On the 6th of May the club made its annual exodus up to Calne for BUCS Triathlon Sprint, a pinnacle of our race calendar and a training goal for many members. This year we took 26 athletes, one of our biggest ever teams with many completing their first triathlon.
After several years of stormy weather, conditions this year were almost perfect, very little wind and clear blue skies, some may say too hot, temperatures hit 24°C in the afternoon. This helped contribute to some very fast times, with many PBs across our squad and the field of 502 competitors. The winning time this year came from Alex Yee of Leeds Becket University in a time of 1:01:10 over two mins faster than last year, testament to the fast conditions!
After a very early start at 5.45, the team and two vans full of bikes made it up to Calne, Wiltshire with the first EUTriC member starting at 9:15. The girls kicked off proceedings with waves starting throughout the morning. Charlotte Diffey, was first up, she had a fantastic swim leading out of the pool which set her up for a great race!
“Really happy to have finished my first ever triathlon and so proud to have finished in 1.39 considering this time last year I wouldn’t even ‘race’ a park run. As the first girl out the pool and onto the bike, as far as I’m concerned, I was winning the whole of Bucs for about 30 minutes! All in all, Bucs was a fabulous day, so glad to have been a park of the EUTRI team!” – Charlotte Diffey
Captain Ellen P-K lead by example, putting in a fantastic performance, improving on her own best time from last year by over a minute, she was a first girl home finishing in 1:23:46. Our second fastest time at BUCS ever! She helped the girl’s team (taken from the top 3 finishers) to finish 24th overall, a joint effort which Elise Metcalf put in a fantastic contribution. Elise finished our second fastest girl in 1:27:11, with Coral Hays showcasing her huge potential, rounding out our top 3 with 1:28:06.
“I was a bit nervous in the build up to BUCS as didn’t really know what to expect, but it ended up going really well and I’m thrilled with the results. My swim went better than anticipated and the transitions weren’t too disastrous. My favourite part was the cycle, and the run was definitely the toughest- heavy legs coupled with the heat was not ideal (and I was in an early wave so didn’t even have it that bad!). It was so nice that all the club were together cheering each other on, and true be told I’m pretty gutted I won’t be around next year to do it all over again!” – Elise Metcalf.
“As BUCS was many people’s first triathlon and so a huge learning curve for many of us but the sun was out, team spirits were high making it a really enjoyable day of justified procrastination! That said I think it’s safe to say us triathlon freshers have definitely caught ‘the bug’. As well as some amazing performances put out by everyone in the heat!” – Coral Hays
It was fantastic to see so many members competing at BUCS for the first time and for many it was even their first triathlon which makes their performances even more special. Among those Bizzy Watson had a brilliant first BUCS race rounded off by a massive run, only just short of her 5km PB time!
“Couldn’t have asked for better weather (at least for the morning waves!) Had hoped for a slightly better swim time, but really happy with the bike (even having to stop for cars) and the run legs (pun unintentional!) of the race. Gutted to have been my first and last BUCS Triathlon, was such a lovely day and was great having such a big team supporting. Don’t think I’ll take up van driving as a career though!” – Bizzy Watson
Completing her first ever Triathlon, just a few months after taking up triathlon, Claire had a great race, showing great potential for the future.
“I was pleased with my time as I just stared tri in January – I enjoyed the whole thing, especially the swimming and the adrenaline throughout!” – Claire Donnelly.
The boys followed in the afternoon, the rising temperature didn’t stop some brilliant performances across the team. The team finished in 18th overall (a huge improvement from 28th last year), headed by next year’s Captain, Seamus. He put in a brilliant effort to finish in 1:09:47. He narrowly edged out Finn Arentz who was on fine form ahead of his upcoming Ironman Races later this season, finishing in 1:09:53. The pair also places 2nd and 3rd on our all-time fastest BUCS list! Harry Preston, former club Captain and a BUCS veteran rounded out the top three with 1:13:03.
“I had a solid swim followed by a slightly chaotic but fast bike leg and a very hot-feeling run! Great day overall, sun meant that even the waiting around was quite enjoyable.” – Finn Arentz.
There were brilliant efforts from everyone in the boys’ waves from those doing there first BUCS like Oli who had a fantastic race, completing the route in 1:27:25, to those returning to BUCS like Andy.
“The swim was a bit of a frenzy with 6 people fighting in each lane (I imagine it was good training for the ‘argy bargy’ of an open water triathlon) but nonetheless enjoyable; the bike was by far the best bit with nice long flats; and the run was unforgiving in the heat. Overall a quality day out with the Club – Bleed Green!!!” – Oli Kent.
“There are definitely worse ways to spend a Sunday… massive efforts and support from everyone who went, and a big shout out to all those doing their first triathlons! Wall-to-wall sunshine meant perfect conditions for lounging about and when on the bike; slightly less perfect when it came to the run but living in England means we can never complain about too much sun. Pretty pleased that I managed to knock 5-6mins off last year’s time as well! In all, a great day out, revolving around doing sport and eating lots of food – what’s not to like?” – Andy Cox
Overall, it a was fantastic result for the club which showcased its strength in depth with some standout performances especially for members racing for the first time, displaying huge potential for the future. Thanks goes to all our drivers and especially Allan Truman, who got up super early to help drive for the girl’s waves and who’s race was prematurely ended by a puncture after a good swim. Again very proud of the club’s performance as a whole, we will let Captain Ellen have the last word.
“Really enjoyed my last ever BUCS! Great atmosphere and brilliant to see so many club members doing their first ever full triathlon! I set out to beat my time from last year and managed to do that so I’m happy with my race (slightly annoyed I gave away some time in transitions but oh well!). Overall, successful day for the club with some impressive times from the boys as well!” – Ellen P-K