TRIATHLON: Belvoir Tri Club members enjoy busy weekend of racing

Helvellyn conquerers, from left -  Gerry Hyde, Kyle Fisher, Chris Pugh, Louise Hyde, Mark Wilson, Blake Hutchinson, Patrick Cutmore and Ove Andresen.
Helvellyn conquerers, from left - Gerry Hyde, Kyle Fisher, Chris Pugh, Louise Hyde, Mark Wilson, Blake Hutchinson, Patrick Cutmore and Ove Andresen.

Brave Belvoir Tri Club members Catherine Davies and Louise Cann embarked on a very challenging, cold swim on a wet Saturday morning, with water temperature of just 16 degrees.

The Big Chill Swim was supported by more than 700 swimmers who swam a fully supported 5.25-mile length of Coniston Water, in the Lake District. The route started at the south of the lake and finished at the north shore end. After the first mile swimmers were kept within approximately 50 metres of the shore and event buoys and support craft directed swimmers on their journey.

Catherine Davies, minutes after finishing The Big Chill Swim.

Catherine Davies, minutes after finishing The Big Chill Swim.

Catherine finished in a time of 2hr 53min and Louise recorded 3:15.

Catherine said: “It was immensely enjoyable and very relaxed. Finishing, I was in a bit of a daze. It’s odd to suddenly be upright and in the real world again after enjoying the serenity of swimming. It was definitely one of my most memorable experiences.”

Closeby, fellow ‘Beavers’ Mark Wilson, Ove Andresen, Gerry Hyde, Patrick Cutmore, Blake Hutchinson, Chris Pugh, Kyle Fisher and Louise Hyde took part in one of the toughest triathlons in the world – Helvellyn Triathlon.

The triathlon commenced with a one-mile swim in the clear Ullswater, a chilly start to the race at only 13 degrees, followed by a tough 38-mile bike ride consisting of many challenging twisty roads and steep hill climbs. Notably the bike route included the infamous ‘Struggle’, a 2.5-mile climb to the top of the Kirkstone Pass from Ambleside.

Bike handling skills were taken to the limit as athletes descended Kirkstone Pass.

On completion of the bike, a gruelling nine-mile trail trek up Helvellyn faced everyone. The run was a mix of track, fell and road and a gruelling climb to the top of Helvellyn at 3,118ft with a run down the mountain to the finish line.

Results: Mark Wilson 4:41, Ove Andresen 4:49, Gerry Hyde 5:03, Patrick Cutmore 5:16, Blake Hutchinson 5:19, Chris Pugh 5:24, Kyle Fisher 6:03, Louise Hyde 6:05.

Belvoir Tri winner Mark commented: “It really was an epic day, climbing up the struggle on the bike, then struggling up and down Helvellyn on the run made it a race to remember.”

Louise, the only female Belvoir Tri competitor, said: “In terms of difficulty, on a scale of 1-10, it would be an 11, and an amazing day to remember. I can’t believe I did it.”

Closer to home, Belvoir Tri Club members Des Friel, Louise Perry, and Andrea Burnham took part in the Clumber Park Novice Triathlon which was aimed at those who are new to the sport or those who have completed pool events but have not yet ventured into open water.

This was a sprint distance event with a 21k bike and a 5k run, however, because going from a pool event with a 400m swim to open water with a 750m swim might be too big a step for some people, a choice of both distances was offered.