Read what the athletes thought of racing at Newby Hall
Race report – Howard Mead, Man Tri ( Rubicon Half Iron Distance Champion 2012)
My race weekend started on the Saturday, taking full advantage of early registration and the free on site camping to eliminate any panic on race morning. I was chuffed to get a nice backpack and running visor at registration.
Come race day, and with a slight current for a mostly downstream swim, there was a small benefit for what is the weakest of my 3 disciplines. Coming out of the swim you get to run through the impressive garden estates of Newby Hall, a sight worth seeing. I managed 32 mins for the swim including the run to T1, coming out in 9th position.
Onto the bike, and after a bit of pedalling into the countryside, I got onto some flat wide roads with good quality road surfaces, real time-trialling territory. With minimal traffic, good signposting and marshalls at key points, I was able to focus on my cycling.
With certain out and back sections on the bike course, I was able to see those in front of me, and slowly worked my way from 9th to 2nd. Yet I wasn’t gaining any time on first place, who looked as if he was over 5 minutes in front of me. I finished the bike in a time of 2 hours 16, into 2nd place.
Into T2 and I knew I had my work cut out for me. The run is a 4 lap course of Newby hall grounds, so a fairly flat/fast mix of road and trail paths which makes for an interesting half marathon. I set off hard in the hope of catching the leader, taking advantage of the drinks and gels at the aid stations.
On my 3rd lap I recognised the leaders kit, and slowed down in anticipation of a big effort. I passed him as fast as I could as I didn’t want him tagging on to me. It must have worked because when I looked round later he hadn’t been able to keep up. I now had the added bonus of having a lead marker run with me which means you get some shouts of encouragement from people. By the time of the 4th lap I was hurting pretty bad, but managed a bit of a burst at the end. Run time 1:21, overall time 4:11.
It was a great weekend, well organised and a friendly atmosphere for all abilities. The venue is excellent, and the bike course is safe, fast, and well signed/marshalled followed by a good run route with plenty of aid stations.
I was able to get my splits straight after the race, and there was a nice prize ceremony where I got a few goodies including free entry to next years race…I’m definitely coming back!
Simon Cave Race Report - Male Standard Champion 2012
I was quietly relieved to find out that the swim was cancelled and the race was modified to a duathlon due to the heavy rain fall all week. The pre-race atmosphere was very relaxed and, following a detailed and friendly race-briefing, we actually started early. The opening 3k run was fairly brisk. I was expecting someone to attack aggressively from the off but the leading group entered transition strung together. Despite some water logged grass in the pen, I had a quick transition and gained a few places. Once I had worked through a few riders competing in the short course, I found my steady tt pace on the fast course. I reached the first turning point and I realised I was at the front. I saw a string a guys working hard as they too approached the roundabout. There was a significant head wind for about 6 miles but I managed to come off the bike first in a pleasing 1.04. I knew there were some strong runners behind me but hoped I could hold on for the final 10k run. Luckily, the 2 x 5km laps were flat and fast. It was music to my ears when the commentator announced my name as I crossed the line in first place. Overall - a friendly and well organised event. Definitely worth putting on the calender. I'll be back next year but I'm expecting the field to be bigger and stronger! Hopefully, we'll be swimming down the river and the sun will be out!
Pollyanne French Race Report- Female Standard Champion 2012
As I have never competed in a duathlon before I was a little apprehensive and I did not know what to expect. I usually enjoy the swim to wake me up! However I was looking forward to the challenge and wanted to get some fast times. I went off probably a little bit too fast on the first 3k as I wanted to keep up with/beat my boyfriend, which unfortunately I didn’t! However I was pleased to be in the top 6. The bike ride was extremely windy but it still felt like a very fast course and I was determined to get a personal best as I was forever watching my bike computer obsessed with maintaining an average of over 21 mph. At the first roundabout I thought 'at least the wind will be behind me now'....but no, it seemed to be one of those sort of winds which you never seem to get any benefit from. Overall the bike ride was really enjoyable and I felt strong and I was pleased to finish in what to me was a personal best time of 1.10.38 for a 25 mile course. Feeling really happy with a good ride I wanted to overtake as many people as possible and close the gap between me and the first few men, I felt relaxed and controlled for the first 5k overtaking a few blokes. However I struggled with cramp on the second half of the run and lost a few positions which I would have otherwise gained. However I was delighted to have finished so high up in the field.
Nick Cooper Race Report ( Vet Standard Distance Triathlon Vet Champion 2012)
Like most people i was a little relieved to see the swim was canceled having seen how wild the river was flowing and i set about preparing myself for a Duathlon, my race goal was to maintain a constant pace on the bike and average 21mph or above and then run the 10k in 42 mins the first run was fast and i tried to stay with the youngsters at the front for as long as possible ( about 1 mile ) as i got into T1 i sunk down to my waist in the boggy water !!!! ok a bit of an exaggeration but is was very wet and muddy. Quick out of T1 with mud between my toes and on to the bike , the bike course was fast and fairly flat but quite windy after about 8 miles i was passed by a few strong cyclists and spent the next 17 miles trying to catch them
On occasion I would pass a couple of them but before long they had passed me again. Into T2 now even boggier than before running with the bike was interesting and putting wet muddy feet in to my running shoes was also a new experience.
Out on the run I set about the task of maintaining my goal race pace, i started to a pass a couple of people and all felt good ,after 5k Polleyanne French(the first lady) passed me she looked very strong and was running well so i upped my pace a little then i was passed by Jonathan Mcvicor
I stayed just behind jonathan until about 400m from the finish then I upped my pace again to pass him and head for the finish i then spotted Polleyanne holding her side so new she was suffering and passed her as well , I then noticed Jonathan back on my shoulder and we sprinted to the line where he beat me by 1 second . Goal was achieved bike 1hr 9min, run 42min and then delighted to see the results 11th overall and 1st vet .
Thanks Mark for an excellent and well organised race