As mentioned at the end of part one of the weekend report, some club members decided to take part in both the Nottingham relays and the West Lancs triathlon at Edge Hill University the following morning, as Ormskirk hosted a triathlon-Motorfest double of its own. Mark Turner, fresh from leading his team to a top-5 age group place in the East Midlands, led the way as he was straight into the top 20 from the off, then recorded the fifth-fastest bike time and a top-3 run split to complete the course in under an hour and place second overall, a tremendous effort in the treacherous conditions. Also doing the double was Dean Golba, whose swim and bike times have always been impressive but here it was his running that caught the eye, his mid-20 5k split enabling him to finish 12th overall and seventh in just over 1 hour 4 minutes. Garry Banks edged Dean in the water before Dean’s superior bike power proved decisive but Garry was still able to place in the top 30 overall and fourth in the M50-59 category. The never-ending feel good story of Steve Williams continued on home ground as he was always going to be in his element given that the course is quite literally on home turf for him, and so it proved as a sub-35 minute bike split and one of his best runs in a long time gave him a resounding victory in his age group, while also placing him in the top 40 overall. He was over seven minutes clear of Paul Aspinall, whose bike split was a good indicator of consistent progress and it made that all-important difference in terms of squeezing into the top 100 on the leader board. In fact his swim time was matched to the second by Carole James, who then rebounded from a tricky bike stage to go under 24 minutes on the run and take third place in her division. The trio of Chris Wynne, Keith Ashcroft and Laura Banks were separated by just three minutes overall, Laura enlivening the gloomy conditions with a Mexico-themed tri suit and thoroughly enjoying her first triathlon in a long time, while the remaining club members came home just six seconds apart, Jill O’Connor being delighted to have completed her first triathlon after many months of starring at park runs and local 10k races, her time of 1:39:03 edging her clear of Karen Banks by the smallest of margins.
The juniors were also racing on Bank Holiday weekend, as Holly and Grace Hirst made their way to Blackpool Palatine Leisure Centre for a Sunday festival of racing. The event offered a relay race similar to that of the seniors in Nottingham but with insufficient numbers to form a team Holly and Grace simply entered the Go Tri event. Results are not yet available for this race at the time of writing but over at West Kirby Marina four more club members tackled the Wirral Open Water Triathlon, another long-standing classic hosted by Epic Events. Star of the show on the peninisula was Andrew McGlone, one of the breakout performers of 2018, as he was out of the water in under 13 minutes. The bike course, with its technical turns and deceptively tough climbs, saw him drop down the order a little but a terrific sub-19 5k into the freezing wind and rain on the shoreline enabled him to finish 12th overall and top ten in the men’s senior category. Peter Leadbeater broke the 90-minute mark and also recorded a top-90 placing with his strength on the bike proving particularly useful on the relatively unknown hills around Hoylake and West Kirby. Also racing for the club were Nick Hall, who was ahead of Peter exiting the water but eventually had to give best to his teammate once the climbing started, and Cheryl Pace, who continues to build her way into multisport after years of running at Penny Lane Striders; here she put in a particularly pleasing mid-22 run split leaving her within touching distance of the top 50 ladies overall. The Fab Four may have had to contend with choppy water in West Kirby but Paul Booth went one step further by taking on a 3km sea swim in Fowey Polkerris while on holiday, where he put in a tremendous show of endurance in awful conditions to place 92nd overall in 1 hour 2 minutes rounding off a thrilling weekend where Mark Turner was undoubtedly the star performer for his unique Nottingham/Ormskirk double, Dean Golba reminded us all why he is fast becoming the club’s strongest cyclist and Steve Williams’ incredible 2018 season continued with yet another win on home ground. The month of September is marked with several classics including the Kendal Triathlon on September 16th, the Ormskirk 10k on the 23rd (at the cricket club, all race entrants get free entry to the food and drink festival on the same day) and the North West Triathlon in Nantwich on the 30th. Meanwhile the cross country dates have been announced for the 2018-19 season, with the first round at Wythenshawe Park on October 13th providing the ideal curtain raiser to four more months of mud in Manchester.
Karen, Laura and Garry Banks at Edge Hill