Alnwick Tri Club
Eleven Alnwick Tri Club members travelled to Nottingham Tri on Saturday for the final chance to qualify for the triathlon world championships in September.
There were four races throughout the day, each including Alnwick Tri members, but with 200-240 people per wave, the 750m swim was a bun fight no matter which race of the day. The 20k bike was four laps of the lake at Holme Pierrepont and the 5k run another single lap of the lake.
Steve Carragher was seventh out the water in the first wave, but despite a good 31min bike, he dropped to 11th place.
His recent run of form showed on the last leg with a sub-18minute 5k which put him in fifth position in his category, picking up the first qualification of the day.
Peter Moralee came out the water a minute behind Steve, then lost one position on the bike. Despite running well and passing people, he had the same number pass him, so he finished 34th in the 25-29 category.
The next wave saw Ian Simon and Jock Bolam competing in the most competitive race with some amazing cyclists.
Ian came out of the water in ninth having had a much better swim than the last qualification race in St Neots, where he was punched in the face just before the start.
Jock came out of the swim in 53rd and set off to chase the field down. He cycled 2seconds quicker than Ian (both just over 29min), having passed 20 competitors.
On the run, Ian set off in fifth place and ran well into first place, with second and third place only just passed on the finish line, while Jock ran a 21minute race and finished in 37th place.
In the third wave, it was the older men and the 50 to 59-year-old women so it was pretty easy to spot how well Denise Drummond and Sue Bolam were doing, especially as Drummond was first female out of the water. But a frustrating shoe malfunction on the mount line left her having to make the decision to be safe and stop to get it sorted.
A solid 34.5minute bike saw her into fifth position at the start of the run but with the quality of the field, even a sub-24minute run had dropped her to eighth in category.
Sue had been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained on a tumble from the bike a few weeks ago, which left her unable to swim very much so came out the water in 24th place in category.
She then biked and ran at pretty much the same pace as everyone round her to maintain that position right to the end.
The final wave of the day saw all the other females race. Jenny Bolam and Amy Thorne in the 15-19 category, Kim Redpath in the 20-24 category and Tracey Sample and Lisa Williams in the 45-49 category.
Predictably, Amy came out the water in 10.35, three minutes clear of the rest of the Alnwick Tri pack (Jenny, Lisa and then Tracey all within seven seconds) with Kim another minute behind.
The bike was something else entirely. With so many quick-swimming juniors who were then very slow on the bike, the 30 girls who came out of the swim between 13.20 and 13.40 were all in a great big pack unable to cycle properly.
Lisa and Tracey overtook 60-plus cyclists by the second lap of four. More slow cyclists were being lapped every few metres.
Jenny, in her first adult tri, did a fantastic job but got a big culture shock as to how hard it was to cycle 20k and then run 5km off the bike and suffered with a smile on her face, finishing in 19th place in category. Kim, meanwhile, had pulled herself up from ninth in category to seventh on the bike and then chased down another two competitors to finish a creditable fifth in the category, which was won by the fastest female overall on the day.
This was enough to get a qualification spot at both Worlds and Europeans.
The race of the day was definitely between Amy, Lisa and Tracey. With three minutes’ head-start going on to the bike, but still only ninth in her swim specialist 15-19 category, Amy was determined to stay ahead and moved up to third in her category, but had the older age groups cycling past and piling up behind.
She only had 15seconds’ head start out onto the run on Lisa, with Tracey a further five seconds behind.
Amy had breathing problems on the run and had to stop to get sorted and eventually came in ninth.
Lisa and Tracey were never more than about 50m apart for the whole race, with the lead changing hands at least 10 times throughout the race.
Lisa beat Tracey out of the water for the first time ever and cycled 15seconds faster, but Tracey was better in both transition one and transition two to be only five seconds behind going out on to the run.
They then ran side by side for 4km, trying to break each other, swapping the lead a number of times before a final push with 300m to go left Lisa unable to respond, with Tracey finishing fifth.
Frustratingly, Lisa was overtaken on the line so ended up in seventh, both doing enough to qualify for the Worlds with Tracey also qualifying for the Europeans in 2016.
Of the 11 club members, the following five qualified for the ITU Age Group Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Chicago in September.
Ian Simon, Steve Carragher, Tracey Sample, Kim Redpath, Lisa Williams.
On top of this, Steve, Tracey and Kim have qualified for the ETU European Sprint Triathlon Championships in Lisbon in 2016.
Results: Ian Simon, 1 (M), 45-49, 01:01:17; Steven Carragher, 5 (M), 40-44, 01:02:04; Jock Bolam, 37 (M), 45-49, 01:07:25; Peter Moralee, 35 (M), 25-29, 01:09:53; Tracey Sample, 5 (F), 45-49, 01:10:15; Lisa Williams, 7 (F), 45-49, 01:10:26; Denise Drummond, 8 (F), 50-54, 01:12:04; Amy Thorne, 9 (F), 15-19, 01:12:42; Kim Redpath, 5 (F), 20-24, 01:16:59; Sue Bolam, 24 (F),50-54, 01:20:23; Jenny Bolam, 19 (F), 15-19, 01:24:29.