The past week has been one of those classic “in between” ones with relatively little in the way of actual racing but with several notable results coming in, just enough to fire everyone up for the packed Bank Holiday weekend and the final stretch run in September, including the #BeatShaleyBrow St Helens Triathlon. Two late results came in from the latest round of the North West Junior Series, where Grace and Holly Hirst were taking part in the Tameside Duathlon. Grace and Holly have improved in leaps and bounds thanks mainly to their regular participation at the Friday night track sessions, which are currently focusing on short, sharp efforts to prime everyone for the Rainford 10k and Fun Run. The sisters must figure to finish at the sharp end of the latter given how well they performed in East Manchester as while Holly placed ninth in the TS3 Girls race, Grace took a top 5 at TS1 level finishing very close to the podium.
The seniors starred at three diverse events stretching back as far as the Tuesday night time trial season finale, where Azzam Taktak was our sole entrant, and he brought down the curtain on the 2019 midweek schedule with a fine ride to a time of 28:27. His performance set the tone for two events on Sunday, one fairly local classic in the Lake District, the other a hitherto unknown race on the East Coast. At Coniston it was once again the George and Lynette show as team Houghton took part in the 1 mile and 3.8km swims organised by Epic Events. George was mere seconds away from breaking the 30 minute mark on a day when surprisingly few people set a particularly quick time but his efforts were enough to get him into the top 50, while Lynette is never one to shy away from the longest possible distance and her efforts in the Iron distance race were rewarded as she finished in a time of 1:30:57.
Hartlepool is probably best known in this day and age for being the hometown of Jeff Stelling, anchor of Sky Sports News and one-time Countdown host, but over the weekend Mark Glynn (pictured below) was over on the North Sea Coast taking part in the Big Lime Triathlon, featuring a 750m swim in Jacksons Dock, 20km cycling on flat, closed roads and a 5k run along the promenade. For all Mark’s achievements at standard and longer distance events over the years, this was amazingly his first foray into sprint distance racing, but he was right at home here and came through when it mattered most to brilliantly take fourth overall just 34 seconds away from the podium and a resounding win in his age group, thereby rounding off a short but sweet report and, in that modern rarity, a week where everyone on the club website round-up also featured in the St Helens Star. Next week offers a far busier schedule, with the national club relays at Holme Pierrepont on Saturday followed by the Epic Events double-header of West Lancs Summer and Wirral triathlons on Sunday. In addition entries are still available for both the St Helens Triathlon on September 8th and the Rainford 10k on October 6th.