NEWS

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  • 19 Jul 2021 19:21 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By: Rob Lawrence

    I always feel a pinch of excitement receiving emails from event organisers in the week running up to an event; ‘this is your start time’, ‘be here for the race briefing’, ‘nuances of transitions we need to let you know about’. And so it was, an innocuous email from Trail X late on Friday was followed by a flutter of excitement for the next day’s event.

    Fresh from scouting the course, which was wild, true the event’s advertised nature, I was struggling with a footwear dilemma. Twice on the swim, transitioning between lakes, still clad in wet suits we would climb from one lake, dash across the forest floor and jump into the next lake before exiting the third lake and climbing 300m uphill crossing more heather, rocks and forest into T1. What to wear on my feet? Sacrificial neoprene socks, trainers that would feel like dragging a parachute while swimming or simply tough it out with bare feet. I had chosen to go with option three.

    Swim Cancelled. The email’s subject turned my flutter into a swirl of thoughts. E-Coli had been discovered in the lake, so the swim leg was to be replaced with a 2km run, turning the event into a classic duathlon format. The swim footwear dilemma was solved, but with a touch of disappointment.

    The MOD has used Pippingford Park, troops frequently dipping into the murky, lily pad covered lakes in the name of training, for years. With this came frequent water testing, but never the discovery of E-Coli. Sharing the news must have been a nervous moment for the race organisers, but speaking on behalf of those I chatted to, our initial disappointment was soon replaced by thankfulness that someone was overseeing our welfare. The testing laboratory believed the warm weather earlier in the year followed by recent heavy rain caused something containing E-Coli to be washed into the river that feeds the lakes. Something else to blame on Global warming? I’ll try harder with my carbon footprint.

    The relaxation of social distancing rules allowed us to start in waves of ten, separated by 30 seconds. I adopted the start line stance, index finger posed on the start button, chip timing ankle well back from the start line, perfectly copied by nine others that would soon join me gasping for air on the opening uphill, long meadow grass, 100 metre field dash. We hit the top of the field, turned left onto a bridle way, gently downhill, gently back up then into the woods for what became the most enjoyable part of the whole race. Not fatigued enough to be in any pain the tightly packed wood presented a single, windy, root-infested downhill track that I flowed down, gliding from bump to root, the sense of speed augmented by the nearby trees whizzing past me. To an observer I’m sure I looked more pedestrian than racehorse, but to me, for a few moments, I felt gazelle-like. Then it was over, and the reality of the task ahead started to sink in. Heading back into for T1 lungs gasping and thighs burning a little more than sensible pacing would suggest they should be, I was a little nervous I’d overcooked things.

    52 seconds later I’m out on the bike, shoes still undone, but peddling. 500 meters go by; the shoes are still undone. 1km in, no change with the shoes. I’ve made an error. Attempting to save time in T1 I thought I’d tighten my shoes on the bike. But MTBing is not like road biking where smooth tarmac allows you to reach down and tighten your shoes. My legs were working overtime to hold my feet in the loose shoes, lactic was building, others were passing me. Opportunities to reach down and tighten my shoes weren’t presenting themselves, then I slipped and ended up in a muddy heap. An inglorious start to the MTB leg, but an opportunity to sort my shoes and try to put things right. I’d lost a lot of time and for the remaining 20km it didn’t get much better. I fell off a further five times from a mixture of bad overtaking decisions and poor MTB handling. This was hard work. There were points where I felt dejected with the whole event. The towel, however, was not about to be thrown into the ring.

    Flustered from exhaustion T2 felt like it took a long time to come round but come round it did and with equal measures of fluster I transitioned into running gear. Not a lot could go wrong now, it was just man and trainer versus a cross country route. Leg drive gone, glutes packed up for the day, it wasn’t the most elegant run, but it too came to an end at the finishing banner. There was a little pleasure, but I was too consumed by all the things I’d done wrong in the transitions, on the MTB leg and how I should turn them into lessons to enjoy the moment.

    As the lessons crystallised, I became happier with my performance. I’d learnt a lot, about my kit and myself, and most of it would be transferable to ‘normal’ road races. The search for the perfect MTB tri shoe has started – it needs loops on the heels and Velcro fasteners, not Boa dials. I’ll be back next year, more skilful on the bike, fitter and calmer and wiser in transition.

    Thank you Trail X Triathlon, a wonderful day!

  • 10 Jul 2021 19:29 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By: Annie Sidgewick –

    A beautiful still gentle sunny morning. 

    Having registered the day before I go straight onto transition on Western Lawns to rack my bike and set up my race gear. I spend some time working out the swim in, bike out etc.  I met up with Will who was looking very calm, organised and was enjoying the surroundings!

    Organisers had worked hard to make social distancing possible, and for transition to work smoothly.

    Everyone started gathering down by the beach, with an air of anticipation, and trying to abide by the rules wearing face masks!!  The start was delayed by 15 mins due to thick fog/mist on top of Beachy Head.  Then we were off; running down the beach and across the timing mat into the sea.  No time to worry about ice cream head, just ploughed straight in!  Sighting was a bit tricky due to full sun shining straight at us. We had been given detailed instructions for the swim directions with the  strong current. At last I rounded the final buoy  and headed for the finish arch. 

    Out onto the beach and ran up, up, up to transition on Western Lawns. 

    Out on the bike and headed up and up around the zig zag bends to Beachy Heads.  Legs screaming!  Out of the sunshine and onto the misty cool roads and fast down to Birling Gap.  Dead turn and back up the long drag to Beachy Head  and fast down into Eastbourne. 

    Out on the run.  Out and back twice along the promenades.  Sun now getting quite hot but lots of people shouting encouragement; some beach goers looking rather bemused at to what was going on.  Passed the big cafe and round the corner and up (of course) to the finish.  The final 50m up the blue carpet is always thrilling with the commentator shouting your name and the crowd cheering. 

    V hot and dehydrated.  Hugh, Will and Diana there to meet me. 

    Will had had a good race and still looked very calm and collected.  Well done Will.  A tough race, but satisfying after the event!

    Editors Note: Congratulations to Annie who came 2nd in her age group & subsequently discovered her efforts were sufficient to qualify her for the GB Age Group (70-74) Team at the World Championships 2022, truly inspirational!

  • 6 May 2021 19:31 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are all looking forward to getting together for coached swim sessions in the pool every Monday at 18:20 from 17th May 21. Join us for a taster session before you sign up for membership.

  • 2 Apr 2021 11:59 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Now that lockdown restrictions have been eased a little we took the opportunity for the first group ride of the year.

    It made a nice change to meet up and ride with others, looking forward to more face to face club events in 2021....

  • 24 Aug 2019 10:51 | Deleted user


    Thanks to all those that followed and supported my second Ironman, I truly would not have achieved this without the club's support and look forward to being able to offer some advice to those that make the same journey - I started in lane 1 swimming only breaststroke and not owning a bike 3 years ago!

    Some might also recognise Frank O'Brien who originally desinged the club logo and is still going strong on the bike and completed his first Ironman!

  • 24 Aug 2019 10:42 | Deleted user


    Another busy weekend last week with some great results to celebrate;

    Ringmer Triathlon Standard distance;

    Winner - Heather Stevens
    Second - Sally McCleverty
    Third - Bex Stevens

    First in AG - Kevin Battell

    Ringmer Triathlon Sprint distance;

    Winner - James Cox
    Second (and First in AG) - Danny Turnock

    Second in AG - Malcolm Clarke

    Third in AG - Sharon Wheeler

    Ringmer Triathlon Super Sprint;

    Third (and First in AG) - Jo Smith 

    Ringmer Duathlon;

    Third (and First in AG) - Sarah Cooper

    Well done to all who competed and represented the club so well!

  • 10 Aug 2019 19:48 | Deleted user


    Congratulations to all that competed at Bewl Triathlon last weekend.  This event was chosen as the Club Championship and saw a great turnout with many firsts to list.

    First of all, our Champions are Roger Moore and Sally McCleverty - more details on how this was calculated below.

    Theo took part in her first triathlon and finished in 1:47:20, a great achievement and I'm sure it will be the first of many.

    Both Annie and Sally came 1st in their Age Group so a great achievement and Roger came 11th overall and a very close 2nd in his Age Group, just 11 seconds behind the winner!

    Heather was the only competitor in the club that took on the standard distance and came a very impressive 10th overall - well done all!

    The results for the Club Championship are as follows;

      Bewl Tri  Time  AG % Athlete 25 % Total 
     1st Roger  1.11.24 99.7 118.2 217.9
     2nd Andrew  1.22.57 99.3 101.7 201
     3rd Danny  1.20.32 86.7 104.8 191.5
      Kevin  1.28.16 92.9 95.4 188.3
               
     1st Sally  1.34.12 100 93.1 193.1
     2nd Sue 1.32.18 83.8 95.3 179.1
     3rd Bex 1.32.43 77 94.8 171.8
      Annie  2.00.35 100 63.2 163.2
      Theo 1.47.20 59.2 78.3 137.5
      Diana 1.51.48 59.2 73.2 132.4
               
      Heather  2.48.11 92 100 192

    Just to explain they are calculated as follows:
    1. AG% is the Athlete's time as a % relative to the fastest finisher in their Age Group (i.e. 1st in Age Group = 100%)
    2. Athlete 25% is the Athlete’s time as a % relative to the time of the athlete finishing at 25% of the field in the gender category (i.e. 213 males * 0.25 = 53 place) So if you were better than 53rd you score more than 100%, worse you score less.
    3. These two scores are added together to give an overall score to determine the placings.
  • 5 May 2019 19:11 | Deleted user

    After the recent strong performance in the Uckfield Triathlon members met at the Kings Centre in East Grinstead today for a recce of the bike course along with an hour of transition training.  The bikes were racked and Rob demonstrated how to layout your clothing and accessories ready for the bike, we discussed the basic rules and then went through some practical drills.  Great fun and some essential lessons learned for all!

    Good luck for the East Grinstead entrants!


  • 19 Apr 2019 13:04 | Deleted user

    Good Friday just got better as we met early for the first club ride of the season, a lovely route from Crowborough out to Uckfield where we rode the bike course of the upcoming Uckfield Triathlon.


    Those slightly more efficient cyclists chose 3 loops whilst others took the more leisurely option of just 2 before meeting back at the Leisure Centre and then heading back to Crowborough (totalling 28 miles with 2 loops).

    The garden of the Crowborugh Cross was so inviting by the time we got back we could not resist the added option of breakfast in the sun!

    Happy Easter

  • 27 Jul 2018 18:48 | Deleted user

    By Alex Cole

    I will start with one of the questions I was asked most in the lead up to the event...had I done a half Ironman before? The answer is no and I don’t think I would have learned anything more than I had done from standard distance Triathlons so don’t let that put you off! The basics are the same, you just need to train with longer distances.

    One of the hardest parts is signing up, finding a realistic time frame and of course, a glamorous location!

    We travelled up to the slightly more glamorous Harrogate where my Aunty lives for 5 days of relaxing before heading across to a Bolton hotel.  I thoroughly recommend this bit as I turned up to the start line the most relaxed I have been at an event.

    The registration, bike racking and bag drops were seamless, a really well organised event and you realise that you are not the only “Ironman virgin”, in fact over half the pack were aiming to “become one”.

    On the Saturday after racking the bike we drove away from T1 and followed the bike route loop to discover the more glamorous parts of Bolton...trust me! The roads led up to the moorlands surrounded by stone walls and scattered with sheep and cattle and I soon discovered that the elevation was more intimidating on the route map than in real life, nothing that really dwarfed any of our regular training spots on the forest.

    The next challenge was getting an early night and some sleep but I did ok with this, the alarms went off at 2:30am and the hotel were serving breakfast from 3am to cater for the many athletes staying there so I ate far more than I normally would on a race day before heading to Pennington Flash nice and early for the 6am start. Tip - get there early, use the toilet facilities before the queues start!

    The swim was a rolling start at 6am and you lined up based on your predicted times, again be ambitious with this as the last thing you need is to get caught up in traffic so i put myself in between the 1:10 and 1:20 posts. The water was clear and 23 degrees at 6am but still wetsuit compulsory and I kept myself relaxed and swam really well, a few whacks in the goggles and it got busy at the buoys and the Aussie-exit before jumping back in for the second 1900m loop.

    I came out of the water after 1 hr 21 mins before taking a bit of extra time to make sure my feet were dry and I had fuelled up on some flapjack before heading out on the bike.  I was buzzing by this point to be honest, the sun had come up, the crowds were lined up from the swim exit and for the first couple of miles on the bike already and I started to get the feeling that I was going to do this…  

    I felt good on the bike, I knew this was the longest discipline and probably my least strong so I went hard, I always seem to find a bit extra on race day and before I knew it I had taken on two of the big hills, shared high 5’s with some fancy-dressed crowds and was enjoying the inevitable descents. 

    The 30 mile marker was a bit of a burst to the bubble as it meant two-thirds of the shortened course remained but with my head down I carried on and was soon at the start of the second loop and by then there were no surprises, just slightly more tired legs!

    As the day went on the crowds got bigger and louder despite the course being so long, there must have been tens of thousands of people out supporting in the 25 degree heat.




    I didn’t really have any concept of times but I felt that I had given everything I could to the hills of Bolton as I pulled in to T2, racked my bike and ran in to change footwear, a quick refuel and out on to the hot streets for 26.2 miles over 4 laps. In my mind this was a good thing as it broke the run down in to smaller chunks but after coming to the first hill in the park, it dawned on me that it meant we had to do that 4 times. There was a long stretch up Chorley Road which was covered in crowds and feed stations and you could see athletes heading back looking more tired than you which is reassuring but also a little disconcerting as I was yet to reach that point! 

    I got chatting to fellow first timers as our runs became slower and the can do attitude got stronger, each lap you flirt with the 
    finish line and hear those epic words being spoken as many crossed it.  This was the first sign of a clock too so I could see that my first lap was reasonable, second slightly slower but I could work out that I could afford to slow down a bit more and still achieve a good time so I kept digging in, starting to walk to the feed stations to get more fuel in the peak heat.

    I got to stop and chat to my support crew too, the lovely Sarah who had supported me throughout my journey, putting up with the training hours, the early nights, the negative moods and turning them into positives and without her I would never have got to this point so I had to finish for me but I owed so much of it to her too.


    And here we go, the magic carpet was just around the corner, spectators could count my wrist bands and see I was on the last straight and their cheers were louder and that inner reserve tank seemed to top me up for the final 800m, every hair stood up on my body and 

    I heard the announcer say those words “Alex you are an Ironman”. An amazing personal achievement and I am so delighted but I honestly couldn’t have done it without the support of the club, my family and of course back to Sarah..one last surprise I had lined up was a proposal and I’m pleased to say she said yes! To getting in two years time married and to me doing another Ironman next year, result! 


    Who fancies it?

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