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Aug:29 Weekend round-up

Simon Lessing picked up fourth place at Ironman Canada yesterday which probably means that he will be getting that Hawaii slot this year. We note with interest the huge contrast between the BTA's detailed news page coverage of Lessing's race in Canada and their total non-coverage of last weekend's Ironman UK at Sherborne... This is odder than it may first appear -- Sherborne was reffed by senior BTA referees and commentated on by a BTA Exec Board member yet it appears that nobody wanted to know on an "official" level.

AJ looks to be on good form for the World Championships in Gamagori -- he pulled back a breakaway group on the bike and then stayed in contention through the run taking second place away from Maik Petzold (GER) in a sprint finish at the European Cup race in Geneva. Catriona Morrison was second in the womens race with Eloise Crowley 21st. Full results and race reports on the ETU website.

Charmaine Wheeler, who came 5th in the 20-24 age group at Lausanne, sent us this note:

Hi, I'm not sure if you will post this on your website but it's worth a try!
To all the age group athletes who took part in Lausanne. I would just like to say how impressed I was with all of you. You were so friendly and supportive of everyone who was racing - I had a wonderful time! - and hope to be an age-grouper for as long as I can. I think you are all superstars in your own right!! I was also impressed with the hospitality of the host nation and the Italian Elite team who made time to come down and support their age-groupers on race day. Hope to see you all again next year on the circuit.

Aug:24 The Great River Swim

The Fourth Annual Great River Swim will be held on August Bank Holiday Monday 29th August 2005 starting at 10.15 am over a 1000m out and back course in the tidal Thames at Corney Reach, Chiswick. The race is sponsored by Pissarro, Restaurant and there is a prize fund worth £200. This year, BTA members qualify for a £1 reduction on the entry fee of £5. The water is quite warm but wetsuits will definitely be allowed. High tide will be at about 10.35 so anybody expecting to take more than 25 minutes should just come and watch! All entries and enquiries to [email protected] or phone 020 8994 8958. Entry fees - cash on the day or cheques payable to Chiswick Pier Trust.

Aug:24 IMUK report

The best race report we've seen of IMUK is to be found on the xtri.com website. There are lots of comments circulating on the various "eGroups" but this one is the real deal. The only point we would take issue with was the score given to the finish area which we would have rated at 7 rather than a 9 -- and a certain gentleman from the USA was very vocally scoring it as a zero but we think he might have been having a bad day...

Aug:22 Weekend round-up, part two...

At the Powerman in Zofingen Benny Vansteelant won in 6:31:01 more than 9 minutes ahead of Koen Maris. Dave Brown was 11th and Wayne Smith 20th. In the women's race, Erika Csomor won in 7:30:24, two minutes faster than second placed Jess Draskau Petersson -- her first race since the major bike accident in March. Michelle Parsons was 10th and Annie Emmerson was DQ for an unknown offence. For full results including age group athletes see the Zofingen website.

Aug:22 Weekend round-up

Congratulations to the huge contingent of GB age groupers who captured medals at the Europeans -- Golds to David Gardner (20-24), Paul Gittings (50-54), James Sheilds (60-64), Bex Rimmington (20-24), Lauren Davies (25-29), Fiona Ford (35-39), Sue Bathgate (55-59) and Hilary Stevenson (60-64). Silver to Sam Renouf (20-24), Pete Beaumont (35-39), Ray Gray (60-64), Peter Norman (65-69), Debbie Southwood (45-49), Penny Edwards (50-54), Lesley Cliff (55-59) and Georgina Gardiner (60-64). Bronze to Chris Rhodes (25-29), Simon Hoppe (35-39), Barry Jameson (50-54), Les Humphrey (65-69), Emma Smith (20-24), Lucy Dove (25-29), Louise Prole (30-34), Anne-Marie Bathmaker (45-49) and Peggy Crome (60-64).

Ironman UK -- what can you say... Not since 1991 has there been a full distance Ironman race on the UK mainland that carried slots for Hawaii. For those with an eye for the detail, Ironbridge that year had 20 slots but, technically, wasn't a WTC event in the way that races like Sherborne and the rest are today -- the concept of Ironman as a brand was not something that existed outside of the US in those days. Sherborne also broke new ground in being the first Ironman race ever to end a day later than it started thanks for the 2 hour delay for the mists to clear off the lake. One finisher didn't make the 17 hour cut-off, a total of 1134 succeeded in getting home inside the time limits.

There's no question that this is a tough race: only one athlete, Bryan Rhodes, went under 9 hours and he was a man on a mission -- so much so that the local police "nicked" him for doing 55mph in a 50 zone! For lots of other athletes the relentless hills of Dorset and Somerset taxed the legs to the point where the run proved to be an exercise in survival with Babylon Hill being the coup de grace. To put the race's toughness in perspective: at IM Austria, known for its fast bike course and a perennial favourite with Brits, recorded just under 1,500 athletes crossing the line when the clock ticked through 13 hours, at Sherborne that time saw less than 600!!!

For those who have been following Tom Roberts' exploits in 220 you'll be pleased to know that the diminuitive Welshman did finish in 16:34:19 -- a year older than when he started!

Aug:21 IMUK updates

We are now at 10:35 race time and so the bike cut-off is now in force and we don't expect any more athletes to start their marathon run. News from the referees is that their drafting policy has paid off -- one instance is a caution, two would have been an 8-minute wait in the sin bin and three a DQ. Nobody got either a sin bin or DQ but one athlete who borrowed a spectators bike to get back to T2 on did get a DQ -- he would have got away with it if the bike's owner hadn't brought his back and asked the two to be swapped back...

Second woman was Katja Schmacher and Bella Comerford was third, greeted on the finish line by boyfriend Stephen Bayliss.

Bryan Rhodes took the win for the men followed by Chabaud and Olaf Sabatschus while Rebecca Preston has just crossed the line to win the women's race -- in 10th place OVERALL!! Gerrit De Pauw was 4th, Stephen Bayliss finished 5th and the evergreen Dr Julian Jenkinson was 8th just behind German age grouper Max Longree.

The lead athletes are now well out on the run, it's definitely going to be a long, hot one for the bulk of the age group athletes! Bryan Rhodes leads by over 18 minutes from Chabaud with Sheldrake in third. Top GB athlete is Julian Jenkinson with Stephen Bayliss slipping down the field a bit. Lead woman is Rebecca Preston with Schumacher second -- we just heard Bella Comerford get a name check so she is through in third. Bella, in keeping with tradition, has sprayed her beautiful Isaac carbon fibre frame shocking pink. Someone better tell her that pink bikes get a DQ in Hawaii... (remember Spencer's all pink outfit a couple of years back?). At 7:22 race time we have 136 athletes out on the run and the leader is within 5 minutes of the turn on the run -- not that it's a foregone conclusion that he'll win given Babylon Hill at mile 20... There will be wheels coming off big time later today and, given the two hour delay to the start, much of that suffering may well take place in dark loneliness as it's almost impossible to out onto the run route unless you've got a bike handy -- and, sadly, we don't!

A 100% swim finish!! OK, so technically #1500 72 year-old, 73-tomorrow Malcolm Bennett was outside the cut-off but he's gone out anyway to huge cheers. Leaders on the bike are Bryan Rhodes and Francois Chabaud with Stephen Bayliss second out on the swim still in the running. For the ladies it was a clear lead for Katja Schumacher with Silke Hinricks amd Michela Schenk following. Bella Comerford was 4th out so is still very much in contention but, as with the men, there were a lot of age groupers mixing it in with the Pro athletes.

The lead bikers are now into the second loop around the Dorset hills before heading off into Somerset for more climbing prior to returning to Sherborne for the run leg and the first expected bikes are due in just before 1:30pm. More news when that happens -- we're off for a VERY late breakfast...

The gun finally went 2 hours and 7 minutes and one false start late. The mist proved a bit more stubborn than 2 years ago and even the presence of Ron Thorne and Chris Boon on the lake with assistance from a rather large helicopter wouldn't shift it. The race will still run its normal course but with a 1am cut off rather than the originally planned 11pm. It's going to be a very long day...

There's a remarkable sense of deja vu here at just after 5am -- it's cold and, just like two years ago, there's a heavy mist hanging over the lake and transition area. The sun isn't over the horizon yet but a light breeze has kicked in so hopefully the 6am start will go according to plan.

The broadband media bus really is here so if all goes according to plan we'll be posting updates throughout the day and maybe even the odd picture as well.

The official commentary with live timing should all be streaming out on the www.ironmanlive.com site and we understand that as well as the usual swim and bike splits there should be a halfway run time from Montague House so you'll be able to check that athletes are on the way back in.

Aug:20a European news

In the mens race Tim Don was 5th, AJ 9th and Stuart Hayes 10th while for the women Liz Blatchford was 14th, Leanda Cave 16th and Helen Lawrence 25th. Tim has been training hard out at AJ's place in Switzerland (Liz Blatchford has been there too) and with their major focus on the Worlds in Gamagori it was just bad timing that the Europeans fell at exactly at the wrong point in the schedule if you want to peak for the Worlds.

BTA Chair, Jasmine Flatters, has been elected to the executive board, BTA Vice Chair Clive Faine was elected to the development committee and CEO, Norman Brook elected to the audit committee. Paul Groves was elected to the technical committe and Veronica Vleck to the medical and science committee. Graeme Kempson sadly appears not to have been able to retain his position as treasurer.

Aug:20 Sherborne update

The bikes are being racked, the bags are being handed in and the briefing is due to start within an hour. In short, it's too late to start worrying about whether you've done the training! Tomorrow morning, and we are keeping all the fingers crossed that there's no repeat of the mist on the lake, at 0600 the best part of 1,500 athletes will start in the UK Ironman. The broadband bus is on site, IronmanLive.com will be providing live race updates and commentary and we will be adding local comment on this site throughout the day. Good luck to everyone!

Aug:18 A long, hot weekend

Hot as in action packed -- we sincerely hope that it isn't too hot or there will be a lot of suffering folk out there! First we have the European Championships in Lausanne where the GB crew are already in residence and feeding back information and then there's the UK Ironman at Sherborne where many friends of this website are racing their first full-distance WTC-sanctioned event on home soil. If all goes according to plan we'll be reporting direct from race HQ where we have been promised a broadband-equipped media bus to work from so we hope to be posting updates during the day.

Aug:15 More updates

At the European Cup race at Lough Neagh in Ireland Richard Allen picked up Silver with Kevin Clark 4th, Fraser Cartmell 6th, Andrew Fargus 9th, Alistair Brownlee 11th, Michael Cornes 20th, Philip Wylie 22nd, Chris Rhodes 23rd and Clayton Payne 26th. Catriona Morrison went one better with Gold, Alice Hector was 4th, Carol Thain 6th and Georgie Rutherford 7th. [UPDATE: Katie Westwood finished 8th, apologies for missing her off the original list.]

At the Long Course race in Fredericia we neglected to congratulate Eldrydd Davies and Jeannie Fry on their age group Gold medals. Geoff Gearing got a Silver while Ruth Elliott, Sue Allen and Stephen Walton picked up Bronze. Full results on the Ultimate Timing website.

Aug:14 Weekend round-up

We snuck off for a few days R&R so here's a round-up of things we might have missed:

At the ITU World Cup in Tiszaujvarous Anneliese Heard was 5th, Kerry Lang 11th and Andrea Whitcombe 15th.

If you watched the London coverage on the BBC you'll now know that it's perfectly OK to wear your MP3 player in a race as long as you can tell the BBC reporter what you were listening to... Mmmm, wonder if the ref has retrospectively DQd that athlete... We also wonder if the BTA will be formulating new rules to try to prevent elite athletes from employing domestiques -- unlikely, we feel, as it would probably be restraint of trade and, anyway, the BTA themselves seem to be sanctioning it in international competition...

Oh, and if you want to see some pictures of London, Brian Cameron has posted loads of pictures online.

One week to go to IMUK and according to Metcheck it looks like the weather could be warm. While the age group competitors seems to be buzzing with excitement judging from all the chatter on the various online groups there seems to be little in the way of pro-level activity. Last time we saw a list there were just 13 men and 8 women going after the two Hawaii slots per gender and the prize money which is stacked down to 10th place. The IMUK website is currently offline (looks like a server problem as several of its companion sites are also missing) so we are unable to verify the current lists but we'll be checking in with race HQ in the morning for an update.

It seems as though the kind person who sent us news of the National Relays was a little inaccurate: the BRATs may have beaten the Army in the morning but Team SABAR stuffed them in the afternoon! Full results are online on the event website.

The 20th running of the Sevenoaks Triathlon is going to be a full house as the entries are now all taken.

Aug:09 Another London update

Remember to set those videos and PVRs for the London Triathlon's showing on Grandstand this weekend -- you'll want to be paying close attention to the mens race. If the reports that we have been getting are true you'll see Stuart Hayes sitting in the lead group of three and not taking his turn at the front during the bike. Now, in most races this would cause sharp words to be spoken but it seems as though Stu was prepared to pledge a decent percentage of his winnings to the other two to get him round and set him up for a clear run. Now there's nothing against this in the rules but it's a bizarre situation where the winner ends up taking home less prize money than Craig Walton who came second -- Craig picked up his cheque plus a big chunk of Hayes' and the bonus for winning the pairs race with Snowshill.

There's been a lot of talk about this idea of getting a team to pull together to put a contender in with a chance at a major title such as the Olympics or World Champs but this is the first time that we have known it happen quite so blatantly for a cash prize race. Given that Richard Stannard is going out to the Worlds as, essentially, the GB domestique we wonder whether we might have witnessed the start of a whole new phase in the game that is triathlon.

Oh, and their website is still falling over so try this page for the full results...

Aug:09 From the frozen north

Thanks to Nick Campbell for this list of GB and Ireland finishers at the Norseman Xtreme Tri in Norway: 34th Nick Rose, 40 John Hey, 76 Paul Veitch, 104 Tony Fisher, 118 Dave Baker, 122 Nick Campbell, 127 Jan Isdahl, 128 Andrew Smith. All now proudly wear the black finishers shirts. See the race website for details -- sounds cold and tough!

Aug:08 World Long Course

Results from the ITU World Long Distance Championships held in Fredericia, Denmark (home of the legendary jellyfish...) put Abigail Bayley in 7th place with Bella Comerford 11th and Rachel Horn 13th which was enough to give them team Gold ahead of the USA and Denmark. Anne Fallows was 33rd and both Sara Gross and Louisa Edmonston were DNF. For the men, Stephen Bayliss was 13th, Russell Kober 23rd and Nick Saunders 31st.

Aug:08 London update

Looks like the strain of dealing with 8,000 competitors looking for results has taken their website offline...

Aug:08 National Relays

We understand that the BRATS secured a convincing win over the Army with Farnham Tri placing 3rd at the National Relay Championships. Despite a big effort, the Army Team led by Phil Marland could not make up the 3 minutes advantage gained by a strong BRATS team. The Army took its revenge the following day at the National Team Time Trial when the combined efforts of Adrian Clark, Phil Marland, Chris Biddulph and Stu Scott secured a convincing victory to secure the 2005 title.

Aug:07 How close was that?

A dead heat is one think but at the Hamburg ITU World Cup today no less than three athletes crossed the line at the same time!!! The race jury eventually gave the win to Filip Ospalay (CZE) with Reto Hug (SUI) second and Sven Reiderer (SUI) third. Andrew Johns is shown as a DNF after T2.

At London the mens race went to Stu Hayes with Craig Walton (AUS) second and Tim Don 3rd while for the women Emma Snowshill took first with Leanda Cave second and Liz Blatchford 3rd.

Aug:06 Busy weekend: Part 1

The London Triathlon is well underway and the elite women have just raced at Hamburg where Sam Warriner (NZL) stepped up from her second place at Salford last week to take the big prize while Catriona Morrison placed 5th. Full details are on the ITU website. Salford has just been shown on BBC Grandstand and, from what we saw, looked to be another class presentation of the sport. Despite the decent weather there looked to be fewer people on the ground -- despite being there I spent 95% of the time in a bunker and hardly saw the outside world at all so it was hard to get a feel for the size of the crowd on the day.

Also taking place this weekend are the National Relays up at Holme Pierrepont.

Aug:04 Races with spaces

The organisers of the Tuska Triathlon which is on Aug-21 in Porthcawl, South Wales still have spaces available. For more information see the Pencoed Tri website.

Jul:31 It's dry!!!

What a result!!! Liz Blatchford wins from Sam Warriner (NZL) with Helen Tucker in 3rd, Leanda Cave 4th and Helen Lawrence rounding out the top 5. Michelle Dillon placed 7th with Andrea Whitcombe 9th and Karen Sindall 33rd.

In the mens race Tim Don took 3rd behind Frederic Belaubre (FRA) and Filip Ospalay (CZE) with AJ 6th, Stu Hayes 7th, Will Clarke 15th, Richard Allen 20th, Andrew Fargus 24th, Richard Stannard 25th, Cartmell Fraser 34th, Dann Brook 48th, Harry Wiltshire 53rd and Paul Amey a DNF.

All the results are on the ITU website.

Jul:30 A very special place

For all that we moan about the rain in Salford -- and the forecast says we'll have good weather this year so please do come and watch -- there's something very special about coming back here every year. The team that was put together for the Commonwealth Games make this event run like clockwork: the barriers are in place, the dressing is done, the elite athletes are in town and all that remains is for the age groupers to register and the show can begin. And, talking of shows, the BBC seem to have scheduled the race for 80 minutes next weekend so even if you can't get into town you should get to see some superb coverage.

Jul:28 Army wins the Inter Services

The Army secured the top podium places in the Inter Services Triathlon at Tallington Lakes on Jul-27 with Tom Lowe taking first, Mark Livesey second and Rich Hunt third. Top female and male team honours were also awarded to the Army. A full set of results will be available on the RAFTA website in the next few days.

Jul:27 Off to the North...

Time for the annual pilgrimage to the UK Mecca of triathlon... ...Salford Quays. We are decamping to what the forecast suggests may be the sixth wet weekend on the trot so we're packing the brolly as well as the shorts! Mind you, we feel a bit guilty really as we seem to spend most of the time stuck inside the nice Digital World building getting the results up on the Internet in as close to real time as it's possible to do so we do get to stay snug and dry while the race is on. Wave through a window at us if you're passing. For event information see the Salford website. UPDATE!! -- looking at Metcheck seems to indicate that we might actually NOT be getting rain this year!! If the day is as fine and dry as the forecast suggests then let's see if we can get the sort of crowds we had for the Commonwealths. We would love to see that car park fill up again and with the big screen there should be an excellent coverage of all stages of the race.

Jul:27 Banks racing to Paris

There's a lot of events raising money for charity but two of the investment banks; Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and Morgan Stanley, have decided to run a relay triathlon from London to Paris. Following in the footsteps of Eddie Ette (who still holds the record) and a handfull of others the two six-person teams will run from London to Dover, swim to Calais and then cycle to Paris. The scheduled window for the race is Aug-23 to Sep-03 and funds raised will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust and supporting Age Concern.

Jul:25 Brits abroad

Catriona Morrison may have been the sole GB representative at the Edmonton ITU World Cup but she produced a career best to finish 7th. Next week sees the ITU circus move over here to Salford and the field looks like the strongest ever fielded in the UK. Plus, to add some local spice, it's also the BTA's Elite National Championships so double honours are at stake. Salford information is on their website and we hope that the ITU website will be feeding live audio coverage of the race and live results.

Over in Greece the Juniors have been making their mark with Oliver Freeman retaining his European title and Rosie Clarke picking up her first international medal with a Bronze. The ladies Youth team raced today and took Gold in the team relay event, no news yet on the mens race. Full report on the BTA website.

Jul:15 Llanelli cancelled

We just received the following from the organisers:

It is with huge regret that we have to inform you of the Cancellation of the Llanelli Millennium Coastal Park Triathlon on July 17th. The Environment Agency had carried out water tests at the North Dock and discovered green/blue algae present. This algae releases toxins which can be harmful to humans. The decision has been taken by the Public Protection section of Carmarthenshire County Council to close the North Dock. This is a decision which as Race Organiser I fully support as your Health at the end of the day has to be placed above everything else.

The situation has arisen due to a burst sewerage pipe out at Llanelli Beach which has meant the Docks could not be flushed and re-filled. The water in the North Dock had been stagnant for a while and this warm weather has assisted the growth of the algae.

Many months of preparation and cost had been put in for this event and everything was ready to go, so your disappointment is shared by myself. So what next - Next Year's Triathlon has already been set at May 21st and I would like to think that many of you would now wait to see whether this fitted in with your race calendar for next year. If not a full refund will be provided to all entrants up to 1 month prior to May 21st 2006.

A copy of the Council's Press Release can be found on our website www.llanellitriathlon.org.uk later this evening.

Once again a sincere apology - and the T-shirts looked great as well.

Jul:17 Another GB double!!

The Don has added a third World Cup win this year with a victory at Corner Brook while Andrea Whitcombe won the womens race! Another great day for GB's elite. Other GB athetes were Richard Stannard (10th) and Michelle Dillon (5th) with Catriona Morrison showing as a DNF (mechanical rather than medical, we understand). Full results on the ITU website.

At the inaugural ITU Duathlon World Cup race, also at Corner Brook, Caroline Kloiber won the womens race while Annie Emmerson took Silver and now leads the World Rankings with the points gained from her Long Course Bronze.

Will Clarke placed 6th at the European Under 23s in Sophia while Helen Tucker took third to secure another GB podium spot.

Jul:17 National Championships delayed by fog

Not entirely clear on the details but we hear that the National Age Group champs were delayed by fog on the lake and then run with a reduced swim leg. Results are on the Team Outrageous website.

Jul:16 Brits abroad

Congratulations to AJ and Helen Lawrence on topping the podium at the Holten Premium European Cup race, full results are on the ITU website. Leanda Cave, Liz Blatchford and Stu Hayes all raced at the Lifetime Fitness event (which got coast to coast coverage on NBC). Check their website to unravel the slightly complicated results - men get handicapped against the women in a race for a share of the $500,000 prize.

The Corner Brook ITU World Cup is on Sunday with a collection of Brits headed by Tim Don looking to make their mark before Salford in two weeks.

Jul:11 Fancy a free race?

Richard Stannard is having trouble finding women... ...to do the Loch Ness Adventure race on July 24th... Basically he needs two English ladies who want to have a serious go at the event and the bonus is that you'll get travel and accommodation paid for. There's also room for an Irish man and two Irish women as well. Obviously you'll need all the kit including a mountain bike but it does seem a golden opportunity and who knows, you might even end up in the prizes.

For more information contact Richard by email on [email protected] or John Caine of Nova at [email protected]

Jul:10 Brits abroad

Andrew Johns picked up 3rd place at Echternach today with Alun Woodward in 7th, Richard Allen in 8th, Grant Filmore in 16th, Gavin SMith 25th, Clayton Payne 27th and Andrew Gush 46th.

In the womens race Tanja Slater just missed the podium with 4th, Alice Hector was 10th.

Jul:05 Playing catch-up

If you did the Royles Deva Triathlon or Deva Divas Womens Triathlon at the weekend you can find photos online at www.shaunoconnell.com. You'll also find pictures for the Tadcaster events there as well.

Stuart Heade, who races for Swim Bike Run, is riding from Lands End to John O Groats in 7 days to raise money for charity. For full details visit www.justgiving.com/heade.

The Yarrow Valley Duathlon on Aug-21 will be charging an additional £5 for entries received after Aug-06.

Entries are still being taken for the Llanelli Millennium Coastal Park Triathlon on Jul-17. The venue recently staged the British Youth and Junior Champs and was highly praised by all athletes. There is also a cash prize pot of £2500 which will be allocated equally to the first ten male and female athletes across the finishing line. For further details on the race visit www.llanellitriathlon.org.uk.

Jul:04 Austria thread

Home, at last

Thanks to all those who wished Jen well and especially to those providing on-course support and extra, extra especially to Steve Belt who, as at Denmark in 2001, helped her through the second half of the run to shatter her previous time and record a 13:30:03 which was 30 minutes better than even her most optimistic predictions. Normal service on the website will resume tomorrow once our spambox has been emptied!

The gun has gone... -- Posted by webmasters on Sunday, July 3 2005

OK, so now we know why this is regarded as one of the VERY best events to come to. Hugely athlete friendly and very spectator friendly as well, the whole Strandbad area was pulsing with music and life from 6am. Food and drink everywhere to ward off the early morning chill - possibly not quite the food an athlete would want but they were dishing out PowerBars/Gels as well as the chocolate croissants... Great view of the start from the piers and an incredibly well behaved pro line up in the water ahead of the masses who waited on the beach for the gun.

No huge dramas so far except for the lone athlete still trying to pluck up the courage to go in as the lead athletes did their run around the beach and headed off for the second swim loop. We don't know whether they did finally start... [Apparently an Irish lady and, no, sadly she didn't get it together for the swim] Hats off to Steve Belt, the only guy to go it in trunks alone and one of only a handful who went without suits in the 23 degree water.

The leaders are well off the bike and onto the run while our personal interest athlete is on her third and final bike lap looking quite happy with her progress so far. The online splits system is working as well as the sound systems around the course -- both are pumping out volume, big time! It's hard to relate this to the atmosphere of ay UK event: Windsor on steroids, Salford for the Games in 2002, perhaps a few others like the old Ironbridge but it's hard to see Ironman UK replicating this sort of atmosphere at Sherborne -- although we can but hope...

Shirley Yarde, stalwart of the long distance brigade topped out her 45-50 age group so major honours there for the massige GB contingent and I'm sure there are more but the trek too and from the beer tent (ooops, sorry, the IT tent, are beginning to take their toll and the main focus of my attention should be finishing within the hour for a seriously updated PB so forgive me if we go offline and updates will resume when we get back to the UK on Tuesday.

Austria update -- Posted by webmasters on Saturday, July 2 2005

The race briefing is just getting underway in English and there's 20 hours to go before the priest (yes, they get a sermon on the beach...) gives his blessing and the race is started. The weather yesterday was miserable, it just rained the whole day, but today is brighter with broken cloud and the sun is trying to make an appearance. The forecast for tomorrow is 25 degrees and dry -- and no wind either. According to the information we have about the technology it looks as though the web feed will be the same for both on-course information as well as that for those looking in online. The ironmanaustria.com site has links to the race timing system or you can use the ironmanlive.com site which links back to everything.

Austria - all ready to go -- Posted by webmasters on Friday, July 1 2005

This is how an Ironman race should be! Even considering the huge effort that was put into the Commonwealth Games in Salford and the subsequent World Cup events it's hard to compare that to the mobilisation of the entire town and all the outlying villages to make this race happen. With a race budget of 1.7million Euros and over 2000 volunteers it's going to be really interesting to see how this all shakes down on race day - all the Brits we have met so far are really impressed and many are making a return trip, either because they enjoyed it so much the first time or because they have unfinished business.

Besides the huge GB age contingent there are two elites due to race here, or at least we think there are... Jess Draskau Peterseon is down on the list but shown as being Danish while there's a Richard Jones listed but he's down as being Austrian...

Tomorrow is briefing and racking plus the Hypo Kids race - last night we had the Company Triathlon which would have had a UK referee in stitches: reversed helmets, unfastened helmets, one guy biking in just Speedos - no shoes or helmet!

We will try to get some updates online during the race on Sunday from this rather nice little public access terminal that's been set up in the Expo area but for the real deal you can follow it all live on the ironmanlive.com site. Jen's number is 423 for anyone who wants to cheer her on in cyberspace.

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