 232.94
5 Jez Page 295.53 5 Sarah Clark 229.15
6 Andy Martin 289.77 6 Ellie Harris (Rk) 225.56
7 William Thorne 286.53 7 Michelle Kenny 223.17
8 Thomas Collins 286.25 8 Hayley Clarke 221.22
9 Rob Carvell 281.05 9 Zoe Brown 218.61
10 Lee Harper 280.39 10 Anne Grant 216.70
11 Mark Bailey 277.49 11 Jenny Martin (Rk) 211.88
12 Chris Aspley 277.09 12 Patricia Poulton 206.87
13 Andy Turner 268.27 13 Kathy O’Brien (Rk) 205.77
14 Andy Russell 250.40 14 Zoe Hill 202.22
15 Andrew Cheshire 242.76 15 Kerrie Slevin 200.46
16 Andrew Casson 242.46 16 Chloe Croft (Rk) 193.84
17 Dave Tait 239.56 17 Angie Gavin (Rk) 193.02
18 Peter Tyler 230.77 18 Maria Kay (Rk) 185.50
19 Alistair Quigley (Rk) 225.70 19 Deb Horton (Rk) 162.56
20 Lee Richards 173.08 20 Gowan Miller 152.46
21 Gareth Parker 170.33 21 Angie Fisher 136.78
22 Andrew Downes 166.94 22 Amanda Harris 79.35
23 Jimmy Dewis 166.66 23 Stephanie White 75.64
24 Jon King 157.74 24 Steph Norman 71.23
25 Neil Mckinstrie 155.77 25 Simone Wilson 69.31
26 Simon Bedder 150.33 26 Kirsty Knight 67.12
27 Ray Gray 140.50 27 Suzanne Harris 65.49
28 Ian Carvell (Rk) 125.11 28 Paula Tyler 61.73
29 Martyn Shuttler 117.39 29 Sharon Singleton 39.32
30 Alex Bruce 93.90  
31 Lee Annis 89.28
32 Darren Price 88.22
33 Fred Heath 84.34
34 Justin Mullis 83.44
35 Darren Little 79.37
36 Shaw Rowcroft 77.86
37 Nick Wilson 77.57
38 Ben Clay 76.09
39 Neil Daffern 75.67
40 Nigel Johnson 72.07
41 Andy Harris 56.71
42 Kevin Wright 56.66

*Rk – Eligible for the Rookie of the year award


The Ironmen (and Ironwomen)

In 2016 twenty-one members completed half Ironman distance events and twelve finished the full Ironman distance of a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run, each one an amazing achievement. Helen in particular has upped the ante by qualifying and competing in Kona Hawai, the mecca for Triathletes all around the world.


Looking at the entries that have been made already for half iron events in particular next year, we will have a whole lot more joining this exclusive bunch of nutters!! Don’t think that all the hard work is done by the competitors, as Andy Russell stated:

‘You get up so so early, you drive until your knuckles are white, you try and park, very very difficult, every space is taken, when you find your bit of ground and pitch up after a while everyone comes and stands IN FRONT of you, you scrutinise every single athlete and when you see the one’s you’re looking for everything pales into insignificance, your throat hurts your legs hurt, your head hurts, your back hurts, you’re hungry, thirsty, you can’t do anything in case you miss them, you worry for them every time you see the helicopter/ambulance you think please don’t let it be.

On the run its closer they give you a look of ‘please save me but you can’t, you feel proud that someone you know is actually doing this, you get home exhausted, shattered, and you lay in bed and think


To you all Competitor or supporter I salute you’

One of our resident crazies has done a bit of a blog post which you can find here – http://www.oxygenaddict.com/blog/2016/6/3/lee-richardson-ironman-lanzarote-race-report

Full Iron Distance Roll of Honour 2016

Lee Annis

Mark Bailey

Rob Carvell

Tom Collins

Phil Harris

Fred Heath

Gowan Miller

Jez Page

Lee Richards

Mark Stokes

Dave Tait

Helen Talbot x2

Half Iron Distance Roll of Honour 2016

Chris Aspley x3

Mark Bailey

Zoe Brown

Rob Carvell

Andy Casson x2

Hayley Clarke

Tom Collins

Angie Fisher

Helen Talbot

Ellie Harris

Phil Harris

Zoe Hill

Nigel Johnson

Andy Martin

Jenny Martin

Alex Papadopoulos

Darren Price

Lee Richards

Andy Russell x2

Mark Stokes

Dave Tait


Views From the Members

Debbie Horton‘Basically my first ever Tri season, really proud of myself, smashed East Leake better than I thought I would, kept improving my 5k time, my swim times are getting better. Did Nottingham big swim in 39 minutes 1500m compared to my fear of open water. Found Market Harborough a challenge but didn’t let it defeat me!’ Big plans for next year Debbie??

Justin Mullis‘Triathlon has been a little sparse for me this year, mainly as I’ve concentrated a little more on endurance running & representing NTC at various marathons, trial runs & ultras, but a particular highlight was the relays in Nottingham. I’d had issues with muscle soreness for a number of weeks but was determined to train through it but coming into the relays, I was fretting over the run. The swim & bike legs, I knew I’d be ok but had no idea how I’d hold up on the run. I was delighted to find, within a few hundred metres, my legs were holding up. I decided to give it everything as I knew I could make up ground on the NTC team ahead, plus no way were the other NTC team behind me, coming past! Easily my favourite 5km run this year! (alcohol free) pint well earned!’ Nice one Justin! Must Tri more next year 😉

Lois Thorne – Speaking about the National Triathlon Relays : ‘such an unexpected end to such a great weekend. Felt very proud to be racing for NTC that day, I know we were a bit rubbish compared to the other teams but the support made us feel like super stars. And racing alongside Will, very special! Oh and the Sandman – great event, great company, big personal achievement for me conquering my fear of swimming in the sea. Top weekend.’  Great year 2016 Lois, still getting quicker in 2017?

Andy Casson – ‘‘Vietnam’ announced my wife. The deal was I could do a 70.3 somewhere in the world as part of our holiday but she would decide where and what we did after the race. Well Vietnam was a surprise. However, I must say it is a long time since I have come across such a warm, generous and contented nation. We were greeted, quizzed on why we were there, but always with a warm enquiring nature. During our wandering around the city we came across so many other triathlete’s from so many countries; everyone in a varying state of excitement, trepidation and panic but all happy to chat about the race given half a chance.

Anyway to the race. This was the city’s first international sporting event with none of the volunteers, officials or police having any experience of running events on the streets, except for 4 Singaporean’s who were the sporting directors for the event. As per normal in the race briefing there were lots of questions; with each response being ‘no worry, it ok’. Given the number of mopeds in the city and their disregard for the rules of the road I enquired how the traffic was going to be managed and from the look on the organiser’s faces, I am not sure they had given it a great deal of thought but I still got a ‘no worry, it ok’. Now triathlete’s are nothing but prepared, leaving very little to chance, and here we are being told by a group of people who have never ran an event, in a city who never had their roads closed together and a police force who were used to doing what they want and when they want, telling us that everything will be right on the day … yeah right, we were all confident.

Race day arrived and it is the first time I have seen spectators on the swim circuit, yes the swim circuit. There were hundreds and only move away from the circuit after much encouragement by the guys on the jet skis. Apparently the spectators thought 3 meters was enough space to give the swimmers … clearly they haven’t seen my wandering swim route I take. The swim went well apart from one of the buoy’s guide ropes broke and we all ended up doing an extra 250m! The bike route had been changed a week or so beforehand because a local minister wanted to do something in the city and we would get in the way. So instead of 2 out and back loops with a bit of hill, we spent 70km in the hills. Having said that the scenery was spectacular as was the support from the locals. The run went fine and I was lucky enough to end up 3rd in my age group … on the podium beating some Germans, Italians, Japanese and Brits. The ‘after race’ chats between all the finishers was typical banter, no matter what country we came from … after all we all train with the same dedication and motivated because we are triathletes! (It’s not often you get a group from Netherland, Hong Kong, Japan and England having a drink and discussing how the race went and how we should all meet up next year somewhere).

So all I can say is if you ever get an opportunity to travel away from home to do a triathlon grab it with both hands and enjoy every second of it; I did and was rewarded with one the best experiences of my life.’ – Nuff said Andy, massive respect to you on your journey to doing a 70.3 in every continent!



Other Stuff (Not exactly racing)

Alongside the Championship results and races came some personal achievements and goals reached, Tom Blades has been taking our cycle training and preparation to new levels and has qualified as a level one triathlon coach and is now assisting the current coaching team.


A number of members took part in cyclosportives and other non Tri events (yes they do exist!) during the year as groups of members informally organised by one member or another or even just a group ride for cake!


This is a great sign of the maturity of the club and the great group of people that we have in it. But next time wear club kit Rob, John and Steph ;)!


And all that leaves Captains Phil Harris and Gowan Miller to do is to say thank-you for competing, training, laughing and tri-ing for Nuneaton Triathlon Club in 2016. It has been an honour for us to serve the competitive side of the club for the last two years, but next year it’s time for someone new to take the reins, as we will both will be stepping down from our roles as club Captains. If you fancy it, please feel free to speak to Phil or Gowan about what’s involved ☺…..


And remember, no matter what others may think, we all know the truth and that is of course:


This article has 6 Comments

  1. Brilliant summary Phil, it has been an absolute pleaseure to be a member of the Nuneaton Triathlon Club.

    I can only hope that my career sees me back at Bramcote so I can once again join you.

    I have made some great friends and I will no doubt bump into you all at various events round the world… I may even don the suit for races I know you will be at. Alex, I look forward to some more, ever increasing Facebook banter. Gowan, your warm, welcoming personality is everything that this sport is about and I am certain there is not a club member that doesn’t cherish it!

    Phil – you are one hell of a Captain, the club are very lucky to have you: your dedication and enthusiasm are admirable and inspirational; I salute you sir.

    Take care all, don’t be shit and please remember words to live by: It will be alright!

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