The snow on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of March left a lot of us disappointed when amongst other events, the Weston Super Mare (pictured) and Forest of Dean half marathons were both called off. But what a difference seven days make as we bounded into spring!
When Dave said he was trying to put together a few teams to take part in an informal friendly relay event with the Tri-Energy and Teme Tri clubs at Abberley (pictured a week later), I thought this would be a great start to the triathlon year for us so I rashly agreed to get a team together.
'It'll be fine' I said; 'its only a 100m swim, 10k on the bike and a mile run, lets do the Legends in Lycra event as a family team'. Despite not having been on bike for months, and in some cases. years, it was agreed and TTC Team Ballard took shape. The swim went well but what a bike course! It might have been 10k but the first 5k was a nice 300m descent followed by a sharp left turn and 5K of climb which Mark measured at 13% at one point. Not quite the gentle early season challenge we were expecting especially when I got a slow puncture and David's chain came off, both in the first few kilometres. We did manage the undulating off road run around the tower (twice) without incident. With the lack of training we were fairly confident we would finish last and so it turned out with a time of 3:45, nine minutes behind the team above us. But we did claim to be first Family Team!
Well done to Ade and Dave for getting us entries and well done to TTC team Mark 1(Mark Whyman, Paul Courtney, Liz Spiers and Owen Grant) who were pipped into 2nd place in 2:25 and Mark 2 (Mark Boyce, Kate O'Hara, David John Wright and Ed Hardy) who posted a creditable 2:42 to finish fourth, on their efforts. It was a great day and great to see the other two TTC teams cheering us over the line at the end.
If any of the female members fancy a challenge. Tri-Energy are holding their women only triathlon at the same venue on 27th May when you get the delights of two circuits of that bike course....
Five TTC members made it down to north Bristol to take on the Tockington duathlon which comprised of a 2k/15k/2k run/bike/run. First club member home was Wayne Meade in 45:34 followed by Paul (49:12), Becky (51:36), Ali (53:34) and Mark in just over the hour mark.
Talking of of climbing, three TTC members tackled the Cleevewold 14 mile race on 25th March in glorious sunshine. The off-road race, with almost 700m of climb, starts near to the medieval Postlip barn and covers the highest points of the Cotswold hills with a lap of Cleeve Hill, before heading into the countryside and returning to Postlip via the Belas Knap burial mound. Elaine Clarke beat her time from last year by over five minutes finishing in 2:38:30, and the course was slightly tougher this year. Russell Palmer who was doing the race for the first time had a very commendable run finishing in 2:08:29. Richard Purkis, fresh off competing for Gloucestershire at the Inter counties XC, proved he is great shape at the moment and managed to take the win in a time of 1:38:28 beating his time from 2016 and last years winner in the process.
Finally well done to the TTC members who competed in Aquathlon 5. First Club member home was Tom Radley in 25:52 followed by the welcome return of Amber who took first female (27:48), Kathy (29:09), Kate (33:05), Elaine (34:03), Ali (36:28) and Helen (55:48).
Now the season has begun, don''t forget to let me know what you've been up to. I can then share the joy and pain with other club members!!