Northumberland Triathlon and Challenge Swim
Race Report by Tri Northumberland
Tri Northumberland hosted their best events yet. It might have been something to do with the weather but the feedback from these races have been amazing. Thank you to all volunteers, supporters and competitors over the two days for making the event at Ladyburn Lake in Druridge Bay Country Park a special one. There were four events taking place over the Saturday and Sunday, 1.5k and 3k open water swims on day one followed by a sprint and standard triathlon on the second day.
Saturday morning was a wet one but it soon brightened up in the afternoon for the swimming races. Water temperature as a toasty 17.5°C and the combined swim start preceded 4 and 8 laps of great swimming action.
In the 1500m Lucy Ellis took first place in a swift 20:32 only just edging out Samuel Yates by 1 just second! Now that is close. Pippa Higgs rounded out the podium.
The 3000m distance wasn’t as close with a few gaps between the leaders, understandable given the distance; however the quality is there for all to see in the times. Danielle Huskisson torpedoed to the win in an amazing 39:11 with Alexandra Robinson 1 minute further back in 40:11 followed by Paul Haytack in a very respectable 44:16.
Sunday gave competitors something else to think about – the hottest day of the year so far. Ensuring the correct fluid intake could have been the difference between finishing and not finishing. At 27°C there was no holding back the swimmers making the entry into the lake for the start of the triathlons. The Standard started first with a gap of 10 minutes until the Sprint start.
The Sprint provided little surprise with; you’ve guessed it, Alan Copland coming out the water in first place which is where he would stay for the duration of the race. The race for 2nd place was a much closer affair with the experienced athletes evenly matched. A handful of young up and coming triathletes of the future were next out the drink. Charlie Harris-Pratt, Alex Foster, Nick Wooley, Max Robson all exited within a few seconds, all names to watch out for in the next few years I am sure, along with the uber experienced and not so youthful local coach Paul Jones (F4L Coaching).
The 2nd and 3rd podium positions was a hard fought race between the fast improving Daryl Oguana and experienced Ironman John Barker whose main focus is IMUK in a few weeks time. John edged the swim by just under half a minute but Daryl made up the difference on the bike. A foot race ensued with John having to settle for 3rd and Daryl earning his best result to date in 2nd place. Copland wasn’t seen for dust and crossed the line to massive applause from the hundreds of supporters waiting at the finish line.
In the women’s Sprint race it was Kyah Hall, also an up and coming junior and one to watch over the next few years, leading out the 750m swim in 11:52 and a big gap on her rivals. However, Kyah couldn’t hold on to the lead and was caught by both Rachel Walmsley and Jane Holmes who both put in superb bike splits to take them into 1st and 2nd off the bike. All three run splits were evenly matched with Rachel taking the win followed by Jane with Kyah making the podium in 3rd. If Kerry Gowland (4th) can sort out her run split she could be a force to be reckoned with looking at her swim and bike splits.
The Standard distance race kicked off with John Harris leading out the swim with a gap on local favourite and recent Kona Qualifier Elliot Gowland. The gap was maintained with both putting in great bike splits but the run wasn’t quite gravy with runner David Turnbull hot on their heels out of T2.
Harris held on to his gap matching Gowlands time on the 4 lap run. Turnbull put 2 minutes into the leaders but this wasn’t enough to climb the podium and had to settle for a respectable 3rd place against some quality athletes in the field.
Meanwhile, the women’s Standard race was blown apart by Natalie Batey who took another trophy home with a 6 minute gap to the rest of the field. She is going to need a bigger cabinet before long for sure. Leading from start to finish she was joined on the podium by local girl Caroline Findlay in 2nd and Ellen Tullo in 3rd place.
Congratulations to the lucky winner of the Zone3 Aquaflo tri suit, Pete Wheldon! I am sure he will be showing it off in his next race. Vo2 Max Racing Events are the northeast dealer for Zone3 wetsuits and other racing apparel – for more information contact email@example.com to arrange a wetsuit demonstration or for further information.
Feedback is pouring in and so far has been great, we’re keen to hear from everyone so we can continue to improve our events and ensure your racing experience is one you’ll never forget, please put add your comments via our website, blog, Twitter or Facebook pages.
Once again credit must go to all the marshals, volunteers, medics and water safety crew for providing all the support for the events; you really do make all the difference.
We look forward to seeing you race at our next set of events, the Couple Challenge Swim on 23 July and the Bay Tri Festival on Sunday 24th July. There are still a number of entries available; we hope to see you all again at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
Tri Northumberland Event Team
Full triathlon results can be found here.
Full open water swim race results can be found here