Sunday saw the Georgian market town of Louth hosting its first Sprint triathlon. SBR Events put on a great show which was perfect for a handful of Lincsquadders wanting to fly under the radar and gain some much needed practice, fitness, experience or confidence in preparation for the upcoming Brigg Sprint. The 140 finishers started the day with a 400m pool swim, a 13.75 mile bike ride followed by a 6 k (2 loops) run. The longer distances meant they got plenty of value for money than your normal ‘Sprint distance’ tri. I guess that’s how you should look at it, rather than having another 10 minutes of ‘eyeballs out’!
Ruth Wilson came in first female overall and seems to be making quite a habit of winning these local events. Having a much improved swim to add to her already strong bike and run legs, Ruth is getting faster with each race. Always notable is Ruth’s run, her 6 K dash completed in 25m:28s.
Our friendly neighbourhood Coach & Committee member Nicky Robinson was clearly enjoying racing again. After experiencing some terrible bad luck during a running accident the smile on Nicky’s face said it all as she thanked the dozen or so Lincsquad supporters en-route. She looked particularly strong on the bike despite some last minute Facebook pleas for a mechanic? Don’t know how that went but clenched fists were being waved and Ebay threats were hollered at the poor defenceless PlanetX. Bagging second in her age group and 71st overall was testament to Nicky’s dogged determination, well done gal.
Aiden Grocock and Dave Ornsby walked away from this one with a little bit more than just experience gained. The youths exceeded their own and even more so their Dads’ expectations with a 3rd and 5th place overall, 1st and 2nd in their age group.
David enjoyed mixing it with the big boys and put in a stellar swim. Unfortunately, and following in his father’s footsteps Aiden experienced the genetic curse in his very first triathlon. ‘Inabilitas-countie-lengthy’ disease saw Aiden cutting the swim short. 4 lengths short to be precise?! The plan, although clearly not foolproof was to set a vibrating ‘alert’ on his Garmin. Unfortunately it’s the same ‘alert’ when you accidentally hit the button on the lane rope?!?!
Aiden made amends with a strong bike and the second fastest run of the day. Luckily for him there was no embarrassing explaining to do as the results wouldn’t have changed even with those extra 4 lengths. Phew!
Stuart Grocock was drafted in at the last minute to show nephew Aiden the ropes (literally in this case). Despite a wedding the night before Stuart couldn’t resist trying his newly purchased TT bike out. Putting in one of the fastest bike times and finishing 21st overall (3rd in AG) was just reward. Bodes well for a Brigg PB in a fortnight.
Nicky Robinson’s Louth Sprint Tri race report
Due to my accident at Christmas and seemingly ever lasting problems occurring from that I’ve not been racing much this year with no triathlons completed at all! So with the realisation that Brigg sprint was edging closer I decided it would be a good idea to have a practice race. As my physio recommended no swimming I didn’t step in the pool until the end of July for the 2nd time this year so I decided to take myself off to a low key race, after having a look for a race that was quite close to home the inaugural Louth triathlon popped up! At £30 for BTF members and the bike and run being longer than the normal distances at 22K and 6K respectively I thought this was pretty ideal as prep for Brigg, especially when they moved the start back to 9am!! As Ruth was planning to accompany me anyway I then ‘encouraged’ Ruth to get herself entered. With the start list being produced on the Friday before the race there were 5 Lincsquadders on the start list in total and 153 athletes in total. A slight hiccup with my bike not playing on the Saturday saw lots of Lincsquadders step in and offer their help – thanks to all and especially to Dave Hinch for his assistance.
I arrived early on the Sunday to find registration not yet open and a queue of eager people so decided to drive the bike course. Early thoughts of ooh smooth tarmac soon turned to blimey this is twisty and turny and a little bit uppy and downy too!
Back at the leisure centre I got registered and went to rack my bike, nice to see Les Thompson (who seems to have the mandatory Lincsquad knack of marshalling/supporting = loud!) marshalling transition. Transition was perfectly placed it was right next to the swim exit and mount/dismount line – I’ve never seen one so close! The briefing confirmed that there were 4 mandatory foot downs at right turn junctions and penalties for not doing so and then all the usual rules.
Ruth and I had ended up in the same swim wave so were able to keep each other calm! But I must admit as the exit from the pool was pretty steep I was worried about getting out of the pool before I’d got in!! Due to the low numbers waves went off every 5 minutes from 9am-10am then every 4 minutes after, this meant that as I got in there was only 1 other swimmer in my lane and then for some of the swim I had my lane to myself. At the time I thought this was brilliant but I think the lack of people actually meant my pace slipped a little. Anyways out the pool onto the bike, out the Leisure centre, first foot down arghh, although the bike course was good it felt a little stop and start probably not helped by vans towing other vans out of a field and tractors that stopped as they couldn’t get through with bikes coming the other way. Back to the leisure centre and heard people cheering me on, which turned out to be the Grococks and Steve Ornsby, I had chatted to Steve before the race but definitely knew the woman that was cheering was not him!! Dismounted safely, trainers on and out on the run which was 2 laps again this had a few ups and 1 nice stretch of road down, friendly marshals on the run was good and I was overtaking a few people so that felt great, round the last corner ignoring that the last bit was uphill before the joy of crossing the line and having the medal placed round my neck!
Due to this being the inaugural race the organisers only had trophies for the winning man and woman, which looking at the results was disappointing as every Lincsquadder placed in their age group – pretty impressive!!
Having a chat to the others after the race Aiden’s watch had tricked him in the swim but he had a solid race and seen as the person behind him was 4 minutes slower this wouldn’t have had any impact on the placings, David Ornsby who was next in their age group also had a really great race – these youths are coming through really well!! Stuart and I raced strongly and Ruth produced a stormer to win!! Although we nearly missed the presentation and was running with bikes and kit for Ruth to pick up her trophy.
It was a good event and now the first one is out of the way it can only get better. I would recommend it for anyone who wants a small, local, low key race.