News, comment and opinion
News on this page that's older than a month is archived off to the Old News pages, see the left hand panel for these. Other good sources of news are Dan Empfield's Slowtwitch website, Google News, Inside Triathlon, Triathlete magazine and the main federation websites (see the links page for these).
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Oct:23 BTA AGM Resolutions
The BTA resolutions and nomination papers are on the BTA website - we were just looking in the wrong place...
The first two resolutions are very odd -- the WTC created its own international refereeing and sanctioning body and put that in place BEFORE the ITU Congress... The whole idea is that the WTC events are already run under different rules and so it was inappropriate to have ITU officials running WTC races, something that has often been commented on. The ITU Congress resolution merely squared the circle: the BTA's involvement in the process was merely a rubber stamp.
Will this affect WTC races in the UK? Probably not one iota, we would be prepared to bet that the WTC will be recruiting from the same pool of talent and we can see no reason why a BTA referee would not also act as a WTC referee. As for the suggestion that the BTA renounce the middle and long distance events -- again, why would they? The ITU has for many years run a World Long Distance Championship for which BTA members qualify -- we can see no reason why they would not wish to continue doing this.
If there's something we're missing here please email us and let us know!
Can casino games be considered sports? Some disciplines like professional poker organize tournaments every year, but in our opinion they are not sports. What is certain is that many people online are looking for resources to play a free no deposit casino, in order to win thanks to the no deposit codes.
John Levison has been working on a charity event all year at Barclays and this week was able to hand over a cheque for £25,000 to Aspire. Paula Craig was there with Jessica Penney of Aspire to collect the giant cheque and if anyone wants to add to the pot then donations are still being taken through the Just Giving website: www.justgiving.com/BTIronman.
Oct:20 So, who gets your vote?
It's taken a week for the list to be officially announced, and we still haven't seen the resolutions, but the BTA has posted the nominees for the Executive Board positions that members can vote on in advance of the AGM.
At the top we have the incumbent Vice Chair, Clive Faine, being challenged by Jem Lawson, also currently an EB member. The term "Chalk and Cheese" comes to mind -- you really couldn't have a more different pair! The three Executive Board slots are being contested by no less than seven candidates! David Bellingham, currently, and who always seems to have been, an EB member; Lynda Chase, well known in her role as a National and International referee; Paul Groves, also currently an EB member and who serves at a Technical level on both ETU and ITU events; Barry Frost, another referee from the Chester area but relatively unknown to us; John Lunt, very well known for his Human Race events and also his work at ITU races; Alan Spelling, like Lynda Chase, is probably best known as a National and International referee and is also a serial age group athlete; and, finally, Sarah Springman is the ex-honorary President of the BTA who last year mounted a challenge backed by the ex-BTA Chairman Peter Coulson and UK Sport to replace Les McDonald as President of the ITU.
Who would we pick? Interesting... We believe that the best interests of the sport will be served by an Executive Board whose members who are active in, and well respected on, the International scene and which will work closely with the other National and International bodies to further our interests. It's going to be a very interesting few weeks!
If any of the candidates would like to put forward their views to a wider audience than just the BTA membership -- after all, what the BTA does will affect all triathletes in the UK irrespective of whether they are members or not -- then we would like to offer each of you up to 1,000 words to get your message across. We will be away for a week but if you would like to email in your manifesto we'll get them online for next weekend. Normal rules apply: no slagging off the other contenders, etc, etc! Get typing guys.
Oct:16 Hot and fast
For once the wind didn't blow and the clouds didn't come which turned Hawaii into a hot race in more ways than one! Faris Al Sultan (GER) took the lead after just 4 miles from Torbjorn Sindalle (DEN) who had set a new bike course record (and eventually came home in 69th) and never looked like losing it, while Cameron Brown (NZL) ran consistently to take second place with Peter Reid (CAN) just behind. Simon Lessing started promisingly with a second place in the swim and was biking in the leading group but faded on the finishing section of the bike (he was 36th in off the bike) and then dropped out on the run. In the womens race it looked like Michellie Jones (AUS) would make the rookie win but Natascha Badmann (SUI), despite serving 4 minutes in the sin bin, made up the 9 minutes deficit and caught and passed her in the latter stages of the run to take her 6th title. Jones was second and Kate Major (AUS) was 3rd. Results are still rolling in on the Ironmanlive website - great show guys!
As far as we can tell, the first Brit home was Doug Clark in 90th place (9:16:03) putting him 9th in the 35-39 age group.
Oct:15 Hawaii is live -- on VIDEO!!
Awesome! Log on to www.ironmanlive.com and forget getting any sleep tonight...
Oct:15 The Don does it again
Tim Don returned to what seems to be his natural habitat this year -- on top of the podium at the Commonwealth Games trials in St Kilda. Tim kicked away from the lead group on the run with about 2k to go leaving Greg Bennett (AUS) and Bevan Docherty (NZL) to tussle for the remaining two places. Stuart Hayes was 6th and Will Clarke 7th (giving them the other two nominations) with AJ 12th, Ollie Freeman 15th and Paul Amey a DNF. In the womens race Annabel Luxford (AUS) finished well ahead of Julie Dibbens with Andrea Hewitt (NZL) in third. Andrea Whitcombe was 7th, Helen Lawrence 11th and Liz Blatchford DNFd - no sign of Michelle Dillon. We believe that Dibens, Whitcombe and Blatchford will go forward as nominations. Full race details can be found on the Triathlon Australia site.
Oct:14 Ballbuster sells out
The Human Race/TriandRun Ballbuster has filled in record time. Despite being one of the daftest events in the duathlon calendar, and being promoted entirely online, the race has sold out four weeks before race day (Nov-12). "The triandrun Ballbuster is the oldest event in the HumanRace portfoilo and every year we are amazed that so many nutters want to come back and do battle with a race which is billed as one of the toughest in the UK" said race organiser John Lunt. The Box Hill-based event started in 1990 and continues to grow each year, despite dreadful weather in some recent years. The course record is held by Gary Gerrard from 2001 when he covered the 8 mile run, 24 mile bike and 8 mile run in 2:34:40 (0:41:00, 1:06:29, 0:46:28).
Oct:11 London Region Coaching Conference 2005
The London Regions first 'Coaching Conference' will be held at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on November 5th 2005. The event is supported by Bike and Run, Pure Sports Medicine, and Optima Training Systems and is designed to increase the skills and knowledge of triathlon coaches within London through innovative educational practical and theory sessions. The conference will feature some of the UK's best sports specialists: Dr John Best (Australian Wallabies Team Physician 1994-2000), Dr Jeremy Adams (Human Performance Psychologist), Claire Small (Director of Physiotherapy at Pure Sports Medicine), Raph Brandon (EIS Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach), and Ian Brown ( Head swim coach at Chelsea & Kensington swim club).
The conference is open to ANY coach from any triathlon related sport, whether qualified or not. Please remember though, that the majority of material is designed to enhance you as a coach, and may be more advanced than some of the material covered in the British Triathlon Level 2 coaching qualification. There are only 30 places, for more information and a booking form, please email timweeksbritishtriathlon.org
Oct:10 Honolulu updates
Congratulations also to Paula Craig on her Gold in the AWAD category. Some of the results still seem to be subject to changes - Sophie Whitworth went from Bronze to Silver overnight and we have noticed one or two other adjustments so please consider the ITU pages as the definitive ones and we'll update ours once the fuss has died down.
Oct:09 Brits at the Worlds
Results from Honolulu are on the ITU website. Complete (provisional) results are available here. Scores on the doors are:
- Gold: Anna Willetts (20-24), Penny Rother (45-49)
- Silver: Sophie Whitworth (35-39), Sue Bathgate (55-59)
- Bronze: Mark Hirsch (40-44), Barbara Leverett (55-59)
Oct:09 Longest Day update
We see on the TriTalk pages that the Longest Day is scheduled to survive for 2006 -- apparently Martin has been convinced to continue as RD... ...unconfirmed date is apparently July 23rd, more details about venues to follow.
Oct:07 Setting your watches
The Age Groupers should be hitting the water in Honolulu at 6am on Sunday morning... ..their time. Which makes it 5pm in the afternoon our time -- at least as far as I can work it out! As well as the ITU website you should be able to find out what's going on through the event website at http://www.honolulu2005.com.
Oct:06 News from Honolulu
The BTA Age Groupers have already been bagging medals at the Aquathlon out in Honolulu and it's only a couple more days until the main event. Gold went to Kevin Partridge (45-49), Silver to Gary Blakey (15-19), Joanna Carritt (25-29), Sarah Clark (30-34), Lousie Waldman (40-44), Peggy Crome (60-64) with Bronze to Christopher Mulling (20-24), Evan Lees (30-34), Vannessa Hogg (30-34), Matt Stephenson (35-39), Sarah Springman (44-49), Jo Lewis (50-54), Jim McTaggart (65-69). Congratulations to all and good luck in the main races.
We note with interest the inclusion of Sarah Springman in the list -- having spent most of last year unsuccessfully trying to unseat Les as the ITU President we wonder if she has her eye on one of those vacant Executive Board seats to see if she can re-establish herself on the domestic scene. Nominations and motions must be in by next Friday so I guess we'll know soon enough... ...not that she should be counting on a vote from us...
Oct:03 Search for the oldest club
David Edwards has emailed us with news that the oldest club in Scotland is Fleet Feet Triathletes who are based in the small town of Stonehaven near Aberdeen (although East Kilbride also vies for this title). They started in 1983, which makes them slightly older than TVT mentioned recently. In the early days canoeing was often substituted for swimming [and we thought the Scots were hardy folk...], but there are still one or two races around today that keep alive the founding tradition of the canoe-bike-run format. Check-out their website: www.fleet-feet.com
Sep:30 IMUK live tomorrow
We hear on the grapevine that the IMUK entry form should go live tomorrow so if you're up for a UK full distance then keep an eye on their website.
Sep:26 Are they the oldest club?
Probably not, but it's worth noting that TVT (THames Valley Triathletes) reached 21 years old in May this year. The club is planning to celebrate in style with a party and live music covering the last 21 years and would like to invite former club members and friends to join them for the celebration. The party will be held at the Jazz Café in the Madjeski Stadium, Reading on Thursday 27th October at 7:30pm. The cost will be £20 per person and places are limited so contact Derek Bowley by email at bowley_derekhotmail.com to reserve a space.
Sep:25 Medals galore
We have to confess that when we were making our comments about how nice it would be to pick a medal in Newcastle we didn't quite expect the results that we got... Basically GB dominated the races, collecting 8 of the 18 medals. In the womens race we picked up a clean sweep with Michelle Dillon, Catriona Morrison and Andrew Whitcombe finishing top three. Annie Emmerson was 5th and Helen Lawrence 9th. In the mens race Paul Amey claimed Gold with Tim Don taking Silver and Javier Garcia (ESP) Bronze. Tom Lowe placed 22nd and Martin Yelling 27th. Oli Freeman took Gold in the Junior race with Ritchie Nicolls taking Silver while Rosie Clarke picked up Bronze in the Junior womens race. Full results can be found on the ITU website.
UPDATE: Here's a thought... Team GB didn't really manage to bring home the bacon at Gamagori -- something that the Performance Director has agreed with for a change although it's not clear what he plans to do about it. Yet, despite elite duathlon being, at least as far as the BTA are concerned, pretty much a minority sport and not one that gets money invested in it -- there being no Olympic equivalent -- we seem to do rather well at it. Statistically we think we actually bring home more elite duathlon medals than we do triathlon ones -- people who follow this page regularly will know that our maths skills in relation to the BTA's figures are open to question at times but at least we know that three years means three years and not six... (More on that one another day!) So, how come our elite triathletes turn out to be pretty damn good at being elite duathletes? Could it be that they are under less pressure? Could it be that they are doing it for individual glory? We don't know the answer -- it's probable that they don't either -- but we can bet that Clive Faine (GB Exec Board member and Chair of the ITU Duathlon Commission) is one very happy man and Jasmine Flatters, also out there in Oz looking after the BTA and the age groupers' interests won't exactly be too upset either. Wouldn't it be nice if the two people that are universally regarded as being those who actually care about the athletes as opposed to the politics were in some way getting a "Thank you" for all their efforts? Unlikely, we know, but it's still a nice thought...
Sep:24 Races with spaces
The Forest of Dean Duathlon on Oct-09 still has spaces and, for those who can't make up their minds, will also be taking entries on the day. More information on their website.
Entries are also still being taken for the Carsington Short Course Duathlon on Oct-02. The race is the final one in the BTA National Duathlon Series. For further information contact Punishing Events on 01332 513299 or visit their website.
Sep:24 Carrying coals...
Some of the comments aired on various web forums in the past week about the London Duathlon that was held in Richmond Park last weekend have been to the effect that the elite athletes were poorly catered for. Given that any real elite or serious age group duathlete would probably have been on their way to the ITU World Duathlon Championships in Newcastle (that's the one in Australia and not the one on Tyneside...) it's quite likely that the organisers figured that they didn't really need to make any provision in the first place!
UPDATE: Taken from the results published just after breakfast this morning: Gold to Katherine O'Hara (30-34), Philip Dove (35-39), Julian Goater (50-54), Edwina Brocklesby (60-64), David Gardner (65-69) -- Silver to Graham Beal (35-39), Barbara Leverett (55-59) -- Bronze to John Dewey (20-24) and Howard Doe (55-59). Congratulations to all.
GB is fielding a strong age group team (who raced today and results should be up soon...) plus a selection of elite including Tim Don, a former World Champion, Paul Amey, Tom Lowe, Mark McKay, and Martin Yelling. The female side is represented by Annie Emmerson, a Silver medallist at duathlon, Catriona Morrison, Andrea Whitcombe, Michelle Dillon and Helen Lawrence. Ollie Freeman will be representing us in the Junior event. The Elite race is on Sunday but owing to the world going around the way it does we can catch it from about 11:30pm on Saturday night through the ITU website.
Given the paradox of GB having had more success in duathlon at a World Championship level than at triathlon in recent years it would be a neat trick to have the #2 ranked triathlete (Tim) end up with another duathlon gold -- and a possibly even neater trick to have Annie, long ignored by the BTA in respect of funding but currently ranked #1, bring home some silverware as well.
Sep:19 More camps
Steve Trew will be running his series of Personal Best Triathlon training camps once again this winter at the Guttmann Centre of Excellence in Stoke Mandeville. The first is Nov-05/06 with the emphasis on technique in all three disciplines and on planning a programme. Further weekends are Jan-07/08 and Feb-25/26. Coaches this year are Sian Brice, Mark Southwold, Dawn Hunter, Dan Bullock (of www.swimfortri.com fame) and Steve Trew. There will, as in previous years, also be an inspirational guest speaker. Cost for each camp is £105. For details contact Steve by email trewpersonalbest.demon.co.uk
Sep:18 Weekend update
We've been away in the country doing a bit of grass roots support -- if anyone has any feedback on the London Duathlon do please drop us an email...
We also have a new World Champion in the UK -- having lost his World Aquathlon crown to Tim Don in Gamagori Richard Stannard has picked up the World Biathle title at their Championships in Monaco. No more details at the moment but there is a website which should have more information soon. UPDATE: Loughborough TASS student James Lock, aged 20, also returned from the World Biathle Championships with a medal, this one a Bronze won in the Junior Mens race.
Sep:17 More from the Far East
Beijing ran its first test event early today for the 2008 Olympics and Helen Tucker showed just how far she has come this year with a podium finish in 3rd place. Andrea Whitcombe was 5th, Liz Blatchford 9th, Leanda Cave 18th and Kerry Lang in 24th. In the men's race, Stuart Hayes was 7th, with Tim Don making up ground on the run after missing the first pack on the bike to claim 10th, Will Clarke took 32nd and Fraser Cartmell 66th. Full results can be found on the ITU website.
Sep:15 Getting ready for winter?
It looks like Summer is finally over and one of the real indicators is the appearance of lots of running and swimming courses to get you through the winter months. Just Sweat No Tears (Brian Welsh, Jackie Bull and Donna James) are running weekend camps covering topics like Long Term Athlete Survival, Bike Set Up -- Power versus Aerodynamics and Benchmarking Your Training. There will be plenty of practical as well as the theory: proposed dates are Dec-09/11, Jan-20/22 and Feb-07/19 at Rangemore, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire. The weekend will cost £120 including B&B and Saturday evening meal plus soft drinks. Contact Just Sweat No Tears at 21 Langer Close, Branston, Staffordshire DE14 3HW or phone 01283 740679 (W) 0794 770 9055 (M).
Bill Black is running a series of Swim Masterclasses on the following Sundays: Oct-23, Dec-04, Jan-15, Feb-26th, Apr-09 and May-21 at the Fulham Holmes Place. Also involved on the coaching team are Duncan Rolley and Perry Marks. The sessions will be a 1hr theory followed by a 1hr30 practical. If you book all six sessions they are £45 each, book 2-5 for £50 each or just go to one for £55. Contact Bill by email at blackbillybtinternet.com or call him on 01276 857849.
Sep:11 Gamagori: not like the Test Match then...
UPDATE: Latest from Gamagori is that AJ suffered a deep cut to his knee which required stitches and that Tim seems to have been hit by heat exhaustion on the run (Gamagori has a rep for being very hot and humid) and went from hero to zero in just a few seconds -- not a nice end to one's day and, judging from the long list of DNFs, he wasn't the only one to succumb to the climate.
The mens race finished with Peter Robertson (AUS) winning, Reto Hug (SUI) in second and Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) taking third. There was a major bike crash in the last lap which may have upset things somewhat - we understand from local support that Sven Riederer (SUI) may have assisted in removing AJ from his bike and into the back of an ambulance but we're awaiting further details. And, judging from the results something bad must have happened because despite seeing a picture of The Don running (he was lying second at the end of Lap 1 according to timing data) the only Brits recorded as finishing are Stuart Hayes in 16th, Will Clarke in 34th, Paul Amey in 37th and Richard Stannard in 52nd. The results sheet shows Tim as a DNF on the run with AJ already known as a DNF on the bike.
In the womens race Emma Snowsill (AUS) claimed her second World title with Annabel Luxford (AUS) taking silver and Laura Bennett (USA) Bronze. Best of the GB women was Andrea Whitcombe in 7th with Liz Blatchford 8th and Michelle Dillon rounding out the top 10. Helen Tucker came home in 32nd and Helen Lawrence was 42nd. Leanda Cave is recorded as a DNF.
In the Junior races Ollie Freeman was 10th, Alistair Brownlee 41st and Devon King 62nd while Natalie Barnard was 18th, Rosie Clarke 20th and Vicky Holland 36th.
Full results and race stories are on the ITU website.
Sep:10 Mixed results in the U23
Scotland's Fraser Cartmell finished 20th in today's Under 23 races in Gamagori but Will Clarke crashed on the first corner after a top 15 swim. Best of the girls was Natalie Barnard in 18th, Rosie Clarke 20th and Vicky Holland 36th.
Profuse apologies to our long-standing supporters, BigCow, for forgetting that they too put on a Middle Distance event, the CowMan! Blame it on old age...
And, just maybe, it looks like the WTC may have had a bit of a cow when they tried to trademark 70.3 because it seems as though you can't trademark numbers on their own... Thanks to MC for the tip-off on that one and after trawling several very informative websites which confirmed this it looks as though that's the reason all the events are listed as "The xxx Ironman 70.3" on the WTC website. Even more interesting is the footer which states that "Ironman Triathlon and the M-dot are registered trademarks of the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). Any use of these marks without the expressed written consent of WTC is strictly prohibited." No mention of 70.3 there then so we guess they've got the application in for Ironman 70.3 -- you can't trademark something until you have actually traded in it... Now, why didn't they just stick to Half Ironman?
Sep:08 The Don gets it!
Congratulations to the Don on his World Aquathlon win earlier today in Gamagori with the perennial winner, Richard Stannard, picking up the Silver in what appears to have been as close to a dead heat as timing could make it. The full results are on the ITU website.
Sep:07 Another big weekend
This is the weekend that the elite athletes have been working towards all season: the ITU World Championships out in Gamagori. There will be the usual webcast in ITUtv and we understand that there might even be some streaming video as well. The only downside is that Japan is 8 hours ahead of us so it will be a horribly early morning...
Closer to home, and in a different camp, is the inaugural 70.3 race at Longleat. OK, we could go on for hours about the very odd decision to take one of the strongest brands in the world, Ironman, and create a whole new series of races and a World Championship that doesn't even mention the term... Never mind, we're sure that the whole thing will settle down eventually and all those metric speaking folk (90% of the world...) will understand that 70.3 is the total distance in Imperial measurements of a Half Ironman race.... ...Eventually!
On the other side of the fence, so to speak, is the Vitruvian race -- one of a healthy band of events including the likes of Bala and Weymouth that provide middle distance athletes with a no frills, economy package version of 70.3. Despite events like Longest Day stating that they are unlikely to continue in 2006 -- at least under the current race director -- we really do believe that there is a growing market for well run endurance events in the middle and long distance category. Speaking the other evening to Roger Wakeling of Concept Sport about the possible date for Weymouth next year and wondering whether the proposed June date for Longleat will affect his numbers it remains our belief that as long as the dates are published early enough and the entry forms are out there then both events will fill. [See later note about CowMan, another popular Middle Distance race, which we forgot...]
And, talking of full events, there's always the perennial season closer at the Cotswold Water Park where Lorraine Ferris will be providing her usual top quality open water sprint. Sadly one of those races that we have never managed to get to but one which enjoys a solid reputation and often hosts the odd suprise pro or two who hasn't gone off to points Far East.
Looks like it should be a cracker of a weekend -- even if the weather looks a little dodgy -- and then there's always winning the cricket to look forward to!
Sep:04 Swimmers go running
London-based Swimfortri.com have expanded their coaching portfolio to cover running technique. The 5-week courses are held at Walthamstow track (not the dog track - the pace is a little too fast there!), cover technical aspects of running like posture and footstrike, and are run by BTA Level 3 coaches Huw Davies and Dawn Hunter. Numbers are kept to around 10 and they offer filmed analysis of your run style which you can take away on a DVD. Their next course begins Wednesday Sep-28, and their website will have information on course dates and prices. Contact [email protected] for booking info.
Sep:02 Bankers complete their challenge
Late but not forgotten is the news that the teams from Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley completed their first Enduro Challenge London to Paris on August 26-28th. The relay teams produced an incredibly close fought 30 hour race, with winning margins of less than five minutes for both the 80 mile London-Dover run and 180 mile Calais-Paris cycle legs. However after MS took first blood on the run, team CSFB's Channel swimming experience proved decisive and when they reached the French coast in 12 hours, the gap to MS was over 90 minutes. That effort was enough to give CSFB first custody of the Enduro Challenge trophy, but with MS eager for a rematch the build-up to next year has already started.
The Enduro Challenge is primarily a charity event for corporate teams, and in 2005 Age Concern and Teenage Cancer Trust have benefited significantly. Next year up to six, six-person teams can be accommodated: contact [email protected] for information.