Based on the clubs participation levels within the East Midlands tri star series, Lincsquad were awarded VIP passes to the new elite mixed team relay event. Julie England reflects on their day.
Any disappointment I had at missing the club team relays this year soon disappeared as I chaperoned Hannah Lonsdale and Freddie Fearn to the mixed elite relays in Nottingham on 3rd September.
As a club, we had been given 2 youth VIP tickets plus one adult and we three were lucky enough to have our names pulled out of the hat during the Barton BBQ night.
So, two excited youths and one adult (also secretly excited) set off on a foggy Saturday morning arriving thankfully at a sunny Nottingham for 11 am just in time to watch the last of the mornings City of Nottingham triathlon competitors completing their bike and run sections. The venue couldn’t be nicer, biking along the embankment followed by a run across Trent Bridge and then back over the suspension bridge a little further down river to the finish.
We headed over to the spectator village to pick our VIP passes and t-shirts and have some lunch. Whilst we had lunch Freddie spotted Alistair Brownlee signing autographs at the ALDI stand (a major sponsor of the event) so we quickly finished our food and joined the queue. He was very nice spending time with everyone and Hannah and Freddie got him to sign their T-shirts and have their photo taken with him.
Buoyed up by this we set of in search of other ‘famous faces’ and found the queue for Vicky Holland. If we thought Alistair was nice she was even better, spending time chatting to Hannah and Freddie, we told her we were from Lincsquad and she was curious to know how Freddie had ended up with a plaster cast on his arm. She did say that if you’re going to break a limb it might as well be as a result of a bike accident! She had also brought her gold medal from Rio and I was shocked to find out how heavy it was, you wouldn’t want it hanging around your neck for too long.
Another signature on the T-shirt and fab photo from this brilliant triathlete. She did say that she hoped we hadn’t just come to see Jonny Brownlee as he was unable to compete due to ‘man flu’ her words not mine…
Before long it was time for all the youth VIP’s and their chaperones to meet and be escorted to the VIP area ahead of the race starting. There was quite a number of us with a variety of Tri clubs represented but Lincoln Tri club had by far the most with around 27 youths. Still we had the advantage of being able to squeeze in alongside the barriers and get the best views of the dismount area and the tag change over area.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the best view of the swim but then again the speed of which they were completing the 300m swim in the Trent (average sub 4 minutes) it wouldn’t have been worth watching!
It was fast and furious and very exciting and we were in awe of their dismount techniques. An added bonus was Non Stanford who took time to come to the barrier to sign autographs as she was watching her team mates complete their legs.
It was a great day and I would encourage anyone to go to Nottingham to take part in the triathlon which was such a lovely course. I think the Elite relay was a great success too and no doubt will be a permanent fixture on the race calendar.
Julie, Hannah and Freddie