National Club Relay Championships

Three teams from Lincsquad battled it out with the best in the country at the National Club Relay Championships, Holme Pierrepont, National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham at the weekend.

Lincsquad Allstars (Steve Lormor, Rick Stenton, Lauren York, Steve Clark) and Lincsquad Cops & Dobbers (Amanda Clements, Sallie Joseph, Gareth Barker, Steve Dolby) competing in Saturdays race in the open & mixed category, whilst Lincsquad FortyPlus (Phil Binch, Steve Grocock, Andy Veitch, Pete Connolly) competed in sundays men’s race.

The event itself is not like any other triathlon you have experienced, it involves a team of 4 triathletes, taking turns in a relay to complete 4 x 500m open water swims, then onto the 4 x 15k cycle and finally 4 x 5k runs, all set in and around the rowing lake at Holme Pierrepont, so no traffic and great for supporters as they can see everything.
Having competed in this race for 3 years now, all I can say is the Team Relays are a truely awesome triathlon experience, total chaos but absolutely awesome.

So on to the race reports, first one from Rick Stenton, Team Captain of Lincsquad Allstars.

So the weekend of the Team Relays came, the Stenton’s first camping trip, the Lincsquad Massive had brought and put up a tent for us to kip in as we were late arriving. After a rainy night in the tent and not much sleep we gathered our gear and headed over to the race .

We had all just walked down to the start, five minutes to go till the gun when Rick realises that he has forgotten his goggles, “Oh bother” (or words to that effect) ,so he has to leg it back to the transition tent while Steve holds his bike. After a mad rush the race starts with Rick not having spoken to Steve Lormor about where to stand for the change over.

Luckily Lormor has a great swim and was early out of the water so we missed the chaos. Then Stenton sets off and has a good swim before passing the baton to our star swimmer Lauren York who put in a blinding time (7:36) to lead Clark off.

Clark came out the water in about 6th position, so we were in good shape. Clark passed the baton over to Lormor to start the fast bike section. Lormor had a strong bike before passing smoothly to Stenton with the Lincsquad massive cheering us on every lap from the hill behind bike transition. It was fast going away from the grand stand but really hurt on the way back into a strong head wind. Four good bike legs left us in a good position, still top 10.

The run went around the rowing lake in the opposite direction to the bike so the final 1 mile run to the handover/ finish was into the head wind, some good runs, especially from Clark (18:45) brought us in 9th overall.When we finally got the machine working to print the results off, it was only then we realised that we had won the open category and was maybe in for a prize

After the mixed teams results, Lincsquads Allstars were named the open champions 2011.

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend and just like to say well done to Jo Walker as she was part of the winning mixed team even though our prize was better than yours.

The next race report is from Steve Dolby, first timer to Club Relays.

Cops and Dobbers!Well it was a first for the four Cops and Dobbers, as none of us had entered such an event before. This combined with a fair lack of training of late through injuries and the likes presented us all with a fair amount of uncertainty and disorganisation…….. However the morning was soon on us.

Swim caps, wrist bands and timing chips had all been distributed so it was off to T1 and T2 to set up the bikes. Once again the nerves had started to kick in through lack of understanding to what we had actually got to do next!! Both Amanda Clements and Sallie Joseph racked their bikes up whilst Gareth Barker and myself had to hang around and wait for our swim.

Amanda had been chosen to lead the team off so it was her turn to battle with the mass start. The race started with the remaining three of us awaiting the first mass hand over. I never knew that rugby scrums had always been part of the relays!!!!! Strange that!!!!!!

The race got on its way and we all seemed to come out of the swim relatively unscathed, now on to the bike section……..Again a little apprehensive, we all waited for our leg of the relay to sample the tight corners and narrow pathways!!!!! Oh and the geese!! Fortunately for us the Lincsquad support crew was not that far away and shouts from the newly named wags was plentiful. The flat course presented the race with some fast times and the team started to claw back from a tentative start in the water.

Smooth handovers and fast transitions gave the Cops and Dobbers chance to catch a few more places up and it was soon over to the run section. The Lincsquad Massive support crew moved position for the run section so that they could offer support all around the course. They could be heard all around the circuit…….. Especially on the opposite side of the lake!! This was especially welcomed as this was nearly half way around and a big cheer certainly gave us something to wave back at!! Some say we should have been concentrating on the race a little more!! I’m not so sure!!

Well after battling the wind of the final straight we managed a sprint finish and it was all over. What a fantastic effort from the team at such an amazing event. Well done all for completing your first mixed team relay!!

Finally a race report from Steve Grocock, star cyclist for Lincsquad FortyPlus

‘Glastonbury’ for triathletes would be a good way to describe this weekend’s fun for the three Lincsquad teams that made the short trip to Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham for the National Club Relay Championships.

This event came with a big reputation as Captain Binch has been singing it’s praises for the last few years (he hasn’t stopped going on about it)? Phil’s dream involved a quest to the four corners of earth in the search of the world’s three best triathletes to join him in an all conquering team with just one proviso……… must be aged over 40 years old!
Like I say, that was Phil’s dream! The reality was that Phil’s demographic was slightly limited to the Brigg area but Steve Grocock, Andy Veitch and Pete Connolly were perfectly qualified in the age department.

After watching the ‘Super Stars’ *cough* finish on the top spot of the dais the day before in the open category, the pressure was well and truly on, when gauntlets were thrown to beat the young-uns time!

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, Phil Binch, chest pumped stepped up as first man to battle the biff in one of the most hotly contested swims I’ve witnessed! 500 metre open water swims (with a run) in less than 6 minutes was an early warning to the standard we were up against. The recent televised BBC tri series featuring a whole host of our fellow competitors setting the early pace.

Accepting that the swim leg wasn’t our forte didn’t deter Andy ‘Tugboat’ Veitch, Pete ‘The Machine’ Connolly and Stevie Gee from trying to minimize collateral damage by putting in some decent performances before the favoured leg of the bike.

The beauty of this event is that each competitor swims, then rests while their team mates swim, cycles, then rests while their team mates cycle and then runs whilst, well…. you get the idea. Basically you do a lot of resting in between each leg leaving you fairly-ish fresh on each discipline, What a brilliant concept. You just have to be disciplined not to give in to the temptation of the burger van until you’ve done your stint.

The Bike….. You can’t get much more fun than this? If you’ve been enjoying your Lincsquad time trials this year then this is the ultimate event for honing your newly found skills (speed). Three mile laps with a deafening grandstand reception each rep meant the 40 plussers made big strides into regaining their swim defecit. The long straights and strong wind meant you enjoyed a 35 mph stretch before having to grit your teeth as you turned back into the wind.

Our friends (but rivals) Adwick Tri were quick to point toward the bike leg as the telling discipline as Lincsquad finally got the better of their Yorkshire rivals for the first time in history!

Following some slick, rehearsed transitions in a straw baled corral, Phil set the expected run standard before passing over to Steve G who had to run a PB in order not to let his ‘stronger running’ team mates down. Andy Veitch appeared to be enjoying the attention of the grandstand as he managed to fit in a one man Mexican wave whilst still running a decent pace.

The Captain’s decision putting Pete as the anchorman paid off with a great run, resulting in a hard earned 5th place in the over 40’s championship (35th overall out of 200 teams).

Texts were flying about during the après tri barbie as folks back home were interested in who had the faster time in the inter-club competition, the Young uns or the more mature athletes?

It was close but obviously wasn’t as simple as who had the faster time, oh no! First we had to refer to the British Triathlon Federation’s official age/time converter. Luckily Phil had his calculator on hand and it was soon apparent that the Young uns will have to wait another year to exact revenge on their older peers! As although the young uns were 4 minutes quicker the day before than their elder, more sohisticated and charismatic club mates, when applying the official 5 second per year adjustment, the fortyplussers won by over one minute, you have heard of this converter, right?

As usual, the drinking and eating post race was another reason why these events are so memorable. The legendary Dobbers were on form with the catering feeding the hungry Lincsquad posse, the venison burgers being my particular favourite.

Also special mention to all the Lincsquad supporters, your shouts and encouragement made a real difference.
As Lincsquad still holds a major claim to Jo Walker it would be rude not to mention, how, with the help of her new team and sponsor Blue Seventy TFN they became the winners of the mixed team event! Jo’s team included some of the best age groupers in the country, a credit to Jo to be mixing in such high circles………….obviously we taught her everything she knows, ahem.

Thanks to Rick, SteveD & SteveG for your race reports.

Team Results – Saturday Race – Mixed Teams – Full Results here
Lincsquad Allstars – 3:24:38 – 9th overall – 1st in open category
Lincsquad Cops & Dobbers – 4:23:16 – 164th overall – 75th mixed category

Team Results – Sunday Race – Mens Teams – Full Results here
Lincsquad FortyPlus – 3:28:57 – 35th overall – 5th in 40+ category

A great weekend of racing, supporting, drinking & eating with friends, awesome, thanks everyone.

How many teams are we taking to the 2012 Championships?

Click here for photo’s of the weekend on Lincsquad’s Flickr page