On 26 June 2013 In Triathlon News

A cool and windy Sunday morning sets the scene for the inaugural Avenger middle distance triathlon.  Set within the stunning grounds of Ragley Hall just outside Alcester, Warwickshire, it had all the makings of a fast and exciting 70.3 race.

The BITS had decided some time ago that this was going to be one of their main events for 2013 and had, for many weeks prior to the race, been swimming in Ragley Hall lakes and cycling much of the 56 mile bike route as part of their Sunday morning rides.  It’s fair to say that most of the BITS had never been close to competing at such a distance (in fact 12 months ago many had never completed a triathlon!) and this served only to focus them on the task in hand.  With some specific race preparation, grotesquely unnecessary carbon equipment procurement and some of the most focused training banter seen for some time, the BITS were ready.

So as the first wave set off at 06:30, we were disappointed to see one the main contenders being fished out the lake and escorted off in an ambulance!  Fortunately it was only a touch of cramp but enough to put pay to James Parker’s dream of becoming an Avenger.   The rest of the BRAT/BITS field made steady progress out of the water onto a very windy bike course.

Paul Clarke rode his fabulously sparkly new bike to great effect but it was Steve Bainbridge who demonstrated why he has earned his place at the BRAT clubs cycling top table.  Steve put down a 2 hour 50 bike split, and after two failed attempts to rack his bike in transition, went out onto the run course with a few minutes to spare on the chasing BRAT/BITS pack.  

But, as many of us know only too well, you never quite know what will happen on the run.  Factor in some very uneven ground, a few very steep off road climbs and a torrential down pour or two and cue the unexpected. Paul worked hard and never tired whilst Steve felt his lead slip away with every lap. Paul eventually crossed the line in 05:24:21 to become the 1st BITS home, with Steve a mere two minutes later.

Credit must go to Peter Hawcroft and Craig Regan for solid performances, continual smiles and relentless joviality throughout.  Steve Lowe for going sub 6 hours.   Commiserations to Damo and Jorge for pulling up on the run course.  Huge respect to James Parker who stayed to cheer on his fellow BITS despite his race ending within the first 15 minutes of the swim.

All in all a great day and with a little more thought into the run course the Avenger has the makings of a very exciting middle distance race.

Thanks to Charlie Bamford for submitting this race report.

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On 20 June 2013 In Triathlon News

Many congratulations to BRATs Steve (Keenie) Titmarsh, Steve Faulkner (racing for Tri-1st), Richard Hindle and Dale Greenwood to took 1st, 3rd, 4th (2nd vet) and 8th in the recent "Big Sow" triathlon organised by Full Boar Events at Market Bosworth on 16th June.  Yes, that is a golden pig that you see tucked under Keenie's arm!  Although billed as a standard distance triathlon, the swim and bike distances (at least) were a little long, resulting in slightly slower overall times for the race.  Keenie is well known as a level 3 triathlon coach who is coordinating   coaching for the BITS group and providing coaching at a very popular swimming session (David Lloyd Bromsgrove - Monday evenings) as well as excellent individual coaching to a number of enthusiastic BRAT triathletes.  He is just about to undertake his first iron distance triathlon at the Outlaw in a few weeks.  Dr Steve Faulkner is a sport scientist and Rich Hindle is training to do a cross-channel triathlon relay with Parth Narendran and John this year - who said that the BRATs weren't crazy?

On 08 June 2013 In Triathlon News

First Report: over 200 competitors, superb organisation, 45 BRATs took part and at least that many again volunteered to support in marshalling, organising, drinks tables, music, tents etc.  Many thanks to the WM Water Ski Centre - venue superb again!

On 06 June 2013 In Triathlon News

In glorious sunny weather (the best we have ever had for a BRAT training aquathlon), Tona Walder, Mike Purnell and Chris Davy organised an excellent and well attended first aquathlon of 2013 at Barnt Green Sailing Club and Bittell Reservoir on Thursday 6th June.  James Cunningham put in a strong performance to lead a large field home (full results will be posted on the website in due course).  Our hosts  for the chilli evening were Lisa and Fred Rollins who cooked up a storm to make up for the calm waters of the reservoir, and Robin Brown, Chris and Barbara Pack behind the bar.  Huge thanks to all for a very entertaining afternoon.  The new BRAT Bad Buoys were welcomed, and will almost certainly be joined by further space hoppers in the near future (thanks to Dr Hirsch for the suggestion!).