St Helens Tri are very much getting into the groove with open water season approaching and many people’s attentions turning to major league races like next week’s Marine Lake Triathlon. As such this week’s report reads very much like the calm before the proverbial storm but first off to race were Claire Murphy and KellyAnne Towns at Ironman 70.3 in Mallorca. Claire has been a mainstay of the club for years particularly on the long distance running scene and KellyAnne has much experience of racing on the continent. Claire averaged a superb 1:44 per 100 metres in the sea swim and a solid bike in just over three and a half hours set her up for a run which she covered in well under two hours, leaving her classified 33rd in her age group in a time of 6:07:30. KellyAnne was almost glued to Claire in the swim, even edging clear as they reached transition, and she made a bit of a break on the bike, but eventually Claire made the pass on the run to finish ahead. Still, KellyAnne managed to get home in under 6:10 cementing her place in the top half of her age group. Closer to home, Diane Taktak added yet another chapter to her recent history of intrepid adventures by participating in the Chorley 10k hosted by Fylde Coast Runners. The event promised a good atmosphere, an undulating route around a town normally known for hosting bike races and even a Chorley cake at the finish. In the event Diane enjoyed yet another grand day out and was rewarded with a time of 1:02:38 leaving her just outside the top 600. Also going the 10k route, albeit the Wigan Trail version, was Steven Bower, who starred at Ironman Barcelona last year but has had a mixed start to the 2019 campaign. Here, though, he was right into it from the beginning and his efforts in the heat were rewarded with a time of 1:11:29. Another result worthy of note was that of Ben Mason, who starred in the 6-day Supersonic Race Series. Last week we reported on his much improved performance at the Spring 10k and his final stage at the Crock n’ Roll 10k 24 hours later earned him a top-30 position in the inaugural series; it is to be hoped that Kirkby Milers keep this “Tour de France for Runners” on the calendar for 2020 (especially if the Oasis-inspired gin and tonic is on offer at the finish!)
Two events south of the River Mersey made up the remainder of the schedule. Grace and Holly Hirst represented the club with real distinction at the Deva Junior Aquathlon hosted by Chester Tri Club. In T1 Girls Grace was out of the water in an excellent 2:52 and a rapid transition saw her into a sub-6 minute run which propelled her to a terrific fifth place just twenty seconds away from the podium. Meanwhile in T3 Girls Holly Hirst completed the much longer swim in just over seven and a half minutes before recording a 13-minute run split to end up 12th, but mere seconds away from a top ten finish. Meanwhile at Nantwich James Nairn and Robert Saile were taking part in the Cheshire Triathlon, an ever-popular event now over 25 years old comprising a swim in Snow Hill outdoor pool, a 20km bike route through the Cheshire lanes and four laps of Barony Park to run round at the end. James Nairn has really caught everyone’s eye this year as his enthusiasm has been very much akin that that of a kid on Christmas morning and here he used a particularly quick run to finish 52nd overall and 9th in his category with a time of 1:11:49, while Robert’s efforts were rewarded with a top-400 placing and a final time of 1:31:31 to bring down the curtain on a varied week of racing with plenty of stories to tell. Next week’s schedule is particularly packed with the Southport and Slateman triathlons as well as the Great Manchester Half Marathon and 10k.