With the weekend schedule being so busy, here we bring you the first part of a packed Saturday together with the midweek time trial results. Neil Prescott performed well on the bike at the winter club duathlon series but no-one saw his early eye-catcher coming at the St Helens CRC Wednesday night TT as he sensationally went under the 22:30 mark clocking a 22:13, good enough for a 5th place finish. Then it was onto Saturday with the main focus being the Keswick Mountain Festival plus a gentle nod to the Nottingham Sprint Triathlon. In our Splashworld Triathlon review, Lynette Houghton was described as perhaps the strongest “pound for pound” athlete in the club. As such a fast course with an opportunity to test out her new-found aero position was always going to be just the ticket and so it proved. She completed the 750m swim in a little over 15 minutes, good for anyone but outstanding for someone who, in her own words, “only swims at one pace” – well that is some standard for so many to aim towards! The bike leg was much improved as her newly-chosen aero road bike enabled her to climb the field, completing the four-lap course in under 36 minutes and a strong final run round the lake lifted her to a time of 1:19:06, 133rd overall and an excellent third in her age group.
Up north there were several members entered in the Keswick Mountain Festival, a long-running party comprising triathlon, lake swims, trail runs and much more. Unfortunately the warm weather brought on every swimmers’ nightmare – algae – leading to the swim being cancelled and swapped for a short duathlon including two tough off road runs and a technical bike course with plenty of climbs. Nevertheless the club was well represented, with the first member home being Paddy Lee, who aboard his new TT bike was very much at home on the technical bike course and managed to score a useful 72nd place finish, including the top half of his age group, in a time of 1:30:44. Mark Derbyshire and Helen Broderick enjoyed a cracking battle behind Paddy with Mark coming back from a sizeable deficit after the first trail run to close the gap to around 90 seconds at the end of the bike leg, and in the end it was perhaps his greater familiarity with his bike position (Helen having only recently purchased her new Giant Propel from Thatto Cycles) which made the difference, as he moved up to 102nd place at the flag in 1:36:19. Helen nonetheless scored the best age group result of the day among those travelling north as she placed ninth in her category. In addition Ann Gregory made the trip to Salford Quays for the USwim 1 mile race. Ann had a brilliant day out, coming good on her winter of consistent improvement at the Wednesday and Friday swim sessions and finished 115th in a time of 37:53 giving her a thoroughly deserved new PB. Part 2 of the report will follow tomorrow, covering the Southport and Outlaw Half triathlons as well as the Worcester Half Marathon in the Malvern Hills.