Thank you to Elliot Smales for providing us with this race report. It was a fantastic day for the club with Sallyann Smith, Sylvia Yates and Sarah Harrison all taking age group wins. Stuart Harrod, Paul Shipley and Phil Kelly also had great races on one of the hottest days of the year – congratulations to all!
Shugborough Hall played host to Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire at the weekend with Numerous STC members competing in what can only be described as sweltering conditions. It was an early start for all with a 7am start at Chasewater.
I relied on my strong swim to take the lead and go out hard. A few athletes managed to come with me, including Harry Wiltshire, who shared the pace making throughout. I took the lead around the last bouy to exit the water first. Onto the bike I was in 2nd before 3 athletes tore past. I regained contact with Harry and Fraser Cartmell at around 5 miles before Phil Graves came tearing past to chase down the 2 leaders. We settled into our pace, alternating the lead until 2 more athletes caught us at around 15 miles. After this the 5 of us stayed together until T2, with a late pass coming from another athlete from behind with around 5 miles to go. Unfortunately Harry had to serve a penalty, effectively ending his race for the podium, as I joined the run course in 6th. I went off hard and moved into 3rd near the beginning of the 2nd lap of 3. I started to tire and knew the gap to 2nd was too much to close. Knowing I was safe from behind, I eased off to save as much as possible for Edinburgh 70.3 in 2 weeks time, and also to ensure I didn’t turn into a Brownlee jelly man in the heat.
The rest of the STC contingent raced superbly with Sylvia and Sally providing the most exciting race of the day, in my opinion, to finish within a minute and half of each other after such a tough days racing in brutal conditions.