The National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham once again saw the very best of the thriving UK triathlon club scene, as athletes competed for honours, pride and fun at the Triathlon England Club Relays Championship
It has long been a staple of the British triathlon club scene and long may it continue. OSB Events were celebrating the 25th anniversary edition of their Zoot Triathlon Relays event, which once again also hosted the Triathlon England Club Relays Championship, the penultimate TE National Championship of the 2016 season.
Saturday racing is held over the traditional format in Nottingham; teams of four with each athlete completing a 500m open water swim, followed by a three-lap, 15km ride and finishing off with a one-lap, 5km run each. Racing took place over two sessions, with the morning seeing competition in the Men’s and Women’s categories and the afternoon welcoming the Mixed Relay Championship entries, alongside lots of Open teams of all ages and abilities.
With 11 transitions for each team through their race, the event strapline of ‘organising chaos’ is quite appropriate – and yet everything does fall nicely into place. The traffic-free, rowing lake perimeter road provided a natural spectator viewing point all weekend, spoiled only by heavy rain during the Saturday afternoon session.
The fastest team on Saturday were Tri Camp TFN Race Team, who finished just one minute clear of RedVenom.co.uk after three hours of racing. They took Gold and Silver respectively in the Race Teams category.
Showing the way in the Club senior category were Army Tri, though the youngsters from Wrekin College Triathlon Club were incredibly impressive, setting the fourth fastest overall time to win the Male Junior Gold medals.
It was another forces team, this time RAF Triathlon, who showed everyone a clean pair of heels to defend their title in the Women’s senior event, while One Life Racing took all three podium spots in the female Junior race.
There was some incredibly close racing in the veteran categories. In the Female 40+, One Life Racing defended their title after a fine performance on the run, to close the gap that the Hillingdon Triathletes women had built during the swim and bike. At the finish the winning margin was just 40 seconds after almost four hours of racing.
The Male 50+ category was arguably the race of the day. The Gold medal went to Medway Tri who held that position throughout, but close behind them positions were changing all day. With just the final run to go, all of the podium positions were up for grabs. BRAT finished 1:22 behind Medway, but just 19 seconds in front of One Life Racing for the Silver and Bronze medals. Defending Vet 50+ champions Hillingdon Triathletes went faster than 2015 in finishing fourth, 16 seconds behind One Life Racing, with Army Tri and Black Country Triathletes also close behind too. It was fantastic strength-in-depth and incredibly close racing, worthy of Championship competition.
Leading the way home on Saturday afternoon were the juniors from the East Midlands Regional Academy/Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre.
In the senior Mixed category event, Wakefield Tri Club just got the better of RAF Triathlon, with Derby Triathlon Club and Tri Camp TFN Race Team taking home the Mixed 40+ honours.
Sunday racing was a much shorter and faster affair. Introduced in 2015, the morning ‘heats’ consist of team of four, with each athlete completing a super sprint 250m / 5km / 1.5km triathlon before handing over to their next team member. The fastest ten teams in each of the Men’s, Women’s, Mixed and Open categories progress to the final.
Starting at midday, the final is a Team Time Trial format with all four athletes racing together over 500m / 10km / 3km, with the time taken on the final athlete to cross the line ensuring that team work truly is required. To add to the tension, teams are set off at one-minute intervals, from slowest to fastest from the morning qualifier.
The result? You get to see exceptionally exciting racing that the athletes love competing in. Racing concluded with the Men’s event providing a fitting finale. The team of Zoot-Athlos Racing performed magnificently to set the pace. With just 1.5km to run, the time gaps indicated that they were neck-and-neck with Racetime Triathlon Club and just a few second behind the leaders (and fastest team from the qualifiers), Langdale Lightweights RT.
As Zoot-Athlos crossed the line exhausted, the stopwatches were set and 47 seconds later Racetime Triathlon Club crossed the line to take the lead by just 13 seconds, leaving just one team on the course. It wasn’t long until the team of Langdale Lightweights RT turned into the finish straight with enough seconds in hand to celebrate a hard-earned victory.
While defending men’s champions Jackpot Racing were relegated to sixth place this year, they did take the Gold medals in both the Women’s and Mixed Team Time Trial events.
Another fantastic weekend of triathlon action, welcoming everyone from the triathlon novice to senior international professionals. Mark this one on your calendar for 2017!
SATURDAY – Triathlon England Club Relay Championships
500m / 15km / 5km
MORNING EVENTS (Men / Women)
1st – Army Tri – 3:04:36
2nd – Durham University Triathlon Club – 3:07:10
3rd – Muckle CC Tri Team – 3:12:01
1st – RAF Triathlon – 3:29:14
2nd – Tyne Tri – 3:40:10
3rd – Derby Tri Club – 3:46:39
1st – Tri Camp TFN Race Team – 3:00:15
2nd – RedVenom.co.uk – 3:01:22
3rd – ERDINGER Alkoholfrei – 3:30:21
Junior Men: 1st – Wrekin College Triathlon Club – 3:05:45
Junior Women: 1st – One Life Racing – 4:02:49
Men 40+: 1st – Army Tri – 3:14:55
Women 40+: 1st – One Life Racing – 3:54:17
Men 50+: 1st – Medway Tri – 3:28:55
Women 50+: 1st – Worcester Triathlon Club – 4:11:59
AFTERNOON EVENTS (Mixed teams)
1st – Wakefield Tri Club – 3:27:04
2nd – RAF Triathlon – 3:27:33
3rd – Cambridge University Triathlon – 3:32:30
Mixed Junior: 1st – East Midlands Regional Academy – 3:14:47
Mixed 40+: 1st – Derby Triathlon Club – 3:49:25
Mixed 40+ Race Team: Tri Camp TFN Race Team - 3:31:27
SUNDAY – Triathlon England Team Time Trial Championships
Final: 500m / 10km / 3km
1st – Langdale Lightweights RT – 31:42
2nd – Racetime Triathlon Club – 32:15
3rd – Zoot-Athlos Racing Team – 32:28
1st – Jackpot Racing – 40:28
2nd – Medway Tri – 43:08
3rd – Tri2o Tri Club – 49:56
1st – Jackpot Racing – 34:03
2nd – East Midlands Regional Academy – 34:33
3rd – Racetime Triathlon Club – 36:29