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.
IMG_0014 IMG_0054

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.

Brigg Bomber Quadrathlon – 10th July

The Brigg Bomber Quadrathlon takes place this Sunday 10th July 2011, and is the British Quadrathlon Championships 2011 and also World Cup race.

The Bomber is not for the faint hearted and kicks off from Broughton Bridge with a 1500m open water swim with a transistion to the Kayaks before paddling 7km up stream past Brigg Leisure Centre to a turn point and back downstream to the Leisure Centre. Then it’s onto the bike for a 36km road time trial, before returning to Brigg for the final 10km road run, with 2 laps around the town and down Cadney Road, finishing at the bandstand in Brigg Market Place.

A total of 64 competitors will take part this year, 28 solo entries and 12 teams, many of which are new to quadrathlon.

Many entries are local but we have also received entries from far & wide, Northumberland, Scotland, Ireland, Germany & Cambridgeshire to name just a few.

For race numbers & wave start times, click here

To view the “at a glance” route map, click here

for the PRE-RACE INFORMATION PACK, click here

Any support would be much appreciated, please come along and cheer everyone on, its a tough race, everyone will need some encouragement.

If you want to know more about the Brigg Bomber Quadrathlon click here.

Cleveland Steelman, Half Ironman.

This weekend, at the much anticipated Cleveland Steelman (half Ironman), 22 lincsquad competitors and their supporting families met up for a sunny weekend to remember.
With such a large contingent it’s going to be difficult to capture everybody’s race report without writing ‘War and Peace’. In fact, the club’s very own Laurel and Hardy in Hinch and Wood alone, could quite easily have been a worthy Tolstoy subject.
However, for once, this weekend wasn’t just about the 1.25 mile swim, 58 mile bike and 11 mile run but more about how the club has grown and forged such close knit family friendships. I’m sure Paul Carvill and the other ‘like minded individuals’ (you know who you are) that first established the club had a few quiet and proud words to themselves whilst witnessing the Lincsquad beer drinking and barbecuing done to aplomb. So first special mention to Dobbers’ better half Clair, who worked tirelessly cheering, cooking, cleaning, organising and even ferrying to and fro to the pub. I know I speak for 40 plus campers in saying ‘I don’t know what we would have done without you and your family’, top job!
Normally in these reports I would rave on about how great Clarky is for being such an inspiration to us all, I would list his superb split times. I would mention the fact he did us proud by taking second place overall in a time we can only dream of! I’ve even called him a super hero in previous rantings but despite such athletic achievements even he has to tip his hat to some of our other club members this weekend.
Jamie Griffin certainly does do things by half, ‘half Ironman’ being his first triathlon of choice! Obviously nobody has told Jamie that such triathlons like sprint or even super sprint distances exist? A newcomer to multisport Jamie made it look so easy with a time of 5hrs 34 mins.
Nicky Robinson and Lisa Purcell our only female entrants, were also doing their first half Ironman distance race. Both girls did themselves proud by digging deep to earn the right to be called a ‘Half Ironman Lady’ (if this title actually exists?) with times that suggest that next year, the full Ironman is on? Although I’m sure while both are still nursing aching bodies they won’t thank me for saying so?

Rob Wood, Dave Hinch……..what can I say? Rob was the talk of the event as during the run you couldn’t help but notice this bedraggled oink wearing a ripped Lincsquad tri-suit with a face that looked like it had shipped a flurry of Klitshko’s best shots. Black eyed and bloody nosed from a bike crash that split his helmet(there you go kids, always wear a helmet) Rob soldiered on through the pain to finish, albeit a little woozy on bambi’s best skating legs in a creditable time of 5hrs 20 mins…………Rob, you’d da man!

You just couldn’t make it up where Dave Hinch is concerned! I’m sure he does it on purpose just to add to his many tales of Hollywood and other numerous TV exploits. Whilst making his way through the pack on the bike, Dave couldn’t get a ‘normal, everyday’ puncture but one that found him walking to a garage, borrowing the mechanic’s car, driving back to transition to get a spare before kindly returning the car and fixing his flat tyre! Coming into T2 in very last place, the bit was well and truly between the teeth as he recorded a run PB working his way through the field to finish to a rapturous applause.
You only have to look towards Gareth Barker and Steve Dolby for examples that hard work and exercise really do pay off. These guys have shed many a stone since taking up multisport and finishing 122nd (Steve) and 147th (Gareth) from a full to capacity(250 entrants) field is some success story. (Although Gareth would probably argue if he was 14 seconds quicker then he would have dipped under his 6 hour target!)
Paul Ralph(115th) and Mark Salmon (85th) like a few of us, weren’t enjoying the sunny conditions. Both guys sensibly raced conservatively whilst using this as a warm up for their upcoming ‘Outlaw Ironman’.
Unfortunately the event did claim it’s casualities with over 30 people not completing the course.

Lincsquad’s Dan Broughton and Paul Carvill found themselves among this statistic. Despite hobbling through the pain for some distance, Dan was bitterly disappointed to finally succumb to chronic leg pains. A puncture with 5 miles to go was the straw to break the camel’s back for Paul leaving him a disconsolate figure for a short while, well, about the time it took to crack that post race can of beer anyway!
Duncan Wright should have every right to be pleased with his first half Ironman. Not being blessed with Michael Phelps’ swimming technique Dunk’s trademark strong biking averaged 22.1 mph for the 58 miles setting himself up for 71st position overall.
Our chairman Andy Veitch (61st) and half ironman debutant Chris Spavin (57th) finished within a few minutes of each other and frustratingly close to the magic sub 5 hr mark. A good swim and strong bike from Andy, like the majority of us, didn’t leave him with much left for the run in such unforgiving heat. Refusing to wilt Andy battled through his demons to finish on the top page of the results. Chris on the other hand appeared to race tactically, deliberately holding back on the bike conserving valuable energy for his run. Chris’ run left many of the more accomplished runners in the squad envious with a time of 1hr 36 mins.
A PB by several minutes for lincsquad’s new signing Huwie Davies saw him sneak into the sub 5hr club. Consistency in all 3 disciplines being the key with a 21mph average bike time helping Huwie’s cause.
A mixed race for Pete Connolly saw the GB age grouper freshly back from the European Champs trying his hand, for the first time, at the longer distances. The sun didn’t seem to affect Pete’s run like some of his team mates as he recorded a 1hr 28min split. Pete’s race was slightly marred when handed a 2 minute penalty but still finished in a solid 40th position.
Phil Binch(35th) always his own harshest critic was spotted having a few quiet words with himself after the race. Setting such a high standard in recent events the recently qualified GB ‘er found the step up in distance and weather a little tougher than expected, hardly surprising when sprints have been his more immediate focus. Having to get someone to shoe-horn him out of his wet-suit during T1 when his zip stuck didn’t help Phil’s plight! Still, a swim and bike most would be proud of.
Lincsquad’s  Brownlee brothers equivalent in Phil and Chris Gibbs gave the performances of the day. Doing a half ironman for the first time both siblings weren’t just doing this for the experience. It was evident by all fellow Lincsquadders how quick they were running when most of us were sadly flagging! Clarky aside, the two obliterated the rest of their team mates, always being within a few minutes of each other throughout the race. Phil finished in 25th in a time of 4 hrs 49 mins with Chris only 2 mins behind him in 29th place. Second place in his age group, a trophy and voucher was Chris’ reward for such a performance. Well done mate.
Steve Grocock another recent GB qualifier was Lincsquad’s second person back in 11th place. Losing his timing chip in the lake made for a frustrating start, crashing on the bike and then typically missing the turn off (despite a marshal pointing the way) probably put paid to an age group podium position! Nevertheless a 23.5 mph (Garmin time) average bike meant Steve led the race for a good twenty miles, until that is, about half a mile into the run! It wasn’t long before Steve was just a spectator watching Kirkham, Coates, Drayton, Steve Clark and the eventual winner duking it out!
As is often, Steve Clark was the pride of Lincsquad with a brilliant swim(11th out of the water), 7th fastest bike and despite needing pain killers during the run (5th fastest) still recorded a run time of 1hr 16mins, less than 6 min 25 secs per mile. Steve also unselfishly handed over his energy gel to Steve G who’d lost his gels during his bike spill.
Clarky’s lofty position meant it was going to be close in the inter club competition with our fellow rivals and friends the Barracuda’s. Pete Stockdale a member of both clubs could have made the difference if he’d have chosen to wear his Lincsquad colours!! Pete continues to entertain and astound us with his ability to ‘Go Long’ and his position of 43rd was secured with an unbelievable run of 1hr 23 minutes. But that’s enough of that turncoat, LOL! , on this occasion we had to concede to our North Bank rivals. Well done Barracudas.
Yet again the Lincsquad support was tremendous, Mark and Lauren York would pop up around the course screaming encouragement. Tinkerbellshell, Steve Mac and their wolf made the 100 mile trip to enjoy the sun whilst cheering on fellow team mates. All the friends and families made it that little bit special for the competitors making it that tiny bit easier when things were getting tough, sincere thanks to everyone and bring on the next event.

Lincsquad Time Splits

Photos kindly supplied by SportsSunday

Dave Hinch tells his Steelman Story

Fail to prepare… Prepare to Fail!

It all started when Steve posted this…….

Have another look at the opening pages and read the build up…its kinda cool especially now after the event. Comments such as  “Cracking event” “Bargain” “We can camp out the weekend and make it a proper Lincsquad Do” no doubt swayed a lot of people to take part in something they would never have  considered without the support of the club and its members.

So…on with training….yeah….errrm kind of but nothing structured. Ride to work and back and occasionally take the long route home. Sometimes throw in a run session afterwards and then usual Sunday club session at Brigg and of course the OW swims at Hibaldstow because it a cool thing to do Wink

Dambuster wasnt exactly a race…more of a finish. Going into the Steelman I felt good, actually I felt great and fully fit! The two weeks before Steelman had produced some great swims, enjoyable rides and a few confidence building run sessions but as always in the back of my mind was “Hmmmmm 20km run”.
To add to the list of “what can go wrong” I blistered up again on the Dambuster run so it was back to Metres to Miles for some funky new footwear as mine were no longer up to it. Kidding myself I was some sort of athlete I looked at the minimalist racing shoes on show imagining myself arms aloft as I sail past Clarkey on the run to the finish.

Turns out wearing the same shoes as Chrissy Wellington does nt actually gaurantee you have the same ability to run Huh

Tried a few different pairs on and knocked back ones that didnt match my bike  Wink. When I tried the Brooks Adrenaline on they were like slippers! Even after trying on other makes and models everytime I went back to them they felt “right”. So… trainers to break in a week before my first half IM…….well played. Roll Eyes

Next……the build up!

“Carry on Camping”

Turns out Lincsquad is full of wierdos who enjoy sleeping on the ground separated from the elements by little more then a bit of fabric. I however am neither homeless or eight years old so the only tent you’ll ever find me laid out in with my eyes closed is a beer tent.

Dobber the ChefPlans were made by the excellent TeamDobbers to basically turn our shambolic group of pretend athletes and associated hangers on into a slick looking well fed triathlon club. Pasta party planned for the Friday night, team flags, awnings & potentially the Haye Klitchco fight projected on to the side of my van on the Sat night via the power of Sky box office & Skype. Out of all of those the only thing that didnt happen was the one thing I had to do!  Roll Eyes

People appeared one by one led towards Base Camp by the Lincsquad flags & the smell of pasta bolognaise. The number of fold up seats got bigger & bigger until we all spilled outside of the awning. Registration packs were collected & t shirts tried on. All around the campsite on the edge of the lake people were chatting, eating or building up bikes.

“how many bottles you taking on the bike?”
“shouldnt we recce the route?” Shocked

After several tonnes of pasta, the occasional glass of wine & numerous large dollops of banter Pete Connelly plucked up enough courage to announce he’d not brought a sleeping bag! Offers of a Hanna Montana blanket from Huw, cuddling up to Harvey the wonder dog & a Bear Grylls style duvet made out of brambles, nettles and grass clippings were suprisingly turned down. I pretended I’d also forgot my duvet to get the Hanna Montana blanket but Huwie realising what might happen to it whilst I had it in the van locked it safely in his car. Embarrassed

Rather than enjoy the excitement of charging into unknown corners on the bike course Clarkey, Steve G and Phill B jumped in Pete’s toy car and went to recce the bike route.

See? Proper athletes…..the rest of us carried on eating/drinking til about 10pm Grin

“I’d rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on Earth” Steve McQueen

Race day morning & Team Lincsquad surfaced 1 by 1 from their dens.
Steve Clarke for this race had the full factory sponsored package. A luxury caravan and someone to drive him there. Getting driven around and enjoying a full nights sleep was just like a normal shift at work for Fireman Steve.

Dunk Ellen & Harvey the wonder dog were probably the most prepared campers out of everyone. With inflatable/collapsible/stowable everything. They all bedded down for the night cuddled up together. Ok so in the middle of the tent was a smelly, panting, farting beast, but Ellen and Harvey didnt mind…this was Dunks trip and they would support him.

In the B paddock on the other side of the fence was Team Carvill, Team Grocock, Team Veitch, Team Broughton and Team Jamie. Despite the fact Paul and Andy helped put up most of these tents they were still there in the morning. Lets be clear here, nothing makes a man more proud than waking up in the morning & seeing a good tent. Shocked

Huw was still guarding the Hanna Montanna blanket in his single man tent. Proving size wasnt everything the previous night he pulled the little un out in front of everyone and with a flick of the wrist it was up. Sure some of the guys sniggered a little at the size but Huw wasnt bothered…..he had Hanna.

Sticking with tradition Chris Spavin slept in the back of his car just like he did at Dambuster. Phil Binch followed his lead after trying canvas at the same venue and folded himself into the back of his truck.
“If you leave the window open a crack it stops the inside steaming up as much” said Chris the night before.
Chris was obviously an old hand at spending time in fields in the back of a car.

Next door to The Binchmeister was Team Dobbers multi annexe family tent. Steve, Clair & the kids slept in one part with food for us occupying one room and Steve beer stash in the other.

Time to rack the bikes.

“Racing is life… everything before and after is just waiting.” Also Steve McQueen but as Micheal Delaney in Le Mans. Too much info?…ok….

Raceday morning and after a team photo where the photographers politley counted down when they were going to take a pic so we could suck our guts in we racked our bikes.

As said the race was starting at 10 am so it was probably the most civilised preperation in the history of triathlon. It also gave you loads more time to worry about stuff…if you chose to. Clarkey couldnt decide which puncture sealant to carry and more importantly where? A decision was made (apparently my idea of where to put it was neither helpful or practical Lips Sealed & a back up plan of leaving the spare wheels close to transition “because thats where a puncture is most likely going to happen” – I would prove this theory wrong later.

Adding to the excitement was the Cummalitive Sweepstake. 5 Lincsquadders were picked at random and entrants had to guess what the total time for all five would be. I swear there was more thought put into this than the D Day landings! The five were…..Steven Dolby, Rob Wood, Duncan Wright, Nicky Robinson & some chancer called David Hinch. So if we all did a 6hr race it would be 30hours yes? Several explanations later and we had a healthy pot of about £20 and times ranging from 26hrs to over 28hrs. A DNF would get an average time calculated from last years results.

Saturday was hot……damn hot and it was a relief just to get in the water. I had already decided I fancied getting stuck into the washing machine of a mass start but rather than be at the front & potentially mess up a potential winners race I got centre middle to mess up a potential mid packer Roll Eyes

An 18 strong Lincsquad pack treaded water as the starter stood in position with a big red flag. Mrs Dobber scared birds out of the trees and set off a couple of car alarms with the customary shouts of encouragement……game on!

The countdown began over the tannoy and then GO! 270 ish people started swimming around me….i say “ish” because I decide to start my watch instead of 10s earlier. Everyone around me was very helpful tho and shouted words of encouragement and helped me along by pushing my arms legs & back of the head. I’m especially grateful to the guy who noticed my swimming postion was incorrect and thought my head was too high in the water. His coaching technique of swimming over my back, shoulders and head did indeed force my head down may be considered by some as controversial. Eventually we all found our space and I tried to focus more on good technique & less on Hanna Montana. I raised my head for a sighting stroke of the orange turn bouy and fired out a dozen or so powerful strokes. I could feel myself going forward a lot better, smoother and faster.
I took another sighting stroke expecting to see the bouy…there was nothing…no swimmers…no kayakers…zip..nadda..zilch.
My powerful “faster” technique had sent me abvout 90deg off course to the opposite side of the lake.
The opening lap pretty much consisted of the same zig zagging across other people until I decide to follow the edge of the lake. At the turn I dug in again thinking my natural tendancy to turn right would help keep me on track & it did. By lap 2 others were tiring and I was picking them off one by one which always gives a racer a boost. Perhaps i start too slow but in the gloomy water I picked out a Foor wet suit same as mine. As his right hand entered the water i saw the distinctive shape of a mangled little finger…it was Bob.
Until then I’ve never actually laughed underwater. I’ve coughed, spat, blew my nose and a few other things but never laughed – not advisable BTW! Coughing up water I regained composure and drafted him for half the length of the back straight then sprinted past to exit the water ahead of him.

Get in you beauty! Cheesy

“It went ground, sky, ground, sky….ambulance”

So…first blood to me. An unrushed T1 to get race belt on with the necessary gels, helmet on grab bike & we’re heading out. Since the proper bike fit my seat has been raised a lot and I didnt do the flying leap. Rob wearing mtb shoes with the recessed cleats ran & leapt onto his bike ahead of me. All was nt lost tho as I just had time to get in the aero position before the photographer took a pic – close call. Wink

Rob was about 10m in front & I didnt really want to get into a battle as I’d decided to keep my HR within a range as I’ve read many times about how a hard bike leg can mess up your run. I settled into a easy spinning gear and look up just in time to see Rob hit the kerb on the left and land face first in the verge. Theres a big dust cloud & both Rob & the bike are tumbling along the ground. He gets up starts to get back on the bike and theres blood and dust stuck to his face. I brake but go past and shout back……

“alright mate?” No answer

“Rob you ok”
“yeah…keep going” and he starts peddling again.

By this time the two guys behind have caught us and one goes past me. I try to get back into a rythym & tell myself “ahh he’s ok…he does this a lot”…which he does.
Not reccing the course isnt good. I slow for a couple of corners that could have been taken at speed but pretty soon we’re being directed into the industrial estate then out on to the main road. Whilst on here i pass Stocky -who immediately passes me back. The effort ruins the silly old sod tho and I,m past him again. A slurp of drink every 15 or so mins and a gel at 40mins and i feel great. HR still within range. I feel great.

2/3rds around the first lap as I,m climbing a small rise I see Mark York and Lauren who have just parked up to cheer people on. Now whether I was out of the saddle climbing, taking a drink or just thinking about Hanna Montana I dont know know but as soon as I saw the drain I hit it.
<pffffttttttttt> Puncture!!!!!

By the time i’ve thought “oof I got away with tha…..” the tyre was flat.
Myth #1 You can ride on a flat tub.
No. Its shite. The noise of your expensive rear carbon wheel on the crappy british B road is just too uncomfortable to think about even now.
Myth #2 Pit Stop puncture sealants can get you out of trouble.
No. They’re shite. They’ll fix a thorn but I just got white foam goo all over the wheel. Game over!!!
By this time Stocky, Rob, Paul Ralph and a few other had come past.

I started to jog with the bike…but running in cycle shoes hurt my shins.
I kept going then thought I wonder if Yorkie was still parked up…but if he wasnt I’ve gone backwards. They’ll be a marshall point a bit further. If I’d recced the route I’d know this was nt true.

Eventually just about the whole field went by & most offered spare tubes. Occasionally I broke into a jog but running with shoes even on the grass was painful. I tried running barefoot on the road…bloody hell that hurts. So I ended up running on the grass verge barefoot with its roadkill, coke cans bottles & such like.

Eventually I got to a garage at North Cowton which according to google maps was a further 2.2miles from where I flatted. I begged a can of tyre sealant with the promise of putting the money through the post box after the race but it was for car tyres and I didnt have an adaptor on me. After explaining the problem and that I had a spare back at the camp site the garage owner suggested I borrow his car.. “as long as you leave the bike behind as it looks like its worth more than the car” Grin

I nailed it back to the campsite. Passing Nicky R near the end of her first lap and grabbed a spare tub and a full wheel just in case the tub didnt hold. Driving back I saw Steve G at the head of the pack and then saw Clarkey.

Tub fitted I hid the spare rear wheel & set off, eventually blasting thru the marshals trying to send me in to T2.
HR up no one else in sight.
I was last.

I knew it was bad when everytime i looked up the road I couldnt see another rider.
It got worse when at the first turn there were no marshals.
All I had to follow was the breadcrumb trial of empty gel packets, discarded water bottles and the other detrius that falls from bikes during a tri.
Ok so I had an hours rest..kind of, but I decided to risk pushing harder than before. When there’s no one else around its difficult to judged your speed and pace. It felt fast but without anything to measure it by that all it was..just a feeling.
Just as I came up to where I punctured the lap before the bike marshal pulled up alongside. After a shouted conversation that started with “where did you come from?!” & ending with me saying I got a puncture he was away. Despite talking with others the night before about how they said they never stop anybody I was bothered he wanted me to stop.
He’d be wasting his time.
Not gonna happen.
I passed the (now closed) garage and saw my spare wheel was still where I hid it. Bonus.
Prior goals were 1.finish (still on) 2.sub 6hr (no chance) 3. Dont walk on the run (still on but this 2nd lap I was pushing hard) 4. Sub 5hr.30 (ultimate aim -no chance!).
I turned into transition and saw the last of the bikers setting off for their run. I’d missed catching the next rider by about 5mins. Dunno what people thought of the guy on the fast bike and pointy helmet coming into transition last. Didnt care. Half a banana and a quick drink I was off.
The first 100m were agony with severe cramps on my quads limiting me to a slow jog. Also I had no idea of the run route which would make it difficult to know when to push. After a bit the cramps eased off and I got into a rythym I was comfortable with. Gradually I could see other runners ahead of me.
I wasnt going to be last.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
Lance Armstrong

Eventually I picked the runners ahead of me off. I caught up with Nicky and Lisa and since my fast time was shot to bits I ran with them for a bit to make sure they were ok. They both were fine. They were going to finish…no problem.

As I ran I saw other runners coming towards me. Jeez they looked rough & I wondered just how bad the run route was. As we ran along the track I saw a water station ahead & chucked one over my head & drank another. The ice cold water chucked over me shocked me everytime & provided huge entertainment for the girls on the water station.

The run was alongside a stream but on a narrow track. I,m not sure what the etiquette is for runners heading towards each other but I think I moved over pretty much all of the time. Even the guy who was walking stayed on the path. Heading back Yorkie (I dont think he was stalking me, he was there for all the Lincsquadders) shouted Dobbers was ahead. I caught him but he was on his 2nd lap and didnt have far to go. I ran on and as I got into the village heard the tannoy and crowd and as the person in front of me peeled off for the finish I whimpered slightly and turned right and started my 2nd lap.

The 2nd lap was great! Seriously! I knew where I was going and where the water stations were & had the confidence I could finish. I took on another gel a bit at a time and pretty soon I had said hi and thank you to the ladies at the furthest part of the run route turned around and heading home. I looked at my watch and I felt a sub 6hr 30 was on, a final thing to aim for & planned when to start upping the pace. As I turned right across the campsite entrance I speeded up. Across the field and over the stile I ran around the lake and through the village to finish 6hr 25ish…but gutted.

Still reading?

So six and a half hour half Ironman and 170th out of 270ish entrants. On paper not the best result but probably the best racing I have done in any of the sports I’ve messed about with over the years.
Looking back I *could* have turned around and begged a wheel off Mark York. I *could* have spent less time chatting with the guys in the garage about the race (seriously!) and I could have pulled in after one lap and knocked 45mins off my time.
The last option was never going to happen.
I was so bothered about getting a DNF/DSQ I took my timing chip off and left it with my bike in case I triggered something off when collecting my spare tub!
I was chuffed to bits with Jeffery at the garage and made sure I gave him some money for thrashing his car there and back. I say thrash but I never broke the speed limit – not once.

So I survived and no doubt the rest of Lincsquad all have stories to tell as well. The second most unhappiest person after me would be Gareth as my extended time meant he missed out on the sweepstake. Winner was Lewis P who was so pleased about it he took me back to collect my wheel from the garage.

Final thoughts….
Well my top tip is first of all avoid drains! I’ll still use tubs but next time I’ll carry a full pre-stretched tub and Co2. Any kind of sealant is useless!!!

The Steelman is a fantastic event and I’ll be back next year BUT if it follows the same pattern as previous events something will happen on that one as well!

Results here
And pics here

Yorkshire Triathlon

The Yorkshire Triathlon 2011 Results

Lisa Purcell (first ever Olympic) and Steve Clark unable to race on the Sat at Dambuster because of work decided to give Wakefield Triathlon a go

It’s great to see the re-introduction of the famous triathlon at pugneys formerly the National Champs venue, Pacesetter events decided to stop hosting the event back in 2008.

Set in the beautiful Pugneys Park near Wakefield the swim is in the vast 100 acre lake used for water sports and a great opportunity to swim in open water. The bike takes you through some superb Yorkshire countryside and the run is an off road run around Pugneys Lake. Set minutes from the M1 the triathlon is easily accessible from all corners of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands. The park is a great place to bring the family as there are many vantage points to watch the swim and run.

It’s good to see a major events company setting up local events in this area, something that has been missing since the national champs was switched!!

The course is a beast with Steve and Lewis laughing at people before the race as everyone seemed to have road bikes except Steve and Lisa, we both was thinking nice one we will pass loads of people on the bike leg. We were wrong as soon as you set of on the bike the climbs begin, with 7 climbs in total adding up to over 2500ft of climbs.

The 10km 2 lap run is also hilly only 2 hills but both rises are over 100ft. This is defiantly a tough course but we both said we would both be back next year and that steelman next week will be easy compared to this. (YES IT WILL LISA FLAT AS).

Here’s how we did

Lisa Purcell 3rd in her cat 59th overall
swim 35:35
t1     02:19
bike   02:02:22
t2      01:03
run    01:08:13
total   03:49:34

Steve Clark 2nd overall, 1st in cat
swim 24:24
t1 00:37
bike 01:16:49
t2 00:23
run 40:19
total 02:22:34

Dambuster Triathlon 2011

A good turnout by the Lincsquad massive. Pictured left to right, back to front Steve Dolby, Phil Binch, Steve Grocock, Chris Spavin, Dave Hinch, Rob Wood, Andy Veitch and Paul Ralph at the Dambuster finish line.

First established in 2002 the Dambuster Triathlon is a well recognised triathlon  in the UK. 2011 sees the Dambuster as the National Age group Championships which also acts as a World Championships qualifier for Beijing 2011.

The event is an Olympic (or Standard distance) Triathlon, which consists of a 1.5k open water swim, 42k bike & 10k run.

After some final “carb loading” on the friday evening, and “partying hard” until atleast 10pm at the camp site, the morning came. It had been raining since we arrived the night before, but just as we walked down to rack the bikes, the rain stopped and the sun peaked out from the clouds, excellent, although it was still a little windy particularly (as we found out later) on the bike course.

The overnight campers met up with Paul Ralph & Team Dobbers at the race briefing, one last chance to wish each other good luck, a quick photo we were ready.
Chris Spavin being the youngster of the team went off 10 minutes before us old boys, the water temp was ok but the reservoir was quite choppy out in the middle and it was quite a relief to be heading back to shore.

The format of the course meant it was unlikely we would see each other until a mile into the run, when we cross the dam 4 times before racing to the finish.

Lincsquad newcomer Robbie Whitaker recorded an incredible 2:03:26, a sub 1:04 bike & sub 33 minute run secured a finishing position of 13th overall & 3rd in age group.

Steve Grocock was next with a fantastic 2:13:55, proving his recent GBR age group status, a great 22:10 swim followed by an awesome 1:07:22 bike leg and good solid run set Steve Grocock up for a cracking sub 2:15 time.

Not such a good swim from Phil, who also found the hilly & windy bike route tough, especially as he’d forgotton to tighten one of his aero bars, which kept wanting to take a vertical position downwards (grrrr & not very aero!!), however Phil pushed hard on the run, trying to close the gap on Steve to record a 40:15 run and PB by 4 mins to go sub 2:20.

Lincsquad Chairman Andy Veitch, was on a mission, sub 2:30 or bust, like many others Andy found the swim & bike conditions tough but battled through, on leaving T2 he thought sub 2:30 was gone, with very little run training Andy needed a sub 41:30 10k run to achieve his goal, a time that’s well within his capability normally but would be a challenge today. With a little banter & motivation on the dam from fellow Lincsquadders, Andy raced in with 25 seconds to spare to achieve his goal.

Chris Spavin, after a night of little sleep in the back of his car, lovingly cuddled up to his carbon steed, Chris gave it all he had to finish in a great time of 2:30:43, sub 2:30 next time Chris.

Rob (no I dont want any spag bol, oh go on then i’ll have a plate full) Wood, adopted his normal “push hard till it kills me technique”, determined to obliterate last years 2:59:26 time, he started strong beating last years swim time by nearly 13 minutes (Lincsquad sunday swim sessions really work), a further 3 minutes quicker on the bike and a massive 7 minutes quicker on the run, brought Rob home in an impressive 2:35:00, thats nearly 25 minutes quicker than last year.

Paul Ralph, in a slightly higher age group came home just a couple of minutes behind Rob at 2:37:55.

Olympic distance newcomer Steve Dolby, came home next in 2:38:26, a great time for your first standard distance race and proving that transition is just as important a part of the race, recording the fastest T2 of all Lincsquadders.

David “wobblegob” Hinch, well what can I say, following last years Dambuster adventure, getting cosy with a kayak, Dave needed to put the Dambuster ghost to bed, success in last years Hyde Park Triathlon proved he could go the Olympic distance, but how would he fair when he went toe to toe with Rutland Water again ….. the smile on Dave’s face at the finish line, arms aloft, said it all, he finished, dambuster ghosts nighty night.

A huge thanks to Team Dobbers and Tinkerbellshell for all the cheers, and for being the Lincsquad flip flop/ slipper Guards.

A great team effort, lots of high five’s out there on the dam …… bring on the Steelman !!!

Lincsquad Results & Splits – Dambuster 2011

Full Results here

article updated by Phil Binch 20/06/2011

Rother Valley Sprint Triathlon

The Rother Valley Sprint Triathlon was the choice for 5 other club members as this doubled up as a Great Britain age group qualifying race with the qualifiers representing GB in next year’s European Champs. With such a prize at stake this race attracts some of the best age group triathletes from all around the country. Nick Dunn (Tri 220’s Age Grouper of the Year Award winner) proving the quality  of the field came home in first place.
Phil Binch and Steve Grocock not only had the country’s best age-groupers to contend with but also each other as both are in the 40-44 age group.
Lauren York has already enjoyed some early season success with wins at Driffield and Allerthorpe and this showed as once again Lauren was one of the first out of the water. This year’s open water lake swim was extended from last year so swim times and overall times weren’t comparable to 2010. So Paul Ralph’s year of swim stroke improvement wasn’t a complete waste of time even if his times were down on last year’s.
As with Clarky at Cleveland, Alan Woodcock and Steve Grocock weren’t enjoying their swim either, unlike the fired up Phil Binch who seemed to revel in it and was hot on Steve’s heels out of T1.
The 15.4 mile bike course had it’s own challenges with it’s steep hills and fast descents back into town. Due to the hills this was one of them ‘pick em’ courses to whether it was more suited to the road bike or the time trial bike?! Both Alan and Paul had a good ride with only seconds separating them, Lauren too keeping her rivals within sight. Steve slowly eke’d out an advantage (6th fastest bike) as he knew his running wasn’t nearly as strong as his rivals’, including clubmate Phil’s.
The 5K run was a white gravel path course around the lake where you could pinpoint your fellow competitors around the water’s edge and if you had anything left, reel them in. Alan and Phil, knowing what was at stake were both prepared to put the hammer down on this last leg and both recorded superb sub 20 min 5ks.
Alan(102nd) and Lauren(113th) crossed the line and in doing so both secured excellent podium finishes with 2nd in their respective age groups. Paul(174th) could take satisfaction from his higher ranking this year and despite an extended swim course produced almost the same time.

Not having the results upon completion Steve and Phil weren’t sure where they finished or more importantly whether they had a chance of qualification. Although it isn’t official yet it’s looking like both lincsquadders have qualified. Steve’s overall position of 25th and Phil’s 37th saw them finish 5th and 6th in their category respectively.
Happy days!

I think Lauren needs to give us a lesson in transitions, shame on us.

                            Swim        T1       Bike       T2       Run        Overall

25th  STEVE GROCOCK   11:17(46)      01:22     42:36(6)      01:04     21:23(161)      01:17:42
37th PHIL BINCH            11:39(55)      01:17    44:50(28)     01:04     19:49(81)         01:18:39
102nd A WOODCOCK    13:46(168)   01:42     48:57(104)   01:14     19:44(76)         01:25:23
113th LAUREN YORK     10:06(10)    01:03      52:29(183)   0:44      21:52(185)       01:26:14
174th PAUL RALPH       14:35(203)   01:57     49:05(109)   01:16     24:13(280)       01:31:06 


Cleveland Steelman Olympic

A clash of dates saw two separate events being chosen for different reasons this weekend. First up was Steve Clark who travelled up North to the Cleveland Steelman Olympic distance race. Following four back to back victories Steve used this race as a scouting mission to check out the lake and bike/run courses for the upcoming Half Ironman distance race where 20 Lincsquaders will be racing in early July.
A particularly strong field and by his own admission not his greatest ever swim or bike leg saw Steve having to work particularly hard on his run to record a 35:21 10 K. Despite such a blistering pace this wasn’t quite enough as the talent rich race saw Steve narrowly missing out on the podium by just one place!
4th Steve Clark Lincsquad/Falcon Cycles  Swim 23:19  T1 0:52   Bike 1:03:16  T2 0:28   Run 35:21 total time 2:03:16.