Derby Triathlon Club

Beaver, Little Beaver and Speedy Beaver Triathlons 2015

by Andy Thornton

The weekend of the 16th & 17th of May saw 2 days of racing at Belvoir Castle for the Beaver Triathlon (Middle Distance), Little Beaver (Standard Distance & ITU Qualifier) and Speedy Beaver (Sprint Distances). Whilst another group of Club members were sunning themselves in Wales at the Slateman, 12 DTC athletes competed in tough conditions over the various distances.

The races all start and end in the stunning grounds of the castle with the swim and the run taking place solely in the castle grounds and the bike courses exiting the grounds onto the Leicestershire roads and passing back through the estate (laps dependant on distance and loop slightly different for the Beaver compared to the other two races).

The swim takes place in what is a very shallow lake (you could walk the swim course if you chose) and lake has a soft silt base which gets really churned up. This means drafting is nigh on impossible as visibility under the water is zero and you need to avoid drinking any of the water. It may not be much fun for the swimmers but the competitors at the swim exit get treated to an array of mud moustaches which look particularly fetching on the ladies!

Normally transitions don’t get a mention but T1 at the Beaver races is a 450m run up a grassy field.

The bike course has a bit of everything: a long straight section; a hill followed; a rolling section; and a pot hole ridden road back through the Castle grounds – repeated once, twice or three times.

The run is a tough loop which heads out of transition on the flat and then climbs consistently until the turn around point and then it is back down the hill and across the field to the finish or another lap or two or three.

Conditions for the races on both days were similar: cloudy with bright sunny spells, air temperature ranging from 10-15°Celcius, water temperature reportedly 15° Celsius and to top it all off – plenty of wind! The wind was 16-18mph with stronger gusts coming from the WNW on the Saturday and more from the W on the Sunday. What this meant was the long fast straight was a not so fast straight into a headwind and the only respite was a slight bit of assistance up the hill.

Beaver Triathlon (Middle Distance) – 16th May 2015

For me the race was a tough day in the office. After a couple of run races in the lead up to the Beaver I had been setting lifetime pbs and the bike and swim training had also been going very well. With the race plan written I was just unable to perform to the level I was hoping for but persevered and complete a solid performance.

Both Andy Townsend and James Brady under my watchful eye are currently putting in a great deal of training for their A race this season – the Outlaw iron distance event – and the Beaver Triathlon was their first real opportunity to put their fitness, planning and race execution skills to the test. Both of them put in good performance and learnt plenty from the race which will help them achieve their goals at Outlaw.

Completing the DTC line up for the Beaver was Paul Dale who completed the course in a respectable time just under six hours.

  • Andy Thornton - 4:08:51
  • Andy Townsend - 4:48:35
  • James Brady - 5:07:28
  • Paul Dale - 5:52:59

Speedy Beaver (Sprint Distance) – 17th May 2015

I didn’t get to see much of the Speedy Beaver as on the Sunday I was support crew for Sarah as she had been mine on the Saturday. Looking through the results I did see that long time member Terry Brooks completed the Speedy Beaver – hope you had a good race!

  • Terry Brooks - 1:43:22

Little Beaver (Standard Distance) – 17th May 2015 (ITU Qualifier)

Sunday saw 7 DTC athletes take on the Little Beaver in what was a very competitive race being an ITU qualifying event.

There was some father- son rivalry with Paul and Sam both competing to take honours in the Martin household. Sam came out on top and to the chagrin of his old man rode the faster bike split – but then Paul is still recovering from a recent mishap on the bike and is currently training for Challenge Weymouth (iron distance) in September.

Next through for DTC were a couple of the Club’s ladies both of whom I have the pleasure of coaching. Ruth put in a very solid performance after she told me (once or twice) that her legs were tired from all the training I have been giving her. This will pay dividends though when she takes on IM Luxembourg 70.3 in a couple of weeks, which I believe Steve Emerton and Mark Skelton are also doing.

Sarah’s race was marred by a brutal swim followed by a cleat problem on the bike which saw her foot constantly popping out of the pedal. It wasn’t until the run that she managed to complete part of the triathlon to a level she was happy with.

Other DTCers who seemed to enjoy their days swim, run, bike running (remember I told T1 was 450m) were Kevin Milwain, Paul Webster and Sarah Harrison.

Well done to all who took part!

  • Sam Martin 2:31:06 (University of Birmingham)
  • Paul Martin 2:42:10
  • Ruth Enion 3:03:20
  • Sarah Goodwin 3:04:12
  • Kevin Milwain 3:10:32
  • Paul Webster 3:17:50
  • Sarah Harrison 3:21:05


PS - for those that raced and I haven't found a picture of you send it through and I will get it added.

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