Last weekend saw a full two days of events for KLTC members. Situated all over the country, from the stunning Lake District to Rutland waters, and Blenheim Palace.
Chris Playford, Alistair Doig, Arthur Sargeant, Ian Kidman, four of KLTC’s toughest endurance athletes and ironmen travelled to the lake district to tackle a very unique triathlon. Helvellyn is the third highest peak in the UK, described as one of the toughest triathlons in the world. The whole event, run by TriHard takes place on, around, up, and over one of nature's wonders.
The fantastic four Swam 1500m in the crystal clear waters of Ullswater, Cycled 38 miles (61km) through the narrow and twisty Lakeland roads including the infamous "Struggle" to the top of the Kirkstone Pass, a total climb of 1489ft over 2.5miles, concluding with a grueling 9 mile (15km) run course up and down Helvellyn itself. Classed as one of the highest fell paths in the UK, it contains rough trail paths, rocks, and a total climb of 3118ft. Due to possible freezing temperatures at the top, cloud, and rain, all competitors took a basic survival kit as standard. Foil blanket, map for self-navigation, whistle, and self hydration.
Final results for the foursome saw Kidman home first. After a very strong ride, improving his average bike speed by 1mph since he last tackled this event. Kidman ran an impressive 04:45:45.
Playford, trying his best to catch Kidman, was happy to pip Doig to the finish line in 05:22:27. Overall he felt he had a good race, and was pleased with his running performance as " being a Norfolk boy, this was hard to train for" he quoted.
Doig after many minutes of training over the last 2 days before the event... came in 05:29:30. He found the whole event “stunning and awful at the same time” Enjoying the swim mass start and an incident-free cycle leg.
Sargeant drove the bike course and walked a couple of miles of the run route on the Saturday, quickly realising he'd never rode or ran a route like it. He set his first Helvellyn finish time to beat at 06:04:48.
"The swim was okay, bit short and crowded but the bike had everything, steep climbs, fast downhills and the 'Struggle' man was that hard, it just kept going and going, but l said to myself before the race, take your time don't stop and make sure you look around as the scenery is beautiful. l thought at the top my quads were going to explode, unbelievable pain but l didn't stop and the elation was amazing. l then had the 13% downhill part back to transition, riding on the edge! so exciting and so chuffed l had done it"
"The run was the hardest sporting event l had ever done. After initial mile or so of road and gravel track, it just went up and up. Every step you worked for, and at the top of Helvellyn, we had to physically climb a ridge which one of the runners said looks like the devil's spine, an apt description. If you slipped and fell you were in serious trouble, but the buzz was amazing! At the top l made sure l stopped and looked back at where l had come from and the surrounding view was absolutely spectacular! The whole event was amazing, when l crossed the finish line l couldn't believe what l had done, so pleased!"
Starting out on her swim, bike, run journey, a brand new triathlete was born in the form of Julie Barrow.
Barrow took part in her first-ever triathlon at Blenheim Palace. Entering at sprint distance 750m /19.8km/5.4km. Boasting as the birthplace of Winston Churchill, thousands of participants raced through the beautiful grounds of the 17th-century, world heritage status palace.
Barrow set a personal benchmark of 01.49.25 and was the 359 female out of 2227. She thoroughly enjoyed the swim and bike but mentioned it was a little too warm for the run.
Barrow will be continuing to train, and hone her discipline skills at the upcoming Great Yarmouth triathlon.
Back closer to home, Ian Webster tackled the Vitruvian Triathlon, a middle distance triathlon based around Rutland Water. A beautiful 2 lap, 1.9km sheltered swim in Whitwell creek, a varied 84km bike course around the Rutland countryside, and a stunning 21km lakeside run. Webster set a time of 06:29:16, 14th in his age category. Although finding the bike hard, he improved his time overall at this distance.