Hobbits and Humdingers

July 31, 2017

There's been a bit going on since my last update.  I'm sure I haven't got everything, but here goes:-

 

 

When Paul lost his partner for the Gower Swimrun event due to injury, he thought his chances of competing had gone.  Little did he know it would open up a 'Buy One Get One Free' opportunity! He tells the tale below: 

 

Swimrun started in Sweden and came to the UK two years ago when 12 teams of 2 people competed in the inaugural Breca Buttermere.  The race is around 45km long with 9 swims ranging from 400m to 1km each. You have to carry everything with you so NO transition as such, you run in your wet suit and swim in your running shoes.  

 

Two years later and the Buttermere entry had grown to over 150 teams, which demonstrates how popular the format is becoming.  It is particularly extreme as unlike a lot of the courses you have to cross the fells to get to the different lakes so it included a challenging 5,700 ft of climb in the event.

 

Ade and I entered the Breca Gower (19th August) but unfortunately Ade had to withdraw due to illness so I was put in contact with Craig Miskin and agreed to do Buttermere with him and he would do the Gower with me (yes I am doing it twice).  So on the day I met with two of Craig’s friends at the start and I will say I never considered myself as small but against these three I felt like a hobbit

 

Once under way we had sun, wind, rain the lot. The second swim had breaking waves and resembled more of a sea swim as opposed to a lake.  At about 10km after a couple of swims and on a very rocky path, my partner Craig tripped and fell down several feet on to rocks. With cuts on both knees, hands and his left arm and in a lot of pain we had to stop for almost 30 mins for him to recover, At this stage, covered in mud and blood (if you ever bleed when wet it looks 100 times worse) and as the field came past us we suspected a broken arm and thought it was game over. After 20 or so minutes the feeling started to come back to his arm and we walked to the next lake, the medical team had been called and were on the other side of the 400m swim. To my surprise he swam across to the medics, when we emerged with all of the dirt and blood gone we could see a very nasty lump and graze of his left arm but the cold water swim had helped.

 

Craig decided to continue and we put my left removable wetsuit sleeve over his wound as a compress and left the checkpoint in what must have been close to the back of the field.

 

We swam, we climbed mountains in heat, we descended trails fit for goats (with special care now) and gradually clawed our way back up through the field. On the biggest fell at about ¾ distance we were chasing the last checkpoint cut off and got in with about 30 mins to spare, and so completed our first swim run finishing in just over 9 hours in provisional 74th position.

 

The format is superb, running and swimming in some of the most awesome terrain in a team gives you something unique, Just when you are getting hot and the legs are getting tired you get to throw yourself into a lake swim, just as your arms start to ache and the cold water cool you down you haul yourself out and start running again, it is simply an event that is both stunning and brutal.

 

Next it's Gower in three weeks for a rerun, and I still have Ade to do one maybe next year, but this is one guy who is hooked on the format and would recommend it as a challenge to everyone.

 

 

 

Anne, Jennie, Gwyn, Paul and Karl all took part in the Humdinger Endurance swim which involved completing as many 1k laps as possible in six hours.  Gwyn opted for going solo and completed 13 laps in the time available and finish 22nd.  Paul & Karl, competing as a team completed 24 laps to finish 3rd while Anne and Jennie managed 15 to finish 25th. 

 

Kate took first female and 8th overall in the Cheltenham 'Tri in the Park' Super Sprint with Russ finishing just over a minute behind to seal 12th overall.

 

Ruth had a great result in the Castle Howard Tri, finishing in 2:46 to come second in her age group.  The prize of a bobble hat was a little unusual in the hight of summer; however it may come in useful for her anticipated trip to Estonia later in the year!

 

Meanwhile there was a bumper turnout from TTC at the Droitwich Sprint Tri with us not only providing a dozen entrants but also PJ and Caroline as marshals.   The day's honours went to Gwyn who finished 17th overall and 2nd vet in 1:05 and Helen racing in her COLT kit who finished in 1:13 to take 2nd female vet.  Tom continued his improvement finishing in 1:09 followed by Jill and Tony in 1:20, Anne, Dan and Mark (1:21), Jo in 1:23, Terry and Julia in 1:28 and Jennie in 1:30.  If I learned one valuable lesson it was to keep your head up and follow the signs on the bike course.  It's all well and good getting your average bike speed up but adding an extra half a mile onto a sprint course is never going to help!

 

Finally, don't forget, if you want to see your achievements up in lights, let me know what you've been up to.  There's so much on at this time of year its difficult to pick up all the results so let me know on Terry.Ballard293@gmail.com or via Facebook.

Please reload

Recent Posts

June 2, 2019

We arrived at Grafam Water late Saturday afternoon to register, check out the transition area and the lake which was a barmy 12 degrees C, happy and nervous for what we have let ourselves in for we headed for our hotel for food and a hopefully a good night's sleep.

5.00 am wake alarms never get easier, venturing out to the car we were greeted to a misty morning and on arrival at Grafam Water to find thick MIST all around the Lake. We set about getting ready totally expecting the mist to lift especially after the organisers announced an hour's delay to the start, so we were confident we would be good to go, however the mist thickened and sadly the decision to cancel the swim was made on safety grounds.

15 minutes prep time to get bike ready we were all set off in waves, trying not to draft in...

April 1, 2019

Hi All,

First round of race updates for the year and it appears the Tewkesbury trophy cabinets are already bulging! See the reports below that I have had submitted recently. It is always great to hear  how you got on.

Dave T

On the warmest, sunniest day in February ever, there was a bank of impenetrable fog hanging over the village. The race director reluctantly killed the bike leg and turned it into a run. Having ripped the joy out of the day, I lined up hoping my spaghetti like hamstrings weren’t under cooked.
It was as unpleasant as you can imagine. Especially when the eventual winner sprinted past like I’d stopped to do my laces. Apparently he’d missed the start as he couldn’t see where it was in the fog.
I managed 7th place and 2nd in age. The best bit was winning a tenner. Brilliantly o...

January 18, 2019

With lots of professional triathletes taking part in pre seasons training camps abroad, a group of 12 of the club's members took the short (and now free to cross) trip to Wales for a pre-season session.

A great evening was had by all and with no crashes or bumps the whole group came away smiling. Thanks must go to Stuart for organising and coordinating the evening. We have another sessions booked for the beginning of March, and it would be great to have a few more attendees.

November 1, 2018

Why send one Club member to international events when you can send a posse to take on a bunch of them?  Jayne goes first...

'As some of you know, I like to ride my bike through mud. In November 2017 I took part in the Cirencester Off-Road duathlon and finished 4th but 1st Veteran Female. A chance conversation in the car park and subsequent email led me to qualify for the 2018 Cross Duathlon GB age-group team.


Fast forward nearly twelve months and I found myself sitting on the balcony of my apartment, watching elite cross triathlete Nicole Walters sob as she crosses the finish line. I knew why she was crying, I’d recced the bike course two days before. Steep and like the surface of the moon!!

The run was tough too, with about 30% being on the beach, 35% on a rocky path over to the n...

October 18, 2018

She said she was rubbish at sending in results but it looks like she didn't stop long enough to write anything down!  In one e-mail Ros sent me a very impressive write up of all the events she has completed this year.  I'm sure this will put her well up in reckoning for the Club's Triathlete of the Year award.  However, here's what she said about her pinnacle event - Ironman Barcelona.  How does she keep smiling through the pain?

'The usual format, starting with a sea swim - 1 loop out and back. You know you’re in for a fun time in the sea when professional triathletes walk away at the start line. The height and power of the swell would’ve been the envy of surfers. Some age-groupers were rescued before they hit the first buoy. I chose to go in a slower swim pen than planned,...

September 19, 2018

This race report comes with a warning: never, ever go drinking with a racing buddy. Bad things get signed up for.

It all started innocuously enough: "let's do an end of season event that will be a bit of a challenge". Not a problem I thought, before remembering that I hadn't run a half marathon in over five years, and certainly never after sitting on a bike for two and a half hours. Still, Lucy persuaded me to enter, and I set myself two objectives: (a) to complete my first ever middle distance event, and (b) to beat the buddy. 

After Estonia, I should - and could - have trained for the longer distance. I didn't. In the run up to the race, I should - and could - have done some race prep. I didn't. A panic email from me to Lucy on Thursday night: "I haven't even read the race instru...

September 12, 2018

Ironman Martin leads off the latest update with a trip to Wales:-

'It had been a long time coming but, the day finally arrived on Sunday 9th September. The weather reports were mixed on the day, luckily I woke to calm dry conditions.


The day started at T1 - 1k from the swim start at North Beach to secure nutrition and Garmins to the bike, then the nervous walk to beach. Water temperature was 16 degrees and shortly after the Welsh anthem (I’m not Welsh but that was something special) at 7am I was away. The swim went well and yippee no cramp! 2 laps and 2.4 miles later I was done in 1hr 12m, a set of trainers on and then the 1K run through hundreds of spectators to T1.


Off on the bike course and the wind was picking up, almost 8000ft of climbs. The three biggest climbs having to be done twice...

August 22, 2018

Photo Courtesy: www.charleswhittoneventphotography.com 

Well what can we say? A brilliant day at Bredon's Hardwick.  TTC aided by some of Kathy's Allrunners friends rallied around to provide more than enough resources to put on another fantastic event!  That fickle judge that is social media has been singing the event's praises from almost as soon as it finished.  Any race that finishes with burgers and beer is fine in my book.  Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Oz and all other Club members etc who did us proud.

Photo Courtesy: www.charleswhittoneventphotography.com

We also managed to field a few competitors too!  

Nick Slim was 3rd overall and 1st Vet40 in 1:07:53, missing out on 2nd place by 5 seconds.  He was followed home by a string of fine performances with Stefan (...

August 20, 2018

Photo: Courtesy: awoladventure/HenleySwim.com 

I'm sure it's not the case, but in this update it looks as though a few members have fallen out of love with their bike as it features a lot of the wet stuff and some serious running. 

Ed starts us off:- 'As a rower in a previous life, I spent most of my time trying to stay on rather than in the river. The mysterious and powerful water was something to be respected, lest it catch you out. Who knows what lives beneath its murky surface? A dunking in the Thames was definitely to be avoided, with my long-held belief that it was more sewage than anything else. 

How my attitude has changed since swimming with TTC and some of its crazy members! These days, a river swim is exciting and something actively sought out. And so I entered the Henley Br...

August 19, 2018

By Leeshore1966 at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36880911

Not only a race report, but some useful tips for anyone daft enough to give swim/run a go!!

After nearly two years of a meticulous training plan executed with military precision we (Paul and I) arrived in Swansea on the Saturday to register and the race briefing and went to the hotel for a good nights sleep ready for an early start.  Sadly, one of the guests at the wedding taking place at the hotel set the fire alarm off at 2:30am.  As with all elite athletes you learn to react, respond and adapt to your surroundings and we grumpily returned to our pits to try an get a final couple of hours kip before the off.

Alarms firing at 4:50am to get us to...

Please reload