Sprint start to the season at Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprints
23rd May 2016
Over 500 competitors turned up on the first day of racing at the Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprints on Saturday 21 May. Competitors were expecting torrid conditions, however, although dark clouds threatened to drench both participants and crew alike, the rain held off until the last flag had been dismantled.
The day featured a new run course which dispensed with the traditional lap system, with runners running on an out and back course down the side of the lake, and a new swim briefing system on dry land. Swimmers also had the brand new ‘waving man’ gantry from official wetsuit partner, Zone 3 to aim for as they swam out of the water.
First into the water were a series of Mates Waves where triathletes can race out of their age category and compete with their dads, grandmothers or friends who happen to fall into a different age category to them. Tri Surrey was out in force in the first wave and it was Tri Surrey athlete Luke Worthington who crossed the finish line first in one of only three sub-one hour times. Luke had smashed the new run course in a blistering time of 17:17, but ended up only third overall as two triathletes in subsequent waves swam and cycled fractionally faster, with the first-placed honours across the day going to seasoned triathlete Patrick Tierney, who finished fastest in 59 minutes. Mark Westlake was second on the day missing out on the top spot by just 9 seconds with Luke Worthington third in 59:17.
Over in the female race, the Tri Surrey triathletes were also having a good day with Jenny Millett winning in 1:11:21. Beverley Childs of RAF Triathlon competing in the 55-59 year old category proved that age is just a number, taking 2nd place in 1:13:20. Suzi Donoghue was the third to complete the 400m swim, 21.6k bike and 5k run in 1:15:13. The first wave also featured a number of relay teams. Relay honours were awarded to Team Weintraub who finished in 1:06:15.
The final wave of the day was the more traditional sprint distance which was won by Neil Tandy who finished the 750m swim, 21.6k bike and 5k run in 1:04:53. Mark Furth was second in 1:07:21 with Duncan Emery third in 1:07:50. Just 11 females took part in the female Sprint race with experienced triathlete, Victoria Emmett of Evo Tri taking first place in 1:16:09. Kerry O’Connor crossed the line exactly one minute later in 1:17:09 with Claire Chapman third in 1:20:10.
Eton SuperSprints was today celebrating its 20,000th finisher with the 190th person across the line due to receive a 2017 Triathlon pass which includes free entry to Windsor Triathlon and any of the Human Race Dorney Tri’s in 2017, as well as a year’s free pass to a Nuffield Health fitness and wellbeing centre, courtesy of official health and wellbeing partner, Nuffield Health. Simon Lovegrove was a worthy winner being forced to hobble to the finish line having picked up an injury on the run course. He was overtaken just before the finish line which made the prize and bottle of champagne all the sweeter!
Although many use the first weekend at Dorney to train for the Olympic distance at the Windsor Triathlon in June, the spirit of triathlon was in evidence today with many first-timers taking part amongst all the experienced triathletes. Dru Bryan at 49 years young, was one such first-timer who only started the ‘couch to 5k’ programme in January in a drive to get fit and lose weight. Dru may have been last out of the water in her wave and took over 2 hours to complete the triathlon, but given she’d never done any ‘brick’ training and had only ever managed her first 5k on Monday, this was an awesome achievement! We, at Human Race, salute you and all other triathletes who have the guts to don a wetsuit and take on a triathlon for the first time.
Following the SiS GO gels given out in registration and the shot of True Start performance coffee prior to swim briefing, goodies galore awaited the finishers. Participants received their medal and refreshing Vita Coco on the finish line and could recover with isotonic drink ERDINGER Alkoholfrei as well as claim an ‘ass-saver’ (otherwise known as mud-guard) and plastic mobile phone pouch from cycle insurance specialists, Yellow Jersey. If that wasn’t enough, Switzerland Tourism and SWISS had joined forces to run a free prize draw to win a trip for two to Switzerland. Entrants to the competition which will continue across the season could also claim one of the famous SWISS chocolates usually given out on SWISS flights. You can still enter the competition here:
Next up in the Human Race triathlon calendar will see us swap Dorney Lake for The Thames with Windsor Triathlon on Sunday 12 June.