Great race report below from David Stroud and Duncan Butterworth, both with excellent finish times in the Staffordshire Ironman 70.3 in June this year.
“After trying the Pont triathlon last year for fun we decided we needed to follow it up properly and before we knew it we were signed up for Staffordshire 70.3 or a middle distance tri.
I’d been running for a few years and Duncan the same on the bike but neither of us had a clue how to swim having retired from that in junior school.
Having started with Tri4u on a Monday night courtesy of Pont Tri, our swimming had progressed enormously (neither of us had swum since junior school) before starting real training in earnest in October about 8 months out from the event. Unfortunately after a summer off it was pretty much off a base of zero.
We signed up to online coaching – pretty much daily training and by spring it was good to know that after only four or five months we had the base to complete the distance and it was now all about getting faster.
First test came with Keswick Mountain Festival and the sprint tri. A real plug here for perhaps the best event I have ever attended – great family activities, bands, concerts, camping and a whole heap of events – triathlons, swims, sportives and runs from 5km to ultras. Thoroughly recommend it and hope to see many more Pont Runners and triathletes there next year.
After that Staffordshire came round pretty quickly – it’s the first time Stafford had held the event and whilst there were probably too many issues with overall organisation on the whole, the race itself was fantastic although not quite as flat as they promised. Clear blue skies for the swim and part sun/cloud for the bike and run finishing in the grounds of a local stately home. Great to have completed the event and a huge congrats to Duncan for a two hour half marathon at the end – he couldn’t even run just a couple of months out!
Ponteland really does provide a great base to get into triathlons. A big thanks to Woody (the Barn) for the coaching – all three disciplines have gone from night to day. Tri4u swim sessions on Monday nights, their open water swim classes and a C2C bike ride were ideal preparation and Ponteland Runners / tri club for general support and advice when it gets pretty dull running round Darras in the dark.
Of course an Ironman 70.3 is just a rebrand of a half ironman which just doesn’t sound right. Next year will be the full one – would be great to put together a group if anybody else is doing longer distance triathlons next year or just fancy the longer bikes or runs.”