On 26 August 2013 In Triathlon News

National Club Relays 2013 - the year of the cake

The portents were not good - weather forecast, car breakdowns, missed communications, chicken entrails - but against all odds, the BRAT Club triathlon teams competed magnificently, ferociously and ultimately successfully in the 2013 National Club triathlon Relays at Holme Pierrepont on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August.  Saturday morning dawned under leaden skys, but the rain stayed away and the wind was calm as the mixed teams took to the water and hammered it out.  Our mixed A team responded to the minor handicap of being a member down by doing double shifts and still clocking the fastest BRAT mixed team time of 3:21:23 - Dale was first out of the water and then swam again in 3rd spot, Hannah and Colin kept the pressure up, then Dale did a total of 6 laps on the bike instead of his usual 4, and Colin doubled up on the run, ably supported by Hannah.  The performances of our other mixed teams were fantastic - bragging rights went to Brattenburgs, followed by Brat Forest Gateau, Gingerbrat Men, Sticky Bratty Pudding, Apple and Bratbury Pie, Baked Bratlaska, Kitbrat, Bratjack and Bratberry Crumble.  Individual bragging rights went to Will Raiment for the lowest individual total time of 47:29, beating Chris Ashford (who raced in much more testing conditions on Sunday!) by 25 seconds with Colin Irvine a further 27 seconds back - a sprint tri showdown awaits perhaps?  Thanks to Leeds and Bradford Tri Club for the extra carbo loading on Saturday afternoon - pesto pasta and bread rolls - delicious and nutritious (just to reassure athletes that you can't have too much carbo loading while watching others do triathlon - it is a known fact).  Chant of the day (for Tessa who complained that no one cheered her on the bike - just because no one recognised her white BRAT tri kit) - "Blue hat, White top, Angry face, Blue hat, White top, Angry face" as she went past on the run...

In the afternoon, the wind got up a bit and just about blew all our tents over.  Our women's A team of Raiment, Rose, Taylor and Hawtin put in a superb effort but just missed out on the podium by one place (77 seconds behind, total 3:28:48), followed by our women's vet 40+ team and Bratberry Pavlova.  The testing conditions persisted for the men's teams on Sunday morning, but here we saw some performances of heroic status.  The aptly named men's A team (aka BRAT Women's Vet team??!!) had members from the north (Mark Fulwood and Tom Anderton), the south (Rich Lomas) and central (Chris Ashford) - a truly representative BRAT team - and they all performed consistently well to come in Runners Up in one of the premier categories of the National Championships only 83 seconds behind the winners - the best ever performance by a BRAT team in this category (total time 3:15:20)!  The Brattie Dodgers ran in next and then came the team performance of the whole weekend: the Men Super Vets A team (Washy, Geggie, Hirschy and Ballard) who slaughtered the opposition by nearly 5 minutes (3:28:49) to regain the National Championships in this category - well done guys!  Pannabratta was next, followed by Bratoffee Pie, and Creme Bratle.  The bragging rights for the oldest team, however, went to Apple and Bratbury Pie, with a combined age well in excess of 220 years (significance of 220??!) - the men's vet 50+ team were just babes in comparison.  The courage award goes to Simon Pearsall who ordered his wife to hold back on the imminent delivery of their baby until after his race was finished - brownie points to make up there, son!  

Huge thanks to team captains Daisy Wilson and Russ Hall who put in enormous efforts to get the teams organised and entered, to keep everyone calm and informed on both days, and to think up the most original team names ever (although I am told a certain ElQ had something to do with the names too).  Much gratitude also goes to Chris and Mark Hirsch for their warm hospitality in hosting the post event BBQ.  I am reliably informed that the performances on the track during the day paled in comparison with the late night dancing afterwards. The 2013 NCR weekend is one to treasure!

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