TRIATHLON CLUB: Busy weekend of events for triathletes - across the country - and in Australia

Laura McCrystal, Sophie Albon and Richard Mercer
Laura McCrystal, Sophie Albon and Richard Mercer

Rugby Triathlon Club

Rugby Triathlon Club were out in force this weekend as preparations for the 2018 season begin to ramp up. The club had representatives racing from Milton Keynes to Geelong in Australia and everywhere in between!
Samantha Watkins wasn’t convinced that swimming in British seas in February would be particularly enjoyable and so went to Geelong in Victoria, Australia to take part in the Ironman 70.3 Geelong as part of her preparations for a full distance Ironman in the summer.
The weather in Australia was so warm that she had to deflate her tyres that were left in transition in the heat of the day. A piece of race preparation rarely used in the UK!
Despite having to pump tyres up in the dark, Samantha had a storming race beating her PB by 30 minutes to come home in a very impressive 6:39:20. The ice cream at the finish line was a very welcomed sight!
James Gibbs competed at Grafham Water in the Anglian Water Standard Duathlon. In a very fast field, James finished in an impressive 2:20:58.
Three athletes competed at the Ashridge Duathlon Race 2 at Ashridge House in Hertfordshire. Richard Mercer, Laura McCrystal and Sophie Albon raced in the sprint distance event. Richard and Laura competed as a relay team in the Race 1 edition last month but both took on the whole challenge this time round.
Richard led the trio home in 1:26:01, Laura finished in 1:44:47 and Sophie in 1:54:18.
Closer to Rugby, Gail Purves and Club Chairman Mike Smallwood ran in the postponed MK Winter Half Marathon.
This was another event from the pre-Christmas deep freeze and snow, resulting in the event being rescheduled. Gail set a new personal best, finishing in 2:10:45. Despite Mike’s pre-race declaration that this “wasn’t going to be pretty”, he still finished 2nd in his age group in 1:57:54.
Anthony Smith, Shane Owen and Ian Bartlett took part in the inaugural Naseby 1645, both competing over the unique and undulating 16.45-mile course.
Anthony finished 18th overall and 7th in his age group in 1:55:26, Shane in 2:05:17 and Ian in 2:21:08.
With nearly 300 runners toeing the line at the historic battle site, views of memorials and monuments connected to the Battle of Naseby in 1645 could be viewed all along the route.
Competing first over the weekend, Gregory Ashley and Paul Albon both ran the Railway Ultra in Coalport on Saturday. Gregory completed 19 miles in 3:22:16 and Paul finished his 37-mile effort in 7:02:45. On a psychologically difficult out and back course, the pair were pleased to be able to ring the bell at the end of their challenging races.
Getting muddiest this weekend at the Welly Trail half marathon were Eddy Peachy, Matthew Hayward and Annette Golawska.
In the second year of the event, the three triathletes knew they were in for a muddy slog across farmer’s fields and up and down muddy climbs. They tackled the course with gusto – Eddy finished 40th in 2:13:26, Annette Golawska in 2:16:09 and Matt in 2:31:27.
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Samantha Watkins in Australia earlier this month

Samantha Watkins in Australia earlier this month

Samantha Watkins in Australia

Samantha Watkins in Australia

Paul Albon

Paul Albon

Matthew Hayward and Annette Golawska

Matthew Hayward and Annette Golawska

Shane Owen

Shane Owen