Ironman UK

Sunday, 16th July 2017

Several Blue Suits were among the 2040 field that undertook ultimate test of athletic endurance today – the Ironman UK competition.

Held on our doorstep in Bolton again – a great exhibition of the town’s best side, the feat involves swimming 2.4M in Pennington Flash’s cold water, biking 112M over two laps in gusty headwinds, and running a full 26.2M marathon in warm conditions along Chorley New Road.

Paul Trainor was the first to cross the finishing line. A steady swim, two sub-10 minutes transitions and just over 6 hours on the bike launched him into the marathon. Remarkably consistent pacing produced a stupendous sub-4 trot to finish in 196th position and a clock of 11:19:36!

Coach Dean Johnson only took up swimming 18 months ago, but showed he’s a quick learner with 1:22 in the water. Ironically, the run was clearly the hardest part, with the metaphorical wall being hit at around 25km. Thankfully, the timely location of the feed station and its gel packs, and encouragement from daughter Abby, who jogged alongside him for a mile or so, saw him recover composure and put the struggles behind him; 345th place was collected in 3 minutes over the half-day mark – which was as predicted for being 35-40 minutes behind Paul!

He commented, “What a day – it makes you proud to be a Boltonian. To the crazy clowns up Sheephouse who provided much support and humour to the Tour de France-style Babylon Lane lot, the hoards of people on Chorley New Road and the masses of folk in the town centre providing much noise and support, I salute you all. Also a massive thanks to Ironman – what an event, just keep it in Bolton…always!”

Ady Fisher stuck to her pre-race plan with a good swim and bike leg just over 8 hours. A well-judged jog saw her take the cheers of the crowd in Victoria Square in 1375th overall (171st in the women’s race).

Other BUH&AC members participated sporting the colours of their tri training groups. Cherry Collison would have placed significantly higher but for a puncture and wheel damage affecting her bike ride, whilst Tony Warham looked at ease on his favoured running element. Congratulations to them all!

BUH&AC times:
Paul Trainor – 11:19:36 (Swim: 1:13:20, Bike: 6:04:00, Run: 3:42:54)
Dean Johnson – 12:03:12 (Swim: 1:22:10, Bike: 6:15:17, Run: 4:08:01)
Adrienne Fisher – 15:04:13 (Swim: 1:25:57, Bike: 8:03:12, Run: 5:10:57
Cherry Collison – 13:01:30 (Swim: 1:14:38, Bike: 6:52:41, Run: 4:36:15)
Tony Warham – 12:23:07 (Swim: 1:30:56, Bike: 6:48:30, Run: 3:44:21)


Welsh Athletics International

Wednesday, 12th July 2017

Having discovered that the Triple Jump is an event that Blue Vest Georgia Lever appears to have taken to like a duck to water, it was fantastic news that she was invited to represent England North in Cardiff today. The evening event was a competition between five teams: England North, England South, England Midlands, Wales, and a Welsh National schools team.

The competitors in each event were chosen from the retrospective area champions, so provided a true reflection of some of the best U20 athletes in the country. Bearing in mind Georgia has only just started learning this discipline, it was a great privilege to take part in such a prestigious event. On collecting her England kit, she went about the process of preparing for her event which began at 19.15 in front of the main grandstand and, after being introduced to the crowd, the competition began.

It was a close affair throughout the rounds but all the athletes were down on their best performances, possibly due to the English Schools’ Championships at Bedford the weekend before, or in the case of Georgia, perhaps the six-hour car journey hadn’t helped. Georgia’s best jump came out at 11.27m, which earned her third place behind the ESAA Champion and the Welsh Champion, so a result she can be happy with.

Though primarily a jumper, Lever is also quite used to filling the 100m sprint events at YDL and Senior level for the Harriers as well as being an integral member of the 4 x 100m relay squad, so when the chance to compete in the England North 4 x 100m team arose, she jumped at the opportunity. Georgia took the first leg and didn’t disappoint with a faultless handover. The rest of the team, all sub-12 second runners, went on to smash the opposition by more than a second – it was a fitting end to a long day.

Though this was Georgia’s first event in an England Vest, it surely it won’t be her last.


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