When I was planning this years training and racing schedule for my athletes, I knew this was going to be a big week. With three athletes scheduled to race at the European Championships in Lisbon and a further four racing at the Outlaw Half, I had big hopes that everyone would reach their respective start lines in great shape – fit, fresh and ready to race. We almost achieved this, only Jess Harvey had to withdraw from the Europeans in the end with a shin injury (don't worry, in typical Jess style, she decided to race TWO Crits in TWO days instead!).
European Triathlon Championships Lisbon 2016
Do3 Athletes Alan Coley-Smith and Corinne Moss had qualified to race for team GB at the European Championships, this year being held in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Alan has represented GB on numerous occasions in the past and was focussing on the sprint distance. Corinne was experiencing her first GB start having taken up the sport relatively recently – Corinne was racing the standard distance.
First to race was Alan Coley Smith. Always a solid performer, Alan recorded a time of 1:10:45 with splits of 11:38 (swim), 37:13 (bike) and 19:55 (run). Finishing with a good quality sub-20 run over the final 5k earned Alan a spot at 23rd overall out of a very competitive 57 strong mens 50-54 field. With little more than 3 minutes covering places 10-30 it shows that margins are fine at this level and every second truly does count. It also shows the high quality in mens age-group racing. The winner and new European Champion was Team GB's Andrew Bentley who recorded a time of 1:04:58 (10:35 / 34:58 / 17:36).
Next to race was Corinne Moss. This was Corinnes first time racing for Team GB and was racing in the womens 40-44 category in the standard distance race. Corinne only started racing triathlon in 2014 but it was immediately clear she had talent. Since then Corinne has achieved very promising results in virtually all of her races, including overall wins at the Stratford and Warwickshire Triathlons. Corinne qualified for the European Championships at Bala Triathlon in September 2015.
Going into the race, I said to Corinne that the aim should be to finish in the top 3 of what is a strong GB age-group team. With no doubt plenty more GB appearances to come, I thought that this would be a good start to Corinnes GB career and gain valuable experience for the future. Little did I know that she was going to pull such a strong performance out of the bag! Following the race, Corinne messaged me to let me know she had indeed managed to finish in the top-3 of the GB athletes. In fact, she finished second overall and managed to take a silver medal and second spot on the podium! Corinnes splits were 25:03 (swim), 1:12 (bike) and 42:07 (run) giving her an overall time of 2:22:07. Suffice to say, we will be reassessing Corinnes goals for the future!
Outlaw Half Middle Distance Triathlon
No fewer than four Do3 athletes had been building up to this race over the last 6 months or so. Paul Nash, Richard Eden, Dan Hall and Jonathan Davis have targeted this race either as a goal in itself or as part of the process of training for full 'Ironman' distance races later in the year. The Outlaw triathlon is a multi-award winning race held at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham. The Outlaw Half involves swimming an 'out and back' 1900m in the rowing lake, followed by 56 miles of cycling around the Nottinghamshire Countryside, finished off with two 10.5k laps of running along the River Trent and rowing lake.
The race had four separate starts with 10 minutes between each. First off in the 6:30am wave were Paul Nash from Stratford upon Avon and Jonathan Davis a physio from Shires Physiotherapy in Warwick. Over the last few months Jon has shown really good fitness gains so we were hopeful of a strong race – and this was exactly what we got. Jon powered home in a total time of 5:14:37 comprised of a 35:39 swim, 2:39:04 bike and 1:53:43 run. This solid all-round performance placed Jon 222nd out of 1107 competitors and 40th out of 161 in his age-group. Jon moves on to target the Full Outlaw in July and signs are that he is on-track for an equally strong performance there too.
Paul Nash is a seasoned campaigner with a multitude of middle and long distance races under his belt. Always raising funds for Macmillan Cancer research, Paul has yet again got a full season of races planned, this being his first foray into middle distance for this year. Paul put in a solid performance in the 55-59 age category to come home in a time of 6:19:02 placing him 19th in his age-group. Paul's splits were 36:34 (swim), 2:53:02 (bike) and 2:41:06 (run). Next-up for Paul is Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire in just over a weeks time, so not much time to rest and relax for him! If you would like to sponsor Paul and help support Macmillan please CLICK HERE.
Next up in the 6:40am wave was Dan Hall. Having recently been away with Dan on a Do3 Training Camp in Lanzarote, I knew that he had been making good progress in his training and all was looking on-track for this race. Dan has been making particular progress with his swimming in recent months which has seen his CSS (Critical Swim Speed) come tumbling. Dan's previous middle distance PB was 5:59 so we were hopeful that we could better this at the Outlaw Half. I am pleased to report that Dan managed to take a huge 28 minutes off his PB, finishing in a time of 5:31:25. Dan's time placed him 366th out of 1106 and shows he is on track for another great performance at his next main race at Ironman 70.3 Zell am See. Dan's splits were 33:07 (swim), 2:48:16 (bike) and 2:03:53 (run).
Last but by no means least, was Richard Eden. Richard was in the 7am start wave and was competing in the 65+ age category. As can be seen from Richards age group, he is one of our more senior members(!). Although Richard has been competing in triathlons for several years now, this was his first foray into the longer distances. I am so proud of Richard, he is a shining example that age should never be thought of as a barrier to keeping fit, training and racing.
Prior to the race, Richard had expressed concerns about whether he would be likely to complete the distance and had been looking at the various cut-off times just-in-case. It is natural to have doubts about races of this length, especially your first one. However, having seen Richards progress in training over the past few months, I was confident this race was well within his capabilities – provided he stuck to the plan in terms of effort levels and nutrition. Sure enough Richard completed the race. Not only that, but he finished in a highly respectable time of 7:48:19 which was good enough for 4th in his age-group! Richard showed that with focus, a strong will and determination, anything is possible. Well done Sir, you should be proud of yourself!
Overall winner of the The Outlaw Half was Karl Alexander from Team Erdinger. Karl completed the race in 4:11:12 with a 25:43 swim, 2:17:48 bike and 1:22:23 run. Ladies winner was Linda Evans, who finished in 4:40:42 with a 27:23 swim, 2:35:21 bike and 1:34:29 run.
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