Malakoff Standard Tri - 11/09/2016

After a summer of training and events, Shetland Triathlon Club rounded off their season with the Malakoff Standard Triathlon on Sunday. The 11 individuals and 1 team were a mix of all ages and abilities, from experienced competitors to those competing in their first Olympic distance race. Combining a 1.5km swim in the Clickimin Pool, a 40km bike and a 10km run it was going to be a tough day out for everyone.

 

In the womens competition it was a 3-way showdown between an experienced but injury-hampered Wendy Hatrick, and 2 triathlon newcomers Catherine Williamson and Shelley Humphray who, after battling it out at the Sprint Triathlon in July, were both gunning to complete their first full standard distance event. 

In the water it was a very close affair with only 1 minute separating all 3 of them after their 60-length stint. Hartick was first out in 27.40, Humphray was snapping at her heels only 2 seconds later and Williamson was out in 28.41. Onto the bikes the course followed the North Road out of town with the Blackhill ascent providing an early test for the legs. The undulating course out to the halfway house was a fast one aided by a very fresh southerly wind. Humphray was pushing the effort on the hills and had opened up a commanding lead by the turn. Williamson was riding well and looking to shake off 3rd place Hatrick. The return leg on the bike was fought into the wind and was a real mental test for everyone. It was a case of getting the heads down, taking on a bit of energy, and churning the pedals back to town.

Into transition 2 it was off with the helmets and on with the trainers for the 10km run, a route which took them on several laps of the Clickimin loch. Humphray wasn't going to rest on her laurels after the first 2 disciplines and continued to surge on posting a speedy 45.27 for her run leg and a very impressive 2:38.58 overall time to take the womens trophy at the first time of asking. Williamson was perhaps slightly off the boil on the day but completed the race in a very respectable 3:02.19, and Hatrick who has been plagued with an ankle injury all year showed she is on the road to recovery by making the distance and completing the ladies podium in 3:17.47.

 

8 men took to the start line looking to fight it out on the same course. After a strong showing in the Sprint Triathlon Andy Aitken was hoping to add another win to his season and set off in the pool with intent posting a rapid 20.32 for the 1500m swim. Bonar Barclay was 2nd out the water in 26.26, and Robin Atkinson who had donned his tri-suit for the first time in a few years proved he hadn't lost his his swimming technique, exiting only 5 seconds later. Neil Henderson competing in his first Standard distance triathlon was sitting in an impressive 4th, with Laurence Little, Maurice Inkster, Richard Williamson and Tim Ash completing the field.

Aitken was keen to hold off the competition on the bike, and despite conceding a minute and a half to Atkinson who posted the fastest bike split of the day of 1:07.38, he held his lead position. Barclay had dropped to 3rd and a strong bike from Williamson saw him move through the field to 4th. Inkster gained 2 minutes on Little but didnt quite have the legs to catch him before the run and Henderson continued to hold off the challenge of Ash.

On the run Aitken continued to push and extend his lead over the chasers finishing in a total time of 2:14.17 to take the title. In the race for silver Barclay was gaining on 2nd place Atkinson with every step. Despite clawing back 3 and a half minutes he ran out of road and had to settle for bronze as Atkinson bagged silver.

Williamson ran a hard few miles before settling into a steady pace to avoid aggravating an existing injury to take 4th. Little pulled away from Inkster to take 5th and 6th respectively. Henderson in 7th place began the run with an 8 minute advantage over Ash. The latter was determined to make the catch, however despite a solid effort to bring the difference down to only 40 seconds he couldn't quite bridge the gap.

 

There was 1 team entry in this years race. Named "Bold - 3 in 1" they certainly live up to their name. Made up of 3 Tri Club regulars Stephanie Bain completed the swim leg, Elizabeth Gifford took on the bike course and Alexis Smith completed the trio to bring it home on the run. All 3 of them had completed both the Novice and Sprint Triathlons earlier on in the summer as individuals, and it was brilliant to see them combine forces to take on the Standard distance to complete their season of triathlon events. There could not have been a more worthy team to take home the trophy.

 

STC would like to thank their sponsors Malakoff for their continued support, as well as the lane counters, marshals and other volunteers who helped the event run so smoothly. For info on training times and how to get involved with the club over the winter visit the Shetland Triathlon Club facebook page.

Brae Sprint Triathlon - 24/07/16

The weather Gods were smiling once again on Sunday as 15 hopefuls took to the start line of Shetland Triathlon Club’s annual Sprint Triathlon. As always the event attracted entries from the experienced members of the club looking to duke it out for the top spots, as well as a few first-timers looking to up the distance from the Novice event held back in May.

The ladies were first to tackle the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. The field of 6 were set off in the pool and as expected Lynsey Henderson opened up a commanding lead. Her time of 11:01 showing she is still on the top of her game. Catherine Williamson led triathlon debutant Shelley Humphray out the water and the two were engaged in a close battle which was to continue for the remainder of the race. Stephanie Bain also showed her strength in the water in her first Sprint distance event, and Alexis Smith and Elizabeth Gifford showed that all the training they have done in the lead up to the race was paying off.

Onto the bike leg and the undulating course up through Northmavine was a real test for the field. Henderson was still comfortably ahead while the pack was being shuffled behind her. After homing in on Williamson on the way out to the turn, Humphray pushed the final climb of the bike route to pass her rival and hold a slender advantage as they arrived back at the transition zone. Meanwhile Smith was on the hunt and pedalled past Bain to further shake up the positions. Gifford posted a solid time on the bike, even after having completed a cycling time trial earlier on that morning.

The run to Voxter house was the final chance to gain or lose positions on the finishing sheet, but everything remained as it was. Lynsey held onto her advantage to take 1st, Humphray ran well to extend the gap to Williamson. They finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Smith ran a solid 5km to finish 4th, taking 6 minutes off her total time from last year. Bain and Gifford both completed their first sprint race in impressive fashion, and have set a solid benchmark for themselves for future events.

 

As the women were underway the well-experienced 9-strong mens field were set off in the pool. Andy Aitken set off strong looking to put as much time into his rivals in the swim as possible. He exited the water in a neat 10 minutes and was followed between 2 and 3 minutes later by Laurence Little, Bonar Barclay and visiting West Lothian Triathlon Club athlete Bryan Crookes. Bouncing back from injury, Richard Williamson posted a 14:15 and led Maurice Inkster, John William Simpson and visiting athlete Ian Cadman into transition.

As with the womens race the bike leg was a hotly contested affair with a lot of chopping and changing of positions. Aitken remained steady and saw off any challenge to his lead, but behind there was a lot of jostling for the top spots. After gaining positions, Grant and Barclay returned to transition with 10 seconds between them in 2nd and 3rd place. Simpson posted a rapid bike to climb from 8th to 4th going into the run, with Williamson hot on his tail only 45 seconds behind.

Aitken was running well and held on to his lead to take his first triathlon win. In the battle for 2nd Barclay had Grant in his sights and passed him to take the spot, Grant finishing a minute and a half down in 3rd.

Williamson clawed back the 45 second advantage of Simpson, and finished 15 seconds ahead of him to take 4th. Bryan Crookes held off the challenge of Little to take 6th, with Inkster and Cadman completing the results sheet in 8th and 9th.

After the event had finished it had come to light that Grant and Barclay had turned too early on the bike and were thus issued with time penalties for failing to follow race instructions. This had no effect on Barclays overall placing, however Grant dropped to 4th place with Williamson being awarded 3rd place in the end.

 

Shetland Tri Club would like to give a special mention to Ian Cadman. The event he completed at the weekend marked the end of a gruelling 2 weeks for him. After completing the UK’s most southerly triathlon in Jersey 2 weeks earlier, he had then cycled the length of the country and ‘topped off’ the tour by completing the UK’s most northerly triathlon here in Shetland.

 

STC would also like to thank their sponsors Malakoff for their continued support, and would like to invite you to take part in their annual Shetland Standard Triathlon on 11th September.  

Brae Novice Triathlon - 29/05/16

 

On a day where parts of the island were sitting under thick fog, 17 athletes were making the most of the sunshine up north as the Shetland Tri Club hosted their annual Brae Novice Triathlon. 

The field was a mixture of experienced club members looking to test themselves against the clock early in the season, and 7 newbies competitors looking to tackle the swim/cycle/run event for the first time.

After a quick briefing to answer any questions and settle any nerves the competitors were set off. In the run up to the event many of the entrants had been attending the weekly swim sessions organised by the club, and the fact that everyone completed the 400m swim in under 10 minutes showed that all the training really has been paying off. 

After jumping out the pool and dashing outside it was time to grab the bikes. Often cited as the '4th discipline' of triathlon the Transitions between the legs is an important aspect of the race. Time can be gained or thrown away depending on how slick your changes are, and while the more experienced faces were out the pool and on their bikes in under a minute, some of the new ones were rightly taking their time to make sure everything was in place for the 10km cycle. 

All 17 punched their way through the headwind to the turn and were helped back to the leisure centre with a welcome tailwind. Unlike the previous year there were no mechanical issues or punctures and everyone returned safe and dry, albeit it slightly out of puff.

A quick racking of the bikes and it was time to get the jelly legs out for the final leg of the event, a 2.5km dash to the finish line. It may not seem like a long distance on paper, but after going hard on the swim and the bike it can often feel never-ending. Everyone pushed all the way to the finish line and a few pairs of legs even had enough left for a sprint finish.

The usual homebakes were on offer afterwards while the competitors had a chance to mull over their times. The first-timers were all thrilled to have finished it, and a quick comparison with last years splits shows that everyone who had completed it the previous year had gained a PB in the event, a testament to the effort and training they have put in over the past 12 months.

Club chairman Andy Aitken said 'Again its been a terrific event with lots of folk signing up and finishing their first triathlon. Im proud of them, and im proud of the competitors who have been training with us all winter and have smashed their PB's on the course today.'

2016 Jake Porter Duathlon - 24/04/16

The Shetland Triathlon Club kicked off their season of events at the weekend with the 2016 Jake Porter Duathlon  Championships. Now in its 4th year the annual run-cycle-run attracted a fantastic turnout for another day of racing and fundraising. Held in memory of Jake Porter who passed away in 2012, the event raises funds for the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) who provide vital hospice services for children and young people with life shortening conditions.

As the competitors pulled on their thermal leggings in the Tingwall Hall a few early morning sleet showers blew through, but come race time the weather behaved and the event went ahead in dry and bright conditions, much to the relief of everyone involved. A record number of 23 teams and 23 individuals took to the start line to embark on their 2 mile run, 13 mile bike, 2 mile run journey.

 

In the mens individual event Daryl Martin took charge and led the first run coming into transition 1 (T1) a couple of seconds ahead of Andy Aitken. A duo of chasers comprising of Andrew Grant and Grant Johnson kept the pressure on, with Andrew Wishart and the ever-steady Norrie Lyall following less than a minute later.

After grabbing the bikes the athletes were off on the 13mile bike course which shuffled the pack and ultimately dictated the finishing positions. Andrew Grant proved he had the legs and passed Aitken in the early stages of the cycle, with the latter unable to match his surge. Lyall put his experience on the bike to good use and passed a few of his rivals to move himself up the field into 3rd position coming into the 2nd run leg. With speedy transitions and strong bike Maurice Fraser climbed to reach 4th. The 2nd run is always a punishing experience, but the top positions remained unchanged. An impressive Andrew Grant took the win in a rapid time of 1:05.04, Aitken made 2nd with Lyall completing the podium.

 

With a few of the regular females unable to compete, as well as a few new faces in attendance, the ladies event was blown wide open. The beauty of multi-sport events is not knowing how things will pan out and who will take glory, and this was definitely the case with the 10 hopefuls who took to the start line.

From the gun Tri-Club youngster Lois Ross established an early lead, with duathlon debutant Shelley Humphray in pursuit. Coming into T1 the lead two had switched positions, with Susan Linklater and Karen Fraser less than a minute off the leaders pace, Moraig Lyall and Brenda Leask followed not far behind. After a quick T1 Lyall was third to set off on the bike and was keen to chase down and pass young Ross. Out front Humphray put another 2 minutes into the field with an impressive ride from the newcomer. On the last run it was a lead she was not going to surrender and crossed the finish line in 1:22.06, over 5 minutes ahead of a 2nd place LyallI. With a strong second run from Fraser she passed Ross to grab 3rd overall.

 

The team event also produced some fast times. 'Smith Stragglers' grabbed 3rd, 'Spaegie Sound Speedsters' took 2nd, but the pick of the teams on the day were the untouchable 'Greenwellies' duo of Mark Moncrieff and Gary Tulloch.

 

Hot drinks and a delicious spread of homebakes was on offer to warm up and re-energise all the finishers in the hall afterwards. The teas were well attended by competitors, friends and family who dug deep and donated very generously. Combined with the raffle, as well as the funds raised through entry fees and other donations, the total raised for CHAS is expected to reach the £2000 mark.

 

Shetland Triathlon Club would like to say a huge well done to all those who came and took part in the event, and extend thanks to sponsors Malakoff and J.W. Gray & Co, Northlink, Busta House and all the other raffle prize contributors, the British Red Cross, Shetland FM, Injury Shetland, everyone who helped out marshalling/timing, and all the ladies who helped out in the kitchen. It was another terrific turnout for a great cause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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