It’s been a while since we heard from our resident Jet Set Super Vet (JSSV), Stuart Lumb.
And that – hands up, guilty! – is the fault of this Editor, who has been rather slow in getting Stuart’s latest update online. Here, finally, we’re back up to date…
In his latest piece, Stuart sings the praises of a local triathlon event to him, the Goole Triathlon (website) which he took part in this summer, an event he describes as the best money triathlon around.
In an arena increasingly dominated by mass participation and commercial events, there are still plenty of alternatives out there to mix up your own porfolio of races. Variety is the spice of life as they say.
If you have overlooked your own local, smaller-scale club events, perhaps you should think again?
Biggest is not always the best…
The sport of triathlon is riding the crest of a wave, cemented by our great Team GB results in Rio, with three medals coming back to God’s Country – say no more. Hence, there has been an explosion in the number of outfits putting on events, some quite a lot more expensive than others… but you pay your money and you take your choice.
In my book, the best value for money is the Goole Triathlon.
Why? Well, it’s local, cost a mere £15 to enter (and that includes an extremely attractive T-shirt), and starts at the civilised time of 9.30am.
The Goole Tri Club is a dedicated group of enthusiastic individuals, with one member – photojournalist Sean Stewart – in particular, spending hours cleaning up litter off the event route and badgering the council to fill in pot holes, and they all do a great job in running such a successful race.
The event itself is a sprint, comprising a 500m river swim, 12km bike split and a 5km run. A slight downside is the split transition, but for just £15… T1 is a small field at the rear of a well-appointed hotel, with bikes being racked… on the grass.
The swim takes place in the river Derwent, its claim to fame being that it rises only 10 miles from the sea near Scarborough but then winds itself west and south for 70miles before finally joining the Ouse, near Howden.
Competitors walk 500m upstream from T1, avoiding (not always), the cowpats to the swim start.
The river is pretty narrow and so athletes are set off in small groups at timed intervals. After 500m swimmers clamber out up the steep river bank – marshalls haul the less able (me!) up by means of a stout rope – and it’s into T1 and on to the bike (with grateful thanks to sponsor DuPont for my Lazer helmet and ultra cool new Oakley photochromics).
The 12km bike is flat, on road surfaces some very much in need of new tarmac. The course takes riders over the old Ouse swing bridge and there’s time to check out the huge and quite stunning road bridge that carries the M62 over that same river. T2 is in the village of Hook and there are racks here for the bikes.
The run is an out-and-back 5k. It starts on tarmac, followed by a route along the grassy river bank, terminating back in Hook. I was well down the field – nothing new for JSSV – but I started my swim to the rear of the field plus a road accident stopped me doing a decent bike split. Even so, I was able to tow a fellow sufferer along which helped both our run splits.
At the finish I was given my goody bag which included a nice medal plus the aforementioned T-shirt of course. I was salivating by this time – not through my exertions – but due to the mouth watering aroma of frying bacon. Like the Queen, I carried no money but a very kind gentleman took pity on me and gave me a delicious bacon butty FOC. What a star!
The prizes were presented by the Mayor of Goole after which I collected my bike and rode at a leisurely pace back to T1, which was where I’d left my car. It’s worth mentioning that the organisers run a shuttle bus which takes bikes up to T1, allowing competitors to park near the finish, plus that same bus brings back the wetsuits from T1 to the finish.
In conclusion, I had a great time competing in the Goole Triathlon. It’s run by a fantastic bunch of guys who do it all for nowt. Weatherwise, it was hot enough to “crack t’flags” (for non –Tykes , not the cloth variety), which is a bonus for me, plus I am not writing my usual stuff about coming in as Lanterne Rouge.
Being a small friendly event there were quite a few first timers competing so I hope their experience of our great sport was a good one and it will wet their appetite to compete again in the near future – and at next year’s event: Sunday 16th July 2017.