World Quadrathlon Championships 2011

Steve Clark (28) & Phil Binch (43) joined 10 other Great Britain athletes to take on the best quadrathletes in the world on Saturday 13th August in Sedlcany, Czech Republic over a 1.5km swim, 7km kayak, 40km cycle & 10km run course.

Steve has competed in the World Quadrathlon Championships twice before, finishing 10th in 2007 & 7th in 2008, but for Phil this was a big step up from the British Quadrathlon Championship races, where he finished 3rd in 2010 & 6th in 2011.

Steve’s aim for the World Championships was top 5 and first Britain over the line.
Phil, not at all knowing what to expect competing at this level, simply harboured a secret ambition for a top 15 spot.

It all started back at the beginning of the year, when Phil told Steve he was going to take on the World Quadrathlon Championships this year, after a few more defiant “i’m going, what about you comments“, Steve finally changed his mind and informed the GB Manager after the North Lincs Challenge of his intentions, although Steve had the matter of 2 weeks in Greece and a wedding only 3 weeks before the race, so this wasn’t ideal prep.

Steve & Phil with their brilliant team of supporters Emily, Graham (Steve’s Dad), Sarah & Georgie all arrived in Sedlcany, Czech Republic at about 7pm on the Thursday evening with the race taking place at 11:30am Saturday.

We met up with the rest of the GB team for a major carb loading session. I must say the food was absolutely fantastic.

Friday, the day before race went like this;
07:30am breakfast
08:00am build bikes
09:00am GB team meeting
10:00am Steve & Phil cycled 1 lap of the bike course (it reminded Steve how much he loved this course for its smooth undulating roads)
10:30am Steve & Phil run 1 lap of the run course (the route was good, mixture of surfaces, great woodland loop and a killer cobbled hill)
11:00am quick shower
12 noon Carb loading lunch with the best supporters ever
02:00pm Kayak 1 lap on a beautiful lake
Sedlcany Lake, Czech Republic 03:00pm The Great Peanut Butter Treasure Hunt, a must for both Steve & Phil nowadays for race day breakfast
05:00pm Race Registration
06:00om Team GB meal
07:30pm Race Briefing
08:30pm Final GB Team meeting
09:30pm Bed

Saturday – Race day
An early breakfast and lots of peanut butter, strawberry jam & bananas
09:00am Town Centre transition opens (T3 – Bike to run) so we both take all our gear and sort our run transiton out before riding over to the lake to sort T1 & T2. With 3 different transitions for this course it was really important to make sure we got everything sorted and in the correct place.
11:00am start to warm up and get your race face on! (see photo below – Phil 2nd from left, Steve 4th from left)

Steve’s original aim for the race was to be top 5 and first Brit across the line, but after having Phil tell Steve at every opportunity that he could actually win and be World Champion, Steve started to raise his aim. Steve thought “first place lets give it a go” and with the Czech Sports TV company filming him before the race whilst he was warming up, the contender status really started to sink in.

The swim is 1500m lake swim with a 100m sprint to the first buoy (see pic above) before turning left, it got really messy at this first buoy with everyone swimming over each other. After it settled down Steve got onto Leos Rousavy (Czech), current World Series leader’s feet and just hung on for the duration, Steve came out the water in 10th position, down on were he wanted to be, Phil was out in 14th.

Onto the 5 lap kayak which has to be said, both Steve & Phil hated. For the first 2 laps Steve was just fighting to stay upright as all the big European paddlers know us Brits are weak paddlers and come steaming past you pretty much hitting your boat with their paddles. After 2 laps Steve managed to get going a bit and picked a few off that had come past him and he overtook Mat Stephenson (GB) who was going well to move into 13th overall. Phil continued to struggle to just stay in the kayak, any capsize would have been race over as it was a long swim to the bank, but Phil’s position had droped over 20 places to the high 30’s and the bottom half of the field, Phil’s secret ambition for the race was now in serious doubt.

After the kayak, a 100m run up hill to the bike transition, Steve managed to pass Ian Smith (GB) who overtook him on the kayak so he was now 1st Brit and 12th overall.

Steve had a word with himself “if i’m going to get top 5, i need to put the hammer down now, big style” and that’s what he did, taking on some big risks on the down hills staying in aero position all the way, even turning a bigger gear than normal up the hills, Steve moved from 12th to 4th on the bike, and with the run to come he was now thinking podium top 3, as he knew Miroslav Podborsky (full time Czech quadrathlete) would be miles ahead as he had put 8 minutes into Steve in the kayak alone.

Phil, just pleased to get the kayak finished, didnt just have a word with himself he shouted to the support crew on the run to T2, “now it starts“, knowing that he also needed a flying bike section.

Steve recorded the 2nd fastest bike split with only Podborsky recording a faster time, Steve was now up to 4th and Emily & Graham shouted to Steve that he was only 90 seconds down on Stefan Tiechert (GER) in 3rd place, with Peter Hobor (Hungary) in 2nd, 6 minutes ahead, Steve knew that 3rd place and bronze was a serious possibility, if he still had his running legs after that incredible bike section.

Steve, got onto Teichard’s shoulder after about a mile into the run and it was at the start of the cobbled hill, so this was where Steve would make his move and he picked up the pace at the toughest part of the route, after about 20 secs Steve heard a big groan and Teichert dropped off his shoulder.

Steve was now in 3rd and with the Podborsky & Hobor well out of site this was were he would finished. Steve said “coming into the finish was a great feeling knowing i was going to be stood on the podium because in the kayak if i’m honest i didn’t think it was going to happen.”

Phil meanwhile was still out on the course battling the run demons, he had done what was required on the bike, recording the 6th fastest split, which moved him right back into it and 13th overall, top 15 was back on.

The first 5k loop felt ok, Phil had hydrated well on the bike and came into the town centre turn point looking ok(ish), but had dropped to 14th, but with only another 5k to go, it was still all to play for.

At the top of the cobbled hill section, Josef Feichtinger (Aut) pushed on past, that put Phil in 15th with just under 2 miles to go, another “talking to moment” was in order. Phil tried hard to pick up the pace through the woods, emerging at the top of the descent into Sedlcany with a 50m lead on Martin Smoleik (Czh). Phil didnt want to leave it to a sprint finish, so it was time to stretch the stride and up the pace, the pain was evident. The GB supporters & fellow athletes, including Steve Clark, shouted at Phil to lift his pace as Martin was gaining. Phil hit the cobbled uphill finish, still in the lead, only 100m to go, pain was etched in Phil’s face, this was hurting, 50m to go and still in 15th, a final push from the Czech 20m from the line, and Josef crossed the line infront by a whisker, pushing Phil down to 16th but 4th Brit home. Totally exhausted Phil staggered to a bench, where team mates and supporters quickly gathered and made sure he was ok, the disappointment in Phil’s face was obvious, so close to top 15 but it was not to be (or so he thought).

Now for the medal ceremony, Lincsquad’s very own Steve Clark was 3rd in the World Quadrathlon Championships, the GB team erupted with applause when Steve took his position on the podium, a smart glass trophy & medal, some euro’s (after taxes!) and a lovely wooden shelf, yep handcrafted in Sedlcany, a nice wooden shelf, although where its going in Steve & Emily’s house is still under debate!

We cheered the final GB team athelete’s over the line, then it was time to shower and relax for a while before the awards ceremony at the town hall later that night, where the age group & the sprint race trophies would be presented.

Team GB met early for a celebratory meal, Steve had promised himself a huge Calzone, Phil (whose mood had lifted) went one better and ordered a maxi pizza thinking “how big could it be“, Tim Deykin another GB team mate thought the same, and both ordered a nice little salad starter in anticiption of the feast ahead. The maxi pizza’s seemed to take a lot longer to cook than everyone else’s order for some reason, in fact Steve had nearly finished his calzone when the maxi pizza appeared, oh my god, the jealousy in Steve’s eyes was obvious, Phil thought “nice one“. It did take some eating though.


At the awards ceremony, an announcement in Czech mentioned something about a failed drugs test and on receiving a copy of the official results, Phil was in 15th position, although not the best way to gain a position, a huge smile appeared on Phil’s face, and it was time for a celebration beer with Steve.

Team GB awards
– Steve Clark, 3rd World Championships (Male)
– Helen Dyke, 3rd World Championships (Female)
– Great Britain, 2nd World Team title (first 3 from each country home) with Steve Clark 3rd, Mat Stevenson 7th & Ian Smith 9th.
– Mat also took the M40 World title with Ian taking the M50 World title
– Josh Hook, 2nd World Youth Championships

Full results can be found on the World Quadrathlon Federation site (when updated)

Steve & Phil also want to say a huge thank you to Emily, Graham, Sarah & Georgie for their support, encouragement & time keeping over the weekend. Also, thank you to North Lincolnshire Council for the valuable sports grant which helped fund the trip to the World Championships, and to all the GB team mates and supporters, not forgetting Steve Hook, GB Team Manager for organising everything and especially for driving over 2500 miles with our kayaks.

A great few days with friends, a great race with the best in the world, bring on 2012.

(more photo’s and video will be uploaded asap)

London Triathlon 2011

Well during one of the warmest weekends of the year 30 and 31 July 2011 thousands of triathletes descended on the London Excel Arena to take part in one of the biggest triathlons in England.

The weekend saw celebrities including Sir Richard Branson, Nell McAndrew,  someone who I can’t admit to knowing the name of from JLS, Mel C, Stacey Solomon and many more – but amongst them were some regular faces from Lincsqaud!!

With most of the Lincsquaders taking part in the Hyde Park triathlon the following week not many made the journey to the Excel arena to jump into the Dock.

Having booked last year I decided to once again take on the Olympic distance challenge.  On the sunny Sunday afternoon I managed to pull a PB out of the bag to finish 10th out of 1400 competitors in the Male open category (all ages).  Having positioned myself at the front of the swim I thought I was about to get trampled on but went for it and exited the water in 5th position taking 26 minutes, after a long transition I really enjoyed the bike leg which took 57 minutes, completing my run which was slightly longer then a 10K in 43minutes to finish with a time of 2hrs and 11 minutes.

A great weekend thoroughly enjoyed with some great fellow competitors (especially the Frary brothers) and the gang of family and friends who cheered us along with their cow bells!


P.S. If you were also there then add your story  below or send your reports to Paul, Steve or Phil.

Lincsquad Race Weekend Bonanza

Wow!! What a busy weekend of racing by Lincsquad members, competing all over the UK and Europe! The Whitaker’s complete the Ironman Regensberg (see separate race report), Phil Gibbs and Alan Woodcock complete the Dearne Valley Tri (see separate race report). Then we had Chris Spavin, Duncan Wright, Dave Hinch and Jeff Chappill competing in the infamous London Triathlon.

Also racing was Paul Ralph (fresh from the Outlaw Tri) at the Goole Triathlon coming a solid 14th in a time of 57:83 for full results see

It was a massive weekend for Triathlon in London with the Tata Steel boys all in Action well supported by Team Dobbers heres how they did

Olympic               Swim     T1     Bike       T2      Run    Overall
Chris spavin      29.46   3.53  1:07:31  2.14   46.14  2:29:36
Duncan Wright   41.54   3.20  1:04:40   2.04  40.53  2:32:50
David Hinch       33.55   4.12  1:08:42  2.34   48.42  2:38:04
Full results here

Jeff Chappill      21.26   5.04   38:56    2.27   22.57 1:30:49

Jack Garner 33rd (a big thanks to Nik Appleyard his guide both pictured right) and Alan Rayment 30th also raced in the Para Tri with Jack taking the Bronze medal in his classification and Alan coming 5th in his.

Full Para results here

Beverly Triathlon

More local to home was the UDO’s choice race series with the Beverley Triathlon hosted by Freebird’s. Lincsquad fielded a good squad anbd featured well through out the race.

Gav Mann in his first triathlon put in a great performance to set his benchmark for Brigg Sprint, great transitions.

Newcomer Steve Ornsby, also put in a solid performance finishing 59th.

Jane Taylor was first F50 over the line, although you could not be there for your prize, we gave you a big Lincsquad round of applause.

Andrew Lawson & Kate Lancaster also put in a sound performances to complete Team Lincsquad results.

Beverley Sprint Triathlon – Lincsquad Results

IRONMAN Regensburg a family Holiday!!!

2013 was going to be the year when I would do my IRONMAN; I would be 55 and hopefully fit.

Last Christmas I decided that the was probably too far away and that training commitments and work would clash, so I decided 2011 would be the year, Robbie volunteered to do it with me and Alan said he would give it a go even though he wouldn’t be 21.

In Pic Robbie, Andrew and Alan

Joey my wife was not keen but for Valentine’s Day bought me the book “IRONMAN Start to Finish“ by Paul Huddle and Roch Frey. I have followed this fairly strictly only substituting bike sessions in the Wolds for the turbo sessions in the book. Who in Lincolnshire wants to be stuck inside on a turbo?

On Thursday we set off by train from Barnetby to Manchester Airport and then flew to Munich (with the help of NIRVANA) and minibus to Regensburg. A lovely Old Bavarian town on theDanube.

Two days of sunshine to acclimatize register and explore the bike and run courses.

Then on Sunday 2,500 pre-Ironmen stood on a beach, GO! …We are off. I have never done a beach start before and never again! Breaststroke for the first 200m and then finally into some form of swimming stroke.  Out of the water in 1:12 better than expected (thanks to William for the reservoir no Ancholme bugs for me).

Onto the bike in the rain, up into the hills for a while and then down onto the plain still with the wind and rain. One lap over, 50miles, 18.5 average, then round again in much the same weather. Second lap, 100miles done and still averaging 18.3, finally on to the last 12mile spur to Regensburg.

Short queue for the loo in transition and then off on the run, glad that I had read the book and done a long 21 mile training run as by lap three it was getting hard work despite the support from the crowds and the Nirvana crew. When I had collected all my four coloured armbands and only had ¾ of a lap to go, could I break the 4hrs for my first marathon? Legs tight but rest of body holding up well I was finally down the finishing shute and over the line for a 3:56 marathon and 11:20 Ironman.

Robbie was there to greet me having been back to the hotel and showered!!!


Then a call home to find out where Alan was as Joey was tracking him on the Internet back home. We cheered him across the line in 12:13.

Now back home the pain has gone and as they say “The glory will last for ever!”

by Andrew Whitaker

Dearne Valley Triathlon

This was the second running of this relatively local event. Organised by Paul Drinkwater Sports Management who also organise events at Tadcaster and Wetherby. This event incorporated the British Universities and Colleges Sports Championships so had a combined field which was heavily made up of students. Based at Manvers Lake near Wath-on-Dearne this was described as a fast standard distance race. The cycle course uses a rolling rural 4 lap route. The run uses flat surfaced footpaths on a 2 lap route around the lake area.

I met fellow Lincsquadder Alan Woodcock on the morning of the event in transition. This was a bit of a free for all due to no numbering on the bike racking. More racking had to be added at last minute to allow all competitors to get racked.

The briefing was on the bank in front of the new clubhouse overlooking the swim. When the route around the various buoys was described, numerous questions were raised as it looked quite a bit further than the standard 1500m. The BUCS wave with nearly 90 twenty-somethings were off first with the open field of 68 more mature triathletes following 5 minutes later. The large buoys were a great aid to sighting around the course. Judging by swim times and accounting for the distance to T1, I think the swim was slightly over a mile. The route to transition was enough to test the most hardened triathletes feet. A little more carpet over the stoned up section of slipway would have been very welcome.

By the time I tried to remove the bottom half of my wetsuit my feet had picked up quite a lot of mud. T1 felt like one of the slowest ever as I tried to towel off the worst of the mud before getting in to my bike shoes.

The bike went reasonable well but I wouldn’t call it a fast course. There were about 5 roundabouts to cross before reaching the start of the 4 laps. Each 5 ish mile lap had approximately 187 feet of climbing. The downhill sections were mostly through Bolton-on-Dearne which was a built up area with parked cars and junctions which needed more caution than most peoples ‘race mode’ sometimes allow. Each lap also had two narrow bridges under the railway with single way traffic. Fortunately I had no hold ups at these points. After successfully counting four laps it was time to head back to the boat club for T2 and the the run.

Again the lack of rack numbers made it a liitle more tricky to find your rack poosition, bright orange laces in my trainers were useful here. Out of transition I was soon on to the run course which was on a surfaced / gravel path around the lake. This was well sorted with two water points, although somehow I ran past the second at the finish/ 2nd lap start without realising and then kicked myself as it was now quite hot. There was a bit of two way traffic around the path with walkers and sunday morning moutain bikers. Halfway around the first lap I was surprised to see Steve Lormor and Jo Walker casually running the opposite way, not looking half as tired as I felt. Turns out they were there to watch Steve’s young brother compete in the BUCS race (finishing in 02:24:07, 23rd position). Good to see familiar faces for a mental boost.

At the finish it was a great relief to kick of the trainers and jump back in the lake for a cool down. Timing was good old fashioned stopwatches with times published prompty the same day on the website. I finished in 13th place in 2:26:45 with a swim +T1 of 31:04, bike of 1:10:40 and T2+run of 45:01. Alan I finished in 27th place in 2:38:59 with a swim +T1 of 33:58, bike of 1:17:14 and T2+run of 47:47

Full results

Training while on holiday

It’s great to get away on holiday with the family and away from the pressures of work, and then maybe even get a bit of light training in while your there to keep off a few of the pounds attributed to the holiday diet.

Having recently come back from Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca in Spain, I thought I would share some useful tips and contacts. I have being going to Puerto Pollensa for well over 15 years now, both on holiday and also on a few occasions on self-organised training camps on the push bike.

Puerto PollensaPuerto Pollensa based in the north has everything – wonderful scenery, beautiful sandy beaches and a laid-back friendly atmosphere. The sheltered horseshoe shaped bay is set against the stunning backdrop of the Tramuntana mountain range where there are some stunning cycling routes.

So while I was there for the two weeks with the family and my “Amigo” Andy Veitch was also there at the other side of the bay we planned a couple of training sessions followed by some much needed “Energy Drinks”! San Miguel is an energy drink right?


Swimming is probably the easiest training to get done while on a beach holiday abroad and requires the minimal of extra packing (in the suitcase that is!!!).

I should probably also share the story at this point from Greece the night after Steve Clarks wedding when myself, Steve, Stenno and Binchy decided to swim straight out to sea from his hotel beach. After swimming 800 metres we stopped to take stock of where we were before turning back, I made the stupid remark of saying “I have been the furthest!!”…… What followed I can only decide as purely childish!!! Stenno made the first move followed by Mr Binch which then put us a further 100m out!!! Freshly married (and lighter, another story!!!) Mr Clark decided it was time to make his mark and set off further out which now added an extra 4-500m and it was bloody deep!!!! ….and still we kept adding a metre here and a metre there. This was a funny as you like(really you had to be there!), just ask Mr Binch who I thought was going to drown just from the stitch he had from laughing!!! ……until that is I turned round and looked just how far the beach now lay and thought..S£$t I am going to have to swim back! …and that is what I did…. EVENTUALLY!!


Mallorca is absolutely stunning for cycling and attracts probably over 80,000 cyclists a year. There are some totally flat routes with spirals and slopes and then the high mountain areas along the Serra de Tramuntana. Sa Calobra is probably one of the most stunning (pictured below) and is not for the faint hearted. It is also featured in the latest Sky Pro Cycle teams advert.

So you can either take your own bike over which is sometimes best if your on a training camp, however if on a family holiday then it is just as easy to hire a bike for the time you need it. I have always used ProCycle Hire in Puerto Pollensa which is run by Bruce who I have known for many years and he will provide you with whatever spec you require at a good price including top of the range TT/Triathlon bikes if required. All you will need is your cycling kit, helmet and peddles. He will also look after you if your a member of Lincsquad.


Marcus who works for Bruce in ProCycle Hire is also a keen kayaker and coach for the local Club Nautico. He was able to set me up with a kayak and I managed to get a paddle in around the bay. If this is something you want to do then have a word with Marcus when you are there and he will be able to point you in the right direction.


Running again requires your trainers so not much space in the suitcase either. The bay is perfect to run around between Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia Town, or if your wanting something more challenging then head up over the climb at Formentor pictured behind Andy.

Just remember that it is hot out there in the summer and to take plenty of hydration.

If you are looking to source accommodation then a good place to look is on the website.

I am considering organising a training camp early next year, so if anyone is interested then please let me know.

If you would like to share some other good training spots abroad or simply your stories, tips or contacts then please add below.

Paul Ralph becomes an Outlaw Ironman

On Sunday 24th July 2011, Paul Ralph joined 650 other triathletes to take on the triathlon holy grail, an ironman distance triathlon, a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike & 26.2 mile run.

Here’s Paul’s story …….

After 7 months of haphazard preparation (which included 5 months with a niggling Achilles injury) and a bottle of “Corona” the night before, I found myself waist deep in water with 650 other competitors for the start of The Outlaw 2011.

When they gave the announcement that there was 1 minute to go I was still hoping the lake would freeze over and we could all go home … then off went the starters horn and away we all went for the dreaded mass swim start, after a couple of hundred metres my nerves seemed to disappear as I found some clear water pretty quickly and it stayed that way for the first 1.2 mile of the swim even at the turn point there was minimal congestion so on the return leg I found myself quite relaxed and starting to enjoy myself.

I exited the swim in 1:25:33, which I was pretty pleased with as I’d set myself a time of 1:25, then into the changing marquee, were I had a leisurely transition of 8 min 55 secs (don’t know why it took so long) and onto the bike route where I had planned to keep to an average speed of 17.5 mph on what I’d been told was a flat course.

After the first 15 mile on some really smooth surfaces, coned off from passing cars, I was averaging 24mph and realised that I needed to curb my enthusiasm if i was gonna complete the 112 mile course. I needn’t have worried as the first hill on the loop soon brought me back to reality, after that it was a steady downhill all the way into Southwell were we were greeted by a couple of hundred noisy spectators on each of the the 3 laps which really helped keep the spirits up before the next 10 miles of undulating road into a head wind.

My nutrition plan seemed to work ok for me as I felt fine until the last 10 mile when I thought “ahhhh, I’ve got to run a marathon now!”

I finished the bike in 6:04 which I was again really pleased with and saw the missus who was marshaling and racking bikes in T2, with a 99 cornet in one hand and a 3.5 grand cervelo in the other !! (you should see the marshall’s gooddie bags, excellent)

Next I was into unknown territory as the furthest I had been able to run in training was 13 miles, but with Phil Binch’s advice in my head i started to make my way round the 17 feed stops spurred on by the hundreds of people sat on the banks of Holme Pierrepont and the River Trent.

Looking at my Garmin, my first couple of miles clocked in at 10:30 pace, which was about as fast as it got for me on the run before I shuffled around the rest of the course, but I managed to stick to my plan of running/shuffling to the feed stations walking for a minute or so through them whilst I took on fluid, gels or oranges, before setting off again.

I kept expecting to hit the wall anytime between mile 18 and 22, but this never happened probably due to the support everyone got out on the course, including a leisurely chat with Mark Salmon somewhere about mile 20.

Running down that finishing chute was a brilliant feeling and I was pleasantly surprised to see my time of 12:55:08 on the clock which was 35 min faster then what I’d hoped for.

For anyone thinking of doing an Ironman distance event, Outlaw has got to be worth considering with a price tag of just over £200 its much more affordable then a branded event, the organisation was excellent and its only an hour from Scunny!!. Big thanks to all support and advice I got from Lincsquad.

Well done Paul, you are an Outlaw, and join the growing list of Lincsquad Ironman distance triathletes.

Steve & Emily tie the knot

Steve and Emily chose the island of Zante, Greece for the setting of their wedding last week.

The week did not start off as planned, because the original beech setting was not what Steve & Emily had expected. So with some pleading with the hotel where they were staying agreed for the wedding to take place on their own private beech which turned out to be the perfect setting.

Steve waited patiently at the edge of the sea for his bride to be with his Best Man (Rick Stenton) suffering the most from nerves in anticipation of his speech.

Finally the music signalled the arrival of Emily who looked absolutely stunning on the arm of her brother and then her Dad who would give her away.

Family and friends looked on as they announced their vows and said the “I do’s” before finally kissing and being announced as Man and Wife.

The reception was then held at the Balcony Hotel where Mr & Mrs Clark and all watched a perfect setting sun.

I am sure I speak for all when I say Congratulations Steve & Emily.

Lewis Purcell completes Ironman Switzerland

After months of training it was time to make the trip over the Pennines to Manchester Airport as the beginning of the end approached. The journey to become an Ironman would be over as raceday was in 3 days time.

So arriving at the airport we made our way to check in with paperwork in hand to be greeted by the welcoming checkin girl, handing said paperwork over the happy go lucky girl informed us that our flight had departed 3 hours prior to our arrival!!!! Hmmm this put us in a bit of a pickle, booking through Nirvana to take all the stress out of the journey there I stood stress levels increasing rapidly. A couple of quick phone calls and a very very helpful Jonathan at Nirvana and we were on the move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 where I was assured he had checked us in on line but we’d need to cover the cost of the bikes. No dramas, into Terminal 1 to checkin a quick brief to the lady at the desk who nodded in agreement that she knew all about my predicament and all that needed to happen was to pay for our bikes to be transported over at the ‘Help Desk’. Help my arse. I walked over and again explained my situation to a so called woman behind the desk, may have been a man who knows either way I was there to pay and be polite. She assured me she knew of who I was and that i had to pay for my bikes, Brilliant were all singing off the same song sheet. Oh Wait she declares ‘computer says no’ im sorry we had this sorted myself and 3 others were to board the plane with 2 bikes and all that needed to be done was pay for the bikes to be taken. Computer says HK not HB it needs to say HB I dont know what HK means.

So by this point lise is laughing at me as i attempt not to be one of those over enthusiastic passengers off airport documentaries, This thing behind the counter which i cant bring myself to charm(its like an inbuilt safety feature i have to be horrible to chicks!!) carries on by saying I need to speak to cargo about it. No dramas how can I contact cargo, whats that you can do it. In my head I was yelling ‘well f@#kin do it you dizzy cow’ but I politely asked for her help on the matter in hand and contact cargo……£320 for your bikes and they’ll be there in 3-5 days because your not travelling with your bike!! I KNOW im not travelling with my bike you wont let me. Time for another call to Nirvana who after a five minute wait managed to get the computer to change at which the thing behind the desk was only to happy to let me pay for our bikes  and see us on our way.  If I see her again I’ll send her to cargo!! And so we boarded our flight with only a 30 minute delay. At this point I have to say Nirvana were awesome, after reading the small print I realised they had no obligation to get us on another flight but did so only at the cost of our bikes!

Arriving in Zurich the transfers to the Hotel was seamless and this reassured us why we’d paid a little extra to have the hassle removes. The other thing that struck me was it was boiling hot! This was to be the constant, even when it chucked it down with thunder  so loud the vibrations set off all the alarms at the car garage it was still red hot, 4am….red hot, you get my jist.

Friday was registration day and again we were shuttled to the event site and for once in my life I was gobsmacked. The Expo was huge, shops for everything you could possibly imagine, bike porn that would be classed as the playboy of bikes, and everything on the edge of a crystal clear lake where you could swim without a swarm of Health and Safety signatures and cosignatures and NOK Details. A few laps of the expo and an abundance of freebies later and it was clear that the entry fee for Ironman was not wasted. After registering we took the bikes out for a pre race set up check just to make sure id have no excuses come race day.

Sunday came after a relaxing Saturday, after racking on Saturday at which point a photo was taken of me, my bike and my helmet for security reasons which was referred to on a database when I came to leave after the event (Added for you Paul). A nervous set up of my transition area and off down to the swim start we went. Back, left was the advice for the slow lads on the swim so back, left it was.

Thing is the back left soon became the middle as everyone had the same idea!! So the plan changed, after the Swiss national anthem the pros were off and it was decided to count to 5 after the claxon so we’d be at the back………Off the claxon went and no one behind us moved they all had the same plan, ohhhhh f#*k it off I went in to the fist throwing, elbow dropping, kung fu kicking 3.8 km swim. To me this would be the worst bit of the day, my plan was always just to get through it and if I had to put a time on it 1hr20 would have been it which I arrived at by doubling my HIM time and adding a couple of minutes. The swiss passenger boats paid little regard to the swimmers creating huge wave which were a good laugh trying to swim through and exiting the swim in 1.21 and dishing out more digs than I received I was happy.

In and out of a steady T1 making sure I had all bases covered and out onto the bike, I dropped my rear mounted water bottle after 4km nice but other than that one word…Beautiful. An amazing route lined by thousands of people all the way round..Hopp Hopp Hopp everywhere you pedalled. I passed two blokes, bikes trashed and both on spinal boards and neck brace and random people sat head in hand crying as their Ironman had come to an end be it by lack of preparation or crashing out. Spinning comfortably through my first 90km lap I encountered my first issue on the bike. I carry my nutrition in a pocketed race belt. Never in training had my bars melted together to create a mush of wrappers and bars ..nightmare, nothing I could do except grab nutrition at the feed stations so I went from eating every 15 minutes to every 35-40ish.

Climbing the beast for the second time to shouts of ‘kill the beast’ was a lot harder than the first and I realised my aero helmet wasn’t the right choice on a red hot day as I was literally dripping with sweat. With 40km to go I noticed I had stopped sweating, not a good sign. I felt OK but knew that its one of the first signs of heat stroke so I eased ever so slightly on the bike. 10km down the road and I made a wrong turn on a clearly signed/marshalled turn and I blamed the guy in front who it turned out wasn’t part of the race. This was another small sign I was losing concentration. Just a few kilometres to push and I’d be sub 6hrs on a 184.2km ride having aimed for a 5.50 at 180km  I would be happy with 6hrs still leaving my with a sub 11hrs goal coming in with 6.01 I was pleased!

Into T2 where a fellow athlete quickly asked to borrow my Vaseline, you sure mate theres only 1 place that’s been as he dug into my tub of vas and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Then out onto the run in searing heat and after 3km I was averaging 7min/miles far to quick. 7.55min/miles and a 3hrs30 marathon and a sub 11hrs would suit me fine all things considered. My foot was killing due to tendonitis and I soon realised that a marathon after a swim/bike like that cant be bluffed. I think I could bluff a marathon but this just couldn’t be done. So at 21km I was hitting my goal the heavens opened and cooled us all off and all was well in the world. I had a word with my foot and told it the only way its stopping is when it crosses the finish line and so we worked in a painful harmony. 22km came and as I don’t do things by half I ran up to the wall and not content with hitting it I headbutted that thing so hard it sent me dizzy and forced me to re-evaluate my times. Decision time, do I continue and risk passing out but if I don’t pass out I will be a sub-11 Ironman or do I slow down and make sure I become an Ironman.

As I write this an Ironman you know the choice I made, I chose then and there to become an Ironman today and next time run myself into the abyss if necessary to hit my ‘A’ time. With a ‘B’ time of under 12hrs and a ‘C’ goal of finishing I was happy crossing the line to hear “Lewis Purcell you are an Ironman” to which I had a beer and was duly drunk. So on my 28th birthday with a 4.01 run 30min outside my target run time and in 11hrs33min  I became an Ironman and will be rescheduling my birthday for a date when I can sit down, chill out and have a beer. Not swim bike run the hardest triathlon I have ever done (out of the whole 6 I have done!!!).

I am in the yellow swim hat!

Written by Lewis Purcell

Clarky Smashes Course Record to Win the 2011 Brigg Bomber

Steve Clark smashed the course record with 2hrs39m17s to take the win at this years Brigg Bomber.

The annual quadrathlon takes place in Brigg using the River Ancholme for the swim of 1500m and then an 8km kayak before heading off on local roads for the 36km cycle and the 10km run finally finishing off in Brigg centre, to the cheers of the crowd.

This year was blessed with excellent weather and one of the best turnouts we have seen. The mass start was split into two waves with 75% solos and the rest made up of teams.

(Below Left) 1st Wave of the swim gets under way. (Below Right) Lots of support this year with plenty of encouragement from the bridge.
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Main Results

1st Steve Clark


2nd Matt Stevenson


3rd Tim Downing


1st female Helen Dyke


2nd female Kate Lahart


1st Team Brothers Grim AV & Andy Grimwood


2nd team Team Bomber Chris Spavin, Jacob Harley-Becket, Gav mann


as 2nd & 3rd Overall can not be awarded newcomers
1st Newcomer Matt Foulger


2nd Newcomer Tom Watt


Full results are available here SOLO RESULTS & TEAM RESULTS

A selection of photos are available on Flickr which were kindly taken by Mick Hardie.

Also have a look at the “Ode to Quadrathlon” written by Duncan Wright.