Burnham Supersprint Triathlon – April 2011

Celia Miall

Celia Miall

by Celia Miall

The second Supersprint triathlon held at Burnham, organized
by Martin Rogers and Burnham Swim and Sports Academy. The weather was
absolutely perfect, which would have made it slightly easier for Martin, Andy and
Sara to get up at 2.30am to start setting up by 3am. There were road closures
to be put in place, courses and the bike compound to set up, and with the race
starting at 7am I imagine it was no mean feat.

The distances were 250m swim, 10k bike (3 laps of the sea front which was
closed to traffic) and a 2.5k run along the beach and promenade.

There were 14 WCT members competing, four of which, Malcom Simmons, Paulo
Nicodemi, Frances Palmer and Sarah Brown, were doing a triathlon for the very
first time.

Sarah was in the first wave, and really enjoyed the race; she looked very happy
coming off the bike onto the run and is going to write her version of events from
a first timer’s perspective.

Martin Pople and Jenny King went off in the 0745 wave, Jenny’s husband Graham
was also competing and her two children were doing the kids tri later that
morning so she had her hands full juggling everyone as well as racing herself.
However she said she had a great race, improving on last year’s time by an
incredible 6 minutes (and beating her husband)! Martin Pople also remarked
that he really enjoyed the race this time (unusual for him)!

Malcom Simmons, Julian Hodge and Jon Forsyth went off at 0810. Jon said he was
feeling unusually competitive as he’d done this race last year and he found the
bike laps on closed roads made it more tempting to pick off fellow competitors.
Julian looked very bleary eyed at registration, not surprising as his race
preparation normally involves a Saturday night down the pub! Julian is training
for Ironman later this year but has a leg injury, which caused him to struggle on
the bike and run. Mal is a regular swimmer with us, which was reflected with his
swim of 3.50, but he said his only bike rides are with the club once a month and
his run training is non existent, however he enjoyed the race but said he really
must do some more running!

Chris Rouse and new member Paulo Nicodemi were off next. Paulo, an ex
rugby player who has been challenged into doing triathlon by his brother has
overcome severe injury to begin his journey into the sport. A strong swimmer,
he went second in his lane and although Paulo was clearly swimming faster, the
competitor in front failed to let him pass, which Paulo with his competitive spirit
found rather frustrating! He completed the swim in an excellent 3.37 (the fastest
WCT swim of the day), then despite transition practice with us the previous
Monday Paulo performed a falling dismount off his bike, luckily this happened
to be in the dismount box so all was not lost! He said he struggled with the run

due to a painful calf but went onto finish in 38.19, 39th overall, 13th in age group,
not bad for a first try. Chris has had a consistent season so far, winning his age
category at both the last two aquathlons, as well as competing in the tough ten, a
half marathon and the humdinger, all of which he said were ‘fun’!(?)He finished
this event 30th overall, 7th in age group in 36.46.

Mark Farrell, one of Mike’s Friday night swimmers, also represented WCT and
completed the race in 41.01.

Another relatively new member, Mark Astbury, has relocated in Somerset,
previously doing triathlon in the South East. This was his first triathlon for 5
years, he flew the swim in 3.43, did the bike in 21.33 and the run in 11.08, a time
of 36.24 making him 6th in his age group, so a decent return.

Francis Palmer is a brand new WCT member who is only 15, and is graduating to
us having been a member of Burnham Tri Academy for two years. This was also
her first tri and she did really well winning the prize for her age group.

Jack Lovell, Kelly Pople’s son, had a good swim of 3.59, however on the bike he
was hindered by having to stop to vomit! He denied it was the wine and cider
from the night before… but he got back on and went onto finish the race!

Matt Cooke and me were in the penultimate wave, and we discussed before the
race who would have the upper hand! Matt has made consistent improvement
since his debut to triathlon and although I was beating him last summer I was
pretty sure he’d be faster than me this season. Matt’s swim time was 3.42, just
two seconds behind mine (I was hoping for more of a lead out of the swim!) then
he went onto thrash me on the bike, his split was 19.16, mine 19.48, then on the
run the difference was again two seconds with Matt having the advantage this
time! So our finishing times were Matt on 33.08, fastest WCT member of the day,
winning the prize for his age group, 9th overall and me on 33.40, 11th overall,
2nd Lady, beaten by former WCT member Alice Hector, who was 7th overall.
Embarrassingly, having helped Martin teach transition training last week, I
totally messed up my transition, I ended up doing the bike split with one shoe
undone and then lost my shoe in T2!! I think I’d better get some extra training
myself…!

All in all it was a superb start to the season, a great way to demonstrate to
novices how triathlon works, with the closed roads making a less stressful bike
leg, and the short distances making it less important to be so fit. For the more
experienced triathletes it’s good for sharpening up – and transition technique!

Click here for the full results