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.
I think Lauren needs to give us a lesson in transitions, shame on us.
Swim T1 Bike T2 Run Overall