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Standard Tri - 08/09/19

Shetland Triathlon Club wrapped up their season of events on Sunday when 12 individuals and 4 teams took on the Shetland Standard Triathlon. After hosting their shorter Novice event in May and their Sprint event in July, this longer event is a real test of endurance for those taking part.

As always there were a real mix of abilities on the start list, from seasoned racers to those taking part in their first standard/olympic distance event. 

 

In the ladies race it was Shelley Humphray who took charge early in the event, pulling ahead in the 1500m swim and jumping out the water in just over 28 minutes. 2 minutes later Stephanie Bain and Heidi Eriksen, both racing for the first time at this distance were locked together in 2nd and 3rd place. Yolanda Bruce and Elizabeth Gifford were matching each others pace a further 6 minutes behind and headed into Transition 1 together. 

The hilly 40km bike route always shuffles and stretches out the pack, and this time was no different. The riders enjoyed a superfast spin out to the Halfway House with a very fresh tailwind, but this made for a tough ride back to town again. Humphray was out front and, as expected, pulled out more of an advantage against her rivals. Tucking into an aero position to try and cheat the wind she pulled ahead of the field. Bruce reeled in Bain to move into 3rd, but she couldn't make any inroads into Eriksen who held onto her 2nd place going into the 10k run.

Consisting of loops of the Clickimin rugby pitch and loch, the southerly wind made for some tough sections out on the run course, but Humphray cruised home to retain her title. Eriksen bagged an impressive silver on the day despite 3rd place Bruce putting up a spirited chase and closing the gap as the miles ticked past. Bain ran a well paced 10k to complete off her first longer distance event and Gifford rounded off the ladies finishers with her trademark sprint finish.

 

The men's battle for podium spots was to be a closer affair after an exciting morning of racing. Starting off in the water it was Andy Aitken who laid the first blow, jumping out the water after a mere 19m33s. After a couple of years of focusing all his efforts on the bike James Irvine was branching out into triathlon for his first standard distance event. Cyclist Robin Atkinson dusted off his trainers for his first triathlon since 2017, and Daniel O'Connor was back home for his 3rd Standard Distance Triathlon in as many weekends. The 3 of them were evenly matched on paper so it would be interesting to see how their race would pan out. It was Irvine who was out the water in 2nd place after an impressively speedy swim, O'Connor trailing him by 1 minute, and Atkinson a further 2 mins behind. Alan Freshwater was out next followed by Ray Saxelby, and David Coles in his first standard race paced his swim well to complete the men's field.

After grabbing the bikes the positions began to mix. Aitken had enough of an advantage out front to hold onto his top spot, but Atkinson produced a storming ride in to propel himself up the standings to 2nd, pushing Irvine and O'Connor into a very close 3rd and 4th respectively. Freshwater rode well do hold 5th, and Coles leapfrogged Saxelby before they returned to transition. 

Aitken had enough of an advantage to comfortably hold on for the win, but a few minutes behind him the battle for 2nd and 3rd was in full swing. O'Connor posted the fastest run split on the day and pipped Irvine in the closing few hundred meters to take 3rd, but couldn't quite close the gap to Atkinson who held on for 2nd. The 3 of them only separated by 44 seconds after nearly 2 and a half hours of racing. Freshwater ran a sub-50min 10k to take 5th, and Coles held on for 6th ahead of Saxelby.

In the team event the hot favourites were the 'Greenwellies' trio of Gary Tulloch, Mark Moncrieff and Diana Tulloch who took on the swim, bike and run respectively. Well accomplished in each of their disciplines they posted some speedy splits to take the top spot. Maurice Inkster was prevented from completing the whole event himself with an injury, so after putting in a great swim and a strong cycle, tagged Gordon Eriksen who cruised through his 10k run to take 2nd. Jay Evans who is training for a 1900m swim this coming weekend combined forces with Donald McDermott and Alison Moar to nab 3rd. The team event was rounded off when Andrea Sherwood crossed the finish line after a swim from Amanda McDermott and a cycle from Jaqueline Tulloch.

 

Shetland Tri Club would like to thank everyone who competed and helped out on the day, saying it was especially great seeing those who were completing in their first Standard distance event. The club's winter swimming and turbo sessions kick off at the start of October. For more information please visit the clubs facebook page or shetlandtriclub.com.

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Sprint Tri - 28/07/19

Under baking hot conditions the Shetland Triathlon Club hosted their annual Sprint distance event on Sunday. With temperatures reaching the mid-20’s the competing athletes were reporting it was hotter than the conditions they were racing in in Gibraltar earlier this month!

As always there was a good mix of experienced and novice competitors with 17 individuals and 2 teams on the start list, ready to take on the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

Set off in heats depending on their estimated swim times, Alan Freshwater was off to a strong start in the men’s event as the first swimmers took to the water. Followed a couple of minutes later by Raymond Saxelby and David Coles. In the 2nd and 3rd heats there were some impressive swim times. Laurence Little and Ivor Johnson were putting their silky smooth techniques to good use, and the 3 visiting athletes Neil Croy, Richard Wild and Mark Dowell who had made the trip up from Orkney were level-pegging with them in the water. Scott Riise stuck firmly on the heels of Nicholas Allen, both of them exiting in just over 10 minutes despite swimming an extra 2 lengths. It was those 2 who led the way on the bike with Allen pulling out a couple of minutes of an advantage at the head of the race. Riise was riding solidly to hang onto 2nd place despite being chased by a charging Mark Dowell who posted the fastest bike split on the day. Once out the water, triathlon newcomer Stewart Hutchison put the hammer down on the bike course to get himself back in the mix and Croy had just edged into 3rd position ahead of Wild by the time they arrived back at transition.

Less than 3 minutes separated the top 3 as they set out on the run, but from the start Allen started pulling out a very healthy lead in the scorching midday heat. A speedy sub 19 minute 5km run brought him across the finish line in 1:05.58 to grab 1st place. The battle for 2nd place was well fought and despite Croy eating into the advantage of young Riise it wasn’t quite enough to pass him before the finish line came. Well-matched Orcadians Wild and Dowell came in 4th and 5th  respectively with Ivor Johnson taking 6th. Hutchinson stopped the clock at 1:25.33 to take 7th, his efforts will surely have earned him an extra big slice of cake at his wedding this weekend. Little, Coles, Freshwater and Saxelby completed the men’s results list.

In the ladies event there was 1 clear favourite on the start list. As expected Emma Morris pressed clear from the start whistle, despite Heidi Eriksen and Stephanie Bain limiting their losses in the pool with some solid swim times. Yolanda Bruce, Elizabeth Gifford and Jaqueline Tulloch, in her first sprint triathlon, all exited the water within 20 seconds of each other to fight for positions on the remaining 2 disciplines.

After a speedy transition Morris was climbing out of Aith on 2 wheels and was drawing out a sizeable gap over Eriksen who was sitting pretty in 2nd. Bruce was riding well and caught and passed Bain on the bike course, moving her up to 3rd position, and after the bike leg Gifford was leading Tulloch by 4 minutes going into transition 2. 

As temperatures climbed fatigue threatened to set in, but Morris cruised home with an excellent 22 minute 5km to take the women's sprint trophy for the first time. The gap between Eriksen and Bruce remained stable throughout the run with the former taking a comfortable second place on the day. Bain followed a few minutes later to take 4th spot, and a determined Tulloch metaphorically leapfrogged triathlon club stalwart Gifford on the run route to take 5th.

In the team event Fraser Hall wound back the years and dusted off his goggles as he took to the water. Thankfully his technique remained intact and he sprung out the water in under 12 minutes before tagging teammate Siobhan Michael who set off on the taxing bike route. In the other team Maurice Inkster was out the water 2 minutes behind Hall and set out in hot pursuit of Michael on the bike. His experience and power paid off and it wasn't long before he had taken the lead and was chewing up the miles in typical fashion. He tagged his teammate Susan Linklater who shot off out the blocks to complete the 5km run in 24 minutes. Back at transition Michael tagged Kate Wills who completed the event, bringing them home in a very respectable time of 1:36.48.

Shetland Tri Club chairman commented "Its fantastic to see another great turnout to our event. Unusually for us heat was a big factor today, but the icy water at the finish line brought some welcome relief and replaced the usual cups of tea and coffee. The club, as always, would like to thank all the people who helped out on the day, and to the staff of the West Mainland Leisure Centre for hosting us again."

The club's next event is the Shetland Standard Triathlon on the 8th September. It can be completed individually or as a team, and for more info please visit the clubs Facebook page.

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Novice Tri - 12/05/2019

The North Mainland Leisure Centre was a hub of activity on Sunday morning as the Shetland Triathlon Club hosted their annual Novice Triathlon. Taking its spot in May it gives experienced club members a chance to test their early-season form, but there has always been a focus on making this an event to attract those new to the sport, and give anyone of any ability a chance to complete their first triathlon. With a record 29 athletes signing on, 15 of whom were first-timers, there was a great mix of ages and abilities up for the challenge. 

Set off in 3 separate heats in the Brae pool, the athletes settled their nerves and set about the opening 400m swim leg with solid determination. As expected young swimmer Mark Hutcheon, in his first tri, set a blistering pace in the men's event, followed swiftly by his more experienced counterparts who were keen to chase the youngster down once they got out on the road.  In the ladies line-up is was Emma Morris, Katriona Mouat and Freya Stansfield who set the fastest pace in the water, with much of the field exiting in under 10 minutes. 

After slipping into something a little warmer and grabbing their bikes from the racking the 10km cycle leg was next on the menu. Heading South through Brae and Burravoe, the participants were soon spinning their legs on the open road and taking advantage of a nice tailwind to push them out to the turn. The pack was getting mixed with every passing mile with the more experienced cyclists, on lighter racing bikes, putting some big chunks of time into the rest of the field. Much of the return leg was into an energy-sapping westerly wind, but everyone made it back to transition safely. On his super speedy aerodynamic steed Daniel O'Connor posted the fastest bike split of the day with Andrew Wishart and newcomer Stewart Hutchison showing they can mix it with the best of them on 2 wheels. Emma Morris was pulling out an advantage over the rest of the ladies, but behind there were a lot of evenly matched bike times. Heidi Eriksen, Yolanda Bruce and Elizabeth Gifford showing that the the Tri Clubs indoor spinning sessions over the winter had been worth the effort. 

The dreaded 'jelly legs' were served up for desert as everyone racked their bikes and attempted to switch from bike mode to run mode. The short 2.5km might seem like a stroll in the park under normal circumstances, but added to the end of a swim and a bike it becomes another beast entirely. 

O'Connor held into his lead to pass the line first, followed by Riise less than 2 minutes later. The youngster showing some serious improvements from his triathlon debut at last years event, and together with Johnson and Wishart (in 3rd and 4th respectively) the 3 of them are now looking forward to the Island Games in Gibraltar in 2 months time.

In the ladies event Morris cruised into the finish line to be first female home, with Eriksen taking 2nd in her first triathlon event. Bruce, Stansfield and Stephanie Bain made up the remainder of the top 5, and Susan Linklater jumped a couple of placings with a rapid run to finish off her day in 6th. 

All 29 individuals who set off in the pool showed great drive and clearly paced their efforts well to make it to the finish line.

Club Chairman Andy Aitken commented "As a small club it was amazing to have such a big turnout on the day. It really means a lot to the club. We would like to especially thank and congratulate those who came to take part in their first triathlon. All 15 of them did themselves very proud and we hope to see them back for more events through the summer."

The Shetland Triathlon Club's next event is the Sprint Triathlon on 28th July. It will be held at the West Mainland Leisure Centre and can be completed individually or as a team. Enter via entrycentral.com and for more info visit the clubs Facebook page.

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Jake Porter Duathlon - 21/04/2019

Shetland Triathlon Club kicked off their 2019 season of events on Sunday with the 7th Annual Jake Porter Duathlon. Now a staple in Shetlands sporting calendar the event was started in 2013 to honour the memory of Jake who passed away a year earlier and raise money for Children's Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS). The charity offer a full family support service for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions.

Thankfully the strong winds that whipped across the landscape in the days before abated, and on Sunday morning the competitors were left with an ideal chance to stretch their legs in calm, dry conditions. After any final preparations were made the 22 individuals and 13 teams lined up outside the Tingwall Hall to take on the run-cycle-run. 

A stacked men's field of 17 was great to see and provided a lot of potential for some top quality racing. From the gun a group of 5 containing Andrew Wishart, Daniel O'Connor, Andy Aitken, Ivor Johnson and Scott Riise matched each others pace and completed the first 2.1 run together with no one wanting to make a move so early in the race. After Transition 1 (T1) there were small gaps between them as they streamed out onto the road to tackle the 15mile bike leg. Daniel O'Connor took the initiative early and surged ahead with Wishart and Aitken in pursuit. After 2 miles Aitken passed the leader and would go on to build his advantage over the rest of the cycle. Further down the field newcomer Stewart Hutchison was making serious inroads into the pack, climbing from 9th to 4th position with a great show of strength on 2 wheels. Riise and Johnson were 2 of his victims but held their own pace to return in 5th and 6th respectively. Onto the last run leg, things would get shuffled again. O'Connor was gaining time on Aitken with every step, but the latter held his advantage to take the men's trophy by a mere 60 seconds. The mens podium was completed by Wishart, with Riise and Johnson clawing their way back past Hutchison to complete the top 5. 

A leaner female field of 5 individuals was led from the gun by Shelley Humphray seeking to retain her title from 2018. She sat just behind the lead group of men after the first run, and produced another strong bike to keep in sight of them coming into T2. Improving on her first run time, she breezed her way to the top of the podium and took to ladies title. The battle for 2nd place was a tighter affair, with Heidi Eriksen and Yolanda Bruce going head to head. Eriksen trailed Bruce by a handful of seconds coming into T1, but a super quick transition saw her lead throughout the bike leg. Despite Bruce eating into her lead on the second run, Eriksen held off the challenge to bag silver on the day. In the race for 4th Jan Howard seemed to have the upper  hand over Elizabeth Gifford after the first run, but Gifford put in a good shift on the bike to give her enough of a gap going into the last leg to hold onto 4th. 

In the team event the super-duo 'Garrguire' (consisting of of Ewan McGuire and Bryan Garrick) were unstoppable on the day. Garrick set a blistering pace from the gun before tagging McGuire who held the lead throughout the bike leg. Despite strong performances from 'Workhorse' (Ross Work and Scott Jamieson) who finished 2nd and 'Scobie n' Black' (Charlotte Black and Barry Scobie) who took 3rd, Garrick cruised is way round the final leg unchallenged to grab the trophy.

Teas, coffees and mountains of homebakes were on offer in the hall afterwards to replace any lost energy, and once the trophy presentations were finished the raffle saw a few lucky winners heading home with even more to smile about. Combined with the race entry fees, event raised a fantastic £1800 for CHAS.

The organisers would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who come along to help on the day, and to NorthLink for providing the star raffle prize.

The next Shetland Tri Club event will the Novice Triathlon on the 12th May. Held in Brae it is the perfect short event for those wanting their first taste of triathlon. For more info please visit the club Facebook page or the club website. 

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