Triathletes take on Big Cow as Rich conquers Ironman

Alnwick Tri Club

On Saturday, three members of Alnwick Tri Club ventured down to Milton Keynes to race the Big Cow Sprint Triathlon, consisting of a 750m swim, 20km bike and a 5.1km run round Emberton Lake.

This was a qualification race for the European Triathlon Championships due to take place in the summer of 2015.

As it was the last chance to qualify, the competition was strong. Conditions were difficult in the swim due to the large number of competitors and the narrow course leading to a battle in the water, fighting for space until more than halfway round when the course widened.

Both Steve Carragher and Tracey Sample, accustomed to coming out the water much nearer the front were mid-pack, right in the worst of the battleground.

Out onto the rolling 20km bike route, again a very narrow road made passing opportunities difficult to come by, but Jock Bolam still overtook 60 cyclists and Sample more than 30 cyclists.

Carragher ran at a similar pace to the fastest runners in his category to finish in 14th place in the 40-44 category in a time of 1h 8m 12s.

Bolam finished 17th in the 45-49 category in 1h 13m 45s and Sample, who was most worried about completing the event after a fall on the same bike course two years previous had left her with a broken collar bone, had the best result of the day finishing ninth in the 40-44 category in 1h 17m 9s, disappointingly just a few seconds outside the qualification standard.

On Sunday, Tri Club chairman, Rich Agan completed his first full Ironman, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-miles bike and a 26.2-mile marathon at Ironman Wales.

Having had injury problems in the run-up to the race, Rich had no idea if he could complete the event so went in having lowered all expectations, not trying to go for a good time and attempting just to get round.

Rich had a good swim, completing the 3.9km in 1h 9m. Then out onto the bike, with a nice steady effort taking 6h 52m for the 112 difficult miles.

The run was always going to be hard and posting a time of an hour slower than he is capable of, 4hrs 13min, ensured he finished the race, 12h 48m. Still under 13 hours, a time which many people would love to get.